We use the word “athlete” generously here at Twin Cities Foot & Ankle Clinic. If we are approached for sports medicine by a Viking, Twin, or whatever the proper term is for one of the Minnesota United FC’s team members, we’d surely call them an athlete. But there’s no need to be exclusive. That’s why disc golfers, backyard badminton champions, and octogenarian mall walkers are all considered athletes at our podiatry clinic as well.

Whether peak athleticism to you means winning Olympic gold or going for a run with your family, you’ll find that our athlete foot care tips are sure to come in handy!

Choose the Correct Shoes

A lot goes into picking the right athletic shoes, as no two pairs offer the same cushioning, support and protection. It is important to pick shoes that were specifically designed for the sport you have in mind. A pair of basketball shoes is created for the specific stressors of basketball. Just like people designed golf shoes to carry your feet through 18 holes.

Although it’s tempting to order athletic shoes online, we do advise shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. Their staff will be able to direct you toward the right shoes for your athletic needs, and there’s no substitute for trying on a pair before you commit to them.

Retire Your Shoes in a Timely Fashion

Everyone forms at least some attachment to a well-used pair of sneakers, but don’t let nostalgia harm your feet. Worn out shoes no longer have the treads they need to give you safe traction. Nor do their soles have the cushion to absorb shock before it can reach the delicate bones in your feet. Old shoes also tend to accumulate precisely the kinds of fungi and bacteria that you don’t want colonizing beneath your toenails!

Don’t Wear Wet Socks or Shoes

The perils of wearing wet socks and shoes are the same whether you’re exercising or not. Damp footwear generates more friction against your feet while they’re in motion, which can put you at risk of developing blisters and rashes. Damp socks also breed the fungal infection which causes athlete’s foot. And although it was more of a problem during the Battle of the Somme, trench foot still affects athletes whose feet remain wet in cold conditions for too long. Frostbite is also more likely to hurt you during the colder months if your socks and shoes stay wet!

Take It Slow

Embarking on a new exercise regimen can be exciting – but don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you! A new sport or exercise may target one or more muscle groups that you haven’t thoroughly developed yet. As such, it is crucial to ease into a new physical activity. This will gradually condition your muscles and their surrounding tendons and ligaments instead of posing an extreme risk of injury.

On that note, also keep in mind the value of cross-training. If you’re focused on a high-impact sport like basketball or long-distance running, give your feet a break. You can do this without compromising your progress by working low-impact exercises into your exercise routine. That alone can help to prevent a lot of injuries.

Know When to Take a Break

It can be encouraging to model your exercise routine after a legend like Arnold or Usain – but even these paragons know not to overdo it. Taking regular breaks and listening to your body when it’s telling you that it’s tired or hurt can help to prevent the onset of several conditions. Some of these conditions include Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures and repetitive strain injuries.

Call for Sports Medicine

Whether you’re only beginning to exercise for the first time or have incurred a foot or ankle injury during the course of your intensive training, the podiatrists of Twin Cities Foot & Ankle Clinic are standing by to help keep you on your feet. Please contact us today for sports medicine care!