4 Footwear Tips Before Your Next Vacation
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, December 14th, 2018
Getting ready to travel for the winter? While many people flock to New York City to enjoy the festive atmosphere, some of us are planning a great escape to warmer weather in places like Hawaii, Florida, and the Carolinas. Comfortable shoes are something you can’t afford to forget. Here are a few tips from NYC podiatrists on making sure your footwear will be up to all the extra miles you’ll be walking on vacation.
Footwear Tips for Traveling
1. Break Shoes In Before You Go
As mentally satisfying as it may seem, do not unpack a brand new pair of shoes and expect to walk great distances. A little diligence will prevent abrasions, blisters, and pain later on. It’s best to wear new shoes for an hour at a time indoors.
For natural materials like leather, use a shoe stretcher to work out any tight spots or place rolled up socks in the “hot spots” to gently expand the area. A waterproofing spray is wise to apply in case you get caught in the rain.
If foot aches and pains have already got you down, stop in to see us for a pair of custom insoles before you go. These inserts can fit almost any shoe, providing comfort and support. Patients are often amazed at what a difference they make.
2. Bring More Than One Pair
There is value in packing light, but shoes are an area you shouldn’t skimp. If you’ll be spending a lot of time around the water, a sturdy pair of quick-drying aqua shoes is a must for navigating the beach terrain.
Sandals are nice for parties and lounging at the hotel, but you don’t want to spend long periods of time in them. If you must wear heels for a fancy dinner date, opt for chunkier heels or kitten heels, rather than stilettos. Flip-flops are the worst: they provide no stability or shock absorption. Make sure the sandals you choose are cushioned with arch support. Straps or laces are good for preventing slippage, but you’ll want to loosen up as the day wears on to prevent injury .Brands like Birkenstock, Teva, or Naot are better constructed, though they still pale in comparison to a good athletic shoe.
If you plan to do any walking tours and exploring, bring hiking boots or athletic sneakers. No matter what footwear you ultimately decide upon, we recommend wearing a different pair of shoes every other day to allow adequate drying time. Even if the insoles feel dry to the touch, it takes 48 hours for the innermost layers of material to give up all their moisture.
3. Know Thy Sock
Your socks are just as important as your choice of shoes. With the wrong type, your feet end up wet, stinky, blistered, and downright uncomfortable. Moisture-wicking material is essential for warmer weather. Avoid cotton or wool in favor of CoolMax, Nylon, or Lycra. Boost your sock’s moisture-wicking capacity with absorptive foot powder. Some folks need antiperspirant to decrease sweating. If you’ll be doing a lot of hiking, consider layering your socks to avoid chafing. Compression socks are great for diabetics, older patients, and individuals who may be worried about aching calves or deep vein thrombosis on long flights.
4. Like a Scout, Always Be Prepared
Always carry a few foot first-aid essentials on your person: Band-Aids, Neosporin, and blister-protecting bandages, at the very least. We also love moleskin for blisters and toe sleeves for corns. Be sure to check out our in-depth guide to packing a foot safety kit for vacation.
If you are particularly prone to foot pain after a lot of walking, we advise packing a water bottle you can freeze, a foam roller, or a golf ball you can roll along your arches at the end of the day. An Epsom Salt soak may be just what the doctor ordered, as long as there are no open abrasions.
Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever can help you with run-of-the-mill foot pain in the short-term. If your dogs are still barking when you get back home, call The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine to have your feet and ankles checked out.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.