It’s that time of year again! The time when Minnesotan’s from near and far gather for one of the state’s biggest events, the Minnesota State Fair. Navigating the MN State Fair usually requires countless hours of planning. From figuring out where to park, which bus to take, the best route for food and which exhibits to see.
Something we don’t often think about is how our body is going to handle this fun filled day, or in some cases, days. One of the body parts that deserves some consideration is our feet. Proper footwear can mean the difference between making it through the second half of the day or calling it quits early.
Physical therapist, Lauren Loberg offers five footwear tips to prepare your feet for the increase workload ahead.
1. Do not wear socks with a high cotton content
Cotton retains moisture, which can cause blisters more easily. Look for socks that are made with synthetic fibers such as acrylic or polyester.
2. Wear a light weight and breathable shoe
The last thing you need is a sweaty foot, as this will cause your foot to slip in the shoe, making blisters more likely. Do not wear open toe shoes! People are never watching where they are going, so toes can get stepped on.
3. Wear a low, supportive heel that rounds in or cups your heel
A thick/high heel or one that is flat/flairs out behind your heel will cause your foot to slap to the ground harder. This slows down your forward momentum and increases the occurrence of shin splints.
4. Wear shoes that fits properly
Be sure your foot has enough room in the toe box; the part of the shoe that surrounds your toes. There should be index finger width, about a half inch, between your toes and the end of the shoe.
The shoe should be wide enough in the toe box that your toes can wiggle. Your heel should not slip. The shoes should not pinch or bind, especially across the arch or ball of your foot.
5. Wear shoes you have worn before or are broken in
Walking and standing for hours in unfamiliar shoes can be a recipe for disaster. You do not know how your feet will react in those shoes.
6. Break in your shoes before heading out for an entire day
Even if it means running errands in your new shoes for the week before the fair. Also, if you have a history of foot pain like plantar fasciitis, consider wearing your orthotics.