I ran across this picture I sent to my Team Leader a couple years ago and thought I would share some of my tribulations. I was part of a training group who’s job is to prepare new soldiers to the company physically and mentally before they are allowed to become part of a tactical team. The training group is really setup to be kind of a filter and weed out those that are just hanging around to draw a pay check and not take a billet away from someone who wants to be truly in the unit.
Having said that, and I’ll get to the main subject here in a minute. Part of our “graduation” was to do a road march with a 50 lbs pack, perform missions along the way to add some mental stress and road march back to the RP, in 90 degree heat. In the 6 months I was with the training group we did a lot more physically than just this particular last 2 days.
So there I was……..Anyway here is the damage
Lets just say I could not walk normally for many days after this picture was taken.
I have read tons, and I mean tons of articles on foot care, socks, powder, changing socks, wearing slick nylon dress socks under your regular socks, more powder, boots, do a road march in bare feet. You name it I tried it and after every event my feet looked just as bad as the time in the picture above.
Socks: I have spent $30 plus dollars per pair for a set of socks. There are some pretty good brands out there, extra thick. Thorlo and Under Armor comes to mind.
Foot powder: Every brand on the shelf, I like Gold Bond the best.
Nylon dress socks under my regular socks: Didn’t work for me.
Road march in my bare feet: My feet are already messed up why would I do this?
Boots: GI Issue? You have to remember these are made by the lowest bidder on a contract, not the best. Belleville boots have been around since the Civil War and makes a good boot. Altama’s another good boot that I have experience with.
So what did I do to mostly sure my blister problem?? BOOTS! took me over $300 of buying boots to figure this out. For me, it was sizing that was the cure. I was trying to wear my boots like my sloppy tennis shoes and not form or firm fitting. Not tight just enough to move around but not slide around. I still get blisters but nothing like the above picture.
Socks, powdering your feet, changing your socks, and keeping your feet dry from sweat all contribute to good foot care. A good pair of boots are also key in my case.
If your plan is to walk out, then get out and walk, loaded and find out if your feet are going to survive. Again for me, physically I was fine. Blisters are what did me in. When I say walk, walk in the boots of your choosing and find out if your feet are going to be the ONE thing that keeps you from your bug out plan. I’ll go back to the NATGEO episode of Doomsday preppers and use as an example where the woman was going to walk out of Houston to her vehicle, fully loaded and gave herself 2 hours time to reach her RP. It took her 5 hours. She wore tennis shoes.
Enough preaching. Take care of your feet, if you don’t prep your feet all of your other planning is for naught.