Close up of a Calgary hiker’s shoes on rocky ground

How to Prepare Your Feet for a Pain-Free Hike

Are you wondering how to keep your feet feeling good during a long day of hiking in the Rockies? Here are a few tips from the experts at Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic in Calgary on what you can do to prepare your feet for your next trek.

Wear the Right Footwear


Don’t cut corners when it comes to your shoes. Instead, invest in a high-quality pair of hiking boots that are the right size for your feet. Whatever you do, don’t wear new boots the day you go for a long hike. Break in your hiking boots gradually by walking short distances in them each day. 


Lace Your Shoes Correctly


Make sure to lace up your shoes tightly so that your heel and ankle are held securely in place. While your toes should have plenty of room to spread out, the back of your foot should be well supported to prevent your ankle from rolling.


Clip Your Toenails


Trim your toenails before hiking to prevent discomfort. Toenails that are too long will press against the top of your shoe, especially when going downhill, and can cause painful bruising and result in the nail turning black and falling off. 


Roll Your Feet


Before heading out, roll your feet using a specially designed foot roller or a tennis, lacrosse or massage ball. Rolling your foot on a ball can improve your circulation and range of motion in your foot and even ease some of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Roll each foot both lengthwise and width-wise on the ball to release tight muscles in your feet and guard against injury.


Keep Your Feet Dry


Damp socks and shoes lead to blisters. Make sure to bring extra pairs of socks so you can change them throughout the day, and be sure to air out your feet and shoes at the end of a long day of hiking. Applying foot powder in advance also helps to absorb moisture and prevent blisters from forming. 


Catch Blisters Early


As soon as you feel a hot spot (pre-blister) forming, stop and take steps to address it. If the blister hasn’t fully formed, you can curb the inflammation by applying duct tape or medical tape to the site. Keep provisions for treating blisters—tape, bandages and antiseptic ointment—with you on the trails.


Visit Your Calgary Podiatrist


If you’re experiencing foot pain, make sure to see a foot specialist before going on a long hike. At the Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic in Calgary, our resident podiatrist and highly trained staff are experienced in all areas of foot health, from routine foot care to laser pain therapy and sport treatments. To make an appointment, contact us today.