Fixing Your Feet

The foot bible

A macerated foot resulting from exposure to moisture.

Your feet uphold you. They’re easy to abuse, hard to repair. This book is considered the authority on maintaining feet by those who most depend on them: athletes, dancers, soldiers, runners and hikers. Keep ’em happy with the great advice and proven remedies in this portable foot hospital. No other source is as reliable and complete, or more recommended by pros.

-- KK 03/14/05


Many athletes who have participated in extreme sports have learned firsthand how one minor problem can be magnified over time and eventually have major consequences. Typically this happens when a blister affects the gait, a backpack's weight throws off balance and stance, or stressed or weakened muscles cause an imbalance in the body's mechanics. Every athlete has different strengths and weaknesses, different degrees of flexibility, and different muscle skills and body types.

Tips for a Good Fit:
* Do not buy a pair assuming they will fit better later unless they are leather boots. In most cases, today's shoes and boots require no breaking-in period.
* Have your feet sized each time you buy new footwear. Measure both sitting and standing to determine your elongation factor.
* Fit new shoes to your larger foot.
* Try on shoes at the end of the day, preferably after running or walking, because your feet normally swell and become larger after you have been standing and sitting all day.
* Today's running shoes and lightweight hiking shoes are very well made and in most cases will wear as well or better than many of the heavier boots.

Try a silicone-based lubricant, which helps drive moisture away from your skin and reduces friction between your feet and shoes. Sportslick and Hydropel are both good products.

Empty your socks of rocks and junk. The debris that accumulates as you thrash around in the forest can cause blisters, sores, abrasions, and cuts, all highly contraindicated for happy feet. Best of all, use a light gaiter to keep things out to start with.

As odd as it may look, cutting the toes off shoes helps prevent common foot problems.

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