As a runner, your feet are your most important tool.
They support and carry you through even the toughest, longest and most arduous journeys. As such, it’s important to treat them right and keep them healthy – every step of the way.
Whether you’re a one-mile jogger or a marathon pro, here are some important foot care tips to keep in mind:
Invest in the right footwear, with the right fit
Perhaps the most important step in maintaining healthy feet as a runner is investing in the correct pair of sneakers. Runner’s World explained thatfit and comfort should top your list of priorities, not brand and style.
New Jersey-based podiatrist Rick Braver explained to the source that ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters, calluses and even lead to nerve pain and black toenails. Injuries like these can keep you off the track and away from the trails, as running with healing wounds can only further exacerbate pain and discomfort. Braver recommended shopping for sneakers at stores that specialize in outfitting runners and may have a pedorthist on staff.
Evaluate and adjust your form
Foot pain can come as the result of improper running form, explained Women’s Running magazine. To test your form, check the status of your cadence, suggested the source. To do this, run for one minute while counting the number of times one of your feet touches the ground.
If the number you get is below 88, it may be a contributing factor to your foot pain. This is due to the fact that slower cadences end up putting more pressure on your feet and have an overall harsher impact on the body. To readjust your cadence and improve your foot health, the source suggested running to music that plays 180 beats per minute.
Ward off fungus
While running is a healthy habit, it’s also one that puts you at risk for developing athlete’s foot. According to Runner’s Blueprint, this fungal infection is notoriously itchy and painful, and usually manifests itself as blisters and redness.
To safeguard yourself from this common infection, it’s vital that you maintain dry, clean feet at all times. The source recommended trimming your nails and changing your socks frequently, as well as using foot antiperspirants to defend against fungus.
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