How to Prevent Foot Injuries Among Runners

Tips for Preventing Foot Injuries Among Runners

Our feet are our support system. As athletes and runners, it is essential to learn about how we can make small changes to prevent foot injuries. Each foot is comprised of 26 bones and 33 joints. Your feet do the hard work of supporting you with each step you take, bearing the weight and stress we place on them every day.

Wear Appropriate Running Shoes

As a runner, it is important to find the running shoes that are the best fit for you. This not only includes the proper size, it also applies to the unique biomechanics of your feet.

A simple trip to your local running store can help you prevent injury. They will analyze your gait to determine the best type of running shoe for you.

The right type of shoe will ensure that your foot is properly aligned to absorb impact stress, distribute it to the rest of the leg and control pronation, which is the way your foot rolls inward for impact distribution upon landing.

Focus on Foot Strength

It’s a good idea to strengthen your feet through regular foot exercises. Some examples include picking up marbles with your toes, squeezing towels between your toes, or simply the repetition of flexing and extending your toes.

Additionally, walking barefoot can improve foot strength and mobility.

Care for Your Calves

Tight calves are also a common source of foot injuries for runners. It can be beneficial to spend time each day stretching your calves, focusing on myofascial release with either a foam roller or massage gun.

Evaluate Your Training

It’s common for foot injuries in runners to be connected in some way to their training style.

As an athlete, you constantly put yourself through new challenges and training routines in order to be your best.

It’s important to be mindful before making any major changes to your training. Avoid drastically increasing your mileage, speed or making major shifts to your terrain in order to prevent injury.

Focus on gradual changes to your training. It is highly encouraged to stick to a 10% rule as far as increasing mileage goes from week to week.

Wear Orthotics

If you have naturally flat feet, it can cause the foot to pronate excessively. As a result, this can cause more stress on the foot with each movement. Over-pronation can put you at a higher risk for plantar fasciitis and other conditions.

Naturally high arches can put you at risk for extensor tendonitis.

With any foot structural issues, it is best to consult a podiatrist that can provide you with custom orthotics. Additionally, there are over-the-counter insoles that may be effective as well.

When in Doubt: RICE

Remember, if you experience any foot pain, the best practice is to address it immediately through rest, ice, compression and elevation. Generally, this practice can prevent the pain from increasing.

If pain persists, it is always best to consult your physician to be evaluated, in case further treatment is required.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often a major part of recovering from injury, but it can also be effective for injury prevention. Physical therapists can help you address muscle imbalances and weaknesses and evaluate movement patterns that may put you at a higher risk for injury if not corrected.


For more questions regarding how to prevent foot injuries, consider chatting with the podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center. Request an appointment.


Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.