Foot Health for Athletes: Tips from a Podiatrist

Jul 01, 2023
Foot Health for Athletes: Tips from a Podiatrist
Are you an athlete looking to enhance your performance and maintain optimal foot health? From choosing the right shoes to practicing good foot hygiene, Dr. Gilbertson shares valuable tips to keep your feet healthy and injury-free. 

Whether you're a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, your feet and ankles are crucial to your performance and overall well-being. At Renew Foot & Ankle, LLC, in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, Minnesota, double board-certified podiatrist Dr. Eric Gilbertson, DPM, FACFAS is dedicated to helping athletes maintain optimal foot health and prevent injuries. 

Here are some tips for keeping your feet healthy. 

1. Choose the right shoes

Each sport requires a specific type of shoe to ensure your feet and ankles receive proper support. Investing in the correct athletic footwear for your activities is essential for your foot health. As a podiatrist specializing in sports medicine, Dr. Gilbertson can help you choose appropriate athletic shoes that help minimize your risk of injury based on your foot structure and your gait. 

2. Practice good foot hygiene

Wash your feet daily with mild soap and warm water, including the spaces between your toes. Take care to dry your feet thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup. Athletes may experience excessive foot sweating during their sports activities, so wearing moisture-wicking socks can help keep your feet dry and help prevent bacterial and fungal infections.

3. Always warmup before starting 

Athletes often push their bodies to the limit, but you should always warm up before any physical activity to increase blood flow to muscles and reduce the risk of sprains and strains. It’s also important to introduce new exercises and training routines gradually. Rapid changes in intensity or duration can lead to overuse injuries such as stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis. 

4. Pay attention to your feet and ankles

As an athlete, you may subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy, but paying attention to your feet and ankles is necessary to maintaining your foot health. If you experience persistent pain, swelling, or discomfort - don’t ignore it. These can be early signs of an underlying foot or ankle problem. Call the office so we can diagnose and treat the issue promptly as prompt intervention can prevent the development of more severe conditions and get you back to your sport as quickly as possible.

5. Cross train to prevent overuse injuries

It's important to cross-train and incorporate rest days into your training regimen to prevent overuse injuries, Engaging in different types of physical activities can help distribute the load on your feet and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries. Rest days are equally important to allow your body, including your feet and ankles, time to recover from the stresses of training. Adequate rest promotes healing and helps prevent chronic foot conditions from developing.

Athletes rely on your feet and ankles to perform at your best. The above tips will help minimize your risk for injury and optimize your athletic performance. For foot and ankle related sports injuries, contact Renew Foot and Ankle by calling the office in Bigfork or Grand Rapids, Minnesota, or scheduling an appointment online.