Running is a free and easily accessible form of exercise. A great way of boosting your cardiovascular health, running can be enjoyed by all ages and all abilities. Before you head out on your first run, it is important to remember that, like other forms of exercise, running can also lead to injuries if you don’t care for yourself correctly when you run – this can be through purchasing the correct running clothing as well as making sure you wear comfortable running shoes. Our feet are one of the main areas that running injury can occur, this handy checklist will keep your feet in healthy condition when you run – so that you can enjoy a lifetime of boosting your fitness with running…
Having the right running shoes is the most important part of keeping your feet and body injury free when you run. Shoes that are too small or tight in areas can cause foot complaints such as blisters, fallen arches and heel spurs. Once you encounter foot pain, you may find that you are unable to exercise for a while – Plantar Fasciitis, a foot pain that affects the arch of the foot, can cause a sharp pain when you run or even place pressure on your foot.
Leading athletic brands design their running shoes to cater to specific foot types. There are three different ‘foot types’; flat feet, feet with high arches and neutral feet. The type of foot that you have can affect how you pronate when you run (the rolling motion of the foot as it impacts and rises of the ground), those with flat feet generally over-pronate while those with high arches usually under-pronate. To control this unnatural pronation, it is important to choose running shoes that provide targeted support to your specific foot type. A gait analysis is one way of determining your foot type, and the type of running shoes you will need.
If you have chosen the correct running shoes for your foot type but still find that you are suffering from foot, leg or back pain, it may be that you require additional support through wearing orthotic insoles. Slimflex insoles provide additional support to the foot, this can be useful for those suffering from foot pain in a centralised area such as the heel or arch – orthotic insoles evenly distribute pressure on the foot to help you step with support and comfort.
Just like correct running shoes, effective running socks can also protect you from common foot complaints. Socks should not be too tight as this can result in excessive friction which can cause uncomfortable blisters. Socks should also be breathable, many runners may find that through wearing socks and shoes that do not offer effective ventilation that they are susceptible to unpleasant fungal foot conditions such as athlete’s foot.
Toe separators for runners are particularly useful for runners who have a foot condition such as bunions, corns or hammer toe, but don’t want these conditions to get in the way of their training plans. Toe separators are designed to relieve pressure as this can intensify foot conditions while the cushioning designs help to keep you comfortable and focused when you run.