Your feet absorb more force than any other part of your body when you run. Your feet can make running a comfortable experience or a horrible one. Your feet are essential.
Despite the importance of having healthy feet, only a few runners give their feet the care it deserves. People pay attention to their hamstrings, muscles, and stomachs; but barely care about their feet at all.
Considering that the foot is the second most frequently injured part of the body, it is shocking that only a few people give their feet proper care. Without proper foot care, you can have foot problems and even experience pain in the knees, lower back, and hips. You then become injury-prone when you really shouldn’t be.
So when is the best time to pay attention to your feet? Now.
Look for the Perfect Fit
Don’t settle for shoes that look or feel okay. You only want the perfect shoes. Don’t merely check the brand or the model. What’s more important is the fit. A poor-fitting shoe can cause different foot problems, from blisters to numbness and calluses. You can have black toenails from wearing shoes that are too small. Narrow shoes can cause bunions, corns, and nerve pain. If your shoes are too wide, you can end up with blisters as your feet will slide around, causing undue friction.
Unfortunately, the majority of shoe stores only have the most popular sizes. If your feet are wide or narrow, large or small, you might have limited options. The best thing you can do is to look around. You will most probably find what you need in a specialty shoe store.
And once you go shopping, do not just rely on salesmen that have limited knowledge on shoe fitting. You need a shoe-fitting expert, also called a pedorthist, to help you.
Even if you get the right fit, you need to realize that your shoes will shrink over time, especially when they often get wet. Also, your feet get wider and bigger as years go by. This means that you should always have your feet measured every time you shop for new shoes.
Know When to Get a New Pair
Once you have bought the perfect pair of shoes, you have to maintain them and replace them when they wear out. Most running shoes have an average life of 350 to 500 miles. But if you’re taller or heavier, you may need to get a new pair sooner.
Following a wet run, a lot of runners dry up their shoes by putting them in direct sunlight or next to the heater. This isn’t a good move as this will cause shoes to shrink. Stashing it in cold temperatures isn’t a good idea either because it will make the midsoles harder. The best place to store your running shoes is inside the house and away from heat.
If you run every single day, buy several pairs of running shoes so that you always have a dry pair. You also need to check the condition of your shoes, particularly the midsole. If the midsole is brittle or compressed, it is most probably worn out and should not be used for running.
Check Your Nonrunning Footwear
Fit is critical for all the shoes you have, whether for running or not. When trying on loafers, make sure you wear socks that you would normally wear with them. This also applies to orthotics. If you use orthotics while wearing loafers, you need to wear them whenever you are fitting new shoes.
Furthermore, dress shoes that have rubber soles provide more cushion than hard-soled shoes. It is also advisable to stay away from high-heeled shoes because they can cause different foot problems. If you love to wear heels, try to not go over an inch.
Use the Right Socks
Socks that don’t fit well are among the main causes of blisters. Cotton socks and wet socks are also known to cause blistering. Choose your socks wisely. Keep in mind that fit is not only important when buying shoes, but also when shopping for new socks. Since socks are significantly cheaper than shoes, you can experiment and see which one is best for you.
Keep Your Skin Soft
Some runners are prone to dry feet, leading to painful cracking feet. If you have dry feet, use a moisturizer every day. Rub it into your feet until they are soft and smooth. The best time to moisturize your feet is after taking a bath or shower as the moisturizer will help retain the water from your shower.
Sweaty, Wet Feet? Keep Them Dry
Those who have sweaty, wet feet are prone to having fungal problems like athlete’s foot. It is not easy to keep your feet dry as they have thousands of sweat glands. What you can do is use breathable, lightweight socks. Also, make sure that your shoes are dry before using them. And don’t ever use damp socks.
Treat your feet the right way and they will definitely love you back.