Foot Care Essentials

Foot Health for Travelers

Foot Health for Travelers

Taking steps to protect your feet and keep them in good health is smart no matter where you are; but it’s especially important when you’re traveling. You want to enjoy your vacation to the fullest, or focus your attention on business, depending on the nature of your travel. Here are some ways to help ensure that your trip is spent enjoyably and productively, not nursing foot pain or an injury.

  • Prepare for the climate where you will be traveling. If you are going to a hot climate, and will be on a beach and/or spending time barefooted, take sunscreen and use it on your feet – especially the tops (and of course, be sure to use it elsewhere on your body wherever it will be exposed to the sun). The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen that has SPF of 30 or higher, that is water resistant, and that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Follow these additional tips for taking care of your feet in and around water. If you are going to a cold destination, likewise take the appropriate footwear along with the appropriate apparel. Learn more here about the top cold weather foot conditions and what to do about them.
  • Take good shoes for walking that are appropriate for the climate where you will be, and for the activities you will be doing (walking, hiking, sightseeing, etc.). Choose carefully, and take at least two pairs. Even if you are going to a warm climate, take closed heel and toe shoes, not just sandals: If you’re traveling overseas, hygiene may be a consideration, and some activities you do may require footwear other than sandals. Avoid flip flops and other shoes with no support, except for very limited use at beaches or swimming areas. If you’re purchasing new shoes, make sure to get properly fitted using the integrated approach.
  • Take care of your shoes and rotate several pairs. Especially if you’re in a warm climate, shoes need to air out for a day or so to help eliminate dampness from perspiration. This dampness can lead to bacterial infections, and increased friction between your shoes and your feet as you sweat, which in turn can lead to blisters.
  • Wear padded socks that wick moisture to help reduce the possibility of blisters. Change socks every day at least - more frequently if you are very active and your feet perspire.
  • Be in good physical condition for the amount of walking or foot travel that you plan to do. If it’s going to be more than the normal amount, begin increasing your distance a little each day, at least several weeks prior to your departure. Work up to a distance or time walking that will approximate what you plan to do on your trip, so that your body is accustomed to that distance. Learn more here about three ways to walk for health and recreation.

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