Hiking and foot pain don’t have to go together. If you are going stir crazy, how about heading outside for a winter trek? Just follow some common sense tips to make sure you don’t come home hobbling. The crisp clean air, beautiful snowy vistas, and the first faint signs of spring are ready to greet you on the Collingwood area trails. Follow the blazes on Canada’s oldest marked foot path—the Bruce Trail—or check out the Hen and Chickens or Sunset Point trails along the Bay.
To avoid foot pain while hiking, cross country skiing, or snowboarding, condition your feet for the extra effort of dealing with snow and ice. Start with short hikes to strengthen your muscles and tendons, and find good hiking or ski boots that fit comfortably and don’t rub against your feet. Stiff leather can cause more friction, so break them in gradually until they give a little. Choose socks that are comfortable and keep your feet dry, not ones that hold the sweat next to your skin.
Trim your toenails properly, and smooth any rough edges so they don’t hook on your socks. You don’t want them hitting against the front of your boot, but to prevent ingrown toenails, don’t cut them too short or round the edges, either. Make sure your skin is moisturized as well, but not so moist that your feet slide around and form blisters. You can take a plastic zipper bag with a few foot care items (e.g. alcohol wipes, blister patches or adhesive bandages, and duct tape) in case you run into problems on a long hike.
If hiking and foot pain have teamed up to cause a problem for you, call Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood at 705-444-9929, and let Chiropodist Tony Abbott have a look. We specialize in sports medicine and love to help you stay active!
Photo Credit: winnond via freedigitalphotos.net