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Avoid blisters, aches and pains with some simple solutions from Sole

by Press Release
Tuesday 21st February 2012

Orthopaedic specialists at SOLE have some top tips on how to avoid or remedy common problems, with additional advice from a podiatrist and running biomechanics specialist

As spring marathon runners approach their mid-way training point, they will be building endurance and stepping up the mileage week by week. Hopefully, all is going well: but it’s at this stage, when the distance creeps up, that common niggling injuries can occur that may interrupt training progress. Three common conditions are blisters, aching feet/soles and failure to recover between training runs. Orthopaedic specialists at SOLE recommend how to avoid these.

Problem: Blisters

Runners need to avoid blisters at all costs. Not only are they painful, but unless left to heal properly they can flare up again and again, interrupting your training programme. The first thing to check is that your shoes are a good fit and there is no uneven material or damage to the shoe that is causing the friction on your foot. If the shoes seem fine, then inspect your socks.

Expert view

“Blisters really blight runners’ comfort yet can be an easy thing to prevent,” says podiatrist Andrew Stanley, Podiatrist and running Biomechanics Specialist at The Rebound Clinic (reboundclinic.co.uk). “Blisters are a result of excessive friction against the skin. Friction can be a result of ill-fitting, damaged shoes or socks that aren’t specifically designed for running,” he says. “If your shoes fit well and you wear double-layer, friction-reducing running socks, this will dramatically reduce the risk of skin blistering.”

Solution from SOLE

SOLE's Dual Layer socks are a great choice for runners. The two layers of blended Tactel, Coolmax and Lycra reduce friction on the skin to prevent blisters from developing. They have a TensorFit arch band that ensures the socks stay in place and provide additional support. The seamless technology provides added comfort, the super soft materials wick away moisture and the mesh panels in the socks ensure your feet stay cool and dry.

You can choose from crew, ankle and no-show lengths in black or white. One pair costs £11.50 from www.yoursole.co.uk and good sports stockists


Problem: Aching Arches

‘Flat Feet’, plantar fasciitis and aching arches are the bane of runners’ lives. What starts out as ‘just a niggle’ and a little tenderness can quickly escalate into excruciating, chronic problems. People who are predisposed to plantar fasciitis often find the extra mileage of marathon training sets off the pain/discomfort. So once they increase the mileage, the pain could start to kick in.

Expert View

“Prevention is better than cure when it comes to conditions associated to Biomechanical dysfunction such as plantar fasciitis,” warns Andrew Stanley. “If you don’t address the cause of the problem, it can escalate to the point where walking, let alone running, is very painful. Once plantar fasciitis has occurred it can take weeks or more likely months and sometimes years to fully recover if left unchecked,” he says. Stanley continues by saying, “If you’re a keen runner, I’d suggest a dynamic gait analysis by a fully trained, experienced professional to determine if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis and/or many other biomechanical dysfunction problems. If so, you can take preventative action. The extra Marathon training mileage may already be taking its toll on your feet and legs. It may therefore be prudent to consult a podiatrist and invest in biomechanically designed support insoles that help maintain the arch and stabilise your foot. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it, it will only get worse!”

Solution from SOLE

You need to restore the arch and support your entire foot from your toes to your heels. Andrew concedes that, “Not everyone can afford gait analysis and custom orthotics”. Ready-made “fixed” generic insoles aren’t always successful in preventing the problem. However, SOLE has a solution in the form of its mouldable footbeds which adapt through the heat of your feet to fit perfectly. The custom support gently lifts your arch into its optimal position, allowing your foot to function properly and preventing over-pronation which can lead to a range of conditions such as shin splints, knee pain and plantar fasciitis. The deep heel cup stabilizes your foot in the shoe and reinforces your heel’s natural shock-absorbing quality.

SOLE Custom Footbeds come in three different levels of thicknesses to accommodate different footwear – marathon runners should opt for the Softec Response. Between £38 - £42 from www.yoursole.co.uk


Problem: insufficient recovery between runs

As you clock up the miles, your legs and feet are under increasing pressure. With training runs in quick succession, it can be difficult to know how to help your legs and feet recover between sessions.

Expert view

“Traditional flip flops, slippers and slouch socks create a very unstable platform on which to walk,” Andrew Stanley. “This instability can lead to excessive foot motion resulting in foot, leg and even back pain, this is not conducive to assisting your recovery between runs,” he explains. “SOLE flips and SOLE Exhales are scientifically designed to support the heel and arch of the foot which stabilise the walking motion. This keeps the feet and legs in a more neutral, safe position reducing the stresses of walking, resulting in less stiffness, pain and tiredness after running,” he says.

Solution from SOLE

It may be tempting to pad about in socks or slippers when relaxing at home, but when training for a marathon this is not advisable as they give no support to the hard working muscles in the foot and lower leg. In fact, they can aggravate any tiredness or twinges by flattening out the arch of the foot and making the muscles work hard to keep you upright and balanced. SOLE has a solution for this as it has incorporated its orthopaedic mouldable footbeds into a range of sport flip flops that give heel to toe support and mouldable arch. If you’re looking for a warmer shoe to relax in, the SOLE Exhales are just the ticket: again, they have the mouldable footbeds but also a warm fleecy lining and waterproof outer.

SOLE Sport Flips and Exhales are available for men and women in a choice of colours priced £50.00 from www.yoursole.co.uk


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