No matter how seriously you are training, if you do any form of sport or workout you are probably aware of how important it is to wear the right kind of sports shoe (unless it is a sport of the barefoot variety – no need for special shoes in the pool!). A pair of ‘sports shoes’ is not a one size fits all solution to your workout footwear needs – running places different demands on your feet and knees than boxing or dancing, for example, and so you either need shoes that are specifically designed for the needs of the sport you do, or, if you engage in various different activities that differ in terms of impact and mobility requirements you may need different pairs for each one.
If you do more general ‘gym workouts’, circuit training or low shock activities like Pilates, a comfortable pair of standard trainers (designed for sport, rather than streetwear styles which are not designed to be used for serious training) can be sufficient, as long as they fit well and aren’t in bad condition, but again, don’t assume that if you want to start running as well as going to the gym, your current shoes will suffice – buy proper running shoes.
So, with all of that out of the way, what if you are wearing the right shoes for the sport you are doing, they fit well and are in great condition, but you are still experiencing foot pain?
One thing you may want to consider changing, if you are still getting pain in the heels, toes or mid points of the foot when you train, is the socks you wear under your trainers. Compression socks designed for sport protect the foot better in the areas that receive the most friction during running and other exercise, and many designs also promote better circulation, helping your legs as well as your feet. Replace ordinary socks with these and see if that alleviates the problems.
Insoles and other accessories you wear inside the sports shoe (such as gel heel cups by sturdyfoot.com) are another thing that can often really help you avoid mystery foot pain from your otherwise well fitting trainers. Insoles can also be a good idea as your comfortable trainers begin to age and feel a little loose, helping you get a bit more usage out of them. Insoles, heel cups and other chiropractic inserts for sport are available to treat all kinds of specific problems as well as just to boost comfort when you are exercising. If you have issues relating to foot odour, you can also get deodorising insoles that work to neutralise the bacteria that cause the dreaded ‘foot smell’!
The right shoes, socks and interior support can not only help alleviate foot pain and common problems like blisters and calluses, but can also surprisingly help with knee and back pain, where this may be related to exercise. In some cases, it can even be best to use products like this even when you are not training, for everyday walking around.