It’s that time of year again – pre-season training is about to kick off (pun intended!) for many football clubs. Unfortunately, due to the increased training load often following a break, pre-season can mean a greater risk of injury. Preparation makes all the difference.
To help prevent foot problems this pre-season here are our top tips to follow:
1. Update your runners
Try to replace your shoes every year. Exercising in excessively worn shoes leads to a greater risk of injury. Choosing the right shoes can also improve performance. Reputable stores such as Active Feet and The Athlete’s Foot have knowledgeable staff who can provide advice on size and fit, and offer suggestions for styles that are appropriate for your feet and activity. If you wear orthotics ensure you take them when buying runners and footy boots. Also try on the shoes with the same socks you intend to wear during training and games.
2. Transition to football boots gradually
As the football season approaches begin wearing your boots for short periods of time during trainings, and gradually increase the frequency. Ensure your boots fit correctly by allowing one thumb’s width between the end of your longest toe (not always the big toe) and the end of the shoe. Check the fit when standing, not sitting.
3. Blister prevention
Always wear socks as this will reduce friction between your skin and the shoe, which causes blisters. Changing into another pair of socks half way through a game or training can help reduce dampness and friction. Use tape or padding on the areas prone to blisters to minimize friction. Having callus and corns removed safely by a podiatrist will also aid in blister prevention. Podiatrists can also make custom insoles or orthotics to further reduce pressure on the feet.
4. Correct nail cutting
There’s nothing more painful than an ingrown toenail and what’s worse is if it becomes infected. Trim nails correctly by cutting straight across. Don’t dig down the edges of the nail. If you think you may have an ingrown toenail avoid the urge to self-treat and seek professional assistance.
5. Foot hygiene
Feet sweat more with increased activity, which can lead to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot (tinea). Check your feet regularly, dry them thoroughly after showering and wear a clean pair of socks for every training session and game. Alternating footwear so that you don’t wear the same pair of shoes everyday will allow the shoes time to ‘air out’ and avoid an accumulation of moisture which can lead to infection.
Don’t let foot pain get the better of you this pre-season. If you have any concerns about your feet or would like to find out more about how podiatry can help you perform at your best, please get in touch.