Choosing suitable shoes is essential for keeping your feet healthy.
It's best to buy your pair of shoes in the evening after 5 pm, or after having run. In fact, your feet flatten out and therefore stretch out over the course of the day and when running. It is essential to try on both feet and to properly lace up the shoes.
As a general rule, there should be a gap of around 1/2 an inch between the end of the shoe and your longest toe when your foot is flexed (standing on your toes, with your heel lifted off the floor). Jog on the spot with the shoes on: your toes should not come into contact with the end of the shoe and your heel should remain held in place. There should be no discomfort: you shouldn't feel any seams or hard spots.
Your choice of model should also take into account your weight, type of stride, sporting level, running frequency and duration.
Choosing the right socks is just as important as choosing the right shoes, as socks will wick away moisture. You should make sure there are no seams that rub your toes. By putting your hand inside the sock, you can check that the material used will not cause any irritation.
Always wear socks with your running shoes. You will find it far easier to wash your socks than the inside of a shoe!
Get your Feet Ready for Competition
Training prepares the feet for exercise just as it prepares your breathing, muscles and tendons.
When running, your feet heat up inside your shoes. They can dry out and lose their flexibility. But too much moisturecaused by rain can also make your skin fragile.
You can limit these problems by moisturising your feet. There are several ready-to-use pharmaceutical products out there, but you can also make your own. Apply pure unsweetened lemon juice in the morning and a moisturising cream in the evening for 10 to 20 days before the race. On the morning of the competition, put a good dose of moisturiser on your feet, unless the route is wet. If needed, you can also protect your feet using adhesive tape.
During the Race which Exercises?
Once you've done all of the hard preparation work, your feet are ready to race. There is little more to do, unless you are trail or long distance running.
For trail, change your socks regularly, especially in wet weather. For very long distances, bring some moisturiser and if possible several pairs of shoes in different sizes so that you can change them as soon as the problem arises. In the case of injury, consult the chiropodists at the event
After Crossing the Finish Line
Always dry your shoes: to do so remove the sock liners and stuff them with newspaper.
In the case of surface burns, which will appear as redness, apply a thick layer of moisturiser. If you are suffering from a more serious problem, you will need to consult a chiropodist.
In the case of a blister, they will puncture it and remove the liquid using a sterile syringe
If the blister has burst, they will clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide to remove any dirt, then disinfect and dress it
If a toenail has come off or a bruise has appeared, piercing the nail will reposition it in its natural position
Treat Problems Long-Term
Other problems may appear over weeks or months of training. You should respond to them as follows:
Verrucas, corns, calluses and other bits of dead skin caused by pressure on the foot can be painful and lead to achange in your stride and, potentially, tendinitis. A chiropodist will be able to treat these problems.
Warm, damp shoes are the perfect environment for bacteria. It is these bacteria that are responsible for unpleasant odours. The solutions is to disinfect your feet twice a day for 10 to 20 days using anti-septic soap. At the same time, treat all of your shoes with disinfectant spray.
Better safe than Sorry
The most important thing is to maintain good everyday foot hygiene:
Thoroughly wash and dry your feet, particularly between your toes, with a towel that you don't use for anything else if possible
Cut your toenails square or, even better, in the shape of your toe, a few millimetres back from the end of your toe
Use moisturiser to prevent cracking if you have dry feet
Treat pruning and athlete's foot as quickly as possible
So, your new pair of shoes looks great however, it was not a good idea to put them on without running them in beforehand (whether it is for running a marathon, a 6-hour hike or just going to a wedding).