By contactus@footandanklenj.com
October 27, 2016
Category: Proper Footwear
Tags: Untagged

Before the leaves are past their peak and sunny autumn days give way to colder winter temperatures, you may be considering hitting a hiking trail or two. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want to remind our patients that the most important piece of hiking gear you will buy are your shoes or boots. A good quality, properly fitted pair of hiking shoes can help prevent many common injuries and problems such as ankle sprains, blisters and heel pain. Here are some factors to keep in mind when shopping for hiking shoes or boots:

  1. Have your feet evaluated by one of our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. Your foot doctor can make recommendations about shoes to fit your individual foot. If you have any previous injuries, chronic problems or deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, etc., they will need to be accommodated in your hiking shoes. If the foot doctor has prescribed an orthotic device, be sure to bring it with you when you shop for hiking boots.
  2. Get measured professionally. Shoe fitters in stores that specialize in outdoor gear can measure the length of your foot and also the width and the arch. Generally speaking, hiking boots should hug your foot snugly all over and there should be a space between your longest toe and the inside of the shoe of about a thumb’s width—you should be able to wiggle your toes in the boots.
  3. Try on hiking shoes with the socks you will wear out on the trail. The best socks are thick, moisture-wicking synthetic ones. Some hikers wear two pairs of socks. Whatever is your norm, that’s what you should wear when you try on new boots.
  4. Something that normally isn’t a factor in regular shoe shopping that is important in assessing footwear for hiking: foot volume. If you still feel like there is space in the shoe at the top of your foot, even when the boots are tightly laced, the foot volume of the shoe is most likely incorrect.
  5. Shop for hiking boots at the end of the day. Your feet will be at their largest at that time since they usually swell as a result of being on them all day.
  6. Finally, take your time in making your choice. Wear the shoes for a while in the store. Walk around, go up and down stairs and find an inclined area, if possible, to try out the boots. If you have any concerns or feel that the boots are rubbing or pinching anywhere, tell the shoe fitter and try another pair.

If you have questions about fitness issues and your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050.