As the year ends and we start to think about our future aspirations, running might be top of the list to help with endurance, conditioning and weight-loss.
Here are a couple of things we would recommend to keep your feet happy when transitioning into running, whether for a hobby or more seriously.
It goes without saying that shoes are one of, if not THE, biggest factor in looking after your feet when running! Whatever the distance, surface, speed or duration you’re targeting, having the right footwear is vital. But what makes a shoe “right”? The most important element of a shoe is the fit. A good running shoe should give your feet the room they need to be comfortable whilst running, whilst also being a secure fit- slipping and sliding inside a shoe can lead to rubbing, blisters and instability. If you can, try on a number of running shoes before deciding on a pair- different brands, different sizes. Many runners find going up a half or full size from their day to day shoe size works best. The tips of your toes should not be able to feel the end of the shoe when you are standing still. Fitting to the width of your foot is equally important- it’s okay for running shoes to be more snug width-wise than length-wise, but comfort should still be your guide. Don’t get caught up in the widely repeated myth of needing a certain shoe type because you ‘pronate’ or ‘supinate’ (spoiler- we all do both!). There is no evidence for running shoe ‘prescription’ of this sort. Pick the shoes that are most comfortable (NB- only you can decide this!) not the shoes you are ‘told’ you need. The surface you plan to train/race on should also be factored in- a road running shoe is great if the majority of your running will be on tarmac/hard surfaces, but if you plan to spend a lot of time training or racing off road a trail trainer may be a grippier option.
Key takeaways: GOOD FIT, COMFORTABLE, CONSIDER TRAINING/RACING SURFACE
It might seem obvious but a good pair of socks can make the difference between happy feet and unhappy feet during and after a run. Trial and error is usually the best way to find the type of sock that works best for you, but there are a few things to look out for. It’s usually best to opt for a running specific sock as they are designed without uncomfortable seams, are good at wicking sweat, and tend to be more ergonomically designed than ‘regular’ socks. Whether you opt for ‘no show’, ‘low cut’ or ankle length is down to personal/aesthetic preference. Some other considerations include; ‘twin-skin’ socks- good for blister prone feet, socks made of bamboo fibres- good for sweaty feet, and merino wool socks- good for cold feet!
Keeping your toenails short can help avoid bruised, black toenails (as can running shoes with enough space in front of the toes). But not too short- badly cut nails can increase the risk of developing a painful ingrown toenail, which will definitely keep your feet from being happy! As a general guide you should cut your toenails straight across, and then use a file to smooth off any sharp edges (and round off the corners should you want to). Hard skin/callus can also be gently filed to reduce uncomfortable build-up. If you are in any doubt see an HCPC registered podiatrist for nail-cutting, callus reduction, and any other foot/ankle related running concerns you may have.
If you have any questions about running & feet drop us a comment or email.