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Relief for Exercising Feet

Don't let foot problems sideline your fitness goals.

1. Don't Skimp on Footwear continued...

Catanese adds that the sneakers should also feel good – wide enough to accommodate your foot without pressure, and the right length.

"When shoes are either too short or so long they allow the foot to slide forward, you get a slight tapping of the toes against the tip," says Catanese.

Normally, our feet can take it. But once you start working out, adding thousands more steps to your daily routine, all that tapping adds up.

"It causes a problem known as subungal hematoma, or bleeding under the nail, one of the most common workout related foot problems we see," says Catanese.

Often causing significant pain, this frequently requires medical care, including drilling into the nail to release the fluids.

"It's a lot easier to get a good-fitting pair of shoes," he says.

While experts say it's smart to break in a pair of shoes around the house before wearing them during your workout, Plancher says they should "feel like heaven" from the moment you slip them on. If they don't, keep looking.

2: Sock It to Me, Baby

While shoes are important, experts say the No. 2 cause of workout- related foot problems is wearing the wrong socks. Because socks provide the cushion between your skin and your shoe, they can either prevent or cause friction that eventually leads to irritation, and sometimes injury.

"If socks are too thick, rough in texture, too tight, or too loose, that friction multiplies and so does your risk of foot problems," says Morin.

Seek out a sock with some cushioning on the sole, in one of the new microfiber fabrics designed to wick away moisture, the experts advise.

"Moisture that builds on the skin contributes to blisters, as well as foot odor, skin fungus, and fungus of the nails," says Catanese.

Socks should also be white, he says, particularly if you suffer from diabetes.

"People think we recommend white socks because of the dyes in colored socks, but actually it's because the white allows you to immediately see if there is a problem," he says. "Any stain on the sock, either blood or a yellow-tinged fluid, or even a clear liquid, you know something is wrong, even if you can't feel it."

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