How to Care for Your Feet on a Rafting Trip

Written by Ben Sack, 10.17.2023

While white water rafting trips in Colorado make unforgettable vacations, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your experience even better. To this end, knowing about rafting foot care before, during, and after a trip is essential. 

Half-day trips require proper footwear for the river, while multi-day trips expose your feet to a diverse array of conditions since you are camping and hiking. No matter your agenda, there are some important foot care tips you can follow to stay safe and healthy while white water rafting. 

Whether you want to prepare for rafting day trips or something more extensive, follow this rafting foot care advice from Echo Canyon.

Why is Rafting Foot Care Important?

Rivers are dynamic environments that can cause injuries to your feet in a number of ways.

Not only must you consider what it will be like to have wet feet for the entire day, you also need to think about the weather conditions. Especially in the mountains, river water and nighttime temperatures can be quite cold. 

Another thing to anticipate for rafting foot care is walking and swimming outside of the boat. Whether you fall off the raft or climb out intentionally, rivers are filled with potentially hazardous obstacles like wet rocks, long branches, and log jams. Similarly, river banks are generally comprised of mud, sand, and brush that have the potential to irritate your feet.

Choosing the Right Rafting Shoes

While there are a few proper shoes for white water rafting, you should always choose something that will stay on your feet and give you protection.

Sport Sandals

Sandals work great if you get a pair with straps over your heel and the top of your foot – like Chacos and Tevas. Flip-flops are a poor choice because they easily fall off your feet. If you decide to wear sport sandals, be sure to apply ample sunscreen to the tops of your feet as they burn easily.

Water Shoes

Water shoes specifically designed for river environments are ideal. Not only do these shoes have good traction, but they also offer great protection for your feet. Old tennis shoes will also do the trick if you don’t have anything else. In any case, consider rafting shoes that are lightweight and made of mesh so they can dry out easily.

Wetsuit Shoes

Wetsuit shoes zip up high on your ankle and are made of neoprene to keep your feet warm. Since the river water in Colorado is quite cold, many people prefer the comfort of wetsuit shoes. Due to their popularity, Echo Canyon has wetsuit shoes available for our guests at no charge.

Post Rafting Trip Foot Care Tips

Once you come off the river, there are also a few key foot care tips. 

Many people don’t know this, but soaking your feet in river water all day tends to dry them out. When you combine this with the arid climate around the Arkansas River, it’s a good idea to apply lotion to your feet when they dry after a day on the river. If your feet are really dry after a rafting trip, you should wear socks and shoes for a couple of days and they should bounce right back.

Raft the Arkansas River with Echo Canyon!

Whether you are on the river for a half-day or multiple days, talk to the guides at Echo Canyon about proper trip planning and foot care tips. Especially for longer trips, knowing personal care tricks and what to wear for white water rafting will ensure you have as much fun as possible. 

Book a rafting trip with Echo Canyon today!

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, a photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.
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