Hiking doesn’t have to amount to sore feet | SummitDaily.com

Hiking doesn’t have to amount to sore feet

SUMMIT COUNTY – Some people set out for a day of hiking or a multiple-day expeditions and assume that sore feet are inevitable.

That doesn’t have to be the case.

Ivo Waerlop of Summit Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is conducting a free clinic on hiking boot fit at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Wilderness Sports in Silverthorne, and will review all the elements hikers should keep in mind when purchasing boots or evaluating hiking-related foot and leg injuries.

“Rather than fitting the boot to your foot, we’re going to talk about fitting your foot to the boot,” Waerlop said. “The type of boot people get is always going to depend on what type of hiking they’re doing – light day-hiking, heavy backpacking, heavy-duty expedition or mountaineering.”

Waerlop pointed out that an ideal hiking boot is comfortable, provides the appropriate amount of support, has minimal break-in time, lasting durability, keeps feet dry and doesn’t cause blisters or bunions.

“The biggest problems we see as far as pain are blisters,” he said. “That is the largest thing for people – they get them on their toes, heels, or in pressure point areas.”

Blisters can result from different sources, Waerlop said. Sometimes the boot is too big, sometimes the shank (the stiff part of the boot in the midsole against the heel) is too stiff or the person wearing the boots is too light or doesn’t have enough weight on his or her back.

Blisters are also caused by wearing the wrong socks – cotton instead of wool.

Waerlop also treats hikers for knee problems, the source of which can also reside in wearing the wrong boot.

“We see a lot of people having pain beneath the knee cap when ascending or descending on the trail,” he said. “Sometimes (the boot) can be padded out for more support, or people can try a thicker sock. Sometimes we need to alter the boot physically – some are heat moldable – or, we look at a person’s walking gait and see how the foot behaves. A lot of problems come from bad foot mechanics.”


Hiking boot-fit clinic

Ivo’s hiking boot clinic is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Wilderness Sports in Silverthorne. The clinic is free, but space is limited. To reserve a spot, call Wilderness at (970) 468-5687.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at sfarnell@summitdaily.com.

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