Even after my 87 km race my toes are healthy, blister-free, and there is no sign of black toe nails.
Maybe I am lucky to have hardy feet, or lucky to be picking the right shoes and socks but I have never had trouble with blisters, chafing on my feet or black toe nails.
What am I doing right? I am not sure but here’s some things I am doing to make sure those feet problems don’t crop up.
Many of my socks have 2 layers. One slides with the shoe and one with the foot. The only sliding action is between the two layers of the sock. These are available at running stores and probably cost more than other socks but they seem to work well. Blisters be gone!
I tie the toe end of my shoe laces quite tight to prevent my feet from slipping around. This is especially critical on the steep downhills. The tightness you get them out of the store is never enough, I find. Experiment, but definitely if there is any downhill, tighten ’em up.
I keep my toe nails short. One of my rituals before a race is to cut them. I have learned the hard way that nails that are too long can hurt when they bounce up against the front of your shoe and if they do that too long they might go black and fall off (only happened once – 30 years ago).
Be barefoot or in sandals as much as possible. I don’t know if this does anything, but I know that being barefoot toughens up your feet to prevent them from going soft. And sandals keep your feet dry. Being in Canada, barefoot season doesn’t last long, but it is worth a shot for as long as possible.
Remember those two feet are all you got, and if they start screaming, it is pretty hard to ignore. Baby those 10 little piggies.