Them Feet

My babies.

My babies.

Let’s face it, runners rely on their feet for a lot. I remember once having nice, pedicured, lovely feet. Ah, those were the days.

It’s been years since I’ve rocked a french pedicure, or one that laster very long. These days I wear shoes for comfort and support, not for cuteness. The amount of sexy heels I have that spend most of their time in my closet instead of on my feet is probably a sin to most girls. But runners know: your feet are necessary to do what we do. We try to be “kind” to them, but at the end of the day we beat the crap out of them.

There are a few things we can do to protect and pamper those pavement-pounding puppies. First, let’s prioritize our shoes. Buying shoes because they are cute or on sale is a bad idea. Your poor feet don’t care what color or price the shoes you lace up is, but they do care about aches and pains. Buy shoes that are correct for your feet. Just because one brand works for your friend doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. Your feet are unique to you.

Keep track of your mileage, so you have a rough idea of when you should be replacing shoes. Most good shoes (not racing flats, btw), last 400-500 miles. Personally, I’m a fan of having 2-4 pairs of running shoes in rotation at all times, so that my body never “settles” and forms habits based on one shoe style.

When traveling and remaining stationary, compression socks may help your feet and ankles. My ankles and feet swell on long car rides and flights, thanks to very low blood pressure.

Ladies, avoid those cute shoes that have zero arch support. If you have plantar issues, it may be due to the shoes you are wearing when not running. High heels don’t do your feet or calf muscles any favors either.

Soaking your tootsies in warm water and/or Epsom salts can also help.

Keep your toe nails short. If they get too long, they can actually cut into your toes on long runs.

And, for God’s sake, do NOT run in cotton socks. Blisters are painful, and can cause infection. If you run under 30 minutes at a time, you might get away with cotton socks. Try cotton socks on a 15 miler in summer, and you will be in trouble. Am I clear on my view of cotton socks? Good.

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