Travel Guide: Sore Feet Remedies

Locals at every vacation destination will let you know the best way to see the area is on foot—and they have a point. If you’re all for exploring new cities, scoping out tourist attractions, hiking new terrains, and discovering hidden gems, you’re going to have to do some walking.
Even if you take a car, bus, train, or trolly part of the way, traveling typically involves being on your feet for long hours. Without proper planning, this often leads to foot problems like soreness, heel pain, blisters, ingrown toenails, and other foot-related discomforts.
The reality is that your feet will probably be a little more worn out than usual, even if you’re having the time of your life. You’ll want to consider ways to prevent chronic foot pain and discomfort and also have some solutions at the ready to address these ailments when they arise.

9 Ways to Prevent and Relieve Sore Feet When Traveling

While packing and prepping for your trip, be sure to keep your feet in mind so they don’t hate you later. Here at Vionic, we’re all about foot health and comfort, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. We compiled our best sore foot remedies and prevention strategies for travelers. Check them out below.

Bring Supportive Socks or Hosiery

We recommend bringing supportive socks, tights, or nylons on your trip. The gentle pressure can help you avoid swollen feet and ankles while preventing achiness throughout your calf muscles—there’s a reason pregnant women and athletes swear by this swollen foot tactic!¹
Plus, today’s compression socks and hosiery look just like other fashion-forward designs. They come in a range of men’s and women’s sizes and styles and can be worn with activewear, street clothes, and going-out attire.

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Stretch Your Toes Daily

When you spend hours trekking along sidewalks, hiking up and down trails, or strolling through museums, your feet are working hard, even if they’re in a comfortable shoe. All this jaunting around qualifies as a workout, and it should be treated as such.
Stretching your tired feet and toes every day while on vacation is a good habit to get into. You might even try working it into your schedule a week or two before your trip so you’re more flexible and limber when it’s time to log miles. Even just a few minutes of daily stretching can prevent soreness and pain during your excursions.²

Keep Your Feet Dry

When walking around in closed-toe shoes on a sunny, humid vacation, you can expect your feet to get a little sweaty. This can lead to chafing, painful blisters, or even fungal infections like athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).
There are a few ways to minimize moisture while traveling. This might sound strange, but you can actually use underarm deodorant on your feet to reduce perspiration and excessive wetness. Baby powder can work, too, as it absorbs moisture. Another option is to thoroughly air out your shoes and socks and allow them to dry completely before putting them back on.

Minimize Friction

With flats, slides, mules, high-heels, wedges, or sandals for the beach, you might not be facing the issue of moist feet. However, these sockless styles can still rub against your skin, leading to blisters and calluses.
Try applying petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) underneath the straps, over the pads of your feet, and around any other areas that rub. This can minimize friction and help your feet stay comfortable and pain-free.

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Try a Foot Soak

When you return to your hotel, resort, rental house, or hostel after a long day of walking, soaking your feet in warm water can do wonders for alleviating soreness. Sit on the edge of a bathtub (or use a large bowl or basin if one is available), and dip your hard-working puppies in for instant sore foot relief.
As one of the most effective foot pain remedies, this method can decrease swelling in the feet and ankles, reduce stiffness, soothe achy muscles, and minimize inflammation.³ A cup of epsom salt is a great way to elevate a foot bath, but if you don’t have any on hand, a simple 20-minute soak in warm water will make a world of difference.

Pack a Pain-Relieving Kit

Bringing a variety of pain-relieving products on vacation is just as important as packing your toiletries. This includes the deodorant, baby powder, and petroleum jelly we mentioned above, but it doesn’t end there.
We also suggest antibiotic ointment and medicated bandages. Blister band-aids can be used to prevent and treat painful blisters, and since they fit in a purse or pocket, it’s a good idea to always have at least one with you.
An emollient lotion or moisturizing cream may come in handy as well. Using a moisturizer daily can keep your feet hydrated and help you avoid cracked skin. You can also use it to massage each aching foot after a long day.
You might also want to bring some ice packs and warmable sports wraps. Cold therapy constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling, while hot treatments increase blood flow, relaxing your muscles and helping you maintain a full range of motion.⁴
Additionally, you may want to pack ibuprofen or aspirin. These over-the-counter medicines can be really helpful in reducing swelling, inflammation, and foot pain.

Bring Supportive Footwear

It’s smart to prepare with tools and methods for sore feet relief. However, preventing pain and discomfort while traveling starts with proper footwear. Shoes take up a lot of space in a suitcase, and it’s often easy to bring too many. But it’s still crucial to pack at least one supportive pair you can wear for a wide range of activities.
The stylish orthotic shoes from Vionic are designed for on-the-go wear. Each pair features our proprietary Vio-Motion Support technology, meaning you’ll get soft cushioning, contoured arch support, deep heel seats, and unbeatable stability.
Our travel-ready shoes encourage proper alignment and a natural stride. Not only do they feel good on your feet, but they also make your feet feel good when you take them off. Vionic’s podiatrist-designed styles are created to reduce overpronation, prevent foot conditions like Morton’s neuroma and Achilles tendonitis, and alleviate plantar fasciitis (heel bone pain).
In fact, a peer-reviewed study revealed that our contoured sandals are just as effective as our prefabricated orthotics at relieving heel pain. The research also showed that Vionic’s styles offer heel pain sufferers more sore feet relief than standard flat flip-flops from other brands.

Break In New Shoes Beforehand

Supportive footwear is a must, but to set yourself up for a pain-free trip, we suggest breaking your shoes in before you go. Your best bet is to wear your new Vionic shoes for only a few hours the first time to help your feet adjust to the orthotic arch support.
If you want to keep them fresh for your vacation, try wearing them around your home. Within a couple of weeks, your shoes will be perfectly comfy and supportive—and you won’t have to worry about chafing and blisters. If you do happen to get them dirty and are wondering how to clean sandals and other types of shoes, we’ve written about that too!

Try Orthotics

The right orthotic shoe insert can also help make a pair of shoes more supportive and comfortable. Vionic’s podiatrist-designed insoles have the same innovative arch support and cushioning we build into the soles of our shoes.
Ideal for serious walkers, our Active Series increases flexibility in the forefoot while absorbing shock. Our Relief orthotics are designed to reduce fatigue, prevent injury, and enhance the comfort of everyday shoes.

Where to Buy the Most Comfortable Vacation Shoes

Whether you’re looking for flats, heeled sandals, loafers, walking shoes, slides, wedges, platform sandals, flip-flops, or comfortable sandals for travel, Vionic has something that’ll speak to your unique taste. And if you’re set on packing a pair of unsupportive shoes, we encourage you to consider our orthotic inserts.
Browse vacation shoes from Vionic today!

External sources:
1. https://www.tripsavvy.com/cures-for-sore-tourist-feet-1662222
2. https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/how-to-soothe-sore-feet/
3. https://www.healthline.com/health/sore-feet-remedies#draw-a-bath
4. https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/conditions/6-ways-soothe-foot-pain/

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