A runner’s feet are an asset. As with any asset, a runner must nurture/baby/pamper their feet. We rely on them to carry us over miles of sometimes questionable terrain so why not offer them special treatment.
Here are six simple ways to take care of those peds:
- Lotion/Salve –
I use a foot salve, and it has made a huge difference in my feet. I use it after my shower, and directly after a long run. It has helped heal some of the dry and scaly skin that appears after packing on miles in damp socks. It has also helped to tame the wild calluses that build up on the bottom of my big toes, and the pads of my feet.
- Soaks –
When my feet are tired and sore, I turn to a combination of Epsom Salts, essential oils, and hot water. Not only does the salt soak soften your skin, but it also helps ease pain and cramping. Adding rosemary essential oil boosts the muscle soothe, and also works wonders on damaged skin.
- Good socks –
A pair of good socks is more important than you may think. You want to avoid cotton socks if you will be running in the rain, or extreme heat. Cotton will soak up moisture – encouraging blisters. That being said, cotton is soft and can be perfect for a short sunny day run.
I wear shoes with the least amount of cushion as possible. Therefore, I try to remember to put on thicker socks when I go out for a long run. I neglected to do this for my last relay race, and my feet were not happy.
Wool socks work well during cold weather. They are great for wicking moisture and regulating temperature. Look for running specific wool socks to avoid the itchy feel of a normal wool sock.
Otherwise, any moisture wicking sock that fits you comfortably will do a good job at keeping your feet happy.
- Proper Shoe Lacing –
Are your shoes too tight for your foot no matter what shoe you are in? Are you constantly struggling with black toenails? There are many different ways to tie your shoelaces depending on what foot issue you are experiencing. You can find infographics on the internet to help you learn how to lace your shoes correctly.
- Massages –
I can’t think of anything better after a long run than a foot massage. Unfortunately for me, my family doesn’t want to get close to my feet, and I can’t afford a pedicure every Sunday. Therefore, I have to rub my own feet after applying salve. Or I roll my arch over a lacrosse ball to ease the tension and stretch out my ligaments. It hurts so, so good.
- Foot Exercises –
A strong foot is a happy foot. Add exercises like toe curls and marble pickups to help keep your foot muscles strong. Most of these exercises can be done while at your desk or watching TV. Strong foot muscles can help prevent a bevy of other injuries along your legs, hips, and back.
Treat your feet right, and try one, some, or all of the above foot pampers.