TAKING CARE OF YOU
There are probably as many ways to care for your feet as there are runners out there needing help.
The feet of runners can be can be broken down into two basic types. The first are those that don't need anything.
Regardless of the distance, these lucky few don't really have to do anything and they don't usually have event limiting problems. The second type, are far more unfortunate because these runners tend to get blisters regardless of what they seem to do.
Ensure your shoes fit well and that they have enough room in the toe box, forefoot, and that the heel is set firmly in place without play. This will help reduce movement and therefore friction and the dreaded outcome they produce.
Wear socks that don't absorb and hold water. Change them when they get dirty and gritty. If you don't it just helps create a nidus for skin breakdown. Nothing like a little sand to cause skin abrasion.
If you use a lubricant, and we recommend Trail Toes Phenomenal, Ultra-Extreme, Anti-Friction Foot Cream, apply a thin layer for short runs, if you are going longer then consider doubling the amount. Ensure there is an adequate amount between the toes.
About 4 days before your run ensure your toes nails are trimmed and not beyond the end of the toe. Be careful you don't cut too deeply into the nail fold. If you do get overzealous the wounds should have healed by by your start date.
During your run, especially during multi day events, clean your feet and dry your socks and shake them out. Consider changing daily. If not at least try and wash them to get the excess sand and dirt out of them.
As soon as you feel a blister coming on, stop, rest, dry and air your feet. This down time may help decrease the growing hot spot and help you avoid blister formation.
If you get a blister, pop it and dress it using your favorite technique. However, at the end of the day, take the dressings down to let your feet dry out. If you leave the dressings on you increase the risk of trapping and possibly prolonging the problem.
One common technique for draining blisters is to take a needle with some cotton thread and it feed through. This allows the blister to stay open and the thread will absorb some of the fluid. Once the blister closes back up it is likely to refill with fluid so be prepared to drain it again.
For your toe nails, get and 18 or 16 gauage needle and simply rotate it counter and clock wise until it breaks through and you see fliud draining through it. I like to make about three this will help keep them open. Just be aware that there will be some discomfort as teh air hits the new hole, but more if you go too deep and put the needle into the nailbed. Just do it slowly and cautiously and will will not have any problems. I do this as early on as I can to ensure the nail stays in place.
Consider purchasing and reading the book Fixing Your Feet by: John Vonhoff, for more detailed information.