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Festival Feet: A Users Guide

May 22, 2015

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It’s festival time of year and a lot of festivals, especially the big-ticket ones, are three days of awesome music and fun activities. There is usually very little sleep, a lot of partying and foot pain like you have never experienced before. You’ll be standing for hours, sometimes in thick, gooey mud. Everyone is toe-to-toe and constantly pushing to get as close to the stage as possible. It is the best experience and the worst you will ever have. You must be prepared for all types of ailments like swelling, blisters, and injuries. We’ve got some great suggestions to avoid and cure your festival feet problems.

Comfort Shoes– Yeah, we get it, it’s a festival and if Coachella told us anything it’s that fashion is important. Well, have no fear because a lot of the comfort shoe companies are coming out with some kick ass styles. Your shoes should be comfortable and have good support. If you’re more the sporty type and would rather go the sneaker route, then go for it! Sneakers will most likely be your best bet. Shoes that are a big no-no would be ballet flats, flip-flops, sandals, and bare feet. These type of shoes provide no support. Open toe shoes will just set you up for a horrible injury. Stepping on broken glass or getting your feet stepped on by concert-goers may have you in the ER and totally blow your festival experience.

Keep ’em Stretched- You could find yourself standing for hours waiting for your band to come on. If you have the opportunity to sit while you wait then do so. Most concert-goers are afraid of people butting in front of them, so they will secure their spot by standing in place hours before the band goes on. If you find yourself in a marathon stand-still be sure to stretch your legs every few minutes. Also, rotate your ankles and stretch your feet. By bending each leg every few minutes, you will avoid your leg from locking due to all the tension and dehydration. Spread those toes and ball those feet, they will thank you later.

Stay hydrated- You must stay hydrated for many reasons at a festival. There will be lots of walking and standing and not to mention dancing which will have you working up a sweat. A hot summer night in a big crowd will have quite a few people either passing out or pulled from the crowd by security and taken to the medic station. Many festivals will hose down the crowd or pass around community bottles that everyone will drink from. Your best bet is to make sure you pack your bag with lots of water. To refrain from passing out, you must replenish the water in your muscles. Your legs are getting the biggest wear and tear and a dehydrated muscle will cause you to have painful leg cramps. Nothing is worse than a charlie horse in your calf while waiting for your favorite band to perform.

Proceed with Caution- The more people in close quarters the more likely an accident will occur. The festival environment is a foot injury waiting to happen. Tripping, toe stubbing, getting stepped on, not to mention blisters or even twisting an ankle can easily happen. Make sure you are watching your step and don’t walk around with your nose in your phone checking out the festival app. Stop, do what you need to do, and then move along. As for blisters and toe stubs, the closed shoe with socks is a must. Don’t forget to pack some band-aids in your bag of festival goodies.

Pamper Yourself- After the headliner does his last encore, the first thing you should do is head to your hotel room or campsite and do a little festival feet maintenance. Peel the socks and shoes off, either soak your feet in the tub with Epsom salts or pour bottled water over them at your campsite and give them a nice massage. Put on fresh bandages on the blisters and prop your feet up when you get in bed. In the morning, you should feel ready for the day ahead.

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