Getting away from it all sounds good. Winging off to a destination of your choice, swimming before breakfast, and not glancing at your email for a week or two (or more) are a welcome respite from the daily demands most of us face.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking a pair of flip-flops are all you need for your feet while on holiday!

It’s a fact that on vacation, many of us do a lot of walking. If we’re hiking the Grand Canyon, most people have the presence of mind to pack sturdy boots with a cup-heel and cushioned sole. But in urban vacation settings, we may walk for miles and miles on superheated concrete, exploring theme parks, museums, and just sightseeing. And because we’re on vacation, we may be tempted to wear flip-flops or other non-supportive flats, including flat-soled canvas basketball shoes. The results range from painful inflammation in the arch, including Plantar Fasciitis, sunburn, and blisters from the rub of cheap plastic on your bare skin.

Don’t do it! Pack along a pair of supportive walking shoes in your vacation bag. I also recommend that you insert a pair of orthotics into these shoes if you’ll be doing a lot of walking. My over-the-counter DoctorInsole™ orthotics stabilize the heel and prevent inflammation and injury when you walk and run.

Flip flops, skimpy sandals and flats are novelty fashion shoes, and of course they’re okay if you’re just walking from the beach to the tiki-hut bar on the sand. But for any serious walking, bring several pairs of moisture-wicking socks and at least one spare pair of solid, supportive, structured shoes (wear a similar pair on the plane). At night, fill two bags with ice and rest a bare foot on each bag, to cool inflammation and stress in the arch and elsewhere in the foot. Freezing a couple of small plastic bottles of water is also super for this purpose if you have access to a freezer.

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