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From the Ground Up: Your Guide to Maintaining Healthy Feet for Athletes

Sportsman ties his black sneakers

As an athlete, you use your feet more than the average person may. And as an athlete, you rely on your feet to help you not only participate in the sport you love but also practice and stay in shape so you are in good health for that sport.

A foot injury can be painful, and it may sideline you from participating in sports. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your feet healthy and minimize the chances of your foot being injured.


Invest in a Good Pair of Shoes That Properly Fit Your Feet

One of the best ways to minimize injuries to your feet is to invest in a good pair of shoes that properly fit your feet. You do not want to select shoes that do not fit your foot correctly, nor do you want to find the cheapest pair of shoes possible.


Ideally, you want to find a pair of shoes designed for the specific sport or activity you are participating in. Ensure the shoe fits comfortably and is not too big or too small. This helps to hold your foot in place and minimize injuries.


Replace Your Shoes When They Are Worn

A common mistake that athletes make in regard to their overall foot health is not replacing shoes once they are worn. You may have spent a lot of money on the shoes, and thus, you want to get a lot of life out of the shoes.


However, once the tread or the padding starts to wear out, or the seams are splitting or holes are present, it is time to discard the shoes in favor of new ones.


Always Wear Breathable Socks With Shoes

Anytime you are working out, it is important to wear breathable socks with your shoes. Breathable socks help to prevent blisters and conditions that can be caused by wet feet, such as rashes.


Ideally, you want to find moisture-wicking socks to wear with your shoes. Moisture-wicking socks help to wick away moisture, keeping your feet dry and cool while you are running, exercising, or participating in a sport.


Protect Your Feet Against Infections

As an athlete, you may be in locker rooms, shared showers, saunas, or around pools frequently. In all of these places, it is common to forego shoes. However, all of these places are breeding grounds for foot infections, such as athletes' feet.


Because of this, you want to take steps to protect your feet against infections. Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes can help prevent your feet from the germs and bacteria that may be breeding in these types of areas.


Stretch Before Working Out

Most athletes are aware of how important stretching is prior to working out or a sporting event. But, while you may stretch your back, arms, legs, and shoulders, you may not think about stretching your feet. It is extremely important to take the time to slowly stretch out your feet prior to using them. This can help to decrease strain, sprain, pulls, and other similar foot injuries.


Don't Overlook Pain in Your Feet

The final way to keep your feet healthy is to not overlook pain in your feet. If you are experiencing pain or swelling in your foot that does not subside with rest, by icing your foot, or by elevating your foot, your foot needs to be looked at by a medical professional.


The sooner an injury can be looked at, the sooner treatment can start that can have you on your way to recovery. If you are an athlete, you want to do everything you can to keep your feet healthy. This includes wearing quality shoes that fit your feet well, replacing your shoes when they are worn, wearing breathable socks, protecting your feet against infections, stretching before working out, and having ongoing foot pain looked at by a professional.


Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent all foot injuries. As such, you need a doctor familiar with athletes and foot injuries to help you if an injury happens. If you are experiencing pain in your foot or have suffered a foot injury, Sweeney Foot & Ankle Specialists can help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.