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Some people have "good feet" and some people have "bad feet".  Most travelers have sore and tired feet.  Read our article on shoe and foot care to find out how to avoid many foot problems common to traveling.

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Travel Advice - Shoe and foot care during travel

General Advice

While on vacation, you will walk and wander continuously. Our recommendation is to favor shoe comfort over style. Do not take new shoes on a trip. Instead, take shoes that you have "broken-in". Make sure that the shoes that you take on vacation are designed for walking: give special consideration to the types of activities that you have planned for your vacation.

Shoes - how many pairs to take?

Shoes are a packing problem, especially for men, since the size of most men’s shoes seems to require half of the space in a suitcase (of course I'm not bragging). 

  • We recommend taking two pairs of comfortable walking shoes on any vacation.
  • In general, it takes 24 hours of natural drying for the air to wick the moisture out of a shoe that has been worn during a normal tourist’s day of wandering and walking. Consequently, your feet will be more comfortable if you have at least two pairs of shoes to rotate between wearing.
  • If you do not care about comfortable feet and do not mind the aroma of “toe jam”, take only one pair of shoes.
    • However, be prepared to have your traveling companion demand a separate room for your shoes (or, perhaps, for you).

Shoe Care

Comfortable shoes are shoes that are cared for. Try the following to make sure your shoes remain comfortable during your trip:

  • If your shoes get wet, dry them at least twenty-four hours before wearing them.
  • Never dry shoes near heat sources (radiators, heat vents, etc.), as it  can damage the shoe.
  • Stuffing newspaper in drying shoes can decrease drying time and help retain shoe shape.
  • Clean shoes  breathe more freely and keep your feet more comfortable) than dirty ones.   While on the road, use a paper towel to clean your shoes. 

Foot care

Those “feeties” need consideration while you travel. Follow these tips:

  • During Vacations, wear shoes designed for the activities that will be the core of your vacation. If you are going to do a lot of walking, take along a sturdy shoe designed for comfort during walking. If you wear orthotics in you shoes, make sure that the shoes that you take on vacation are ones that work well with your orthotics.
  • Make sure the shoes fit comfortably (i.e. they do not pinch your toes or any part of your foot and provide good support and cushioning).
    • Cushioning problems can sometimes be solved by adding a pad to the inside of the shoe (some pads are treated with odor resistant materials, if this would benefit you or your companions).
    • The thickness or fit of the pad may influence the fit of the shoe and should be “tested” before heading out on vacation.
  • Do not wear socks more than one day without washing and thoroughly drying them before the next wearing.
  • Socks that wick moisture away from the feet are your best bet. Socks with high cotton content meet this requirement.
  • Make sure to examine your feet when washing. Dry feet thoroughly and take any other appropriate action.
  • Take care of blisters and other foot irritations the same way you would at home.
    • Do not ignore foot problems on the road, as the amount of walking during your vacation will surely complicate the problem. Band-aids and foot care products are available at stores worldwide.

Finally,  to toughen you up a little, we recommend that you exercise your walking skills before you leave on your vacation (Vacationing means walking).

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