Tips for protecting your feet when running

As you’re probably aware if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, running is really what kick-started my enthusiasm for exercise, and set in motion my keenness to learn more about wellbeing and fitness.  I’m a huge advocate of running, and find myself frequently recommending running to people who are new to exercise or getting back into it after a period of avoiding exercise (that was definitely me!)  The benefits I have seen from running extend across to all areas of my life, not just my fitness levels and weight loss goals – it’s a great way to clear your head after a long day, and you learn to appreciate so much more about what your body is capable of!

I’ve kindly been sent some tips for both new runners and experienced runners for protecting your feet whilst running and I thought it would be great to share them here.  Running is a high impact exercise which naturally creates pressure on your ankles, knees and hips – so making sure your feet are protected and comfortable is absolutely crucial.  As well as encouraging women to get a supportive, good quality sports bra for running, getting the right pair of running shoes and protecting your feet is also a high priority (what could be more important to a runner than their feet?)

By mistreating your feet, they are likely to become uncomfortable during running.  By paying attention to your feet, you will prevent problems such as blisters, cracked heels, itches, peeling skin and general discomfort. Here are some top tips for maintaining healthy feet whilst running.  

First and foremost, running shoes need to be a good fit. It’s important to choose wisely and invest in a pair which will offer protection to the feet and sufficient support upwards into the legs and skeleton.  People who suffer with foot issues, for example fallen arches, need to pay attention to this. Products such as Vionic Orthotics will help support the foot and will make a big difference to foot comfort in the long term.

my previous running shoes and orthotic inserts

In addition, don’t forget to choose appropriate running socks. Ill-fitting socks are thought to be the number one cause of blisters for runners.  Opt for a pair of socks which are breathable, thick socks will trap moisture causing feet to be sweaty, which can lead to odour issues and fungal infections.  Running socks are designed to breathe and contain specially padded areas for each foot, offering the right support for your foot.

Exfoliation is important for your feet as skin can often be rough and dry, thickened by activity.  By not exfoliating, this can lead to cracking, especially around the heel area, in the worse cases this can even lead to bleeding.  Through regular exfoliating with a pumice stone and moisturising after, it can help keep your skin supple, soft and flexible.

Ensure you trim your toe nails before running.  This will prevent them catching in the sock fibres or causing scratches which can provide an opening for infections.

After a long run, cool your feet down in a bath of cold water.  The water will reduce the temperature of the feet and will prevent swelling; you can also use Epsom salts in the water to make your feet softer.  This avoids chafing and irritation as well as its own discomfort.

With these tips, feet will feel better than ever – and runners can focus on their training rhythm, not the pain in their feet.

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