Hi! How’s it going? Today is a rest day for me so I’m a little antsy. Isn’t that the worst? I just want to run! (and eat)
At least I can write about running to keep me busy today. And we’re talking about a great question I get from readers all the time – “How do you keep all your toenails while training for a race?!”
Well, the short answer is – sometimes I don’t. But after 50+ half marathons and 20+ full marathons I have come to learn a thing or two about keeping my feet healthy.
I live in Southern California, which means it is always chancla sandal weather here. So keeping my feet and toes looking decent is a little important. Plus, if my feet look tragic my friends talk crap and tell me to get my life together. That’s just added incentive, right?!
Anyway. Here are some tips to keep your toenails and feet looking like non-runner feet even when you’re racking up major miles…
How To Keep Your Toenails and Feet Healthy When You Run
1. Keep your toenails short.
This is a very easy, but important tip. If your toenails are too long they will hit against the front or top of your running shoes – over and over and over. That repetitive tapping might not hurt – you probably won’t even notice it. But after a while your toenails may bruise, turn black and/or fall off.
Keep your toenails short and neat. This is also helpful to prevent ingrown toenails.
2. Get sized for your running shoes.
Wearing running shoes in the wrong size can lead to blisters, slipping, rubbing and other issues. Shoes that are too small add to the probably of pounding on your nails mentioned above.
Go to a running shoe store to get professionally fitted for your size. If you have wide or narrow feet ask for suggestions on shoes that will work for your foot type. And if you ever decide to change running shoe brands research how different brands fit. Some shoes just fit tighter or run smaller/larger than others.
3. Give them some love.
Get a pedicure or give yourself a pedicure at home every now and then. If your feet tend to be dry put lotion on them before you go to sleep.
But – don’t be too aggressive with your feet. I know exfoliators and other gadgets are super popular right now. I think they’re cool too and recently bought the PedEgg Power to try out myself. But I realize that scrubbing to hard or exfoliating the skin on your feet down too much might lead to blisters.
Pay attention to your feet and tend to any trouble spots, but keep in mind that poking and scrubbing and trimming can irritate the skin too. It’s all about balance.
4. Prevent blisters.
If you have the right size and type shoes but are still getting blisters consider changing up your socks. Invest in a pair of fancy socks made for running.
If that doesn’t work add Body Glide or vaseline to your trouble spots.
My favorite socks are:
ProCompression low socks
5. Love your feet!
Even if you do everything ‘right’ you may still get black toenails, lose toenails or get blisters. It happens. This is part of the price you pay for being awesome and running so much.
Love your feet for all the miles they carry you. Love your feet for being strong and being able to run.
Here’s a pic of Vegas’ patas because they are so cute…