So you’ve reached that halfway point. You find that flat spot with a killer view to park your behind. Getting that bag off your back feels so good and you know those goodies you packed for fuel are going to taste better than ever. This view, the H2O and “Ahhhh-mazing” homemade beef jerky your friend has supplied you with, promising no adverse effects, would all be perfect if you weren’t also wishing to find a new pair of feet at the bottom of that bag...
With some really great hikes coming up such as the Oxfam Trailwalker in August we decided to collab our clinical experience with our great hiking enthusiast patients. Whether it be our competitive runners or humble walkers, single day go-getters or multi-day adventurers they all had some valuable HOT tips for hiking.
Let’s start with
- QUALITY GEAR: If you’re heading out for a HIKE rather than a walk, it is an absolute investment to gear yourself up with quality products. This doesn’t mean you need to go all out with a top of the range mini filtration system or most recent survival bracelet equipped with bottomless inventory! Invest in products that are going to take care of you so you don’t have to do it later.
- NO NEW SHOES: Just a gentle reminder you should NEVER have to “break your shoes in”. Let alone on a hike. If you have the right size and have been fitted correctly this shouldn’t be an issue. So just in case you haven’t discovered the shoes weren’t fit correctly don’t wear fresh kicks on a hike.
- LACING: There are plenty of different ways to lace your shoes to accommodate different foot shapes.
- SOCK(S): Merino wool and Bamboo are great materials for hiking socks. Thorlo and Bridegdale go highly recommended. Taking into consideration the thickness of your socks make sure they’re adequately dried and take more than one pair for those multi-day hikes.
- ACTI-BLISS: You’ll find this blister prevention wool in many of our hiker's shoes.
- MAGNESIUM POWDER: A heap of research shows that physical exercise depletes magnesium, leaving your energy metabolism efficiency impaired. So if you’re multi-day hiking you may benefit from supplementation. Consult with your GP if need be.
- VICKS VAPO RUB: Great for fungal nails which can get quite painful!
- COMPEED BLISTER PACK: These can provide some really great relief for any sneaky blisters.
- GORE-TEX: Moisture getting into your footwear is bad news! Gore-tex provides a waterproof lining keeping your feet dry and warm.
- WALKING POLES: Depending on how hardcore you’re going, and how uneven the terrain is walking poles can really be the legs you need when yours start to fatigue.
- GAITERS: Depending on the terrain and whether or not you’ve abandoned the beaten track, gaiters are a nice addition protecting your legs from branches, thorns, mud and even leeches and mosquitos!
- SKIN AND NAIL: Don’t head out with long and unruly nails. These can become super painful and cause further problems if they’re continuously hitting the end of your shoes. Any hard skin will also be uncomfortable and slow you down. Addressing both these after the hike is just as important before.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Consensus is, red wine is undeniably beneficial for endurance. Or something like that....just make sure it’s matched to your friends beef jerky!