Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This post is courtesy of guest blogger Beth Jensen, instructor from White Bear Lake. For more from Beth check out: http://momsontherunwbl.wordpress.com

Some of you might be experiencing blisters, hot spots, calluses, and/or “black toe” (hopefully not already on the last one!) already. Here are some tips I’ve found useful for keeping your feet healthy. First, socks. The best socks for running or walking are ones with a cotton blend (usually cotton/polyester), synthetic (polyester, nylon), or others (bamboo, wool), but not straight cotton. Look for labels like “CoolMax” or “sweat-wicking.” Thickness of the socks are a personal preference. Some like very thin socks to let their feet breathe well and others like the cushioning of thicker socks which is fine as long as it is not an all cotton sock. There are a lot of “performance” socks that average around $12/pair. Many of these are shaped to fit your feet better (they are labeled Left/Right like shoes) and have targeted cushioning for the common hot spots for runners or walkers. I’ve worn a variety of socks and although the performance socks are more comfy for the longer distances, I’ve also had a lot of success from the big multi-pack of sweat wicking socks from Target I’ve had for years (and are just starting to wear out).

Other options for reducing blisters/hot spots is to wear 2 pairs of socks (usually thinner socks work better for this) or putting petroleum jelly/Vaseline on your feet before putting them in your socks (I’ve done this for all of my long runs). Make sure to keep your toenails trimmed as well.

The last foot problem is “black toe.” This happens when one of your toenails bangs up against the top of your shoe over a long period of time and causes a blood blister to form under the nail. Having properly fitting shoes, a distance of a thumbs width between your big toe and the front of the shoe, can help prevent black toe. Once it has formed, you can put a sterilized needle in and drain the pressure of the blister. Hopefully this won’t happen to anyone this season because it happens more often with longer distance running, but it isn’t a major problem once the blister is drained and kept clean.

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