Are you a trail runner? Then you no doubt understand the importance of taking care of your feet. Healthy feet are the cornerstone of any runner’s life, which is why it’s so essential that you understand the basics of foot care for trail running. The following guide will help trail runners understand the ins and outs of caring for their feet.
Why Your Shoes and Socks Matter
Of course, as a trail runner, you no doubt understand that a good pair of shoes can make a difference when you run. However, the right pair of shoes is about much more than ensuring your runs go smoothly. The right pair of shoes can make a difference between serious injury and your feet, making it through a great trail run without any problems. Even your socks can make a difference.
When looking for shoes for trail running, always look for shoes specifically designed for trails. These shoes will have different types of materials and designs that are tailored towards the trail environment. These designs might include treads on the bottom to help reduce slippage and deeper shoes that reduce friction between the tongue and the top of your feet.
In addition to picking the right shoes, you must ensure that you take care of your toenails. The following are some essential toenail care tips that will help reduce the chances of infections, broken nails and other issues.
Keep your nails trimmed short
Long toenails are a recipe for disaster if you are a trail runner. Long toenails are more likely to rub against the front of the shoe, get snagged on the material and greatly increase your chances for your toenails ripping during long runs. Ensure you keep your nails trimmed short and straight across, as this will also help to reduce the opportunities for ingrown toenails.
Wear shoes that fit properly
Always wear shoes that fit correctly. This means that the shoes are not too big, not too small, not too thin, and not too wide. It can sometimes be tempting to purchase a shoe a little larger than your foot, as this feels more comfortable because you have more room. But roomy shoes are just as problematic as shoes that are too tight. If your shoes are too big, your foot will slide forward, and your toes will press against the front of your shoe. Some trail runners have had their toes turned black from this type of constant pressure.
Change your shoes if your toenails become sore
Your toenail should not be sore after a trail run. If you find that your toenails are becoming sore, change your shoes.
What Causes Running Blisters?
One of the most common issues experienced by trail runners is blisters. But what causes blisters in the first place? And how can they be prevented? The following are the two most common reasons why trailer runners develop blisters.
Friction equals blisters. If any area of your foot is experiencing significant friction, there is a much higher risk of a blister developing in that spot. For example, if the back of your heels rub up against the back of your shoe, you may develop blisters in that area. Likewise, if your toes repeatedly brush up against the top of your shoe because your shoes do not fit properly, you may get blisters on your toes.
The best way to combat this issue is to solve the friction problem. Where properly fitting shoes, and if necessary, wear protective blister cushions in areas prone to blisters.
It might surprise you that moisture is also one of the common culprits behind blisters. Moisture can develop if your feet sweat too much in your shoes, or if you are running in areas where your shoes get wet. If you sweat, try using anti-sweat powders to reduce the moisture in your shoes. And if you tend to run in areas where your shoes will get wet or damp, choose waterproof shoes to keep water away from your feet.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: tackle these potential runner’s problems as early as possible to avoid headaches in the future.