Running is one of the best ways to tone the lower body and torch calories, but all this positivity can happen at the expense of your poor feet. Aside from sore feet, here are four common foot issues runners often experience.
What it is: When sneakers don't fit well, feet may slide forward with each step. This constant tapping injures the toenail, making it bleed underneath, also known as subungual hematoma. It can cause pain and eventually loss of the nail.
How to prevent it: Ensure that your sneakers fit properly — not too snug and not too loose. There should be about a thumbs-width distance between your big toe and the end of the shoe, without the heels sliding up and down. Here are tips on finding the perfect running shoe. Keeping your toenails trimmed can also prevent this issue, so there's an excuse to treat yourself to a pedicure!
What it is: One of the most common causes of heel pain, this frequent issue for newbie runners affects women more than men. The plantar fascia is the flat ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. If it gets stretched too far and tears, it causes inflammation making every footstep, or even just standing, painful.
How to prevent it: Pronation (when feet roll inward), high arches, and flat feet are prone to this condition, so find a pair of sneakers that supports your specific type of foot. Don't try to save money by wearing shoes longer than recommended, as this can lead to heel pain as well. Running extremely long distances on hard surfaces like pavement can also cause plantar fasciitis, so when training for a big race, up your mileage slowly (follow the 10 percent rule) and try to run on softer dirt trails.
Keep reading to learn how to prevent two other foot issues that plague runners.