When it comes to hiking, you want to be intentional to avoid the most common injuries that will keep you off the trails. This means you need to have the proper equipment.
I know what you're thinking: "I'll just wear my tennis shoes." Unfortunately, tennis shoes probably aren't going to be your best choice.
Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries suffered by hikers. They’re also one of the easiest to prevent and treat, as long as you know what you're doing. Here are some tips:
Wear high-quality hiking boots with good ankle support. If there is any chance that a hiker might encounter uneven terrain or wet conditions, it’s smart to invest in a pair of shoes made specifically for this purpose. In addition to being more durable and supportive than other options such as tennis shoes or running sneakers, proper hiking boots will help protect your ankles from injury while maximizing comfort on long treks through challenging terrain such as steeply sloped hillsides or rocky paths covered in loose gravels and pebbles (which can be particularly slippery when wet).
Adjust your pace if needed. Moving too quickly may leave little room for error when navigating difficult trails like those above mentioned—especially when climbing over large rocks or stepping across streams without bridges nearby--so make sure not rush things too much! Consider slowing down gradually until you get used enough moving at this slower speed before speeding up again later on once comfortable enough doing so safely without risking trips/falls due out rushing ahead into dangerous areas where there could be hidden hazards lurking behind every turn waiting patiently just waiting patiently for someone foolish enough pass them by accidentally slip into danger's path...
Wear Lasso Socks. Lasso makes the only socks that have ankle support built in, and they actually mimic a lot of the benefits of K-Tape. The support you will get in a Lasso Sock is unrivaled, so make sure you have a few pairs of these packed.
Knee injuries are common among hikers. If you're going to spend time hiking and walking, it's worth taking care of your knees so that you can avoid injury. You should wear shoes that fit well and socks that are appropriate for the terrain and weather conditions. Make sure your shoes aren't worn out before starting a hike.
It's also important to choose the right kind of shoe for the activity you'll be doing on your trip. For example, if it's going to be mostly flat ground with no steep hills or rocky trails in your path then sneakers would probably work fine but if there are many boulders covered with loose dirt then boots might be more appropriate because they provide better support and ankle protection than sneakers do while still being lightweight enough not become too uncomfortable after hours of use
Don't wear shoes that are too big or too small: You want your foot to stay snugly inside your shoe, but it shouldn't feel like you're swimming in the shoe. Also, make sure there's enough room for your toes and forefoot to move around comfortably.
Don't wear shoes that don't fit properly: If they pinch or rub the top of your feet, they're probably too tight. A lot of hiking boots have removable insoles so you can take them out if necessary.
Avoid bad shock absorption: Hiking boots should be lightweight and flexible but sturdy enough to support a heavy load on uneven terrain without breaking under stress (which happens surprisingly often). Look for something with a thick sole made from rubber or plastic; this will help protect against impacts by absorbing some of their force when they hit the ground while also protecting against injuries such as twisted ankles if you lose balance while walking over sharp rocks or tree roots sticking out from underfoot—which happens more often than not when hiking through forests! Don’t worry about wearing heavy-duty leather boots though; synthetic materials are just fine for everyday use on shorter hikes where there isn't much elevation gain/loss involved (especially if those hikes involve lots of stream crossings).
Blisters on your feet are a common hiking injury. They are caused by friction and/or rubbing between the skin and a shoe. This can happen even when wearing appropriate footwear for your hike, so it's important to understand what causes blisters and how to prevent them.
Blister prevention: To prevent blisters from forming, make sure you have the right pair of shoes for your hike. A good rule of thumb is that they should be comfortable enough that you could wear them all day long before heading out on your hike—and this goes for both new shoes and those that haven't been worn in yet! Also, check out our guide on choosing hiking boots here!
How do I treat blisters? If you get one anyway, there are some ways to treat them while still on the trail (or at least until you're back at home):
Take off any tight clothing around the blister area (like socks).
Wash with antibacterial soap or use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin® over the blister area several times per day until healed; then apply petroleum jelly twice daily until healed.*
Shin splints are caused by overuse. If you begin to walk or run more than you're used to, your muscles in the lower leg are not accustomed to bearing weight, and they may become inflamed. Shin splints cause pain in the front, inside of your lower leg. This can be treated with rest and ice, as well as wearing supportive shoes or insoles and avoiding repetitive movements such as running up stairs or hills.
If you feel shin pain while hiking (or any other sport), stop immediately! Resting until the pain goes away is an important first step toward healing. You can also apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes at a time several times per day until symptoms subside—this helps reduce inflammation so that healing can begin sooner. Ice packs are available for purchase online if needed; just make sure to wrap them in a thin towel before applying them directly against your skin so that they don't get too cold!
Hiking is a very rewarding activity, but it can also lead to injuries. It’s important to know how to prevent these and treat them if they do happen so that you can keep enjoying your next outdoor adventure!