Cooler days and colder nights are a sure sign that autumn is here! Autumn is a great time to head to the mountains for a hike to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage autumn brings. It is important to be aware that hiking on unfamiliar and uneven terrain can be hard on your feet. Walking up and down steep areas and on slippery surfaces can put stress on the muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles. Follow these tips from The ACFAS to help you avoid problems such as heel pain, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendon injuries when taking a hike! 

  1. Wear the Right Shoes- Hiking in the proper-fitting footwear can help protect toes from blisters and bruises. Cross-training athletic shoes don’t always offer the support needed for hiking on uneven, steep, and slippery terrain. Boots that are strong, stiff-soled, well-insulated, and moisture-proof will help lessen the stress on muscles and tendons reducing your risk of injury.
  2. Wear socks that wick away moisture and protect from the cold.
  3. Condition boots before setting out on a hike.
  4. Know the hiking route and options for accessing medical assistance.
  5. Carry supplies, such as bandages and wraps, to help immediately protect and stabilize injured feet and ankles.
  6. Take it Easy– Ease into your hiking routine before planning a long, strenuous trip. Don’t attempt to do more than your body is ready for.
  7. Stretch, Strengthen, and Balance– Doing these kinds of exercises before hiking will help improve your ability to hike challenging terrain.
  8.  Listen to your Body– If something is hurting, take a break. Pain is your body’s warning sign that something is wrong. Injuries can worsen if you continue hiking through the pain. 
  9. See your Foot and Ankle Specialist– Many injuries need to be properly evaluated and treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, they can lead to serious problems and longer recovery times.

If you have sustained a foot or ankle injury and are experiencing foot and ankle pain, contact Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center for an appointment. They have received the proper education, training, and experience in injuries of the feet and ankles. As Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Kovac and Dr. Erickson can give you the right diagnosis and treatment plan to help you get back on the trails! Same day appointments and x-rays are available! 


Some content provided by The ACFAS.