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Foot Care for Athletes

Athletes put their feet through a lot of abuse. When you’re constantly on your feet, your ankles, arches, toes and heel will take a lot of the “abuse,” or pressure when you walk and stand. Engaging in sports puts more pressure on the foot.

Pain, discomfort and other foot-related problems can occur.

You can use orthotic inserts to help alleviate some of the pressure and pain on your feet. But this is just the start of what you’ll want to do.

Proper care for your feet, as an athlete, means:

1. Foot Care Starts with Shoes

You can have the best insoles for running, but if your shoes are too tight, you’ll cause yourself severe foot problems. Foot care must start with your shoes before anything else. Sport-specific shoes are best, and shoes should always provide enough room to wiggle your toes.

Feet should stay in place in the shoes.

If the shoes are a little tight when you first try them on, keep in mind that your feet will start to swell during the day. This swelling will make the shoe feel even tighter, putting excess pressure on the foot.

Shoes will need to be replaced every 3 – 5 months if they’re used frequently. Running 25 miles per week, for example, will require a runner to replace their shoes in 2 – 5 months. Pay attention to the wear of the shoes if you want to avoid foot problems.

2. Stop Messing with Your Blisters

I have been known to pop blisters on my feet, and the last time I did this, the skin didn’t heal properly for a month. But that’s better than a lot of people that will pop their blister and get an infection.

When you have a blister, it’s your body’s natural reaction to stop the abuse you’re putting on your feet.

Even with the best insoles for running, you can get blisters. The right way to deal with these blisters is to leave it alone. If you want to help speed up the healing process, you can:

  • Put a bandage over the blister
  • Apply a moleskin to the blister

Oftentimes, blisters will pop on their own. If you have a blister that does pop on its own, clean the area and apply an antiseptic. This will allow you to clean out the wound, and also lowers the risk of infection setting in.

3. Wear the Right Socks

Moisture, caused from your sweating, is going to lead to some serious foot problems. Why? Moisture can lead to foot fungus and bacteria growth – no one wants foot fungus. Proper socks will allow you to keep moisture out of your socks.

You’ll want to buy socks that have moisture-wicking material.

Cotton, for example, isn’t the best material because the socks will absorb all of the moisture and stay wet. When there’s too much moisture, this will lead to the formation of blisters, and if allowed to persist for too long, your feet may also start to form fungus.

If you continue to have sweaty feet, you may want to try applying baby powder to your feet.

4. Massaging Your Own Feet

A good massage can go a long way in helping your feet feel better. Massages will allow you to move fluid around, relieve swelling and also stop pain from occurring. I even suggest that you read our Euphoric Feet review  to find out how these insoles offer massaging power with every step. I recommend these insoles when running insoles aren’t providing the relief that they claim.

But nothing beats a real massage.

Foot massages can be done by a professional, or you have the option of performing your own foot massage .

5. Try to Prevent Calluses, Corns and Blisters

A little corn or callus can turn into a painful, aggravating issue. It’s better to take preventative measures to stop corns and calluses from developing than to try and care for them after they occur.

How do you stop these issues?

  • Moisture-wicking socks are a great start.
  • Proper fitting shoes that don’t irritate or rub the skin help.
  • Apply lotion to the feet that is designed to soften the skin and prevent cracks from occurring.

Now, if you notice a callus or corn, you’ll also want to go to your local pharmacy and purchase an over-the-counter solution. There are plenty available that will be placed on the callus or corn. Slowly, the cover will release a softener into the hardened skin.

Quickly, within a few days to a week or two, the callus will start to disappear.

6. Go to the Foot Doctor

If your feet hurt and you’re tired of dealing with the pain, you’ll want to go to the foot doctor. There’s no sense in living a life that’s filled with pain and discomfort. You have a lot of options to help alleviate your foot-related issues.

A doctor is a good course of action.

Your running shoe inserts won’t be able to help you if you have fallen arches or you have plantar fasciitis. Yes, some inserts may be able to help, but there’s also a lot that the doctor can do. A doctor may be able to:

  • Recommend orthotics
  • Offer exercises to correct the issues
  • Provide stretching exercises

When the pain is too much to handle, don’t wait for it to resolve itself – not when playing sports.

7. Stretch Your Feet Out

Your feet need to be stretched out often. Why? Stretching will help alleviate aches and pains, and when stretching the ankle, you’ll also be able to stretch your Achilles’ tendon and other ligaments.

The goal is to stretch out your feet to relieve aches, pains and lower the risk of future injury.

Tightness is one of the main causes for injury. Stretching before you engage in any strenuous activity is a must. You’ll find that all professional athletes will stretch themselves out prior to entering the field, running, playing hockey or doing anything on the field.

Warm up and make sure that you stay fit during the off season.

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can help you keep your body in proper balance and relieve stress on the feet.


August 29, 2018


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