Oxfam Trail survival guide check list
4 weeks to go...have you seen this check list?
Blisters, nail and musculoskeletal injuries are the most common cause of debilitating pain and the reason why Oxfam Walkers do not cross the finish line.
Dr Huan Wang, Podiatrist from Synergy Sports & Wellness explains how to best prepare so you can avoid getting caught up in problems....
Phone 9878 0364 to book a free check up.
Oxfam preparation check list
□ 1. The Right Shoes
Shoes are a common cause of blisters. Blisters from a shoe can form due to friction where your toes, heels, and the sole of your foot rub against the shoe. High mileage events can give rise to overuse musculoskeletal conditions when coupled with shoes that are biomechanically mis-matched with the athlete. Getting the right fit, size, support and shape from a shoe can help prevent blisters, nail and musculoskeletal injuries.
New Shoes: Any shoes can give you a blister in its first few times they are worn. In some cases, it requires time before they "give" and your feet have grown accustomed to them.
Tips: Build up your mileage and speed in each pair of shoes, even if they are the same brand and model you have worn previously.
[endif]Existing Shoes: At other times, shoes may be mis-matched to your foot posture and biomechanics (function) leading to indiscriminate wear patterns and adversely causing friction and blisters. Rigid seams and holes in the lining can be a reason for nail trauma.
Tips: Recommendation of footwear by brands and models by a Podiatrist who understands the deeper complexities of your biomechanics; for the purpose
of preserving musculoskeletal health and optimizing function is key to reducing the risk of blister formation.
[endif]The Fit: Everybody has feet of different shapes and sizes, and there is no single shoe will be right for everyone.
Tips: A Podiatrist can show you lacing techniques to stop excessive sliding and slippage in your shoes.
□ 2. Orthotics
Feet are always changing, if you wear Orthotics, it is important that they are still supportive and congruent with your current foot needs.
Tips: Orthotics require annual check ups from a Podiatrist. A simple adjustment can
improve the quality and longevity of support to your feet. See a Podiatrist for a review of your biomechanics, orthotics and footwear and the interrelation between these constituents.
BLISTERS ARE IMMINENT WHEN THE FOOT, ORTHOTIC AND FOOTWEAR DO NOT FUNCTION IN UNISON
□ 3. Skin preparation
Calluses are your friends FOR NOW, BUT.... cracks need attending to by a Podiatrist. As your feet get more of a workout, they build up calluses. These are your friends for the walk. You want calluses (within reason), which acts as a natural pad against the friction that forms blisters.
Tips: See a Podiatrist to contain the amount of callous, remove cracks and recommend moisturizing cream specific to your skin type and needs.
□ 4. Sock selection
There are many techniques and products available on the market today:
Wick it Away: Buy cotton socks that include some acrylic, polypropylene, or Cool Max fabric which would wick moisture away from the foot, keeping it dry.
Double layers: The inner layer should be of a wicking fabric. The two layers work to prevent friction on the foot itself.
Padded Socks vs. Thin Socks: From a blister standpoint, experiment with the thickness of your socks. If your socks are so thick that your toes have no room, you need bigger shoes or thinner socks. When having shoes fitted, bring along the thickness of sock you plan to wear to ensure a correct fit.
□ 5. Lubricating Your Feet Vs Keeping Your Feet Dry
Friction—the rubbing motion between foot, sock, and shoe—creates heat and tearing forces, which make the skin prone to blisters. Reduce the friction, reduce the blisters. One way to reduce friction is by lubricating your feet so they slide rather than rub. Conversely, excessive moisture or perspiration can also trigger blisters. Tiny blisters form when the sweat clogs the pores in the feet.
Tips: Following an assessment of your feet, shoes and socks a podiatrist will recommend the best treatment regime to for your skin type.
□ 6. Taping the "Hot Spots" on Your Feet
If you have a spot that is prone to blistering, or have developed a hot spot while you are out walking and running, covering it can help protect it. There are several options regarding tape/s and special patches.
Tips: A podiatrist will assess and demonstrate advanced taping techniques for
you to manage your feet prior and during the event.
□ 7. Nail care
A black toe nail is caused by a blister or blood pooling under the nail, most often caused by repeated trauma from your foot sliding in the shoe, internal seams of the shoe and sock and poor nail cutting techniques.
Tips: Your shoes and socks must fit correctly. A Podiatrist can show you lacing
techniques to reduce the slide which is especially important with uphill and down