Travel Smart

 

Travel Smart with Healthy Feet
Dr. Scholl’s essential steps

Early in my career as an intrepid travel writer and photographer, I learned that travelling takes its toll on feet and if you take care of your feet, you’ll go miles ahead in enjoyment. Even on dreamy excursions – say, admiring art at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, walking the Great Wall of China, hiking through Australia’s primreview rainforest – travelling takes its toll on the feet. Sore feet can ruin the pleasure of a vacation. Why limp around Venice or stay in a hotel room nursing blisters when you could be hiking up to a tea house in Lake Louise, or dancing the night away at Mardi Gras in New Orleans?

The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps each day. That’s enough to make your feet swell, particularly when you’re on walking tours or hikes, which add additional steps, time and strain on your feet. From years of globe-trotting, I’ve learned that planning ahead for sensible footcare and maintaining a regular footcare regimen each day will enhance your travels immeasurably.

My routine is simple. Before planning an Africa safari, sightseeing in the Canadian Rockies or packing for a luxurious cruise, I visit the local drugstore and stock up with the foot essentials that will ensure a comfortable expedition. (See my list of favourites at the end of this page.)

Step up to Healthy, Happy Feet

Wherever you plan to go, it pays to be savvy about common foot conditions and to be prepared with appropriate treatments. Why risk common travel foot conditions like corns, calluses and blisters, heel pain and tired, aching feet when a little preparation can make a world of difference on your vacation? So heed these basic tips.

Wear comfortable walking or athletic shoes

It may sound simple, but wearing comfortable shoes is essential when spending hours on your feet, touring various museums and historic sites. Comfortable shoes can help to alleviate the discomfort caused by corns and calluses and help to prevent blisters.

If you have corns and calluses, plan to see your podiatrist before embarking on your trip. You may wish to ease the discomfort by packing over-the-counter cushion treatments to protect feet while on vacation. Blisters are one of the most common travelling foot injuries, which often lead to nights in hotel rooms caring for painful feet. Avoid missing out on enjoyable excursions by using over-the-counter treatments such as Dr. Scholl’s® Cushlin® UltraSlim Blister Treatment to help heal and prevent blisters.

Comfortable shoes with proper arch support delay the occurrence of tired, achy feet, which can hamper the enjoyment of walking and hiking activities. A variety of over-the-counter insoles and devices can improve the arch support of your shoes, allowing for more "on your feet" time.

Do not pack shoes that need to be "broken in"

Avoid shoes that require a break-in period. Instead, purchase shoes that feel comfortable right away. If the shoes hurt your feet at home, they’ll hurt them on the road as well. Be conscious of the vigorous level of your activities and the comfort level of your shoes.

If shoes lack sufficient padding or support, improve the performance of your shoes by adding inserts and devices

Quite often, fashionable shoes that best match your outfit – whether for an afternoon shopping in New York City or an evening of entertainment on a cruise ship – are not beneficial to your foot health. Avoid trendy shoes if they are ill fitting or have irritating high heels. Wear shoes that support your feet and allow ease of movement. For additional support and cushioning, consider the variety of over-the-counter inserts, such as Dr. Scholl’s® Advantage PowerWalk Insoles. (I put these in every pair of golf shoes.)

Soak feet nightly

Treating your feet each night with a specially designed soak such as Dr. Scholl’s® Smooth Touch® Instant Foot Bath will help ease the discomfort of tired, achy feet. Besides moisturizing and softening corns, calluses and rough, hard skin, this luxurious treatment prepares your feet for comfortable travels the following day.

Moisturize and exfoliate feet

Moisturizing and exfoliating feet helps to reduce the build up of dead skin that results in corns and calluses. It is a lovely, relaxing treat at the end of a long day of sightseeing. Dr. Scholl’s® Smooth Touch® Peppermint Foot & Leg Lotion softens skin and provides a soothing peppermint fragrance.

Travel smart, tread carefully

Sensible foot care is essential even on relaxing, beach resort vacations. Even if the extent of your activity is a stroll on the beach or a leisurely swim in the ocean, be smart and pay attention to your feet. When in tropical locales, observe these footcare rules.

  • Always wear shoes or sandals while walking on sand, in order to prevent foot injuries from hot sand and objects that may be hidden beneath the sand.
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen to feet while basking in the sun. The skin on the feet is very sensitive and needs to be protected against the sun’s harmful rays.
  • When purchasing sandals, be sure to buy ones that are comfortable and have plenty of arch support to prevent common foot problems such as tired, achy feet and corns, calluses and blisters.
  • Fungus infections, which are responsible for Athlete’s Foot, thrive in warm, moist environments including pool decks. Be sure to wear protection on your feet when walking in these areas. If you already suffer from Athlete’s Foot use an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream to eliminate the infection.

Tootsie Treats

As a travel journalist and photographer, sightseeing from dawn to dusk is part of my career. I love what I do. Taking care of my feet and sticking to a daily footcare regimen while on the road allows me to take advantage of all the experiences my work has to offer. I know it sounds tough – running around all day, reminiscing and writing till I’m out again next morning – but, hey, someone’s gotta do it. I’m glad it’s me.

My favourite tootsie treats?

Never leave home without them.

Dr. Scholl's® Cushlin® UltraSlim Blister Treatment

Put these pads directly on your skin to heal or prevent blisters. By molding to the shape of your foot and adhering without sticky residue, these pads help to reduce friction and promote healing, allowing for an enjoyable walking tour.

About $6.99 per package.

Dr. Scholl's® Advantage PowerWalk Insoles

Great comfort on walking tours. Dr. Scholl's® Advantage?PowerWalk Insoles are the first insoles specifically designed for the low impact stresses of walking. The Advanced Gel insert provides extra cushioning comfort in your forefoot and the mini Air Cushions absorb shock at the heel.

About $25.99.

Dr. Scholl's® StepWell Insoles

A blessing on long walks. Dr. Scholl's® StepWell?Insoles are designed to evenly distribute pressure and help relieve pain and discomfort from common foot conditions, including those suffered by people with arthritis and diabetes.

About $24.99.

Dr. Scholl's® Molefoam® Padding

Lose the "sore foot" limp. This soft latex foam padding material helps relieve painful shoe friction and pressure by cushioning calluses, bunions and tender spots. Cut material to fit any size or shape and apply directly on the foot.

About $3.49 per package.

Dr. Scholl's® Moleskin - Kurotex®

Protecting against painful friction caused by shoes, while cushioning corns, calluses, and tender spots, Dr. Scholl's® Moleskin - Kurotex® helps to ease discomfort. One hundred per cent cotton flannel padding is backed by self-stick adhesive that is easy to apply and remove.

About $4.39 per package.

Dr. Scholl's® Cushlin® UltraSlim Callus Cushions
and Cushlin® UltraSlim Corn Cushions

Cushlin®, a technologically advanced, soft polymer gel, provides immediate, all-day pain relief from calluses. Cushlin cushions mold to the shape of any foot and adhere to skin without leaving a sticky residue.

About $3.49 per package.

Dr. Scholl's® Medicated Foot Powder

Forget about itching and chafing. Use daily on your feet and inside your shoes to cool and protect against the perils of travelling, such as perspiration, itching and chafing. The antibacterial powder controls foot odour while helping prevent minor skin irritations. The cornstarch formula helps protect against perspiration discomfort by absorbing moisture 80 times faster than talc.

About $8.99.

Dr. Scholl's® Rough Skin Removing Foot Cream

This exfoliating cream smoothes away dry, rough skin. Simply massage cream into skin, and brush away any excess granules with a cloth. This avoids the build-up of rough, irritating skin.

About $5.59.

Dr. Scholl's® Soap 'N Soak® Instant Foot Bath

After a long day of touring, this fragrant formula soothes and relaxes hot, tired, aching feet while it moisturizes and softens corns, calluses and rough, hard skin.

About $6.19 for four packets.

Dr. Scholl's® Smooth Touch® Peppermint Foot & Leg Lotion

Pamper yourself after a long day of sightseeing. This lovely, mint-scented lotion invigorates tired feet and legs for another day of travel. It is specially formulated with alpha hydroxy acids and peppermint oils to gently remove dry skin and moisturize feet and legs.

About $7.99.

Expert Advice from Podiatrist Neil Naftolin

"Proper footcare and maintenance is essential to a body’s overall health," says Neil Naftolin, podiatrist and founding member of The Scholl Institute? "While travelling, it is especially important to care for your feet, as the average traveller spends more time on their feet than they are accustomed to."

In addition, Naftolin advises people with diabetes to take extra care of their feet while on the road, as decreased sensation in their feet, one of the possible symptoms of diabetes, could lead to the inability to feel even the slightest blister, which can increase the risk of infection and other foot health complications. Diabetes-friendly insoles are designed to evenly distribute pressure and help relieve pain and discomfort from common foot problems, including those suffered by people with arthritis and diabetes. If foot pain and discomfort persists, visit a foot health professional.

Details

Dr. Scholl’s products are manufactured and marketed

by ®Schering-Plough HealthCare Products Canada,

a division of Schering Canada Inc.

For more information on foot health, visit

The Scholl Institute: www.schollinstitute.com

or Dr. Scholl’s: www.drscholls.ca

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