Okay... so footcare isn't the 'sexiest' of topics! However it is hugely important if you are into sport, running or hiking. We assume most of you, out there amongst our followers, would have had some sort of of problem or injury to your feet. Do any of these 'ring alarm bells'.
- Lost or blackend toe nails?
- Blisters before, during or after a race, trek or match?
- Embarrasment by your 'runners' feet, so they remain hidden in trainers?
Did you answer yes to one or all of the above?
Worry no more! As our podiatry team at The Sidas Clinic and team of athletes and ambassadors share their advice and tips for taking care of your active feet.
BEFORE YOUR RACE: PREPARATION
Okay... So, some people have skin that is resistant to blisters and shearing forces, some are blister prone, and others are somewhere in between. You should be able to identify from past experiences where you fall in these categories. If you are prone or have experienced getting a blister then start to predict your future. You are most likely going to get repeat offenders! You can spot these area by callous build up, adducted toes or heel bump (Haglunds deformity) for example. If this is you seek the advice of a specialist MSK podiatrist to look into the foot structure and mechanics.
For those of us who are some where in between start and help you combat the
dreaded blisters and battered toes by following these tips:
- At least two weeks before D-Day: Alternate nights between tanning with lemon juice to strengthen the skin and the next day applying a moisturiser to restore flexibility. This is a great way to build up resilience.
- Get a pre-race pedicure badly cut toe nails often result in nail infections or injuries to the nail. A pre-race pedi allows you to set out with confidence in this respect... We advise you to do a pedicure 2-3 weeks before the race, we would recommend a routine podiatry appointment for this.
- This one might sound obvious, however, get the right footwear for YOU! Consider everything from the benefits of comfort, resistance, cushioning, shape, volume and drop. Also, get socks that suit you, your feet and terrain.
DURING THE RACE/ OR EVENT:
Just as in Formula 1 pit stops to change tyres are ESSENTIAL, while your speed might be slightly less than a racing car, you must take advantage of refuelling stops to change shoes and socks. Although, not with every refuelling stop of course but once or twice during the race, hike or even during a tennis or football match. As the miles go by, the footwear gets tired, just like the runner. It loses its capacity for comfort and cushioning. Sweating is also bad. Humidity is your foot's worst enemy.
For this change of shoes to be beneficial, some precautions are necessary:
• The second pair must be also be familiar to you. This implies a model and level of prior use identical to the first.
• If the race conditions are very wet and you want to change regularly, we have designed shoe driers that will help your support to quickly remove moisture between two refuelling stops.
• Apply anti-friction cream with each change.
You must know how to deal with and treat a problem immediately before it jeopardises your race or hike. Better to lose a few minutes to repair than to resign two hours later.
Piercing subungual haematomas (bleeding under the nail) is certainly one of the things we've seen most in the assistance areas. It is very quick and once the hematoma is punctured, it is possible to continue. However, it is strongly advised to let the medical teams present along the route take care of this! Our Toe Caps can help protect this type of injury until you reach assistance and afterwards.
In order to prevent or at best slow down the appearance of blisters or a black nail before joining a care station where a professional can take care of you (be careful, we do not recommend self-medication!) We have developed a Footcare Kit light and practical to allow you to react calmly before reaching the treatment stations
Following these tips, before and after the race, is the best way of setting off on the right foot for your next Ultra, Marathon, Challenge or Hike through.
Remember... Taking care of your feet can be the difference between finishing your race or enjoying your hike.