proper footwear to survive the minnesota state fair


Get your feet ready for the Minnesota State Fair

  • Each time your foot hits the ground as you walk, you exert a force that is about two to three times your total body weight.
  • Your feet contain 25% of all the bones in your body

The Minnesota State fairgrounds cover more than 320 acres, which means miles of walking as you visit your favorite spots. Your feet, which contain 25 percent of all the bones in your body, get a good workout. Each time your foot hits the ground as you walk, you exert a force that is about two to three times your total body weight. Without the right shoes or if you are out of shape and not used to walking, your feet can start hurting and interfere with your fair fun. Here are some tips to help your feet survive the fair. 

  • Start walking before the fair. Like all body parts, it's best to get in shape gradually.
  • Wear a supportive shoe, preferably a tennis shoe with good arch support or a padded insert. Leave the flip-flops and sandals at home. They may be cute, but you have a higher risk of developing foot pain or developing an overuse injury by wearing a shoe with no support.
  • Sandals and flip-flops also increase your risk of other injuries. One of the most common injuries seen at the first aid stations at the fair are blisters caused by walking in inappropriate shoes. Foot injuries caused by stepping on something sharp or from being stepped on by one of the other 1.9 million fair goers are also frequent. Flip-flops can also lead to tripping and falling.
  • Open-toed shoes are also not recommended near the animal barns. Animals aren't the most hygienic and while the barn personnel are quick to clean up, you really need to watch where you step.
  • Don't wear new shoes. Walking from the parking lot across the grounds to see the Princess Kay butter sculptures is not the time to break in your new shoes.
  • Avoid artificial fibers in your socks. Look for a sock that promotes wicking (transporting water away from your skin) to help prevent blisters. If you do get a blister, apply a bandage to prevent it from worsening or opening up.

Once you get home, you may want to give those hardworking tootsies some tender loving care. Start with some mild stretches. Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you, point your toes, hold for five to 10 seconds, and then reach forward, grabbing the bottom of your foot below your toes with your hands and gently pull your toes toward your shins and hold again. Follow these stretches with some foot massage. Sit in a chair and place a tennis ball or golf ball under your arch and gently roll back and forth. If your feet hurt following these stretches and massage, you might want to apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, sit back and put those feet up and give them a well-deserved rest.


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