In my last post “If You Have to Walk Out of the City” I mentioned you should break in your walking shoes now, well before any emergency happens. This may sound unimportant and boring, but believe it or not, your survival could depend on your ability to walk for a long period of time, and shoes that do not fit could delay or prevent you from getting to safety.
One problem that ill-fitting shoes could cause are blisters. Left untreated, blisters can be very painful and even get infected. Other problems that could occur are sore or bruised toes, sprained ankles etc.
Here are tips that I found helpful for breaking in your shoes:
- Make sure you have good socks. Wool socks are the best.
- First, wear the shoes around the house for a couple of days.
- Then, wear the shoes when you go on short errands for another three days.
- If you feel a blister coming on, take off your shoe and place a band-aid or moleskin pad in the area of discomfort, hopefully before the blister forms. Do not wait until you are in pain to do this.
- Go on a short walk around your neighborhood.
- Finally, take some small hikes, starting with a mile or two, then go on longer hikes when you start feeling comfortable. The shoes have molded to your feet and are now broken in.
I have read advice in some sites recommending you should break in shoes the quick way by submerging them in water then letting them dry around your feet. However, this may shorten the life of your shoes, so I myself did not do this and do not recommend it.
Just walk in them gradually and they will become more and more comfy. Besides keeping your feet happy, a side benefit is, you are also getting into shape. Being in shape can greatly aid in your survival as well, but we can discuss that at another time.