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Care Of The Feet

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

The infantryman's feet are his means of transportation. If you care for

them properly, you will be rewarded.

1. Wash and dry the feet carefully and put on clean socks as soon as

practicable after getting into camp.

2. Wash out the socks you have been wearing and hang them out to dry.

3. Do not wear socks with holes in them if you can possibly avoid it.

Should a hole begin to ca
se rubbing, turn the sock inside out or change

it to the other foot.

4. Just as soon as you decide to attend a training camp or join the

colors, cut your toe nails square across the ends so they will not grow


5. In case of any foot trouble that you cannot relieve, report to the

surgeon at once. Don't wait until you cannot march before reporting.

6. A Treatment for Blisters. Be careful not to tear off the skin

covering the blister. Heat the point of a needle until it is red hot and

when it cools insert it under the live skin a little distance away from

the blister. Push it through to the under side of the bruised skin or

blister and then press out the water. To protect the blister, grease a

small piece of chamois with vaseline and place it so that it covers the

blister and extends over on the solid skin surrounding it. Then place a

piece of oxide adhesive tape over the chamois. This method allows the

protective covering to be removed without rupturing the skin over the

blister and protects the new tender and sensitive skin so that the

weight can be rested upon the foot without causing severe pain. One man

in each squad should be provided with a needle, adhesive tape, a bottle

of vaseline, and a piece of chamois for the common use of the squad.

7. Shoes.

a. Be sure they fit your feet. The business shoe you wear at the

office won't do for marching when, with the additional weight you

carry, your foot spreads in breadth and extends in length; hence

your marching shoes should be longer and broader than your business

shoes. This is a very important item and should not be neglected. If

your shoes are too large, blisters will result; if too small, your

foot will be cramped, and every step will be painful.

b. Break your shoes in prior to the practice march.

c. Keep your shoes well oiled so they will be soft and pliable and

keep out water.

d. If your shoes get wet on the inside heat some small pebbles (not

so hot as to burn leather) and keep them inside the shoes until dry.