Yes, we are entering that season where we show our feet on the beach, at the pool, in the mall, at the strip club. Feet can be an amazingly beautiful part of our anatomy when they are soft, supple, tanned, scrubbed and dressed up with pearls.
Runner’s feet are notoriously the opposite of soft, supple, tanned, scrubbed and dressed up with pearls due to (but not limited to):
- missing toenails
- black toenails
- callouses, blisters
- dead/dry skin.
- pearls on feet are goofy
What does this happen? Often the culprit is ill-fitting shoes, the wrong socks, untreated funguses (yum! who wants sautéed mushrooms for dinner?), and excess moisture on the feet while running. I happen to like to make my feet look even worse by picking at the dry skin and throwing it on the floor.
So, how can we runners do some damage control and avoid having our feet look like sh$t?
1. Stop Running Altogether. Gross feet are a pain in the ass and you just don’t love running that much. Take up badminton and start asking your friends how far a marathon is. Be sure to tell them running will kill their knees. And, maim their feet.
2. Make Sure Your Shoes Fit. Typically it’s a good idea to get shoes that are at least a half size larger than your everyday shoe. This is because your feet swell when you run, so you need a bit of extra space. Also keep in mind that your shoes may shrink over time due to them getting wet, etc. For extra special help in finding the perfect fit in your running shoes go to a pedorthist (title of a professional who has specialized training to modify footwear and employ supportive devices to address conditions which affect the feet and lower limbs). You are welcome that I taught you a new word.
3. Get Your Toenails Removed. This is extreme, but Marshall Ulrich did it, so you can too. Your feet will look like ridiculously hideous, but you will have solved the toenail issue. Make sure you do this after you are married for life. And don’t forget to paint the stubs.
4. Pick the Right Socks. There are a bazillion types of running socks out there. Make sure you try them on with your running shoes. I have different socks I wear with different shoes. It’s not a bad idea to have socks that wick away moisture from your feet to avoid blisters and fungi (why did the squash date the mushroom? Because he was a fun-guy!). Cotton socks are not the best idea. And, for crap’s sake, make sure your socks do not have any holes in them.
5. Keep Your Feet Supple. Spoil yourself with all of these amazing foot lotions out there – Burt’s Bees has a great line (my favorite is the coconut foot cream). I like to make my children rub my feet because God knows I do enough for them.You can also apply coconut oil to your feet and sleep with socks on.
6. Clip the Nails. Keep your toenails short, but not too short. This will keep you from piercing the inside of another toe with your sharp nail. Trim them in a straight line and after a shower when they are softened.
There you have it. Now your feet will look like this.
Just kidding. That’s just me giving you the toe finger with my Morton’s Toe.
Do you have feet issues from running? If so, what? How do you deal with them?