Feet, love them or hate them they are the tools that we rely on as runners to keep us going through good and bad. Which brings me onto the topic of runners foot care.
Wrapping your feet up in good shoes is a great place to start. But unless you’re just one of those fortunate people who never have an issue, you need to have a good maintenance program in place to keep injuries and pain to a minimum.
So, unless you want those ‘runner’s feet’ that scare children when you’re wearing open sandals, or if you’re tired of all the aches, pains, and blisters, here are some tips to help you keep your well-worked feet in the best possible condition:
Runners Foot Care and Tips to Reduce Injury
Invest in Really Good Shoes
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your shoes are probably the most important piece of equipment when it comes to looking after your feet and making sure you’re performing at your best.
Poor footwear can cause blisters, calluses, damaged nails, increase your chance of injury, and cause you to develop bad running habits.
Visit a shop that understands the individual needs of you as a runner and can fit you out with the best option.
Invest in Good Running Socks
Socks are also very important to keep ingrown toenails, blisters, and other nasty, painful skin issues away.
If you don’t like wearing socks it’s time to get used to them. They also help blisters and skin abrasions heal quicker, help to keep your toes in position and minimize the friction from your shoes.
Lubricate Your Feet
Much like a smoothly operating machine needs lubrication, so do your feet. There are a number of products designed for runners, rub plenty in between your toes and all over your feet to reduce friction
Moisturize and Bath Your Feet Regularly
You’re pounding the pavements and putting your feet through a lot of wear and tear, so it’s only natural that you need to give them a little extra TLC.
I know you’re probably exhausted after a long run and want to just relax and watch a movie or unwind and go to bed, but what your feet really need is a relaxing foot spa and some moisturizer.
Prevent Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that causes some pretty nasty and itchy blemishes on your feet.
Don’t wait until you have a problem to do something about it, there are some preventative measures all runners should be aware of:
- Dry your feet when not running or bathing.
- Wear open sandals or similar footwear that allow your feet to breathe whenever possible.
- Wear socks when running, and change them each run.
- Use antifungal powder on your feet after bathing.
- Make sure your shoes are fully dried out before lacing up.
Address Health Issues ASAP
It’s all too easy to see a small blister and think it will just clear up, or feel a pain and think it’s the best option to just run through it and hope it goes away.
In reality, any foot issue, no matter how small or how little pain you’re feeling can worsen into something that sidelines you for weeks.
Ingrown toenails are often the culprit behind missing a race you’ve trained months for, or just sidelining you and causing you some serious pain.
Don’t leave toenail problems and assume they will resolve themselves. Get to a healthcare professional and stress that you have a passion for running and need the problem taken care of.
Proper, proactive runners foot care is often overlooked when nutrition, rest, and training hard are all high up on the list of priorities.
Your feet are your valuable tools to success though. Without them being kept in tip-top condition everything else comes second.
If the cost of decent running shoes and socks looks a bit steep right now then build up to better shoes as you take running more seriously.
But always make the time to pamper your feet with moisturizers, creams, and address any health problems as soon as you notice them.