If you don’t travel via airplane very often, you may not know that longer flights cause swollen feet, ankles and calves. Why? Sitting for a prolonged time puts pressure on your leg veins making it harder for your blood to circulate. How can you minimize what I call the “travel-cankles”? Move and flex and stretch your feet at your seat and take a walk through the aisles if you can. Refrain from lots of salty snacks the day before and day of airplane travel, and drink lots of water. You can also wear compression socks that are designed to put pressure on your legs to promote blood flow, not super sexy but it really helps! Unfortunately, fluffier people tend be most affected by travel-cankles and sometimes suffer the effects for up to 72 hours after flight. Keep drinking lots of water and moving those legs to help with circulation to decrease the puff.
What’s the best kinds of shoes for travel? The most comfortable ones of course! Keep in mind that everywhere outside of the United States, people do a LOT of walking every day so make sure your feet are prepared. If you have wider feet, I highly recommend New Balance sneakers. Many runners use New Balance shoes because they are lightweight, provide movement and aeration and have amazing heel and arch support. If you’re doing a lot of walking or if you’re going to a very warm climate, your feet will get swollen so make sure your sneakers have good “give” and aren’t too tight in the toes.
Clarks is another great brand for good traveling shoes – particularly if you don’t want to go the tennis shoe route. You can get sandals from them with terrific arch support, too! Traveling in the show? I recently wore these in Switzerland and walked in the snow – feet were dry and warm with no problems!
Most importantly, NEVER bring a new pair of sneakers on vacation. Always, always, always, break in your travel sneakers a couple of months ahead of time. The first time I went to Europe, my traveling companion who wasn’t used to walking purchased a new pair of sneakers when we arrived in London and suffered painful blisters and sore feet the first week she wore them. Pro-tip: choose 100% cotton socks for walking, some polyester or nylon blends can trap heat and sweat and cause painful blisters.
I know many of you may want to wear dressy shoes during vacation. You can absolutely do this but when you’re buying your non-walking shoes, make sure they’re not tight and have a bit of room for travel-cankles. If you can, wear your dressy shoes a couple of times so you can to break them in. Pro-tip: I try to only buy leather shoes because it stretches and breathes.
Bonus tip: please be sure to have short toenails or bring your nail clippers so you can trim them as needed. Prolonged walking with long toenails can cause severe pain.
Happy traveling everyone,