Our feet do a lot for us—but oftentimes, when it comes to proper care, they take a backseat. Most experienced runners know how important wearing the right shoes is—as well as watching where they step and taking breaks when they experience foot pain. These things are extra crucial when you’re running somewhere even more rugged than your neighborhood! Keep reading for how to keep your feet safe and healthy before, during, and after trail runs.
Healthy Feet: The Key to Good Trail Runs!
Whether it’s a serious foot injury or uncomfortable soreness, you don’t want anything slowing you down this year. If you plan on hitting the trails for some exercise or healthy competition, follow these tips to make sure your feet don’t stop you in your tracks!
#1: Start with the Right Gear
If you do any kind of exercise, you know this is step number one! The shoes you pick are extremely important—and it isn’t enough to just Google “trail running shoes” and order the first pair you find. It’s always a good idea to shop in person (if you can) so you can try the shoes on and make sure they’re comfortable. Everyone’s feet are different—so some shoes that work for others might not work as well for you.
While most people know how important shoes are for trail runs, a lot of people don’t think about their socks. There are tons of different kinds of socks you can wear, and your choice can definitely make a difference! You’ll want sweat-wicking, blister-resistant socks that won’t slip and slide around while you’re running.
#2: Trim Your Toenails & Keep Them Trimmed
Serious runners know the fear of having a toenail turn black or losing it altogether. But even amateur or casual runners can experience problems when they don’t take care of their toenails properly. What causes a toenail to turn black and/or eventually fall off? If your toenails (especially your big toenail) are too long, they can repeatedly hit the end of your shoe causing bruising and loosening. It’s best to keep your nails short! Doing this will help you avoid ingrown toenails as well.
#3: Prevent and Manage Blisters
Some shoes require breaking in, but (for the most part) you should be able to avoid getting blisters on your trail runs. Wearing comfortable shoes and appropriately thick socks, and keeping your feet dry will all help prevent unnecessary rubbing. If you do develop a blister, however, make sure to solve the root problem! Slapping a bandaid over it and moving on will only result in more blisters in the future. Make sure your shoes fit you properly, try different socks, and pay attention to how you’re walking and running. Depending on the location of the blister, there could be a lot of different causes.
#4: Show Your Feet Some TLC
Massaging your feet after a trail run is a great way to prevent injury, relieve soreness, and loosen up tight muscles. You can simply rub the muscles with your hands, or you can invest in a massage ball or something similar. You can also use things you have around the house, like a tennis ball, to roll out sore muscles. Massaging your feet is also a great way to reduce your chances of developing plantar fasciitis.
Don’t Let Your Feet Slow You Down
It’s easy to take our feet for granted but, when they’re injured, we realize just how much they do for us! If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain in your feet, the experts at Foot Specialists of Birmingham are ready to help. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll help you get back on the trail!