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Keeping Your Feet Healthy When Running

With spring on the way, runners look forward to running more regularly outside. Running is a great physical exercise with numerous cardiovascular and physical benefits. It is simply amazing to see how many people of all ages run today, from teens all the way up to older women and men.

But runners need to be careful because they put a lot of strain on their feet. Common problems associated with running are blisters, corns, calluses, athlete’s foot, shin splints, and Achilles tendonitis. Here are some things for runners to keep in mind:

    1. Runners need to condition their bodies, working towards and building routines. This means making time to stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments before and after running. Routine build-up and endurance are vital for ensuring that feet, legs, and bodies can gradually strengthen.
    2. Proper foot hygiene will prevent many foot issues. Keep feet powdered and dry. Wear clean socks for each run. Make sure shoes fit properly.
    3. Good socks are important. When buying shoes, runners should always try them on with the socks that they plan to wear for runs. Socks should fit well and be made of poly-cotton blends which pull moisture from the skin.
    4. As you would expect, shoes are absolutely critical for maintaining foot health. Because of the strain that running puts on the body—feet, ankles, and legs—shoes are crucial for providing a cushion between feet and the running terrain.

It is essential that shoes are properly suited to the shape and structure of a runner’s feet. When running, the feet roll quickly from heel to toe, and bend at the ball with each step. So, it is important for shoes to have enough flexibility in the right places, like a heel that is low but wide, for partially absorbing the shock when feet hit the ground.

Some things to keep in mind when looking for shoes are:

    • Always try on shoes with the foot orthotics prescribed by your Lansdale foot doctor, as well as socks
    • Measure feet standing up, and fit the shoes to the larger foot
    • Make sure heels fit snugly, and do not slip (or tend towards slipping out of the shoe)
    • Shop at the end of the day when feet are slightly swollen
    • Try on different brands, and try applying them to different kinds of surfaces
    • Choose lace shoes for better stability and control

Muscle pain is common after exercise. If pain persists—or returns upon resuming exercise—runners should immediately seek care from a podiatrist.

Frequent runners should regularly consult their Lansdale foot pain expert to maximize their running program, address any foot concerns, and prevent serious injury.

American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic

About Jeffrey Wachtel

Jeffrey Wachtel has written 577 post in this blog.