Travel Tip #22: Take Good Care of Your Feet
Take Good Care of Your Feet
When you are traveling, you will probably be relying on your feet more than you do at home. Without your car, your feet will be your primary conveyance, so treat them with the respect they deserve and take good care of them. Proper foot care begins with proper footwear. When selecting a pair of shoes, comfort, durability and versatility all need to be considered. You will be living out of a suitcase, not your closet, so you need to be selective. Shoes are heavy and bulky and you can only wear one pair at a time, so at most, you will have room to bring one extra pair. Bring an all-purpose shoe that is good for walking, but is not as casual as a pair of sneakers or as flimsy as canvas shoes. L&A is fond of Clark’s Desert Treks and Clark’s Wallabees, Earth Shoes and Fry Boots. All are comfortable over long distances, made of leather so they are somewhat water-resistant and are dressy enough to go out for a nice dinner.
If you have the space in your luggage, bring a spare pair. This seems obvious, but the lighter of the two pairs should go in your luggage. The type of shoe you bring along as a second pair will be largely dictated by the climate and activities at your destination. Is it hot? Are there beaches? Perhaps a sandal. Is it cold and rainy? Maybe some boots. Not to be overlooked are socks. Socks that allow the feet to breathe are important when you are doing a lot of walking, so wear cotton ones in warm weather and wool ones in cool weather. Avoid dress socks; they are thin and flimsy, offer nothing but ankle decoration and have no place when you are traveling.
The biggest enemy of your feet is excess moisture. Rain is the scourge of the soldier’s and traveler’s feet alike. If your shoes are wet and you do not have a replacement, use your hotel room’s hairdryer to dry them. Yes, this is tedious and not very energy efficient, but avoiding trench foot takes priority here. If there is not a hairdryer, look for a Laundromat and throw them in the dryer (along with any of your wet clothes as long as you are at it). If that is not an option, place them up against a heating vent. If it is a warm climate where the heat is not on, sop up as much water as possible with a towel or rag, then place in sun or in front of a fan.
Know Before You Go
Being away from home is not the time to break in a new pair of shoes; this should have been done gradually in the months leading up to your trip.
Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.