Preparing your feet for travel!

November 30, 2018

Have you been planning your dream holiday, perhaps heading overseas to visit family, or are you ready to check a few things off the bucket list? Machu Picchu, Golden Gate bridge, The Stonehenge, The Eiffel Tower, The Rocky mountains …. But did you include 10-20kms of daily walking on those lists?

Often when we travel overseas we decide to walk from place to place, who wouldn’t? It’s cheaper and it is the most wonderful way to explore when you have the time to do it.

Most of us however don’t do this in our daily lives and we certainly don’t do it day after day after day.

As podiatrists we often have people coming back from holiday with a number of injuries – including plantar heel pain, shin splints, intermetatarsal bursitis and morton’s neuromas to name a few.

Planning to head overseas should include a little training as well as all that itinary planning. Just like training for a marathon it takes some time to build up the strength and endurance in our bodies.


Here are Berni’s top tips for getting ready for that trip of a lifetime!

First – get your footwear right – check out our other blog on best travel shoes for some tips! 

Second– start walking – if you’re starting from scratch make sure you put on the right footwear and begin with a steady 20 minutes a day – perfect for during a lunch break, see how your body reacts and slowly increase each week by 5 minutes a day.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to build up the Km’s in a safe way, we recommend starting at least 3 months before your trip. This also gives you time to sort out any problems that might present themselves. Better for it to show up before you go away than when you’re on holidays trying to keep to your jam packed schedule!

Third – Think about the type of terrain you are going to be walking on, cobblestones, sand, jungle? Are you used to walking on this type of ground?

If not, you need to build up the strength in your feet and ankles to make sure they can withstand it.


Start with strengthening your ankles

– Heels lifts are a great way to do this

– 10 double legged heel raises daily, slow and steady! 5 seconds to raise up, hold at the top for 5 seconds and slowly back down for 5 – try to wobble as little as possible.


Practice your balance – Standing on one foot while brushing your teeth is a good test – you should be easily be able to stand on one foot. eyes closed, no hands!  If you can’t do this for at least 30 seconds start working on it.

Practice some foot strength, it sounds easy but see how easy it is to lift your big toes up just by themselves- (ie your little toes remain planted on the floor while doing it) Can you do this easily? Or does it take a lot of focus.

We should be able to do this for good balance and effective push off – practice lifting the big toes individually 10 times and then in turn lift the lesser toes – keeping the big doe stable this time. 10 times of each exercise daily should see you start to gain much improved control.


One last great trick is to take a ball with you, we have our patients use a lacrosse ball as it is the perfect size and density for loosening up small and tight muscles in the feet, but you may have a spikey ball at home all ready, it’s easy to travel with and it will be your best friend after a long day on your feet.

5 minutes rolling your feet over the ball each night will have you ready to take on the next day again and again and again!


Forth – Have the most amazing time and take lots of photos to show us when you get back!




Any questions or concerns feel free to email me…