Hiking is a great way to stay in shape, spend time with family and friends, and appreciate the beauty of nature. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we want our patients to keep their feet safe while enjoying this activity. Below are some recommendations before you hit the trail.
Shoe Sense—it all starts with the right hiking shoes or boots. The terrain on trails can be steep, uneven, and unstable. It’s essential that you have the proper footgear. Get professionally fitted and buy quality-hiking shoes that protect your feet from moisture, provide good support and shock absorption, and have a tread to help prevent slips and slides. If you have chronic foot problem such as weak ankles or heel spurs, see our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas to get recommendations for shoe styles and other modifications that will best accommodate your condition.
Proper Planning—if you are planning to hike on a trail you’ve never been on, study a map to determine the length of the trail, whether it’s “in and out” or a circle, the elevation, and how the trail is maintained. Take into consideration your current physical condition and don’t overdo it. Warm-up and stretch before starting a hike to avoid injuries like Achilles tendonitis.
Knapsack Know-How—in addition to granola bars and plenty of water (which will not only keep you hydrated but also reduce the chances of painful swelling in your feet and ankles), you should include a few other items in your backpack. Blisters, though small, can ruin a hike. Pack moleskin and use it as soon as you notice rubbing or a sore spot on your foot. It’s also a good idea to have wraps or elastic bandages in case of an ankle sprain and bandages and antibiotic ointment for minor scrapes or insect bites.
Foot and ankle injuries require immediate medical attention. If you fall, twist an ankle, or injure your feet or ankles in any way while hiking, contact our Long Beach office by calling (562) 420-9800 as soon as possible. Until you can get in to see us, follow the RICE regimen: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.