Best Foot Forward: Footcare Tips for Runners Most Valuable Assets
COMPEED® is working with Consultant Podiatrist Emma Supple to give you the very best footcare advice. Here, Emma imparts her top tips to runners: whether you are training for a one-off race or chasing your PB over a series of events this summer, here’s how to make sure your feet last the distance.
“There are so many known physical and emotional benefits to running and more of us are taking it up than ever before. The growth of mass participation events, charity fun runs, organised runs in the parks and ‘Couch to 10k’ programmes is testament to our human need to move, run and enjoy the process!
I am by no means an elite runner, but I do so enjoy it. I am slowly relearning the art of running, taking on some short distances over the next few months and practising what I preach where taking care of my feet is concerned.
Feet are a marvel of construction and, when given some care, they’ll serve you well, leaving you to enjoy the pleasures of running towards and beyond your set goals. I have helped deliver podiatric care for several years at the London Marathon and it’s taught me a great deal – especially about blister management and, of course, preventing them.
Foot pain is a misery and the old adage of “when your feet hurt you hurt all over” is a truth widely known. So, build this advice into your running preparation and recovery and invest time in looking after your most valuable assets:
Know your foot type: whatever you have inherited there is a shoe design perfect for you. Your local running shop will help you choose good, running footwear that suits your foot type and there are a wealth of shoe designs available so take your time, try various styles and go with what feels right for you.
Choose and wear a well-designed comfortable shoe and get some small runs in before you embark on a long distance or race – all feet and new shoes need to meet and adjust to each other!
But do not expect an uncomfortable shoe to become comfortable – the manufacturing process is such that a modern shoe will break your feet long before you break them into your foot type.
Sock it to them
Socks are the second most important factor. Too thick and you will be as uncomfortable as too thin. Just like the story of the three bears you are looking for the right fit, size and comfort. If you are prone to blisters, then the two-layer sock idea is a good one to try. Damp, wet feet are the perfect conditions for foot problems to emerge so a fresh pair every run, please.
Next, the skin
In lab conditions, it is difficult to get blisters to appear but we’re all familiar with the terrible trio of moisture, rubbing stress and heat.
Prevention is better than cure. Blisters hurt and, on feet, can be debilitating making the physical act of running a total misery. Don’t ignore warning signs of a blister. If you’re experiencing that raw tingling sensation and skin reddening reach for COMPEED® blister plasters. They are a kit-bag essential – a footcare must-have for runners.
The skin on your feet is completely different than the skin on your leg for example. It really needs and benefits from a dedicated foot cream. Look for creams that contain urea and apply daily for best results. Try COMPEED® Cracked Heel Overnight Cream to improve the appearance of cracked heels while you sleep.
See a Podiatrist for the management of any corns and callus before you embark on your running regime. Thick areas of hard skin can be very painful when sore and blistered. These areas indicate exactly where the excessive forces are loading and need adjusting with footwear, insoles and orthotics.
BLISTER PREVENTION TOP TIPS
- Eliminate moisture – Wear fresh socks for every run. Go for ones made from natural fibres that wick away moisture.
- Avoid rubbing – Blisters occur when the skin stretches too far and for too long so buy good shoes that fit well and ensure there are no areas where your shoes rub against your skin.
- Tie up your shoelaces properly – Use the lacing hack of “runner’s loop.” This simple but effective trick of looping the last-but-one-eyelet before you tie the bow helps keep the foot up into the shoe and that helps support the whole foot. Minimise pressure points, where needed, with insole orthotics as required.
So, feet prepped, great shoes, comfortable socks and supple moisturised skin, blister prevention and preparation in place – all ready to Run!”
Emma Supple is Creative Clinical Director and Consultant Podiatrist; Fellow of the College of Podiatrists in both Podiatric Surgery and Podiatric Medicine of the College of Podiatry. FCPodS, FCPM, FFPM RCPS (Glasg), DPodM, PGDip (Pod)
COMPEED® is proud to support the Simplyhealth Great Run Series of 10K, half and full marathons in 2018. Here to keep you up and running. Unstoppable You.