Rock climbing is fun and challenging. Calluses are not fun, although they are challenging. The correlation between them becomes evident when you realize that most rock climbers utilize shoes that are too tight in an effort to help them climb better. This greater ability, however, comes at a sacrifice to their feet. The uneven shape of footwear that rock climbers choose forces the foot to rest in an unnatural manner. Unfortunately, these climbers are not well versed in the dangers of their shoes. Calluses occur on climbers’ feet due to the unusual amounts of friction that their shoes cause. This pressure causes the skin on their feet to harden and develop into a callus. The shoes that climbers wear are generally shorter as well, leading to toes becoming squished and pressure being applied on the back and front of the foot. Constrictive footwear results in the toes being bunched up.
Treatment for this condition involves:
- Utilizing padding will help to prevent current calluses from becoming worse.
- Climbers should have footwear that fits correctly without making their feet fit into something that causes increased amounts of friction. To accomplish this, their feet should be measured to get the right size and shoes should be somewhat loose to prevent unwanted forces on their feet when scaling a mountain.
- Trim toenails to prevent toes from hitting against the inside of the shoe which can lead to conditions that are favorable for callus formation.
Calluses can get in the way of walking; however, they can become obstacles when climbing. Those who rock climb should search for a balance between increased performance and foot longevity. Here at Family Foot Care of Southern Maryland, located in Owings (410) 257-2242, Lexington Park (301) 863-6601, LaPlata (301) 934-3345 and Huntingtown (410) 535-1719, Maryland, our podiatrists Dr. Jeffrey Idol, DPM, Dr. Judith Olkaba, DPM, or Dr. Ruth P. Devadas, DPM, can help you manage your calluses and provide the right guidance for choosing shoes that don’t damage your feet when climbing. So, please make an appointment by calling our office at any of the numbers provided above before you climb your next mountain!