April is amongst us, which means run clubs have started.
Running and staying active is an important part of physical and mental health. It allows you to keep a healthy mindset, get the blood pumping, maximizing weight management, and also metabolizing those sugars.
However, it’s important to take care of those important extremities that are used so much during your run—your feet.
Tips for Foot Care When Running
Our feet absorb more force during running than any other part of the body. On top of that they have the ability to ache, blister, sweat, itch, crack, peel, and release odor. As a result it’s essential to take care of them while preparing to run.
Here are some tips that are important to keep in mind for run club season.
1. Get The Right Shoe, The Shoe That Fits Will Make All The Difference
Before purchasing a pair of runners, make sure to try them on and choose them according to the shape of your feet. Ask a shoe expert or knowledgeable sales person to help you if you need. You need to find ones that support the shape of your feet as well as provide you comfort. .
For example, if you have flat feet, then you should opt for a higher-stability shoe to support the arch and control. If you have a high arch in your foot get shoes that offer lots of padding or cushioning. You want to avoid tight shoes, as they will put too much stress on the feet and hinder circulation. As well, shoes that are too loose can cause friction.
2. Toss Old Shoes
It’s imperative to replace your old shoes. Shoes do get worn out, so check the insoles and outsoles and replace the shoes.
In general, running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles. A good way to determine if it’s time to replace the runners is how your feet feel after a run. If the feet hurt, or if they are no longer providing the support you need, it’s time to go shopping for new shoes.
3. Socks Are A Must
Blisters can develop if socks are not worn or if socks don’t fit properly. In either case, blisters can develop as skin rubs against fabric. In addition, socks trap moisture and can lead to discomfort and other issues (athlete’s foot, fungus). Choose lightweight socks that are breathable.
4. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry
Fungal infections can be very common amongst runners and athletes. This is due to a moist environment in the shoes and socks during training and running. It makes for an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria to grow. Therefore, it’s important to wash, clean and dry your feet well, including in between the toes.
5. Moisturize Your Feet
After drying your feet well, it’s important to maintain a healthy level of moisture through a proper moisturizer to avoid painful cracks. This is done by using a foot cream, antifungal cream or an anti-chafing stick.
6. Take Care of Your Toenails
Another common foot problem often seen in runners is ingrown toenails. An untreated ingrown toenail can become painful and even infected if not taken care of. Avoid painful ingrowns fungal nails by trimming them (not too short) and cutting them straight across (not curved). Use a file to avoid sharp edges.
Note: keep an eye out for any change in color or nail texture – these are often symptoms of trauma to the nail.
7. Don’t Wait to Get Professional Care
For people that are diabetic especially, professional foot exams and foot care is not something that should be always scheduled and maintained. Despite good care, injuries can occur and it’s important to have a professional take a look to keep them healthy.
We hope by following these 7 tips, you can have a healthy running season and your feet are in good condition. Remember to inspect the feet daily, and feel free to call us with your questions.
Here at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of Illinois, we provide comprehensive foot care in Algonquin, Huntley, Carpentersville, IL, and surrounding areas. Our experts provide comprehensive care to patients suffering from a variety of conditions, including Athlete’s foot, bunions, and warts, as well as provide exams for those with diabetes.