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Running in the Summer: Protect Your Feet from Common Issues with Treat Your Feet

With summer fast approaching in the UK, the weather is warming up and drying out, enticing more people to lace up their running shoes and hit the pavement. While running is a fantastic way to stay fit and enjoy the outdoors, it can also lead to several foot problems if you're not careful. Let's delve into some common issues runners face and how to prevent and treat them.

Man Running on the beach


Blisters are one of the most common foot problems runners encounter, especially during the summer. The combination of heat, sweat, and friction from your shoes can create the perfect environment for blisters to form. These fluid-filled sacs develop between layers of skin and can cause significant discomfort.

Causes: Blisters are primarily caused by friction, which can occur when your shoes or socks rub against your skin. Wet conditions, such as sweaty feet or running in the rain, can soften the skin and increase the likelihood of blister formation. Ill-fitting shoes or new shoes that haven't been broken in properly are also common culprits.

Prevention and Treatment: To prevent blisters, ensure your running shoes fit well and are appropriate for your foot type. Wearing moisture-wicking socks can help keep your feet dry. Applying blister pads or tape to high-friction areas can provide additional protection. If you do get a blister, keep it clean and covered to prevent infection. Avoid popping it if possible, but if it does burst, clean it with antiseptic and cover it with a sterile bandage.


Bunions are another issue that can plague runners, particularly those with a genetic predisposition or who wear narrow, ill-fitting shoes. A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe, causing the toe to push against the next toe and forcing the joint to protrude.

Causes: Bunions develop due to a combination of genetic factors and external stress on the foot. Poorly fitting shoes that squeeze the toes together can exacerbate the problem. Runners with flat feet or abnormal gait patterns are also more susceptible to developing bunions.

Prevention and Treatment: To prevent bunions, wear shoes with a wide toe box that allows your toes to spread naturally. Avoid high heels and shoes that pinch your toes. If you already have a bunion, wearing padding and using orthotics can help alleviate pain and reduce pressure on the affected joint. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce pain and inflammation. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to realign the toe and remove the bony bump.

Stress Fractures

X-Ray of a foot

Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones that can develop from overuse, particularly in the weight-bearing bones of the foot, such as the metatarsals. They are a serious issue for runners, especially those who increase their mileage or intensity too quickly.

Causes: Stress fractures occur when the bones are subjected to repetitive force without adequate rest. Factors like overtraining, improper footwear, biomechanical issues (such as flat feet or high arches), and nutritional deficiencies (particularly in calcium and vitamin D) can increase the risk. Runners with osteoporosis are also at higher risk.

Prevention and Treatment: To prevent stress fractures, gradually increase your running distance and intensity to allow your bones time to adapt. Ensure your shoes provide adequate support and cushioning. Maintain a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your bones. If you suspect a stress fracture, rest is crucial. Cease running and other high-impact activities, apply ice to reduce swelling, and consider wearing protective footwear or using crutches to avoid putting weight on the foot. A gradual return to activity under professional guidance is essential to prevent recurrence.


Sesamoiditis is the inflammation of the sesamoid bones, two small bones embedded in the tendons beneath the big toe joint. This condition is common among runners due to the significant pressure placed on the forefoot during running.

Causes: Sesamoiditis is caused by repetitive stress or trauma to the sesamoid bones. Activities that involve a lot of pressure on the forefoot, such as running, dancing, and certain sports, can lead to inflammation. Poor footwear choices and foot mechanics can also contribute to the development of sesamoiditis.

Prevention and Treatment: To prevent sesamoiditis, wear shoes with good arch support and cushioning, particularly in the forefoot. Custom orthotics can help distribute pressure more evenly across the foot. If you develop sesamoiditis, rest and reduce activities that put stress on the sesamoid bones. Apply ice to reduce inflammation and pain. Use cushioning pads to relieve pressure on the affected area. Physical therapy can help strengthen and stretch the surrounding muscles and tendons. In persistent cases, corticosteroid injections may be necessary to reduce inflammation.

Get Your Feet Checked at Treat Your Feet

Running is a great way to stay active, but it's important to take care of your feet to avoid these common problems. If you're experiencing foot pain or any of the issues mentioned above, don't hesitate to get your feet checked by a professional. At Treat Your Feet, our experienced Foot Health Practitioner, Samantha Higgins, can provide expert care and advice to keep your feet healthy and pain-free. Make an appointment with us today to ensure your feet are in top condition for your next run. Book your appointment here.


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