The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Put on Your Walking Shoes

Posted by on Friday, February 3rd, 2012


Traipse through the airport, check your bags, and arrive at the security screening. Remove your salt stained shoes and place them in the tray. Pad in stocking feet through the x-ray machine. Bend over, tie your shoelaces and get on the plane. You are on vacation!

I just came back from Costa Rica where I hiked through Antonio Manuel National Park. Foot health is muy importante if you want to enjoy your vacation. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do this, because of the arthritic joints in my big toes. After a successful operation, my pain is gone, and I can walk for hours.

Problems with your feet can cripple your journey.  Your feet walk you into memories: showing off your new pedicure poolside, digging your toes into the sand, hiking through a rainforest or city streets. It is not like you can have a do-over, so your feet have to be in the best shape before you leave on your trip.

Some cities are made for walking. Your feet are the best mode of transportation to explore the streets of New York. I’m sure that is the reason some of the top Podiatrists, like The Center For Podiatric Care And Sports Medicine are located in the city.

I admit I don’t give my feet the respect that they deserve. The things I do, belong on “the don’t” list, but I’m willing to share my foolish ways with you. Thank me later, send me a postcard from San Francisco, or Portland, Oregon, two great walking cities.

  • Don’t go from 0 to 50. If you are like me, and your daily activity consists of walking your dog around the block, your feet are going to complain when you spend all day sightseeing. Start walking a bit more each day before your trip.
  • Don’t go to a business meeting in heels and then decide to walk 20 blocks to your hotel to do some sightseeing.
  • Don’t wear new shoes, even if they are proper walking shoes. Break them in a few weeks ahead of your vacation.
  • Don’t wear flip flops anywhere other than the beach, especially if you have never worn shoes with a thong.
  • And definitely don’t do this: In Costa Rica, I merrily walked the length of the beach wearing my sandals, allowing the surf to run over my toes, because the sand was hot. I didn’t realize that the wet sand caught in the straps of my shoes was acting like sandpaper. When I got back to the hotel, my shins had been rubbed raw. Not a good souvenir. The hotel provided antibiotic ointment and bandages to sooth my feet, but my last day of vacation was spent sitting by the pool.
  • Don’t forget your orthotics, if you wear them. You don’t need a suitcase full of shoes, just the right ones.

Now for some “do’s”

Find a walking shoe that is well fitting with strong support, a flexible sole, and a low heel.  Shoes should be breathable and lightweight. There are lots of fabulous walking sandals for tropical vacations. If you are going mountain climbing or trekking through the jungle in Africa, you probably need expert advice on footwear.

Do enjoy your vacation!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. 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.