What if You Have to Walk Out of the City in an Emergency?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

If you live or work in the big city there is always a chance you may have to walk out in an emergency.   This is not something that I hope ever happens; trust me, walking out of a sprawling metropolis does not appear anywhere on my wish list.  However, we know that the possibility exists that even in the most developed cities, transportation systems can be disrupted at any time.

Besides knowing how to escape your building,  now is the time to identify what footwear you will grab on your way out the door.

How to choose your “walk out of the city” shoes

  • If you have to walk through debris, flooded streets or whatever crisis awaits, you definitely want the most comfortable, most protective shoes possible.  This means a closed toe pair of shoes with durable soles.  The comfy sandals or flip flops that may have served you well in the past won’t fit the bill.
  • Hiking shoes come in low-cut, mid-cut or high-cut, with the high cut shoes giving the maximum ankle support.  I do not have a preference-it just has to be comfortable for the wearer.
  • As far as material, the shoes can be made of either be leather or synthetic material or a combination.  Leather tends to be more durable, but requires more time to “break in” and are more expensive, while synthetic materials are lighter, tend to cost a bit less, but may not last as long.
  • Whatever material or price, make sure you “break in” your shoes as soon as you buy them.  Hiking out of the city in a pair of new shoes will cause painful blisters.
  • Choose the shoes with the best fit:  a good fit means you can wiggle your toes inside the shoe, but not too loose that your feet slide around inside.   They should feel firm around your feet, but not too constricting.

I am not recommending running out and spending tons of cash on a pair of hiking shoes.  Just identify which shoes you’d want to have on your feet if you had to trek out of your city in an emergency.   Even if you choose another type of shoe, such as running or walking shoes, as long as they are comfortable.  During a crisis you won’t have time to be searching for just the right pair of shoes, so do it now while nothing is going on, and leave the shoes in an easy-to-reach spot by the door, under your desk or in the trunk of your car.


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  1. Don’t just buy them, but wear them. Wear them hard and daily. Find out how they really feel and how long they will last when you are walking in them daily. Personally, I wear high quality hiking sandals. I have for years and I know that I have to replace them about every nine months. I walk holes through the soles. The ones I buy have a large deep tread sole, but if you do a lot of walking on hot pavement, you will wear them out fast. I generally buy my next pair after about six months and start breaking them in while the old ones are still serviceable. A lot of people would say it is crazy to wear sandals, but my suggestion is to wear what ever works for you and you can walk many miles in.

    1. Hey JAS, I hadn’t considered hiking sandals, but they can be very comfortable. It’s really what works for the individual and their preference. Smart to have the next pair broken in before the old ones completely break down. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Very good article! Shared this with several of my groups… I especially like the suggestions on foot first aid. The only thing I would have added is clean, fresh socks and foot powder. I always advise on a pair vacuum sealed in your GHB… If you don’t take care of your feet, you could very easily be dead in the water! Thanks Again!

    1. Hi Scottie M., Good idea keeping a vacuum sealed pair in the get home bag. Thanks for the comment and for sharing!

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