5 ways to show your runner’s foot some love
posted: July 2, 2014
Log enough miles and blisters will appear, heels will harden, toenails will begin to bruise and turn black—these things go hand in hand with run being a runner, right? They don’t have to. Here’s five of our favourite options for taming your troublesome runner’s toes (and heels).
1. A callus is simply a buildup of dead skin cells formed by constant rubbing and friction between your skin and your socks or shoes. Exfoliating your feet regularly is key in nixing them. Meet Silk Feet. This bladeless, exfoliating, ‘microscreen’ ($6) is one of those rare products that does exactly what you want it to. Within minutes, hard calloused heels become silky smooth. Without any pain, or risk of taking off too much skin with a sharp blade this little tool gets the job done, fast. For best results, soak your feet in warm water with some Epsom salts first (this helps remove toxins and soften the calluses) and moisturize immediately after exfoliating.
Note: A hard heel may not be as shock absorbent as needed when running, increasing the energy channeled toward the shin, knee, hip, and back. Tight, dry skin can also decrease your foot’s flexibility.
2. Vancouver-based Deserving Thyme has a moisturizing foot soak ($18) that’s a game changer. They claim it rejuvenates even the most forsaken feet, and we agree. Similar to a foot masque, this at-home indulgence is jam-packed with natural ingredients (shea butter, vitamins a and e, pure essential oils and the natural plant extracts of chamomile, horse chestnut and pine cone) which soak into your feet, easing the tension caused by dry, cracked feet and thereby making those long runs much more bearable.
Note: Cover your toes with some comfy socks after applying this one, or be sure to sit still. The oils take some time to soak in, but it’s well worth the wait.
3. Shoes smelling rotten after a few kilometers? Fact: Microscopic bacterial colonies are happiest when they find themselves next to a sweaty foot in a warm shoe. Stop them in their tracks with T for Toes by Lush ($6.95). The magic lies in a combination of bicarbonate of soda, which absorbs sweat and odours, and the lime and tea tree oils, which neutralize the bacteria. It also contains herbs including horsetail and broom, which are natural astringents that help control sweating.
Note: Pour some into your socks to create a frictionless surface on the foot, this can help prevent blisters.
4. Applying cream to your feet is known to prevent friction (which causes blisters and calluses), and Kitten Heels by Butter London ($30) is our go-to for instantly hydrating dry heels. Packed with goodness including safflower oil, coconut oil and shea butter, this stuff goes on as dry as powder so there is no slipping or sliding in your runners.
Note: Blisters can be so painful that they stop you from running. With just 7 weeks until SeaWheeze, nothing can stand in the way of your training. It’s so important to chose a frictionless moisturizer like this, to prevent blisters before they start to form, ensuring you don’t miss out on those essential training runs.
5. The action of your toes being jammed into the front of your shoes over and over often results in black toenails (technically, a pool of blood forms and settles under the nail). If draining the blood makes you cringe (as it did for us just writing those words), slap on a couple coats of NARS opaque nail polish ($19) for a cringe-free way to cover up those black, bruised toe nails and rock your favourite colours while while they heal beneath durable, chip-resistant finish (colours shown, L-R, are Jungle Red, Schiap, and Shameless Red; available August 1).
Note: Keep your toenails short and make sure your shoes fit properly to prevent bruised toes to begin with, and you might never encounter this wretched runner’s foot plague. Hey, you can still wear polish for the fun of it.
Alicia-Rae is a writer, adventurer and our international blog coordinator. You’ll never catch her without her pen, notepad and camera in tow. She’s a DIY aficionado, and believes the best, and most beautiful, things in life are homemade. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.