Foot Care Tips for Runners
You have the vision, motivation and discipline to get running, but… are you dreading the toll running takes on your feet? Every time you land on your foot a force of up to three times body weight can be exerted on the human foot while running (as reported by The Saucony shoe company). Are you dreading post run pain? Are you one of 20% of runners who experience a foot injury? How much is foot pain preventing you from running?
Yes, you can get more foot comfort with your run. Prep, Pad and Pamper your way to more foot comfort, health and post run recovery with our podiatrist approved expert running tips.
- Make sure the skin of your feet are not callused, cracked or have peeling and itching symptoms of a fungus infection. Keep the skin of your feet healthy and intact. You can soften calluses and exfoliate. (Deep calluses may need to be professionally removed by a podiatrist). Never attempt to cut calluses or corns yourself.
- Nails. Cut nails straight across.
- Sweat. Anti-perspirants specially formulated for your feet prevent the discomfort that excessive sweat can cause runners. When you combat sweat you combat bacteria and fungus that love the wet, dark environment creating in wet shoes. Why an antiperspirant for feet? It doesn’t contain alcohol which could dry and crack your skin.
Get rid of old worn out shoes.
Get to know your feet and get the right shoes for your foot structure. A perfect foot is neutral 90 degrees from your heel up, a pronating foot is one where your weight causes the foot to roll in towards your big toe and a supinating foot is when your weight rolls to the outer edges of your feet toward your little toe.
Larry Gershberg owner of New Balance stores in New York and New Jersey had been fitting runners for years. He put running shoes into three categories. What you need depends on your foot structure and the shoe that is best for your feet is best for your run.
Cushioning shoes: Best for a neutral foot, light weight and bouncy. Best for young feet, And supinators.
Stability Shoes: These are typically built with an arch support. They are not neutral and best for a pronating foot.
Motion Control Shoes: These are the heaviest shoes, they have the most support and an arch support. Good for older runners and pronators and runners with flat feet.
Special fit shoes: Shoes with extra wide toe boxes or wide forefoot and narrow heels are available. You just have to know your feet!
Sock it to me:
Sock are important for attacking moisture, improving fit and cushioning your run.
Moisture wicking is the best for running comfort. Avoid cotton that absorbs sweat and takes a long time to dry.
Wear “smart socks” with trail running bottoms that have more cushioning when you run on surfaces that are not smooth.
Another one of Larry’s tips. When you can’t find the perfect fit use the thickness of the socks to “adjust” fit of shoes.
Yes, your ankles and toes need a warm up just as much as your hamstrings and quads.
What about orthotics? An orthotic is a device that is designed to maintain your foot in the correct neutral position. Orthotics realign a foot that pronates or supinates and provides extra padding to soften your landing.
When your foot is neutral your feet feel better and there is less stress on your knees, hips and shoulders. Aligning your feet improves your entire run and reduces pain in other joints. Our podiatrist recommended orthotics for runners: Pedag Sport and Saluber 480 insoles. For more information on orthotics read our orthotic blog.
How can I avoid Turf Toe? Avoid yellow, thickened nails caused by micro trauma to the toe by making sure your shoes fit correctly. Shoes that are too tight/small or too large can cause this condition. Avoid this condition with a heavy duty toe cap designed for runners.
What about irritations on my less than perfect feet? Avoid abrasions on hammertoes, bunions and heels with medical grade silicone padding.
Attention to post run recovery will ease the stress your feet have just gone through and get you ready for your next run.
- Treat the pain. Blisters an abrasions. Bruising and excessive pain may be a sign of a stress fracture that needs medical attention.
- Cramps? Hydrate with an electrolyte drink.
- Therapeutic foot massage. Self massage with our therapeutic oil or use a massage ball to ease overworked muscles.
- Soak. Our soaking bowl accommodates up to size 14 feet.
- Rest your feet. Yes, this low tech, easy tip is the best.
One last tip:
Vary your route and vary the types of surfaces you run on.