Sportlife Hack #210 – Look after your feet

Yes!  Footcare can be the make or break of your race or adventure.  I have seen it happen, and it’s heartbreaking to see people DNF because their feet are wrecked and just can’t take them any further.

I’ve had my fair share of messed up feet as I’ve learnt my lessons.  I have a fairly good system now and my feet fare much better than they have in the past.

Here are my top tips to prevent issues:

#1 LUBE! Yes, lube. Lather your feet to reduce friction and repel moisture, this will help reduce pruning when it’s wet and reduce blisters. Reapply when you change your socks after cleaning and drying your feet.

Washing my feet before a shoe change at Krayzie Kapers 100 mile race.

#2 Spare socks/shoes. Depending on the length of the race/adventure, and the conditions I will have spare socks (and shoes).  If the trail is wet and muddy, this becomes so much more important.  If your course is largely dry you probably won’t need to change. But if you have a drop bag, aid station, chance to change into dry and clean socks, then take it, your feet will thank you for it.  Also, chuck in some wipes or a way to clean your feet first if it’s muddy to get rid of the grit and grime. Gaiters are also a top tip here to keep the rubbish out in the first place!

#3 Address issues straight away. Do not wait. Hot spot? grit in your shoes? Socks bunching? Stop and fix it as soon as you notice it, if you don’t that small issue will turn into a big issue and could be a dream crusher.

#4 Carry a blister kit for repairs on the go.  I have wee antibacterial wipe packets, a small sterile blade, compeed blister pads and strapping tape. I realise popping blisters is frowned upon – but sometimes you need to relieve the pressure to keep moving. To prevent infection make sure you keep an eye on any blisters to do pop and seek care if they need it.

#5 Give your feet some air.  This is a tip for multi-day trips, and essential for foot health if your feet are living in wet shoes.  Get your feet out of your socks and shoes and give them a chance to dry out.

Obviously, well-fitted shoes and socks that work for you are a necessary piece of the footcare puzzle, if your shoes or socks cause you problems then you need to start your problem solving there.  They are the foundation on which the other tips can then be built on.

What’s your worst foot moment??

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