The weather is finally cooperating here in Minnesota, and that means more people will soon be taking their workouts outdoors. Those first few spring runs can feel great, but they can also be painful if you end up with blisters or black toenails. Today, we take a closer look at how to prevent these common foot issues as you transition back outside for your spring runs.
Preventing Blisters While Running
Blisters are small, fluid-filled sacs that develop on the skin where friction and pressure has been exerted for an extended period of time. Your heels are common areas that are subjected to these forces when you go for a run, so you want to take some precautions to prevent blisters from developing.
One thing that can make friction worse is wetness. Wetness can develop from excessive foot sweat or if you step in a puddle during a wet spring run. By preventing your socks from getting wet, you can limit some blister formation due to friction. Make sure that your shoes don’t have holes in them where water can sneak in, and if you know that it’s wet outside, consider bringing a second pair of socks along in case your first pair gets wet.
Other ways to prevent blister formation is to ensure you have a proper fitting shoe. A shoe that is too tight or too loose can lead to friction on your foot, so consider having your running shoes professionally fitted. Also, if you know that certain areas of your feet are more prone to blister formation, some people find relief by taping the area to prevent friction from rubbing directly on the skin.
Preventing Black Toenails
A black toenail is caused due to bleeding or bruising underneath the toe bed, which is also known as a subungual hematoma. They are caused by some sort of trauma to the foot. Sometimes the trauma that causes a black toenail is the constant and repetitive force that is applied to the foot with each step you take during a run. Over time, this trauma can lead to bruising or bleeding under the nail bed.
So how can you prevent against black toenails when you run? For starters, when buying running shoes, make sure you choose a pair that comfortably cradle the heel of your foot. This will help to ensure that your feet aren’t sliding forward when you run, which can traumatize the foot if your feet are repeatedly hitting the toe box. You also want to make sure that your toes aren’t pressed up against the toe box, because if they are crunched, bruising of the toe can occur. Finally, if your toes begin to hurt at any point during the run, cut the run short and give your toes a rest. Trying to run too far too quickly can lead to bruised toes.