I have always told athletes that I have three absolutes when it comes to foot care. Over the past years, they have not changed. The three are: 1) Proper toenail care, 2) reduce calluses, and 3) wear gaiters when running trails. I still stick by the three because, in my mind, they are proven.
Now’s the time to share two foot care products to skip. Years ago, the two may have worked because there were not many alternatives. But time changes things. Yet I keep seeing these pop up on social media as people tell other athletes to use them.
The first product to avoid is white athletic tape. Typically this is the stuff trainers use when wrapping an ankle but many runners use it on their feet. It can come in 1 or 2 inch rolls. Unless something has changed I don’t know about, the tape does not stick well on skin. I never buy the stuff. Tapes have evolved. Kinesiology tapes can be used to tape either as a pre-tape or over blisters, or to wrap ankles, and along with HypaFix, Coverall, Fixomull, and Leukotape are all excellent alternatives. Don’t penalize yourself by using white athletic tape. Replace it with one of the other tapes and make your feet happy.
The second product to avoid is Vaseline. I know I probably got some of you upset because you like the stuff—but hear me out. Vaseline is 100 percent pure petroleum jelly. It’s so old school and there are better alternatives for lubricants. Vaseline is sticky and greasy. It attracts dirt, grime, trail dust, sand, and anything that gets inside your shoes. Over time all that stuff becomes an irritant. It also tends to harden on socks over time. Newer lubricants like Squirrel’s Nut Butter, Trail Toes, RunGoo, Bag Balm, and even Desitin Maximum Strength Original Paste are excellent alternatives. Do yourself a favor and replace your Vaseline to keep your feet happy.
That’s it. Two products I will never use and never suggest others use.
I welcome your feedback.