When it comes to walking, our feet are our most important tools:
We want to cherish them, keep them healthy and happy – even if this is going to cost a great deal of time and energy, and eventually money.
INLAYS: First of all I think it is a good idea to have an orthopedist check out our feet, legs and spine. The last thing you want to do is to ruin your knees just because of some silly walking thing. (Remember, you might be carrying up to 30kg on your back for days and days at a time.)
I got two pairs of orthopedic inlays as a result, and I have always been absolutely happy with them: 2 appointments & and opinion on bread
(Unfortunately, these things cost ridiculous amounts of money, but maybe you can check if your health plan can cover for them.)
SOCKS: I think itâ€™s not very smart to wear expensive shoes and cheap socks at the same time. A pair of quality outdoor socks is going to have extra padding for the heel and the toes, and the good ones are even individually shaped for the left and the right foot. There are some pretty high-tech materials out there, and I personally prefer socks that promise a â€ścool effectâ€ť, because I hate sweaty feet.
There is one rule I made up for myself: never wear the same pair of socks two days in a row. No matter how many days I would go on stinking up the same shirt, but I always had a bunch of clean socks buried in my backpack:
SHOES: Donâ€™t be shy: go to a store and try on all kinds of different models. Remember to bring your own socks, exactly the ones you are planning to wear on your trip. Do a bit of walking in the shoes, jump around, run up and down the stairs.
I personally prefer large boots that have a tight fit around the ankle, because I am always afraid of torn ligaments. I donâ€™t use leather boots because I find them too heavy and difficult to take care of, so I basically go with some fancy Gore-tex kind of material most of the time.
Again, one rule: always remember to strap your shoes on TIGHT, otherwise your feet are going to move around and youâ€™ll get bloody toes:
I tried a pair of low-cut walking shoes for about 1300 km, but I didnâ€™t really like them, mainly because I was missing the ankle support, and I felt that they had a rather loose fit:
GAITERS: I realize they do look a bit funny, but I found them absolutely useful in heavy snow:
SLIPPERS: You cannot go without a pair of beach slides or flip-flops! First of all, some of the places you might be staying at could be disgusting, and you would want to avoid floor contact. Never wear the slippers provided by the hotel!
Secondly, you need to rest your feet every once in a while. What an awesome feeling to be wandering around town in a pair of light flip-flops after days and days of punishing your feet in the desert! Donâ€™t try to do any serious walking in them though, it really doesnâ€™t work that well:
SKIN CARE: I know of three things you need to take care of your feet:
1) a plastic bowl for your daily foot-bath
2) hot water (ask the person you are staying with, or use your own cold water)
3) a towel that you use ONLY on your feet
I donâ€™t know much about ointments and skin care, but these three things are essential. I unfortunately had to learn this the hard way:
SHOE REPAIR: If your shoes start falling apart, and you are still far from the next outdoor store, you might consider asking someone to help you with the repair, though the results tend to vary:
PAIN: Finally, get used to the pain.
Sometimes it will be your only companion on the long and lonely road.
Soundtrack: 2Pac – â€śCalifornia Loveâ€ťPrint This Post