Planning a run? Properly outfit your feet first
Whether you are a beginning or a seasoned runner, properly outfitting your feet will go a long way towards running success. When you prepare for work or to go out with friends, you spend time planning and preparing your wardrobe, right? Do your feet a favor and spend time planning your foot wardrobe before your next run. By selecting the right socks, orthotics, and shoes, you will not only increase your comfort during your runs, but you will also reduce your risk of injury.
If you are a beginning runner, be sure to see your podiatrist at Kansas City Foot Specialists before you get started. Your podiatrist will examine your feet and ankles, ask you about your overall health and your fitness plans, discuss any previous injuries or identify potential problems, and offer advice on training and footwear. Your podiatrist may make specific shoe recommendations, suggest orthotics, or both.
If you are an experienced runner, you should have regular checkups with your podiatrist, but if you have taken a break recently, you should meet with your podiatrist before you take up training again. Seeing a podiatrist before renewing your training is especially important if your break was due to injury. Your podiatrist will discuss your previous training routine, previous injuries, and your planned return to running.
Start with your socks
Your everyday socks won’t cut it for running. Avoid cotton socks for running. They retain moisture, chafe the skin when wet, and create conditions in which bacteria and fungus such as Athlete’s foot will thrive. They also lead to painful and uncomfortable blisters and corns.
Instead, look for synthetic materials specially designed to wick moisture away from the skin. There are several brands to choose from, and many come in different styles, colors, and designs. The synthetic materials allow sweat to transfer from your skin to outside of the sock. This helps your feet stay dry and reduces chafing, blistering, and corns.
Once you’ve selected your running socks, consider orthotics — often called arch supports or shoe inserts. These may be purchased over the counter or custom made by your podiatrist. Just as there are a variety of styles of socks, there are also a variety of styles of orthotics. If you purchase them over the counter, be sure you are choosing a type made to withstand the pressure of running.
If you have suffered any type of foot, ankle, or knee injury, consult your podiatrist before choosing an orthotic. Those who tend to over-pronate — to roll the arch inwards and down — during their stride, tend to be at higher risk of certain injuries. Properly fitted and shaped orthotics will help reduce this risk. Your orthotics will be designed specifically for your feet based on a physical examination by the doctors at Kansas City Foot Specialists. Once you have your orthotics and socks, you are ready to start looking for shoes.
Choose the right running shoe
Our next post will go more in depth on choosing the ideal running shoe for your needs. However, we do have a few tips to get you started. First, try on running shoes in the afternoon or evening since the feet tend to swell over the course of the day. This will ensure a better fit. Next, look for shoes with removable inserts — take out the manufacturers inserts and slip in your orthotics. If your orthotics won’t fit, move on to another shoe. It is not uncommon to need a half size to a size larger than usual in order to accommodate orthotics. Select three or four shoes and try them on with both the orthotics inserted and while wearing your running socks.
To schedule a foot exam or to discuss orthotics, shoes, or any other podiatry concerns, call Kansas City Foot Specialists today at 913-338-4440. We look forward to hearing from you!