As runners, your feet absorb more force than any part of your body. Since your feet are essentially the propellers of your motion they affect your level of comfort throughout your run. That is why footcare is an essential element of training for a marathon!
A properly fitted shoe is vital to foot health and to attaining your best run. Most shoe stores carry only the most common sizes. If you require a shoe that is not one of the most popular sizes you may be limited in where you can shop. In that case, you will probably be restricted to specialty running stores. These stores sometimes employ a pedorthist who is specifically trained in helping customers find a shoe that is true to not only the size of the athlete’s foot but also that is conducive to the sport that is being performed. Remember your feet are continuously changing so it is best to get measured and fitted every time you purchase a new pair of running shoes. Shoe replacement should occur anywhere between 350-500 miles, as this is the average life of most running shoes.
Your perfect running sock (one that deters the formation of blisters) will change depending on the length and season of your run, so your best bet is to find a few different types that work for youl. Most runners do well with form-fitting socks made from acrylic materials. Purchase a few pairs in each fabric that works for the season that you are training in so that you always have a fresh pair up in your rotation. The right blend of fabric will depend on whether you are prone to having dry or sweaty feet. If you suffer from chronically dry feet try treating with a moisturizing foot cream immediately after you shower or bath, this will help to lock in some of the water. On the other end of the spectrum there are those of you that struggle with sweaty or “wet feet.” In that case you you will want to invest in breathable, lightweight, moisture-wicking socks in addition to making sure that your shoes have been given plenty of time to thoroughly dry between runs. This will also help to minimize blisters, athlete’s foot, and other fungal issues. Besides keeping your feet dry you can help to prevent a fungal infection by changing your socks often, using antiperspirants on your feet, and wearing flip-flops in lockers rooms.
Foot Care Maintenance
- ice pack /cold water soak: if your feet swell or overheat during a run use cold water or ice packs afterwards. Additionally you can apply the ice while laying with your legs in the air to reduce swelling. DO NOT ice for more than 20 minutes
- Pedicures: Take care of those tootsies. Pedicures keep toenails trimmed, treat calluses, moisturize, and often includes a foot massage.
- Strength-training: in order to perform at their best your feet need exercise just like the rest of your body. 2 or 3 times a week make toe rises, heel drops, and toe grabs part or your workout routine.
If you are training for a marathon and have foot concerns we would love to help you. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors here at Columbia Podiatry, call (573) 443-2015. If you ever have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at our Columbia, MO office.