Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Winter Running and your FEET

I treat athletes all year long. However, winter running presents its own challenges in Chicagoland. First, the feet should be warm and dry when running in the winter, not only for comfort but also to prevent cold injuries (like frostbite). Thus, our sock and shoe choices are important in the winter. Socks should wick moisture away from the feet. Wool, polyester, and Dry-Max or Cool-Max technologies are incorporated into a lot of popular running socks. Wicking socks are the best choice and can minimize the risk of warts and Athlete's Foot (both of which thrive in warm, moist environments like our sweaty socks and shoes). Cotton socks do not pull moisture away and are not the best choice for winter running as the foot can become moist and cold. Some runners like to wear two pairs of socks when running in the winter, but this can affect shoe fit. Doubling the socks and making the shoe tighter may increase the risk of blisters, numbness/burning, and pain. Thus, if you prefer to do this, make sure you have a specific shoe that can accommodate the addition of a second sock. Next, shoes need to have good support to stabilize the foot when running in ice and snow. Trail type running shoes are a good choice for the irregular surfaces that winter runners may encounter as they have better traction for the varied surfaces. Additionally, their construction offers more support and stability, as off road runners need the foot to be stable in the shoe (with less slippage). These shoes tend to have a better and more secure fit in the heel and a wider toe box. Mesh shoes should be avoided in the winter, as they are not as warm. The next blog will focus on common foot injuries that happen with Winter Running! oakparkpodiatry.com

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