The new Sidas foot-care products

The new Sidas foot-care products. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Foot problems are never welcome for the seasoned outdoor enthusiast.

Ill fitting boots and shoes, wrinkled socks or simply a long day on the hoof can cause pain and blisters which can ruin a good day on the hills.

And if you’re on a multi-day trek, it can even jeopardise the trip.

Sidas, best known for its insoles, has introduced a range of footwear products to help the weary walker, runner and mountain biker.

Its Anti-Friction Cream is a preventative treatment aimed at stopping blisters or chafing in areas where rubbing might occur, such as feet, thighs, armpits and nipples.

It’s a pleasant smelling, non-greasy cream that you spread on the areas likely to be affected, before you start your activity. I used it on my feet on a series of hillwalking outings.

Its ingredients include shea butter, marine collagen and essential oils, along with vitamin E. Once on, it forms a sort of protective film on the foot, which feels smooth against the sock. I’m fortunate in not often suffering from blisters, but on an outing with brand new boots, it gave an added confidence that the chance of problems would be markedly diminished.

Over a series of walks, I used the Sidas Anti-Friction Cream on my feet with no sign of blisters forming or other ‘hotspots’ on areas such as toes, heels and the outside of the forefoot, where the foot is most likely to rub against the boot or shoe.

There are no parabens or polyethylene glycol, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

The cream comes in two sizes: a 75ml tube at £15 and a small 15ml tube, which is handy for the rucksack or bumbag, at £5.

The Gel Toe Cap and Gel Toe Wrap

The Gel Toe Cap and Gel Toe Wrap. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

After my long walks, applying Sidas’s Recovery Cryo Gel produced an instant cooling for hot feet. The combination of peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and tea tree had a marked effect on feet, and also helps banish odours that might have built up, thanks to its largely minty smell.

The gel also has organic silica. Combined with its other ingredients, Sidas says this helps work on connective tissues to relieve aches and problems such as cramp. It can also be used to relieve plantar fasciitis.

I applied it to my feet and calves mainly, with instant soothing evident, particularly after a seven-hour hill walk when the muscles were creaking after a slog up and down Yorkshire Dales peaks.

Pricing is the same as the Anti-Friction Cream, with 75ml and 15ml tubes available at £15 and £5 respectively.

Both the above products should only be used on those over the age of three.

Sidas also provided us with a pack of Gel Toe Caps and Gel Toe Wraps.

The former come in a pack of two, priced £8 for the pair. These are designed to stop blackened toenails which are caused by impact with the inside of the toe of the boot or shoe.

I used one on a succession of walks and a couple of runs and found them comfortable and reassuring, though again, black nails are not a problem I’ve encountered often. They would be particularly useful on a challenge event where repeated impact of the toe could cause marked problems over a long route.

The Silitene protectors are washable, so you can get a good value use out of them. They come in a little resealable plastic bag which is handy to put in your pack.

The Gel Toe Wraps work in a similar way but are sleeve shaped and mean to slip over the body of the toe, rather than the end. Their purpose is to relieve friction between toes.

Tight running shoes or rock shoes can pinch toes together. I used them on walks with both boots and shoes and found them comfortable. They come in packs of four and again, have a small resealable polythene bag for storage.

As with the Gel Toe Caps, the Tow Wraps are washable, so anyone who suffers chronically from toe friction should get good use from them.

Sidas's footcare range gets the grough 'good buy' mark. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Sidas's footcare range gets the grough 'good buy' mark. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Both of the Sidas protectors would also be a good addition to the pack of anyone who is embarking on a multi-day long-distance walk.

Those prone to foot problems will find the Sidas care products useful. I don’t often suffer, but I particularly liked the Recovery Cryo Gel for the soothing and cooling effects for aching limbs that most walkers, runners and mountain bikers will encounter.

Performance 41/50
Ease of use 24/30
Quality 8/10
Value for money 6/10
Overall score 79/100

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