Planning a trip away can be very exciting. No matter what your holiday adventure entails, whether its beaches and sunshine, sight-seeing ancient cities, trekking through rainforests… all trips require lots of thought into packing your bag… More specifically, what shoes are the ideal choice to meet all your travel needs. We all know that travelling often means plenty of kilometres walked, and so it is important to have a shoe that feels good for a long period of time, (and also looks good of course).
As a Podiatrist, there are a number of recommendations we make to all patients when it comes to the best footwear for travelling. But the important first step is considering the environment/location you are going to.
A quick and easy shoe choice is the havianas thongs, however excessive time in sand with high risk/dry/fissured can cause negative effects on the feet. Opt for a robust thick soled sandal that will survive the water, heat and sand. Before you put your shoes on, ensure as much sand is off the feet to avoid any irritation. There are plenty of thongs on the market that provide extra arch support, so try and ensure a sandal with extra support through the arch. OOFOS and ARCHIES are two great brands. Birkenstocks also have great sandal choices, however be careful with this leather getting wet as it can lead to cracking. Always have a spare pair of shoes for when you are not on the sand, so that you can give your feet a break and some more support.
If you are planning a hike/trek, you are bound to be faced with uneven ground and surface types. Ensure the sole of your hiking shoe has very rigid base and heel counter to maximise support. The higher the shoe goes, the more ankle support provided and less chance of injury, so try and opt for a “’boot”” style shoe if possible. Make sure there is plenty of room in the forefoot as when you walk up and more importantly, down hills, your toes will cop a beating if the shoes are too small and potentially lead to nails falling off. Don’t purchase your hiking boots a night before you leave. Like orthotics, they need time to be warn in, so try and do a few walks in the boots to get settled into them before you leave. Make sure the material of the shoe is breathable, and if applicable, waterproof. Gore tex material is a popular choice.
This category is for the stylish traveler, it can be tricky to find a stylish shoe whilst still providing adequate support. Opt for a shoe with a firm sole, wide forefoot, minimal heel and firm heel. Make sure the material is breathable to avoid excessive sweating and blisters. Try and get a shoe that allows room for a sock/socket to help with moisture absorption and avoid friction blisters. Make sure the shoes fit well, laces / Velcro and adequate fastening is a great option. There are many stylish shoes with these features. Ziera, Bared, Frankie 4s and Eccos are good brands to try.
For those travellers doing a bit of this and that, the following tips are applicable to many types of holidays and will get you out of trouble on your trips.
– Breathability: No matter what type of travel you are doing, avoid sweaty feet as that can lead to more problems like odour, sweat and subsequent blisters
– Socks: If possible, find shoes that allow for a barrier i.e. a sock to prevent any of the above conditions. Make sure the material of the sock has adequate moisture wicking properties. Pure cotton and Bamboo are two popular choices
– Waterproof: The more waterproof the shoe, the more durability you will find. If a leather sandal gets wet, it is bound to crack, so pick your material wisely.
– Firm sole: Even walking from the airport gate to the entrance, plenty of distance will be covered so adequate support in the shoe is essential. If the shoe can twist like a tea-towel or bend in half to fit in your pocket, it will not have adequate support and probably end in foot pain.
– Adequate fastening: IF you are slipping and sliding, the foot will move around too much leading to friction, blisters and instability. Opt for shoes that can be modified with fastening to promote the ideal fit.
– Minimal/low heel: If a shoe heel is any higher than 3cm, excess force is placed in the forefoot. They may feel ok for a night out to dinner, but plenty of walking in high heels can lead to pain in the ball of the foot, bunion pain, and these types of conditions can linger a long time post-holiday.
If you have any questions or would like more advice regarding your travel shoes, call us on 9542 3491 or go online to book an appointment today. Enjoy Your Trip, HAPPY TRAVELLING.
The Team From Sutherland Podiatry Centre