Foot health is critical for runners. People who run regularly must take care of their feet in order to maintain their running habit. Unfortunately, running can also be detrimental for foot health if the runner doesn't follow best practices. If you're a runner, the following tips can help you keep your feet healthy so you can keep up with and enjoy your hobby.
Wear Running Shoes
The shoes you wear while running should be shoes actually designed for the activity. Some people think that athletic shoes of any type are acceptable, but this is not the case. A good pair of running shoes will offer unique support not available through other types of athletic footwear.
Experts designed running shoes for high impact to prevent injury to the body's joints. By wearing running shoes instead of shoes designed for activities like walking, playing tennis, or hiking, you can help protect your feet from blisters or strain.
Know the Signs of Poorly Fitting Shoes
By design, running shoes are extra comfortable, so evenly poorly fitting running shoes may feel good in the shoe store. Knowing the signs that your running shoes are a poor fit can help you decide when the time comes for a new pair.
Pins and needles, or a numb feeling in your feet, are a sign that your running shoes are too snug. Wearing thinner socks may help, but a better solution is often to buy a larger size of shoes.
Bruised toenails are another sign of a problem. Bruised toenails occur when feet bump against the ends of the shoes during a run. This can happen because either your shoes are too small or because your shoes are too large, which causes your feet to slide forward as you run. Either way, replacing your shoes is necessary.
Know When (and When Not) to Moisturize
As a rule, runners need to keep the skin on their feet healthy and moisturized. Lotion prevents the skin from cracking and prevents the feet from rubbing painfully against the inside of the shoe.
However, a runner's feet should be dry before a run. Applying lotion right before running creates an environment that's perfect for fungus, so only apply lotion after a shower or before bed time.
Use Petroleum Jelly to Prevent Blisters
Even if your shoes fit your feet properly, you may still be prone to blisters. Before a run, apply petroleum jelly to parts of your feet that are vulnerable.
Promote Foot Dryness During Runs
Foot dryness is important during a run. You can help keep your feet dry by sprinkling talcum powder in your shoes before you run. Replacing your socks before running is also helpful, especially if the socks you wear are sweaty or damp.
Keep Your Toenails the Right Length
Your toenails should be no longer than the end of your toes. If your nails are longer, you could be at risk to get a fungus or an ingrown toenail. Trim your toe nails on a weekly basis to ensure that they're always the appropriate length.
Contact a Podiatrist for Regular Foot Pain Treatment
Sometimes feet hurt after a run. This is not always a sign of a serious injury or problem. However, you should investigate regular foot pain to ensure that you don't have a serious problem relating to one or both feet. See a podiatrist if your feet regularly hurt after runs.
If you are a runner and you have more questions about how to keep your feet healthy and injury free, contact InStride Family Foot & Ankle Center. We're happy to answer your questions about foot health and running.