8 ways to protect your feet in a heatwave
Running in the sunshine is good for the soul, it may not be so good for the soles of the feet. In fact,  the present heatwave brings with it a host of issues for runners’ feet. To help better understand this and what we can do about it, top UK podiatrist Doctor B (aka Dr Bharti Rajput), has compiled her top tips to ensure you put your best foot forward when running this summer…

Invest In Proper Trainers
No brainer? Well, we are all guilty of getting used to our one favourite pair of running shoes. And how to do we know that? Their smell! Well-loved trainers have a distinct pong if we don’t take better care of feet hygiene and invest in good quality running wear. The summer season is great time to invest in new shoes and ditch any over-worn, tired out running shoes that have had their day. In the heat, our feet expand quicker and further so those shoes you bought in the winter which felt so comfortable may be feeling tight. Yes, even running shoes have their own seasons so invest in a summer pair.

Have two pairs
One of the first and foremost important things is for runners to ensure that they have  two pairs of proper running trainers. There are many different types of running trainers, some being very cushioned and others imitating a bare foot feel, therefore choose ones that are right for your foot shape and ones that you feel comfortable and confident in. Some shoes are ideal for long runs and others are great for track or short races, your feet will know which shoe feels best but do get your feet properly measured so your shoes compliment your arch, weight and running style.

The 500 mile rule
Many people don’t think that trainers will lose their protective cushioning which is important to support the foot and protect the foot against injury. It is usually recommended that you should change you trainers every 500 miles, because the cushioning is likely to be worn out. Therefore be careful not to wear your trainers out before the big race itself, and have a back- up pair which you know has protective cushioning.

Tidy Up Your Toes
Another thing to consider when exercising is having neat and tidy toenails. If nails are left long you are more likely to get blistered and damaged toenails. With the additional sweat and heat of the summer, they are more likely to become bruised, black and blistered, which can cause them to fall off, causing pain and discomfort. Make clipping or cutting down your toe nails a weekly routine after a bath or shower.

Smooth & Soothe Your Feet
Having smooth, well-groomed feet isn’t just about aesthetics, it can have an impact on the comfort of your run too. If you have lumps of hard skin on the foot, they are likely to blister up after a long bout of exercise, which will cause great discomfort during and after the run. Therefore if you have any concerns please visit a podiatrist for treatment prior to the race.

Avoid Infections like Athletes Foot
Many people can frequently get athlete’s foot, however those who are active are much more likely to get back attacks of athlete’s foot. It’s not just from a lack of oxygen in the foot cave of our running shoes either. Some of us will have experienced athlete’s foot will have encountered the fungus from another person too from communal floors, changing rooms or even around swimming pools. However, athlete’s foot,  medically known as tinea pedis, is caused by tinea fungus growing on the foot. The type of fungus is known as a dermatophyte, which multiplies in hot and moist environments (such as runner trainers) and will cause an infection of the foot. Protect your feet in public places, including your running club changing room, by switching to a light pair of flip flops. After showering, be sure to really dry between the toes too.

Smelly feet?
Foot infections like Athletes Foot thrive in moist and dark places and can cause a range of symptoms including itchy, dry and cracked skin, which can whiten and become sore and blistered. While fungus causes the main infection, yeasts and bacteria may also develop and cause other symptoms such as smelly feet. Good foot hygiene is essential as is the regular application of a cream containing bifonazole such as Canesten Bifonazole Once Daily Cream. It’s an effective treatment that provides relief from itching and redness. The active ingredient bifonazole, penetrates deep into the skin, so the cream only needs to be applied once daily to clean, dry feet for 2-3 weeks, to kill the fungi and treat the infection.

Protect Against Painful Blisters
If you are prone to blisters, it is likely that it is due to increased friction between your foot and socks or shoes. To help avoid blisters, make sure that your shoe is fitted correctly and not too tight on any area of the foot, not just around the heel. You could try wearing two pairs of socks, one light pair and one slightly thicker pair. Wear the thinner pair in closest contract to the foot, which will help reduce friction.

For happy feet, try Canesten Bifonazole Once Daily Cream (RRP £5.49).
For more information on keeping your feet in tip top condition this summer go to: https://www.canesten.co.uk/