Arguably the most important parts of your body to take of when trekking is your feet. Blisters, sprains and myriad other potential ailments will ruin a good trek. Our Classic event team share their tips for keeping your feet in tip-top shape.
Tape it up!
Event manager Carl, who’s trekked all four of our Classics, suggests taping blister-prone areas before trouble begins. “Pre-emptive treatment is the way to go here. Apply sports tape (Leukoplast is a good brand) over areas like the heels and small toes. Just remember to change the tape regularly.”
Start on the right foot.
Event coordinator Sofia likes to start with good-looking feet and by this she means: “I cut my toe nails short and remove hard skin from the heels and balls of my feet. I also do some foot stretches every morning and evening.”
Keep 'em dry.
“Moisture is your feet’s number one enemy,” says event manager Andreas. “Damp feet are more blister prone and you’re at risk of getting a fungal infection.” Plus, when they dry out they crack and can become sore. The best thing to do, says Andreas, is to “take your feet out of your boots and take off your socks at every rest break.” If there’s a stream nearby, all the better. You can dip your feet in the cool water. Just remember to dry them thoroughly before putting your socks back on.
Don't cut corners on socks.
Survival expert Johan Skullman is always going on about socks. And for good reason. Wet socks aren’t just smelly. They can increase your chances of getting an infection and blisters. Johan recommends wool socks. “Always avoid cotton. Synthetic materials wick moisture quickly, but they can become very smelly,” says Johan. Change your socks daily and leave them to air dry overnight.
Taking care of your feet is vital. But what you put on them in terms of footwear, is also important. We recommend our partner Hanwag for trekking boots and sturdy trekking shoes. However, if you want to go light, a good pair of trail runners work well. Choose a pair that are NOT waterproof, as they will dry quicker and your feet will remain dryer and cooler.
Back to trekking boots: invest in a good quality pair from the get go and you’ll enjoy mega mileage in them. And if you take care of them they’ll last even longer. Hanwag has created a great guide for taking care of your trekking boots but here are our most essential tips.
Keep them clean.
On returning home clean off dirt either with a sponge or brush.
Impregnate and buff up.
Reapply waterproof impregnation periodically and use a leather wax to avoid drying out.
Store your boots upright in a dry, airy place away from heat and direct sunlight.
Images: Anette Andersson