The Importance of Having the Right Footwear for Hiking

What better way to enjoy the warmer weather than by exploring one of Aotearoa’s hiking tracks. We are so lucky here in New Zealand in that we are spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful hikes for us to enjoy, and often these are within only a few hours travel from our back doorstep. I’ve been a keen hiker myself for years and have done many walks, the Hump Ridge Track is next on the list. I’ll be sure to let you know when I get the chance to do it!

Although hiking is a popular activity, what many people don't realise when it comes to preparing for their trip is how important it is to have the right walking gear; not only for comfort but to protect your feet and prevent foot injuries. Ankle sprains, blisters, stress fractures, and even ingrown toenails can all be nasty outcomes of not having correctly fitted shoes for a hike.

Here at Merivale Podiatry, not only are we passionate about hiking, but we are also specially trained in fitting shoes and other appropriate hiking gear such as socks and feet first aid. If hiking is something you have done in the past or is a hobby you are considering pursuing this Summer, I would recommend looking at our Hiking and Walking Package to ensure you have the correct gear and are properly equipped. The long term side effects of wearing unsupportive shoes can be detrimental, but also easily avoided. Hikes are long and often on uneven terrain. Your feet are put under a lot of pressure so it's important they are supported to prevent any injuries both during and after a walk.

Our consultations are 45 minutes long and include the following:

  • A 45-minute consultation with an expert podiatrist, who will ensure you walk away feeling confident and prepared.
  • Recommendations for footwear, socks, feet first aid, and any other gear you may need for your hike, walk or travel.
  • Tips and tricks to care for your feet and get the most from your hike.

We also assess the current shoes you are using (or planning to use) for a hike and examine your feet to see how they match up. If you don't own a pair of hiking boots, we will give recommendations which are best suited to your feet. There are so many options when it comes to hiking boots it can be quite overwhelming. Choosing the proper boot to wear can be challenging as every foot is so unique.

As an avid hiker myself, I highly recommend putting one of New Zealand's hikes on your bucket list. Not only is it a great form of exercise, it's a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and reconnect with nature. Now more than ever is a great time to take up hiking and support New Zealand tourism at a time where things have been tough. If you're thinking about or preparing for a hike, come and see one of our experienced podiatrists so you can hit the track in confidence.