One thing I learned about hiking quickly was that if I didn't worry about my feet being sore until they already began to ache, then it was too late!
You have to prepare your feet for hiking, just as you prepare your food, backpack, clothing and mind for the journey. How? Well, that can be a bit more complicated~~! First off, the skin needs to be ready. If not, any dryness or existing conditions will just be made worse by the hiking. Calluses, which are simply areas with an abnormal amount of dead, thickened skin caused by recurring pressure and friction, can be the end of you on a hike.
Here's the tips I have for getting the skin on your feet ready for your big hike: do you have any more? Add them in the comments!
**If your feet are over-dry, and you get some fissures on your heels or between your toes, and maybe you have some calluses on the bottom of your feet or toes, you should know that ignoring these on a hike will cause great pain! Why?
--You're more likely to get a blister underneath one of those calluses! Which is awful. Because you can't drain it or get rid of it, so it's just going to get bigger till it burst!
--If you do get a blister or damage under your callus, it's much more likely to get infected. So, you should deal with calluses before heading out!
**If your feet are brand new to hiking...
-- You're going to want to build up some callus! Do some small test hikes. You'll begin to notice where callus is building up, and this is normal. However, you want it to be flat with your skin! Keep a pumice, and use it to keep the callus level with your other skin. Never pick at a callus; always sand it with a pumice.
- You don't want to take off every bit of callus. Yes, it can be a problem if you get a blister under them. However, you do need tough soles to be able to survive a hike.
- What you need to focus on is the excess calluses or corns. If they are the type that crack and ever bother you in normal daily walking life, you will want to remove the excess callus. You want to keep the skin of your feet soft and elastic, but this doesn't mean you have to take off the needed callus that is there to pad your soles and heels!
**How do you do this?
--I used to think calluses would keep my feet strong and safe from hurting. Now, I use lotions to massage them to softness. Soak those feetsies in warm water, scrub with a pumice to remove excess callus, and then moisturize like crazy!