WARNING: Gross (and painful looking) feet images ahead, sent in by our lovely Further Faster support team - you know who you are, thank you!
Here are the best ways to look after your feet on long trail runs (but can also be applied to hiking or anything that means your feet need extra love and attention):
1. Shoes: get shoes that are comfortable and well-draining. Make sure you dry and air them out between runs and have shoes that fit you properly (you could also consider going up a shoe size to help when feet swell).
2. Socks: Have new pair of socks for each day (don't put on wet socks - that's a chaffing risk!). Look for socks that reduce rubbing, like Injinji. Some people wear thin merino or synthetic socks double layer socks, to wick away moisture and ensure that if any rubbing occurs, it is between socks, not socks and skin.
3. Pre-run footcare: softening feet with Gurney Goo and trimming toenails can reduce blisters during the run. Strapping your feet is also a great way to prevent blisters! Reduce any fungal infections before your run.
4. During the run: care for your feet! Ensure that they are dried out regularly (on longer, multiday runs), socks and shoes are changed when wet or dirty, and some anti-chafe is applied - over the whole foot and reapplied multiple times a day. It serves three purposes:
- It creates a moisture barrier and reduces damp, pruned feet.
- It reduces friction.
- There are Anti-bacterial properties in the product via tea tree and manuka (look for ones that have this option).
5. Find what works for you and your feet! They are essential to your run so take time to learn what they need! All feet and skin are different, so mix and match foot care to see what works best for your feet.
(If you want the full adventure racing specific version of this blog post, see Holly Weston and Michael Mitchell's adventure-racing foot care tips here: How to avoid blisters and trench foot when adventure racing).