We've heard about the importance of proper workout footwear from medical professionals, magazines, friends, family and so many other sources. We get it! Running and walking require specially formulated shoes, while cross-trainers are more appropriate for the gym or a fitness class. But what happens to our feet after exercise?
As it turns out, there are some steps we should all be taking to ensure that our feet remain in tip-top shape after a workout. We asked podiatrist Dr. Jackie Sutera and doctor of physical therapy Brian Hoke, both of the Vionic Innovation Lab, for some insight into post-workout foot recovery. Here are their simple (yet indispensable) tips.
Cooldown stretching–here’s what to do after a workout to salvage your soles:
- Massage the soles of your feet by running the arch of your foot over a golf ball or other physical therapy ball on the floor to stretch out the fascia (i.e., the ligament that runs from the heel of your foot to your toes and can become inflamed, causing plantar fasciitis).
- In addition to stretching the feet, loosening your calf muscles is a must, Hoke tells Shape.com. "A common mistake is to allow the arches to fall while stretching the calf muscle. It causes stress that can aggravate foot problems, like heel pain and plantar fasciitis."
Address these common post-workout foot issues:
- Blisters: Pad, bandage and avoid the blister until it heals. If you must, clean a safety pin with alcohol and make a small hole to drain it, being careful not to pull off skin. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment to the area and bandage it.
- Calluses: Lightly buff the affected area with a foot file and then cover with a foot cream that contains salicylic acid, lactic acid or urea.
- Athlete's foot: Dry the feet very well after showering, and use medicated foot powder and topical anti-fungal ointments as directed.
- Heel Pain: Ice feet after working out and wear shoes with arch support even around the house. Don't go barefoot, as hard surfaces like wood or tile will exacerbate the pain.
Looking for a pair of post-recovery sandals? Our favorite Vionic Tide flip-flop is a favorite for a reason: The pronounced arch support and deep heel cup provide just the right amount of support and is proven to help alleviate heel pain.* And with over 20 colors and patterns to choose from, you’re sure to find your perfect pair.
About Vionic Footwear
Developed by Phillip Vasyli, renowned Australian podiatrist and founder of Orthaheel® Technology, all Vionic shoes help restore natural foot function and relieve heel pain, promoting a more active lifestyle. Vionic’s footwear and orthotic inserts are also endorsed by noted integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil. For additional information about Vionic, please visit VionicShoes.com.
*Based on a peer-reviewed clinical study partially funded by Vionic on people experiencing moderate, non-traumatic heel pain.
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