Nice walk without foot pain
The Dutch are walkers in heart and soul. Rain or shine, we like to put on our hiking boots to get out and about. But how do you, as a hiking fanatic, prevent blisters, corns and other foot pain? Medical pedicure Wilma Sijbolts gives tips.
You plop down after a long walk, take off your shoes and socks and ouch – your feet hurt. If you, as a walker, spend some time and attention on taking care of your feet, you can prevent painful complaints and ensure that you can continue walking unhindered. Wilma Sijbolts, medical pedicure, explains how to keep your feet healthy.
Everything starts with good socks
“To keep your feet healthy while walking, good socks are crucial. The range of hiking socks is very large. You can find them for a few euros at the larger supermarket, but also for a lot of money at the outdoor store. Good socks don’t have to be expensive; the material is more important than the price. In any case, do not opt for cotton socks. They get wet quickly, making the skin on your feet soft and increasing the risk of blisters. Wool, especially merino wool, is a good alternative. It is comfortable and can absorb a lot of moisture. But socks that contain polyester or polyamide are also very suitable. Make sure you buy the right size: not too small, but certainly not too big. If the socks slump, the excess fabric will chafe in your shoe and you can suffer from blisters or calluses. If you quickly get wet socks, make sure you have an extra pair with you to change during your walk. This prevents you from walking on with wet feet for too long.”
Fashionable shoes are not always the best
“It often makes sense to spend a little more for shoes. Go to a good shoe store, where they will look at your feet and help you choose the right model of hiking boots. These are not always the prettiest specimens. Fashionable models often have a narrow fit, but your feet need space in the shoe to absorb the movement of walking. If you walk in the mountains, that space is extra important to be able to properly unwind your feet during ascent and descent. My best tip for a well-fitting shoe: Draw the outline of your foot on a piece of paper, cut it out and put it in your shoe. You can also take the paper to the store. If the edges curl, the fit is not correct. A visit to a podiatrist can also be useful. They can measure a sole for your shoes to correct hollow or flat feet. This means that your feet are less likely to hurt when walking.”
Use tape or walking wool to prevent blisters
“Especially at the beginning of the hiking season, many people suffer from blisters. The skin of the feet is then no longer used to pressure or friction. Prevent blisters by taping vulnerable parts of your foot such as the heels, the side of your foot near the little toe and the forefoot (under the ball of your foot) with sports tape. Stick different layers on top of each other in the form of a row of roof tiles, so always a piece on top of each other. Be careful not to curl the tape. Hiking wool also helps against blisters. This sheep’s wool is thin and loose in structure. You can drape these around your heel or between your toes before putting on your hiking socks. It prevents pressure marks and absorbs moisture. Wool also has a thermal effect. It keeps your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You can buy sports tape and hiking wool at the better drugstore or sports store.”
Cut your toenails in the shape of your toe
“There is quite a bit of confusion about how to clip your toe nails. In my practice I regularly see people with a butt nail on the big toe. The nail is then blue and sometimes grows upwards. A butt nail often occurs when the big toe nail has broken off or because the nail is too short. Shoes that are too small can also be a cause. It is also important not to cut the corners of your toenails. Then there may be a splinter of the nail that can grow in. That is very painful. Always trim your toenail to the shape of your toe. So it is not necessary to cut completely straight. Do not use home garden and kitchen scissors, but scissors with rounded corners. Trim the toenails when you just get out of the shower, they’ll be a little softer and easier.”
Calluses are good, but not too much
“Calluses have an important function; it is a natural protective layer in places where the skin experiences a lot of friction. But if calluses If it becomes too thick or too dry, it can become a painful affair. Corns can develop, popularly known as magpies. A corn is a small piece of callus, the size of a pinhead, that grows into the skin. Over time, it can press on a nerve and hurt. You can prevent corns by removing too many calluses. Scrape off a layer with a callus file or rasp. Make sure not to remove too much, because then the skin is less well protected.”
Lubricate your feet with cream every day
“By rubbing your feet with a good cream every day, you keep the skin supple and prevent cracks from forming in the calluses. The drier the skin, the oilier the cream you should use. You can buy good foot cream at the better drugstore and it is usually slightly fuller than regular body cream. But you can also use a hand cream that feels good. Always dry the skin between the toes well after showering. If you can’t reach it well, use a hair dryer. Just make sure it doesn’t get too hot.”
Go to the pedicure if you can’t do it yourself anymore
“For some people, a visit to the pedicure is a necessity. For example, if taking care of the feet yourself has become difficult due to an illness. In people with diabetes, the nerves in the hands and feet fall out. You no longer feel it if you have a wound on your foot and that can be dangerous. The pedicurist can check and care for the feet. The importance of good foot care is often underestimated. If you identify foot complaints at an early stage, many problems can be prevented later. The fact that a pedicure treatment also feels nice and your feet look beautiful again afterwards is of course a nice side effect.”
You can do that in an instant!
- Plus Magazine