There are many aspects to being an athlete. It’s not enough to just watch what you eat, make sure you have the optimal amount of sleep, and devote enough time to practicing your sport. Taking care of your feet is also essential! Don’t wait until your feet hurt to take care of them or this could lead to more time sitting on the sidelines while others are competing. Instead, follow these 5 foot care tips for athletes to maximize your athletic performance:
Choose the Right Footwear
It can be tempting to just grab a pair of shoes and go! After all, you have a practice to go to, a coach to meet, teammates to join, a game to win. However, it’s important to wear the right shoes for the sport you play, whether it’s running on the track or dribbling a basketball across the court. Read our article here on how to choose new shoes that are the right fit and prevent injuries from occurring during your workout. Above all, make sure the shoes are comfortable and supportive with a wide toe box, even if it means function over fashion.
Wear the Right Socks
Deciding on what type of sock to wear might seem insignificant. After all, if it’s a protective layer between the shoe and feet, shouldn’t any sock be ok? However, ill-fitting socks can lead to blisters and discomfort. Many professional athletes use sports compression socks. It’s ideal to wear socks that are lightweight and consist of moisture-wicking material.
Practice Good Hygiene for Your Feet
Did you know there’s more to keeping your feet clean than taking a shower? Here’s how you can keep your feet healthy and prevent fungus and bacteria from forming:
- Keep your socks and shoes clean, and never wear wet shoes
- Wear footwear in public places, like swimming pools
- Change socks if your feet get sweaty, even if that means several times a day
- Clean the entire foot, even between the toes, and dry both feet completely
Ease into New Sporting Activities
We know how exciting it feels to begin a new training program or sports season. This is especially true for those with seasonal activities like tennis. Getting out of the house, grabbing your gear, and stepping out onto the court is like a breath of fresh air! Yet, it’s important to give your muscles time to adjust to these new activities. To prevent injuries, make sure you ease into your workout by stretching beforehand and moving at a comfortable pace while gradually increasing your speed or intensity until you reach your goal!
Know When to Rest
Athletes can feel tired or have some aches after their workout, but they shouldn’t be in pain. While it might seem like it’ll go away and you can force yourself to play, doing so will make injuries worse. Rather than spending weeks to recover, it’s best to stop and rest your feet. You’ll be glad you did because then you can get back to the sport you love more quickly!
Know When to See a Podiatrist
If you are suffering from a foot or ankle sports injury or noticing pain in those areas, it’s time to see a podiatrist! Our friendly and knowledgeable specialists at The Foot & Ankle Center will know just how to help by providing thorough evaluations and personalized treatment plans. Call us today at (314) 487-9300 or request an appointment online with us!