When you’re putting marching miles on your rubber soles and trudging your boots over treacherous terrain, you want to pay close attention to how your entire footwear system is impacting your primary source of mobility: your feet. After all, if you take care of your feet, they should be able to take you wherever you want to go.

The alternative is a good deal of uncomfortable chafing, perspiration and uneven friction, all of which could result in painful and potentially infected blisters and other foot-related nightmares in a short amount of time. This isn’t something you want to face when the uncertain road ahead stretches on for miles, with no reprieve in sight.

The potential for becoming an immobile liability to your traveling group, or worse, stranded and alone, can be reduced by taking a few basic preparedness measures when considering footwear. Like any survival tool, picking the right shoes and accessories for the job is essential, and practice makes perfect. Ask yourself what terrain you might be faced with, assess whether safe travel by foot may rely more on stealth and speed, and if the potential hazards you might encounter dictate a certain level of protection.

You may not know what every turn will bring, but as a general rule try to remember: Break in your footwear before you bug out!

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