Whenever I visit a theme park, I always end the day with my feet in agonizing pain. So what practices do you employ to prevent this?
Practice. That's really the best way.
Seriously, you need shoes in which you've spent a fair amount of time walking before you visit the park. This isn't the place to break in a new pair. Or to wear flip-flops, or something else that can't stand up to miles of walking.
And the more experience you have walking several miles in a day, the less likely that a day in the parks will hurt your feet. So take walks around the neighborhood to "train" for your theme park visit. And to make sure you've got the right shoes.
I walk about 5-8 miles a day, pretty much every day, in addition to my theme park visits. But I am a trained professional. ;^)
Beyond that, switching to a fresh pair of socks (or shoes!) can help. Or, if not that, just sitting down, taking them off and putting them back on again. Taking more frequent breaks during the day sure beats breaking down at the end of the day, too.
I know they are ugly, but I have found that CROCS are the best for me. I wear the nicer styles and am amazed that I don't have any back or knee fatigue. I have to be careful because ALL shoes give me blisters. My luggage is usually full of 10 pairs of shoes for a 2 week trip. Socks don't matter, blister pads don't help....just changing my shoes every day for a cycle of 4 days works. Crocs are antimicrobial which means they won't smell! The humidity can cause me a bit of adjustment and I will trade out for athletic shoes in a 1/2 size bigger than I wear with padded socks but usually carry an additional pair just in case! Last trip I brought 2 pair of shoes to see if I could do it....nope!!! I had to run to the outlet mall and buy 2 pair of additional shoes...DLR is a bit easier but we can drive to the parks which means I can carry as many shoes as I want! See....this is a serious matter.
Robert said - "I walk about 5-8 miles a day, pretty much every day, in addition to my theme park visits. But I am a trained professional. ;^)"
My reply - you better, I have seem those enormous plates of food you eat.... ----------------------------------------
Sneakers that are broken in... Plus after you return from your day, find a hot tub and soak your feet and calves for 30 minutes..
I always wear good sneakers and I'm used to walking 20,000+ steps on vacation. My records for most steps in a day was 30,000 at Cedar Point and Epcot.
I agree entirely with Robert. I remember that my feet used to always hurt whenever I went to Disneyland but now I probably haven't complained about foot pain in over 2 years.
My feet go flat on the ground.. so I have had to just accept that when I go on a trip that after a few days of Ground-pounding I'm going to need a day or so off.
And also schedule your vacation to have a few rest few day's. Do two park days, take a rest day, do two more park days..
And have a great vacation!!!
Wait ... You were "trained?"
Good supportive shoes, the kind made for distance running. Orthotic shoe inserts might help if there are other issues.
It helps to be conditioned as well, so maybe a little preparation would be helpful. I run all the time time and play high level sport so I don't have a problem. LOL in Sept we clocked up 18+ miles walking cramming in 5 parks in one day, but we're crazy, absolutely bonkers.
Try taking regular walking breaks. Don't do too much. Don't wear high stilettos heel shoes. Rent electric wheelchair. Wear extra padding in your shoes. Memory foam works well.
Depending on what the issue is, I find a large bandage to be a great help. My most comfortable pair of shoes causes awful blisters above my heel on the back of my ankle (I don't know how to describe the location) on my right foot. Not my left. Several pairs of shoes I've owned have the same issue, so it's probably me, and not the shoes.
Anyway, I like to put a large/extra large bandage on it, and that solves the problem.
I always wear running shoes (the last couple of years they've been Under Armour, exquisitely comfortable)when visiting a theme park. Thus far I haven't experienced any problems with my feet. Fatigue from heat and humidity, yes, but not from walking per se. I am invariably amazed by people who go to theme parks wearing sandals, flip flops or heels; I wouldn't last more than an hour or two in that type of foot gear.
On the re-active side of the equation (I love all the pro-active suggestions, btw, they are spot-on!), I rely on a combination of health & Science to get me out of The Hurting Zone.
Two Ibuprofen, two Tylenol. Plenty of water. Then, the stretches!
Sore calves/legs? Sit on the floor facing a wall with your legs straight and your feet flat against the wall. (You may want to sit on a pillow to make the move more comfortable.) Bend forward as far as you can to stretch and lengthen your calf muscles and hamstrings.
Stand as if you’ve just taken a step forward with your right leg (so your left leg is behind you). Tuck your left foot under so the tops of your toes touch the floor. You should feel a stretch along the top of your foot. Hold, then switch feet.
Up near your toes? Stand as if you’ve just taken a step forward with your right leg (so your left leg is behind you). Tuck your left foot under so the tops of your toes touch the floor. You should feel a stretch along the top of your foot. Hold, then switch feet. Repeat a few times. Then go sit on a chair and cross your left leg, resting your ankle on your right thigh. Weave the fingers of your right hand through the toes of your left foot to separate them. Focus on spreading your toes wide; try not to pull them up or down. Hold, then switch sides.
And then, once you've done all that and you're *still* a bit sore? Lie on your back with your bottom a few inches from a wall and your arms out. Place your heels on the wall with your legs forming a wide V. You’ll feel a gentle pull in your inner thighs. Overly tight inner-thigh muscles can overload the arches of your feet, so this stretch can relax them when they’re cramped. Plus, elevating the legs reduces swelling!
I know this is a huge wall-o-text reply, but the whole process from the moment you take the ibuprofen to the time your feet are feeling swell should be no more than like 15 minutes. And best of all, you'll be "reset" for the next day in the park!
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