Several weeks before Western States last year I wrote a blog post about conditions on the course and how feet were going to be wet. The title was Running a Wet 100-Mile Trail Run. I talked about what would happen to runners’ feet, and steps I would take to manage my feet if I were running. Based on the feet we saw on the course, the majority of runners did not read the post and if they did, they ignored the advice.
In a normal year at Michigan Bluff, we treat 40-60 runners for blisters on the heel, forefoot, arch, and toes. Last year we treated one, yes – 1 for blisters. Everyone else had feet in a different stages of maceration. It was clear than runners did not take steps to manage their wet feet.
My friend, Rebecca Rushton, is a podiatrist in Australia. She wrote the forward for the 6th edition of Fixing Your Feet and I value her opinion on fixing feet. She’s very sharp and manages the website Blister Prevention. Yesterday Rebecca send out an important email about the question How Do I Keep My Feet Dry?
I want to share Rebecca’s email and the links to her three articles on maceration. It’s like an advanced course about maceration. I urge you to take a few minutes and read all three articles and heed her advice. The three articles cover the problem (maceration), treatment, and prevention. In my opinion, it’s a must read.
Here’s the email from Rebecca:
Most people know that moisture increases friction levels; and higher friction levels means more blisters.
So keeping the feet dry is an important blister-busting aim.
That’s a tough gig! Think about how your feet are wrapped up in shoes and socks the whole time. How can you keep the skin dry from the sweat being expelled from the skin? And dry from water coming into the shoe from the outside (environmental water – puddles, rain, dew, river-crossings, water tipped over the head which runs down the legs and into the shoes)?
Blisters are one thing. But in extreme waterlogging situations, the skin can become macerated. This is something every single athlete wants to avoid!
I’ve written a series of 3 articles on this very subject. If your feet are going to be exposed to water for an extended period of time, you owe it to yourself to read these articles.
And a word of warning … there are some pretty shocking photos in here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Talk soon 😉
Here’s the link to the first article on the problem of maceration. Each article has a link to the next article so you can read all three.