Winter is finally over. That means it’s time to break in some new running shoes and enjoy the warmer weather. As you transition from treadmill to outdoor trails, it’s important to make sure your feet are prepared. Of course, how you take care of your feet will be slightly different depending on the person and the type of runner. But overall, you should take the time and effort to ensure that your feet are ready to go when you hit the trails. Here is what we recommend.
Invest in comfortable, supportive running shoes
No running shoe is the same. In fact, each shoe is made for different types of running, stride length, and foot attributes. Not only can a shoe be uncomfortable if it’s too tight, but it can also lead to black toenails and increased sensitivity and pain in your feet. If your shoes are too loose, your feet will likely slide around in the shoe, causing blisters. In addition to pain and blistering, the wrong shoe can cause more serious damage, like ankle sprains and knee injuries. Avoid any injuries by investing in the best shoe for you.
If you do not already have a style and make that works for you and your workout routine, make sure to visit a running shoe specialty store. A specialist will have the ability to study your feet and narrow down your selection. The pair you purchase should be comfortable and supportive, so your feet require less recovery time between each run.
Find the right socks for your feet
Finding the right running shoe is only a start to taking care of your feet throughout running season. Your socks are just as important to the process. The wrong type of sock is one of the leading causes of blisters in runners. Many are made from cotton, which absorbs and stores sweat and causes more friction for your feet. Instead, consider buying socks made from lightweight, water-resistant materials. This will allow your feet to breath as they reduce friction and help control moisture levels in the shoe.
No matter which socks you select, make sure to consider the overall fit before making a purchase. A great way to gage whether or not that type of sock will work for you is to try them with your running shoes. This will help you determine if the sock is too thick, thin, tall, short, etc.
Moisturize your feet
Every time you go for a run, your feet take a beating. As a result, runners are more prone to calloused and dry feet, which can lead to heel fissures. Avoid cracked and bleeding skin after each run by moisturizing your feet with foot cream on a daily basis. (Is there a particular kind GSFA recommends?) We recommend applying lotion after you bathe. Then, rub each foot until the skin feels soft and smooth.
Keep nails trimmed
Untrimmed nails will typically get caught in your socks and rub on the front of your shoes each time you take a stride. This can strain your nail, which causes bleeding, or rip the nail entirely. As several injuries may stem from long toenails, make sure to keep them trimmed and filed.
Strengthen your toes
Many injuries stem from weak feet and ankles. Just as your core requires routine strength training, your feet and ankles need periodic exercise to remain strong. Otherwise your muscles will not have the ability to keep your feet in the proper position to plant and push your body as you run. Between workouts, you should therefore complete the following exercises:
Toe raises: Place your feet shoulder width apart and raise your toes so you bounce back onto your heels.
Towel pulls: Place a towel under your feet. Grab and pull the towel with your toes.
Heel-toe walks: In your running shoes, walk around the room rolling from heel to toe in one fluid motion.
Heel drops: Stand with your heels hanging off a step. Drop your heel down below the step and pull back up.
Each exercise should be completed 20 times in three sets.
Overall, any running injury can take weeks or months of time out of the spring running season. Avoid the pain and suffering by taking care of your feet. And remember: if you do experience any pain throughout the process, please give us a call to ensure that the injury does not become severe. Otherwise, get out there and enjoy the myriad of outdoor activities
Louisiana has to offer! Here are some upcoming events in the Greater New Orleans Area:
March 25: Best Damn Race New Orleans
March 31: Crescent City Classic