Runners don’t exactly make the best foot models. Our feet take a lot of abuse, and it shows.
We have calluses, blisters, and sometimes even missing toenails. Should runners get pedicures to make their unsightly feet a little less grotesque?
The Cosmetic Downside of Running
During a typical run, your feet will strike the pavement thousands of times. All that repetition is bound to cause some side effects, and if you’ve been running for long, you are well versed with being a bit embarrassed during sandal season.
Here is what can happen to your feet while running.
Everyone knows that blisters can be painful, but if improperly handled, they can also get infected.
Thickened patches of skin known as calluses are another dark side of running. Calluses form as a way to protect skin, but if they get too large, they can also get infected after they’ve cracked.
If you’re battling calluses as a result of your weekly miles, you can be consoled by the fact that they’ll help protect your feet during your next run. That’s why runners tend to have a love-hate relationship with calluses -- they look awful but they spare us some misery while letting us log more miles.
If your toenail went missing in action on your last run, we feel your pain. Seeing your toenail do a vanishing act is always a bit of a shocker, but it won’t be long before a new one is there in its place.
If you find you are constantly dealing with blackened or missing toenails, make sure your running shoes fit you well.
Should Runners Treat These Problems with Pedicures?
When your feet look so bad they’re even scaring you, it can be tempting to drive straight from your run to the nearest pedicurist. That’s not such a great idea though.
Pedicurists typically take one look at a runner’s calluses and know they have their work cut out for them. And while your feet may look nicer when they’re done, you’ll regret it the next time you run.
If those calluses are smoothed down and now feel silky, you’ll have nothing there to protect your feet from all the punishment you’re about to give them. While you may be bidding goodbye to your calluses during a pedicure, you’re likely trading them in for another problem -- blisters.
You Run the Risk of Infections
While pedicures may feel relaxing and you relish the idea of smooth feet, they can sometimes do more harm than good.
Fungus and bacterial infections can be little souvenirs from your trip to the spa. And while you most likely won’t fall victim to those unwanted problems, many runners don’t want to take the risk.
We’re too protective of our feet to want to take the chance -- and with good reason. As runners, we need our feet to be in tip-top shape.
Skip the Pedicure and Treat Yourself in Other Ways
So, should runners get pedicures? That’s up to each individual runner, but we think it’s playing with fire.
With some gentle home care, you’ll be able to keep your feet in semi-presentable form and you’ll be saving quite a bit of money if you skip the spa.
Take that extra money and invest it in something that might better protect your feet and eliminate some of the cosmetic problems you’re having. Buy yourself properly fitting running shoes and new, thick running socks.
Your feet will start to look a little better, and most importantly, they’ll feel better too.