It may not be Christmas, but the festival season is certainly upon us. Glastonbury, arguably the biggest festival of the season around these parts, may have just wrapped up, but there is still a long line of festivals all across Ireland and Europe that will be taking place this summer. As enjoyable as these events are, most fans will agree that they are not exactly easy on the body.
When attending these festivals, healthcare is not always at the forefront of everyone’s mind. If people are thinking about their health, it’s most likely to due with the effects of drinking, or the weather. But in crowds of up to hundreds of thousands of people, at least a few will be concerned about their feet, whether that’s because of an underlying medical condition, or for purely aesthetic reasons. Here, we lay out some top tips for protecting your feet at a festival.
The first line of defence for your feet, bringing the right types of shoes is an absolutely essential step in protecting your feet. You’ll want to bring multiple pairs of footwear, with wellies being the first thing to pack. Cold, wet, muddy ground is pretty much a given at music festivals, so these are something you can’t forget.
But you don’t want to be in wellies the whole trip, so you’ll also want to bring some more standard shoes. There’s no point in bringing anything without laces, as there is an extremely high probability of one shoe getting lost. You should also steer clear of canvas shoes, which may be popular, but are essentially useless in protecting your feet from the elements. A pair of runners is a much better alternative, as they will be more comfortable and offer more protection. You probably won’t want to bring a new pair, so just make sure there are no holes in the pair you do bring. Finally, depending on how long you plan to stay, pack multiple pairs for each day, as they will most likely get soaked and caked in mud.
Although they are comfortable, cheap, lightweight, and easy to pack, sandals or flip-flops are best avoided. Not only do they provide no protection from the elements, but people are going to stand on your toes at some point. In reality, it will probably be lots of people.
Socks may not offer that much protection, but they can make things more uncomfortable, which is why you need to bring as many as you can carry. You’ll probably only be there for a few days at most, but once your socks get wet, they’re probably going to stay wet for the rest of the trip. So unless you want to be walking around in shoes that can protect you from anything, only to be Trojan Horsed by your socks, bring plenty of back up.
You should also consider wearing two pairs of socks, which will not only help keep your feet warm and dry, but will also reduce friction and make it less likely that you will develop a blister.
It may go without saying, but just to be safe, going barefoot at a festival is something you should never do. We could talk about the dangers of syringes, although people would probably just write that off as being paranoid or overprotective. What’s indisputable though is that the ground will be littered with bottle caps, cans, and broken glass, any of which can easily cut your feet.
A little cut may not be your biggest fear, but think about exactly what you’re walking on. You wouldn’t walk around barefoot in a public bathroom, and to many young, male festival-goers, that’s exactly what the ground is. It may feel freeing and more in keeping with the vibe of the festival, but going barefoot is just not a good idea.
To some people, these points will seem like common sense, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. How many times have you arrived in a foreign country, only to realise you are now in the market for a new toothbrush? Sometimes the most basic things are the easiest to forget, as you scramble to ensure you bring your inflatable flamingo and hilariously big sunglasses. But any cobblers you run into at the festival probably won’t be there in a professional capacity, so if you don’t remember to bring something, you won’t have it when you need it. The real key to looking after your feet at a festival is simply to plan ahead. If that’s something you’re really going to do, then be sure to check out our other blog on Getting Your Feet Summer Ready.