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My father served in WWII, in the 10ths ‘ski troops’ but walked the length of Italy’s Po River Valley in the mud during the USArmy’s trek northward before they crushed the Nazi’s Gothic Line, Feb - April, 1945. As Christian Beckwith points out in his fine podcast NinetyPound Rucksack on the history and impact of the returning soldiers of the 10th, the ‘climbing troops’ moniker instead of ‘ski troops’ was really more appropriate. But as to foot care, my dad was relentless on the subject, teaching us to of course, change our socks before we camped for the night, remove and dry our insoles under our sleeping bags while we slept, etc. Today, I have further modified his well-taught vigilance to foot care by adding foot powder to foot skin before cold weather trips, using Merino Superfeet wool inner soles, plus even adding a foot warmer under the arch of the foot for added warmth on super cold days. At day’s end, my inner soles, removed from my boots or running shoes or whatever I have shod for the day, stand upright, perhaps at attention, saluting those that passed before us, dry warm feet and all.

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