Take a look at any athlete’s feet and you’ll see how hard sports can be on them. Bandages over blisters, buddy-tapped toes, blackened toenails, sprained ankles, shin splints, and much more abound on the lower limbs of active sports players. Many of them push through the discomfort instead of investing in good athletic foot care. What’s better for your game in the long run, however, is looking after your feet and working to keep them healthy now.
Establishing Good Hygiene
An important part of good foot care for athletes is keeping your lower limbs clean and fit. Wash your feet every day, and thoroughly dry them afterward. Use that time to inspect your feet for unusual damage, so you can have potential problems checked before they worsen and sideline you. If you’re prone to dry skin, use a gentle moisturizer after cleaning them. Change your socks regularly—every day on a normal basis, but more frequently if your feet sweat a lot when you’re active. Also, wear only fitted socks made of natural or moisture-wicking materials to help avoid creating a fungus-friendly foot environment. Trim your nails straight across without clipping them too short, so that they’re less likely to curl inward. Don’t let your calluses build up, either. They can add painful pressure to your feet and make your shoes difficult to wear.
Investing in Your Gear
As athletes are already aware, the quality of your gear can make a difference in your performance. This includes your shoes. Athletic shoes are all different to offer distinct kinds of support. For example, football and soccer cleats have stiff uppers to stabilize you for sudden stops, twists, and side-to-side motions. Running sneakers are light and flexible with cushioned soles to pad your steps and let your foot move freely. Basketball shoes have high tops to secure your ankles. Even with appropriate footgear, you may still need insoles or orthotics to add extra support. Make sure you replace all worn shoes, too, to avoid overuse injuries.
Getting Your Feet Ready for Action
Just as important is conditioning. Like any other part of your body, your feet need to build up strength and endurance to be able to handle the hard impacts from your sport. When you begin a new activity or a new sports season after time off, start slowly and build up to more intense exercise over several weeks. Warm up and cool down before and after participating. Consider cross-training with low-impact activities as well. If you notice painful changes in your feet, take the time to rest and address them before they get worse.
Sports lovers of all degrees need to invest in their feet to keep them healthy and game-ready. So many conditions could be prevented simply by cleaning and caring for your lower limbs. If you’ve noticed a problem has already developed, however, don’t wait and allow it to deteriorate. Contact the experts at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City, Nevada to help you. Visit the website contact page or call the office at (775) 783-8037 to reach us for an appointment or more information about athletic foot care.