4 fixes for happier feet

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Runners’ feet deserve pity: we cram them into sweaty running shoes and pound them into pavements – 30 miles a week adds up to more than 50,000 foot strikes. ‘Runners’ feet face a double whammy,’ says podiatrist Dr Ivan Bristow. ‘Trauma to the nails and vulnerable areas of skin from repeated impact and friction, along with damp and heat – perfect conditions for the growth of fungus.’ Here are Bristow’s golden rules for run-happy feet.

1/ On the nail

Keep your nails short and cut them straight across. ‘Cut them after a bath or, if they’re crumbly or discoloured, soak them in salt water,’ says Bristow. Discolouration can result from impact stress but could be a fungal nail infection, so get it checked out. Try Loceryl Nail Gel – a conditioner to prevent and treat nail distress.

2/ Keep it clean

Don’t hang around in sweaty socks after a run, or re-use them. ‘Where you have sweat, you have fungus,’ says Bristow. Wash feet with a flannel, soap and water, and dry between toes. Itchy, scaly or burning skin is likely to be athlete’s foot – treat it with antifungal cream, powder or spray. Try Daktarin Aktiv Spray Powder.

3/ Good gear

The right shoes are essential. If the toebox is too short, you may get bruised, black toenails; if the shoe is too wide, your feet will move, which can lead to blisters. Choose socks made of wicking fabrics to remove sweat and, advises Bristow, air out your trainers. Try 2Toms BlisterShield to protect against chafing.

4/ Supple skin

It’s a myth that runners need to harden the skin on their feet. Hard, dry skin is more susceptible to cracking and fungal infections. Moisturise your feet often and keep hard skin at bay. Try Carnation’s Hard Skin Remover Pen. Follow with a moisturiser like What Skin Needs Cracked Skin Cream.

READ: The lowdown on fungal toenail infections

READ: 4 ways to fix your runner's foot problems