Hiking shoes, socks and Orthotics
Ideally, you need a specific walking shoe, or hiking shoe/boot. Fit is important. Have someone knowledgeable guide you into the right shoes for your needs. If you feel that your ankles might be unstable or you have a history of rolling your ankles to the point of injury, consider something that comes up a little higher around the ankles for extra support. Ensure 1-1.5cm between your longest toe and the end of the insole. Pull out the insole from the shoe and stand on it to gain a clear indication of the room you have.
Wear-in your shoes and sock combination before you leave for your trip.
- Active Feet (Sandringham) www.activefeet.com.au,
- Outsports or Vast Outdoors (Nepean Hwy Hampton East). https://www.facebook.com/Vast-Outdoors-1560569704158951/
- The Walking Company, 348 Little Bourke St. or Bogong Equipment, 374 Little Bourke St. https://www.thewalkingcompany.com.au/
Socks are very important: Make sure that the socks are made from materials that have moisture wicking properties. There are various products out there and they can be made from either natural or synthetic fibres. My choice would be a wool blend sock, with elastic properties. 100% cotton socks are not recommended as cotton does not wick moisture well, gets wet creating friction causing blisters. Make sure that the socks are the correct size and fit for your foot. No wrinkles!! With socks, thicker is not always better. A medium to light weight sock will minimize overheating and not crowd your feet in the shoe. If you think that blistering or sweating is going to be a problem, then you could try a sock liner; this is a personal choice and not for everyone. Make sure the sock liner is wicking and that it fits snuggly around all the contours of your feet. See a specialised outdoor store for sock liners.
Orthotics or innersoles
Make sure these are not going to be a source of friction. Some innersoles are made from abrasive materials not suited to hiking long distances. Innersoles can be specially made to fit correctly in your shoes/boots and covered with materials that can help reduce the risk of blisters. Examples of these materials are: Spenco (a neoprene type cover), Poron or Soft EVA. It is a great idea to have an overview of your foot mechanics to ensure you are not predisposed to overuse injuries due to poor foot posture or weak muscles. This can be corrected and assisted via orthoses, which are specialist insoles designed for you and your feet by a professional – not just a generic version sold off the shelf.
Foot Centre Group can help you on your Hiking way – pain free and blister free. Book online HERE or call 9553 0044 for an appointment.