Protecting Your Feet When Playing Sports
When you take up any type of sport or just start jogging on your own, you need to be very careful about protecting your feet. Blisters are common for runners and those who are constantly on the field, and stress fractures, torn ligaments, and other such injuries can keep you off your feet for weeks if not months. You can protect your feet with a few simple tips; keep these in mind before your next game or time around the track.
No doubt you know to choose a good pair of shoes for athletics; however, your socks are also vitally important. Don't choose cheap, thin socks for athletics just to save money. Opt for a polyester-cotton blend as these will pull moisture away from the skin and allow for more air circulation, protecting the skin. Invest in thick socks that add to the shock absorption when on your feet and be sure you choose shoes that can accommodate this extra thickness.
Spread your toes
Toes that rub up against each other are not uncommon for runners and athletes, especially if you already have a bunion that pushes the big toe inward. Opt for a toe spreader, a foam insert that keeps toes straight, when you play. Not only will this protect your feet, but remember that toes help with balance. When toes are not pointing forward, you may actually be out of balance when on the field or track. If you can't find a toe spreader, put a cotton ball between each toe to keep them properly spaced and be sure your toenails are filed down properly so they don't scrape against other toes.
Many athletes wrap their ankles or the foot itself, assuming that this gives them added strength and support when on the field. However, unless you've been advised to do this by your doctor, it's often best to avoid it. Wrapping the feet or ankles can mean cutting off blood circulation in this area, and you may be putting added pressure on bones surrounding the wrapped area. This also may not allow the foot or ankle to move properly and freely, which can actually put more pressure on the joint or muscles.
Rather than assuming your ankles or feet need this added support, be sure to stretch properly once you've warmed up, and rely on those high-quality shoes and socks to give your feet and ankles the proper support. If you do feel pain when you play or run, see a sports podiatrist for personalized recommendations for keeping yourself safe.