Fall is a fantastic season to go hiking. There is endless beauty in nature, which you can easily discover on numerous trails throughout Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties. If you’re not careful, however, there’s endless danger as well. Slippery stones, uneven paths, and roots that grab at your feet can send you sprawling, causing a foot injury. Hiking too much and carrying too much weight while hiking can also lead to foot injuries.
With some thoughtful preparation, you can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe from foot and ankle injury. Here are three solid tips to prevent foot injuries from Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland:
- Wear hiking boots. Sneakers don’t cut it. Running shoes don’t provide enough support. Hiking sandals do exist, but they literally leave your toes open to cuts and scrapes. Well-made boots designed specifically for hiking provide proper foot and ankle support and protection. Wearing such boots, provided they fit well, will help you avoid contusions, blisters, and ankle sprains.
- Keep your feet dry. It is as simple as wearing clean socks and changing them when they get wet with sweat. You can also apply foot powder before you set out to help keep your feet dry. Socks damp with perspiration set you up for annoying blisters and fungal infections.
- Pace yourself. If you’re fit and active, a long hike in the proper shoes is probably safe. But if you’ve been quarantining for months without much exercise, be wary of the temptation to go on a mile-long hike. Too much activity too soon, too long a hike, or carrying a heavy backpack can stress your lower limbs and cause an overuse injury. Some common overuse injuries include Achilles tendinitis, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and capsulitis.
When you hike, your lower limbs support a great deal of impact. Help them do the job by wearing supportive boots, keeping your feet dry, and not overly stressing them. If you do sustain an injury or have foot or ankle pain while hiking, make an appointment online with our expert podiatrists. Or, call our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041.