Foot Pain While Running

Foot pain while running can sure ruin a good run! Here are some tips to help you avoid it.

Foot Pain While Running

Tips for Treating Foot Pain

Wear proper shoes.

Foot pain while running can hapen because you are wearing the wrong shoes or your shoes are worn out.

Usually when I start having any kind of pain while running, the first thing I ask myself is, "How long have I had these shoes?" Your shoes usually last for about 300-500 miles or about 6 months, whichever is shorter. After that, they start to wear out and cause more harm then good.

If you've never had gait analysis done, this is something you probably want to do to make sure that you have the right type of shoe for your gait. You can find out more about gait analysis here.

Try running on a softer terrain.

Changing the ground you run on can help tremendously. Concrete is the hardest thing to run on. Asphalt is hard on the feet, but not as hard as concrete. So if possible, choose the road over the sidewalk.

If you do a lot of running, trail running is even better, but it will take some getting used to. At first your feet may hurt even more from running on trails, but once they get used to it, they will take less of a pounding.

A good treadmill can also be easier on the feet, although I find my gait changes when I run on the treadmill, which sometimes hurts my feet.

In general, I prefer changing up my terrain as much as possible. A little treadmill, a little roads, a little trails and concrete only once in a while.

Work on your gait.

You may be putting your foot down in a way that causes running injuries. There are many opinions on this matter and even if you can improve your running, it will take a lot of work and discipline, but it might be worth it if you find yourself experiencing a lot of foot pain while running.

ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running has some very helpful running and non running exerices that can help you improve your gait. 

Things You Can Do to Help When You're Not Running

Shoes you wear when you're not running are just as important.

If you tend to wear flip flops a lot, you want to get something that is comfortable helps to support your feet like these The North Face Base Camp Flip-Flops.

You also want to be careful of wearing heels too much or wearing heals that are too high.

Ice & Other Ways of Treating the Pain

If you are feeling foot pain while running, try icing right after your run. You can get an ice pack or a package of frozen vegetables and put it on the spot that is feeling painful for about 10 minutes. Or you can just stick your feet in a tub of ice water.

Ibuprofen can also help relieve the pain, but it is important to be careful while taking it. Personally, I try to avoid it because I think the pain is a way of helping me slow down when necessarily and I prefer to just listen to my body. In addition, you should never take this while your running or right before a run because this can be very bad for the kidneys. 

Compressoin Socks

Compression socks are great for wearing after a run to help get the blood flowing and decrease soreness and injury. You can also wear them while you're running.

When Should You Stop Running?

If the foot pain while running is making it hard to run or gets worse as you continue running, it may be time to take a few days off. A few days off when you feel an injury coming on is much better than having to take weeks or months off because you didn't listen to your body.

So if the pain continues, try doing a few days of low-impact cross training, to give your feet a break.

Topics Related to Foot Pain While Running

Black Toenails

If your toenail turns black and starts to fall off, don't worry. It's the sign of a true runner ;-) and it is painless. But it doesn't have to happen. You can avoid this by keeping your toenails short and making sure your running shoes are 1/2 - 1 size bigger than your normal shoe size.


Blisters can be avoided by wairing moisture wicking socks and/or by putting foot powder in your shoes.

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