Experienced runners, regulars of starts, and fans of many hours of trails are not surprised by black nails, “labor” calluses on the feet, and an arsenal of life-saving means designed to alleviate the suffering of the feet. But for beginners, a pair of small blisters or a darkened toe looks frightening.

In this material, we will tell you how to avoid common troubles and care for the feet.


They arise due to excessive friction, load, inappropriate shoes or socks, improper running technique, and valgus deformity of the foot – when the thumb deviates from other toes and its joint bulges out.

Manifested in the form of:

  • Corn bladder (aisle blister or wet corn). Often it appears right in the process of running and brings discomfort, mild or severe pain.
  • Dry calluses are keratinized areas of skin. It manifests itself not immediately, but gradually, so one day you find a painful keratinized area of skin on the foot.
  • The rod callus is a solid rod that goes deep under the skin. It can also develop quietly and painlessly, then at one point to declare itself discomfort and pain.
  • Natoptysha is a round area of thickened skin around a rigid center of grayish color.
Проблемы со стопами у бегунов
The inscription on the marathon poster: “This season calluses are in fashion.”

How to avoid?

Choose your sneakers correctly. Calluses can appear both in sneakers that sit tightly on foot and in those that give the foot too much freedom. If you doubt the size, take sneakers with a small margin.

Shoes should have good ventilation and drainage – so that the sneakers dry quickly and the feet naturally cool.

There is built-in protection against the ingress of small debris and pebbles or mud-proof hammocks in some models for trail running. If there is no such option, lace up the sneakers so that there are no folds and gaps between the foot and the walls of the shoe.

It is best to measure sports shoes at the end of the day – by this time, the legs swell a little, which is comparable to the condition of the foot during running.

Socks choose “feng shui,” that is, sports. Special synthetic fabrics or merino wool and the absence of seams and the presence of mesh inserts minimize discomfort, remove moisture, and allow the feet to breathe.

Socks for sports should be comfortable, selected according to the season and size; otherwise, they can get lost during a long race and, together with small pebbles that fall into sneakers, create ideal conditions for rubbing.

Properly lace up your shoes. The probability of rubbing is high if the foot is not fixed tightly and hangs inside the sneaker. With proper lacing, the leg is fixed tightly but comfortably, without squeezing. The foot does not go forward, and the longest finger does not rest on the sock.

Observe the water balance. Dehydrated skin on any part of the body is prone to all sorts of troubles. On the feet, it can become scorched, sensitive, and vulnerable. Drink enough water throughout the day (1.5–2 liters) and increase volume on training days (about 3 liters).

Strengthen your feet and work on your running technique. Improper placement of the foot can cause discomfort and problems with the musculoskeletal system and such a nuisance as corn. The more correct the contact of the lower extremities with the running surface, the lower the likelihood of calluses.

If necessary, use orthopedic insoles. Insoles are selected individually, depending on the problem that bothers you. Perhaps, over time, the need for them will disappear. But here, you should be careful: changing the “native” insoles of sneakers can also cause rubbing and calluses, for example, when a new insole creates a gap or, conversely, the sides inside the shoes.

A week before the start, regularly lubricate with petroleum jelly places that are subject to rubbing. This will soften the skin and prepare it for the upcoming loads. On the day of the start, use dry talc or its liquid version. Talc will help minimize sweating on foot, but it is unlikely that it will be enough for the long run.

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Some runners before the race seal possible (or already proven) places of rubbing with a plaster. This method, in fact, works for both good and harm. If you are lucky, the patch will protect against rubbing. And if not, it will slide, get down, and increase the chances of getting bloody corn several times.

If you decide on the first option, use a high-quality, wide enough waterproof patch that is well fixed on the skin and does not peel off sweat and friction. Most likely, it will be possible to choose one by trial and error.

Проблемы со стопами у бегунов

How to treat?

Wet corn manifests itself in the form of an unpleasant bubble with liquid. If the bladder is small (up to about 1 cm), the liquid resolves in a few days, after which the skin in this place coarsens.

To accelerate the healing of a large blister, you need to remove the watery substance from the bladder. You can carry out this procedure yourself, but as carefully, sterile, and safely as possible to exclude infection.

Treat your hands with alcohol. The surface of the corn and the area around it blink with chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide with a cotton swab. Take a sealed sterile needle (the one that is usually sold with a syringe) and make a puncture on the bladder. Gently, with light movements, squeeze the liquid out of the bladder. Treat the affected area again with chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide.

After the wound dries a little, apply a remedy – it can be salicylic ointment 2%, zinc paste, syntomycin ointment, levomenthol, “Rescuer.” If possible, do not close the wound and wait until the ointment or gel is absorbed and begins to act (about 30 minutes).

The second option is to apply the product to the corn and seal the top with a plaster. This method can be used at night – during this time. The medicine will show its healing properties as much as possible. In the morning, gently disinfect the wound and let it dry. This procedure should be repeated until the wound heals and the skin at the rubbing site will not dry out.

Before you put on shoes, you need to protect the place of damage. Wet corn can be covered with a piece of bandage or cotton pad and sealed with a wide patch on top. The more painful the sensations, the thicker the “layer” between the wound and the patch.

Dry corn and corn will help to eliminate home SPA-procedures. It is necessary to hold the leg in warm water so that the keratinized area softens. After that, gently, in circular motions, rub the damaged area, not with a rough foot file or pumice. Make sure that the file does not capture healthy skin. Otherwise, you can damage it and provoke the appearance of bleeding or wounds.

Keratinized skin can not be obliterated. It is necessary to leave a protective layer to avoid pain when walking, running, and too fast formation of the stratum corneum of the skin.

On the treated corn, apply a corn remedy that softens the compacted areas of the skin – an ointment with salicylic acid, urea, or ammonium lactate.

To soften the corn and dry corn, you can use a corn patch, which contains, for example, 40% salicylic acid. When using such a patch, it is necessary to lubricate the healthy skin around the corn with petroleum jelly so that the active agent does not damage it and does not cause irritation.

If you can not soften dry corn or corn on your own, consult a specialist – the doctor will conduct the procedure using a special blade or scalpel. Laser or cryotherapy is also used – freezing with liquid nitrogen. Do not be afraid: the procedure is painless – thickened areas of the skin do not have nerve endings.

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The corn will not be cured on its own – in this case. You will need the help of a podologist – a specialized doctor who specializes in foot problems. The rod is removed with a special thin drill, laser, or liquid nitrogen. A drug is injected into the formed “depression” that prevents the reappearance of the rod and heals the wound.

Importantly! Calluses with uncompensated diabetes mellitus or circulatory failure can provoke infection and inflammation. Patients in this category need to prevent the appearance of calluses and solve the problem of contacting a podologist.

Black nails

Also known as “runner’s toes” or “runner’s nails.” The nail turns black due to a hematoma that occurs under the nail plate and in the nail bed.

At first, there are sensations after a bruise. The nail begins to darken over time after a couple of months “slazit,” and there is a healthy nail in its place. In some cases, with serious damage to the nail matrix, the nail may forever remain deformed.

Проблемы со стопами у бегунов

How to avoid?

And again, about sneakers. When choosing running shoes, make sure that there is a gap between the edge of the sneaker and the longest finger, enough to ensure that the finger does not rest against the wall.

Also, note that lacing should provide good foot fixation – during movement, it should not shift to the toe. Move your fingers and make sure they are not squeezed or resting on the toe of the sneaker.

Do a pedicure on time. Grown nails (if the nail protrudes above the edge of the fingerlike) increase the likelihood that they will get knocked. Cutting the toe, do not get carried away, cutting under the root. This approach can also cause pain and inflammation on the nail plate.

Проблемы со стопами у бегунов

How to treat?

The downed nail will be replaced by a new one – healthy and beautiful. Be patient for a couple of months. During this period, it is better to fix the growing leg with a plaster. Otherwise, the damaged plate may crack, and its pieces may break off “with meat,” which is very painful. And, of course, you should not try to independently accelerate the process of natural “replacement” of the nail plate – fraught with pain, blood, inflammation, and infection of the damaged area.

To reduce the risk of ingrowth of the nail plate and the addition of a fungal infection, you can consult a diatribe who will remove the downed nail. This will allow a healthy nail to grow back faster.

On the recommendation of a doctor, you can use an antifungal drug to avoid the development of a fungal infection. Baths with sea salt will safely accelerate the regrowth of the damaged part of the nail platinum.

If things are bad within 2-3 days, the fingernail or finger is inflamed, there is a sharp pain, pronounced edema, there is suppuration – consult a surgeon for safe elimination of the problem. You may need a puncture of the resulting hematoma for faster healing.


Cracks on the feet (in most cases – on the heels) most often appear when “everything is running.” Keratinized areas were not removed for a long time, the skin on foot was too dry, its elasticity and elasticity decreased. As a result of the load on foot, the dry area cracks, causing discomfort and pain. Cracks are superficial and deep.

Проблемы со стопами у бегунов

How to avoid?

Do not be lazy to do a pedicure regularly. Pamper your feet with baths of sea salt and essential oils. Clean your feet with a soft pumice or foot file. After the procedure, apply foot cream for dryness and cracks.

Choose comfortable shoes (running and not only), in which the foot will feel comfortable.

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Do not abuse the habit of walking barefoot on a pebble or sandy beach. This is very pleasant and helps to “reunite with nature,” but also makes the heels rough and dry, which leads to cracks.

How to treat?

To begin with, you need to soften the keratinized surface with the help of warm foot baths. Add sea salt, oil extracts to the water, hold your feet for 10-15 minutes. After that, carefully treat the problem areas with a soft foot file, not affecting the crack area.

Apply to the crack a special healing agent that enhances the regeneration of epidermal cells – La Roche Posay Lipikar Podologics, balm with a golden mustache “Home Doctor,” zinc ointment, calendula ointment, foot cream with urea, ointment with tea tree oil.

For “enhanced” elimination of the problem, apply the products in a thick layer, cover with a gauze bandage, put cotton socks on top and leave overnight.

How to care for your feet.

Any feet, even problem-free, require regular care to avoid the appearance of dryness, grumbling of the skin of the legs, stomps, increased sweating, and unpleasant odor.

Systematic pedicure every 2-3 weeks is a hygienic necessity and the prevention of problems.

The most effective and safe is the hardware pedicure. Thanks to cutter nozzles, the cuticle is easily removed, the nails are sharpened, the skin is polished to an ideal state. With the device’s help, the irregular shape of the nail is corrected, the corns, dry calluses, and cracks are removed.

Classic trimmed pedicure is less effective – it is more difficult to carry out, it stimulates the rapid growth of the cuticle and coarsening of the epidermis. There is also a possibility of cuts with scissors or too deep cutting of rough skin.

In-home foot care, you can use products with AHA-acids or sodium hydroxide – they help remove keratinized cells of the foot’s epidermis.

If you do a pedicure yourself, treat with alcohol or chlorhexidine tools (scissors, foot files) before and after the procedures. If you prefer a qualified specialist, choose proven places where the masters have the appropriate education, and the approach to cleanliness and processing of tools is at a professional level.

Foot cream should become a familiar daily routine. For basic care, you can choose a product with vegetable oils. For more active care during periods of increased dryness of the feet, products with fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin F, allantoin are suitable.

Foot baths and compresses are a pleasant SPA-procedure at the end of a busy day and the prevention of coarsening and dryness of the skin of the feet, cracks, and dry calluses. Regular baths (10-15 minutes) with sea salt, plant extracts, and oils soften dry skin and moisturize it.

Please note: if wet calluses are present on the feet or there is a fungus, this procedure is contraindicated.

After the bath, gently treat the surface of the feet with a file or pumice and apply a compress that can be made independently from milk and honey. Wrap your feet with a warm towel and relax for 10-15 minutes. After the compress, rinse the feet with warm water and apply a foot cream.

Foot massage will help relieve swelling and relax the feet and stimulate blood circulation in the legs.

Increased moisture release, hyperhidrosis can provoke problems with the feet. Use a special deodorant or antiperspirant for the feet or talc. It is useful to do baths with oak bark twice a week. The water temperature should not be more than 36 degrees.

Add to the diet products necessary for skin health – fatty fish, legumes, nuts, tofu cheese, flax seeds. Do not forget about vitamins, A and E.

Include basic foot care procedures in your work and monitor their condition. Conquering marathons-majors or running paths of the neighboring forest is much more comfortable and safer with healthy feet.

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