A woman I met this week was telling me the worst thing about traveling for her is not the security, not the lack of snacks given on the plane, not the lack of a pillow on morning flights - but the problems with her feet when she travels!! I don't think she even knew I was a podiatric physician (podiatrist)!!
She was complaining that her feet sweat a lot and that she is very uncomfortable when flying. She is bothered when she has to take her shoes off and expose her feet and feels very constrained when in the air. This was the first time I have heard someone listing their feet as their main problem with flying!!
Here are some tips to keep your feet healthy and comfortable when flying.
1) ALWAYS WEAR SOCKS!! It is just too gross to think about all those people who take their shoes off to go through security. Even if you just wear socks until you get to the other side of security. I keep a pair of white cotton ankle socks in my purse to slip on as I slip off my shoes.
2) Don't wear nylons when you fly. Several reasons - first of all, nylon holds moisture so your feet will feel sweaty. Second, your feet will feel restricted in them, especially if your feet swell while you are on the plane which is very common. Finally, and I heard this on the Oprah show and it made an impression on me, if you are in a plane crash that involves fire, nylons will spread the flames!
3) Wear shoes that you can run in, walk in, and run in! You never know when you will be running to a gate! I like to wear shoes that are easy to get off and on to make security go smoothly. I also put my shoes down the conveyor belt first so that they are there ready for me to put back on while my other things are still going through the x-ray. Low heeled boots with a zipper are perfect for travel!
4) Put your feet through a range of motion while you are in your seat. Making circles or even spelling out letters with your feet will help keep swelling and stiffness down.
5) Enjoy your flight and hopefully the feet will be the last thing on your mind as you fly over the Grand Canyon!!