1 Foot Care and Protection on Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:22 pm
Airsofters should buy their personal equipment in the following order of priority:
1. Goggles and Face Mask
2. Airsoft Electric Gun
3. Boots (and socks!)
4. Ballistic headgear (nect armor and thick hats)
7. Elbow pads (important for MOUT and CQB)
8. Load-carrying Vests or harnesses (important for CQB)
An airsofter with bad footwear will be an airsofter with a foot injury that will take weeks to heal. An airsofter with a foot injury is effectively useless except when defending only one position on the field, and getting him in and out of that position becomes a physical strain.
Use leather or canvass, high-cut or full-ankle-wrap boots with non-skid all-terrain soles (Vibram soles are good). The boots don't need to be waterproof but they need to be sturdy without being too heavy. Don't wear ordinary rubber shoes or sneakers. Don't wear sandals or street-type shoes.
Put powdered or ground-up TAWAS (alum) on your feet before putting on your socks. This will prevent bacterial or fungal growth and bad odors.
To protect your feet from blisters and cuts, always wear two pairs of socks (without holes!). First put on thick ankle-high sports socks as a cushion. Then put a medium-thick, long stocking type sock (or thick soccer socks) outside of your inner pair. This will protect against itches and abrasion. This combination is OK even if wet or dry.
Before putting your boots on, make sure there are no tightened places or loose pleats around the toes and ankles on your socks. Fit your feet comfortably within the boot without any tightniess on your toes. Lace the boots up snuggly but not too tightly that you cut off blood circulation. Your toes must be able to wiggle freely inside your shoes.
If you want to waterproof your socks, put on a plastic bag between the two socks. Use a plastic bag from a Pullman or "Tasty" bread loaf that will reach halfway up your calf. Tape the edges around your skin with masking tape or packing tape. Water will not get into your second sock but your feet will get sweaty after a few hours.
Keep your boots and socks on the whole day and only remove them when finished playing. Your feet will be moist and clammy after removing your socks but they will dry out if you wear slippers in the car on your way home.
Be sure to clean up, wash, and dry out your footwear after reaching home. Hang your wet socks in a well-ventilated place to airdry them overnight if you can't wash them immediately. air dry your boots before an electric fan or beside the heat exchanger of a refrigerator. Coat your leather boots with saddle soap or shoe polish after they have dried out to prevent mildew or fungal growth.
Wear the proper footwear to avoid foot injuries that will leave you limping or footsore and so that you can enjoy the game even in all kinds of terrain or weather.