Runner’s Feet: Take Care of Yours

As a runner, taking care of your feet is essential. Nonrunners might even say: Runner’s feet are the grossest! No one needs or wants black toenails, disgusting blisters, or whatever else we runners seem to get.

One of the most requested posts is how to take care of your feet as a runner. 

Some people are grossed out by feet. I have a strong opinion that there isn’t a need to post gross foot photos online. Don’t worry; you won’t find any on this post. That being said, I don’t think you should be embarrassed or ashamed of your feet. As a woman who wears a size 11 wide, I am definitely not embarrassed or ashamed of my feet.

Runner's Feet: Take Care of Yours

So How Can You Take Care of Your Feet?

Prevention of “Runners Feet”:

Wear the Right Shoe Size:

I could do 150 posts about wearing the right size shoe to prevent common runners’ feet issues. You cannot prevent foot issues if you’re in the wrong shoe size. It doesn’t work. Make sure to leave room in your shoes for your feet to swell. Your feet are not the same size at the start and end at a run.

The longer and further you run, the more your feet swell. Therefore, you should purchase at least a half size to full size bigger than your “regular” shoe size. I wrote an entire ebook about picking out running shoes and getting the right size.

Keep Your Toenails Short:

Trimming your toenails is the easiest way not to lose toenails and keep your runner’s feet happy. Trim your toenails and keep them short. This prevents pressure on the toes, and you’re less likely to get black toenails. I also wrote an entire post dedicated to runner’s toenails.

Cotton is Rotton:

You shouldn’t wear cotton socks or cotton clothing. You don’t need it. Cotton is a major cause of issues with runners’ feet ranging from blisters and chafing. Synthetic materials are more likely to wick away moisture which will help prevent these things and help prevent fungus. I wrote a longer post about socks and a few great brands, including Balega, Bombas, and Feetures.

Lube Up Your Runner’s Feet:

I chafe a lot, but I never really thought about it as a “foot problem.” Chafing is a stepping stone to having bad runner’s feet. When there is friction (anywhere), problems can occur—painful problems.

There are specific anti-chafing products made just for your feet. Running in the Mojave, I’ve realized I do need anti-chafing products on my feet. Body glide makes a great product to lube up your runner’s feet.

Don’t Ignore Hot Spots:

Hot spots can lead to painful blisters midrun. I would know, after my first marathon, my feet were bleeding for help. Don’t ignore hot spots during a run, and if you feel something painful coming on, don’t be afraid to stop and evaluate what is happening. Yes, it stinks to stop mid-run or mid-race, but having an extremely painful blister also stinks.

Runner’s Feet Conclusion:

There are so many easy ways to take care of your feet. So many don’t take a lot of time but will provide many reprieve from painful issues like blisters and loss of toenails. Plus, it’s summertime, and who wants to go to the beach or pool with embarrassing feet?

Love running? You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter or read more about running shoes in my ebook.

Questions for you:

How do you take care of your runner’s feet?

What is your favorite foot product for runners (is that a weird thing to ask)?