A few tips from our Podiatrist, Ella…
Oxfam TrailWalker is Australia’s original 100km team challenge. Teams of four journey through 100km of bush trail within 48 hours (or 50km in 24 hours), whilst helping to raise funds for those living in poverty. Absolutely anyone can participate in this challenging event and I first hand have seen the significant toll it can take on the body, especially for those have poorly prepared.
I have been a volunteer podiatrist at the Oxfam Trailwalker event in recent years and have treated plenty of people with agonizing blisters. Unfortunately, most people were unaware of how to prevent the blisters from occurring in the first place.
Blisters are one of the main reasons people don’t complete the walk, but with the right preparation, they can be prevented.
Blister prevention is an integral part of preparation for someone who wants to walk as pain free as possible. The following points are steps you can take to ensure your feet are best prepared for the long journey they have ahead.
- General foot care– Ensuring that your nails are cut short and any sharp edges are filed is important in the prevention of digital blisters.
- Socks– Socks that allow moisture to be wicked away from the foot are great. The purpose of these socks is to prevent the foot from absorbing too much moisture which increases friction and therefore increases the risk of developing a blister. Most camping/outdoors/specialist footwear shops will stock a wide range of hiking socks.
- Footwear– Ensuring you have a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes that have been broken in is vital in the prevention of blisters.
- Lacing– Lacing techniques such as lock lacing are also helpful in the prevention of blisters. Lock lacing allows the shoes to be secured more firmly therefore preventing the foot from slipping in the shoes.
- Strapping– Strapping the feet is one of the most effective techniques used for blister prevention. By strapping the toes, soles of the feet and heels with an adhesive tape such as Hyperfix/Fixomul or sports tape, friction is prevented between the skin and the sock/shoe.
- Visiting a Podiatrist– Everyone’s feet are different therefore, depending on your foot type you are prone to different injuries. A podiatrist will conduct an extensive foot assessment to see how the foot functions and offer you with personalized advice on how to best prevent blisters and injuries when walking. Podiatrists can also tape your feet for you before the event however there are podiatrists available at each check point of the Oxfam Trail Walker event who can strap your feet for you.
Ella is available in Kilmore on Mondays and Saturdays, Lancefield on Tuesdays and Wallan on Thursdays.
For further advice don’t hesitate to call Kilmore & Wallan Podiatry Clinic on 5781 0652.