One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage is on a hike. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, however, we’ve seen too many patients come in with injuries or foot pain after hiking so we thought we’d offer these tips for protecting your feet when you hit the trails.
1. Wear good quality hiking boots. As with other sports and activities having the right shoe is essential for protecting your feet and enjoying what you’re doing. Well made hiking boots should have good insulation, be moisture proof and have steel or graphite shanks. If you are buying a new pair be sure to try them on with the socks you will wear when hiking and take your time walking around the store before you purchase them to ensure a comfortable fit.
2. Safeguard your ankles. If you have chronic weak ankles or have suffered an ankle sprain in the past, definitely wear high top hiking boots for extra ankle support. You may also want to consider taping your ankle or using a brace if your foot doctor has given you one to prevent the ankle from twisting.
3. Pack some moleskin. There is nothing worse than getting a blister when hiking and the agony of having to continue walking with it continually being rubbed for another couple of miles before you get back. Moleskin in your backpack can save the day. Apply any place on the foot as soon as you start to feel an irritation to prevent a blister from forming.
4. Know your limits. Study trail maps before choosing a hike and pick a trail that is suitable for your level of physical condition both in length and difficulty. Remember that a mile on a hiking trail is different than a mile on the road or track. Uneven terrain, hills, and rough paths are more strenuous to walk on. If your feet start to hurt while you’re hiking end the trek as soon as possible. Pain means something is wrong!
If the pain continues after you stop the hike, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office. One of our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko will need to examine your foot or ankle and determine if an injury has occurred.