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Foot Care; Six Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy

Foot Pain

If your feet are bothering you it becomes hard to play comfortably, sometimes it gets hard to play at all! Having owned well over 30 pairs of boots I can tell you foot problems can really add up and seeing as I’ve had to deal with breaking in and getting all these boots into match shape I’ve encountered cramping, blistering, calluses, plantar fasciitis and minor cases of turf toe. I’ve turned into quite the foot injury and care aficionado! Luckily, I have a massage background and know how to get my feet back into good shape because of it.

Here are my Six Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy.


1. Get the right fit!

Believe it or not if you wear cleats that are too small for a long period of time you can change the structure of your feet, and not in a good way. It can lead to issues like hammer toe and can increase the likely hood of getting turf toe which can drastically impact performance and day to day comfort. If it is flush with your big toe and/or squeezing against your little toe it is too tight, go up a half size at least. It is equally important to get the right width as well to avoid cramping and arch discomfort. Though for some foot types insoles will be a must have.


2. Trim your nails, shave down over-sized calluses/bunions

Nothing sucks more than ripping up a toe nail and you guys don’t need me to tell you that. It isn’t unusual to end up on the receiving end of a rough challenge and end up getting your toes stepped on so it is possible to crack a toe nail and the longer they are the easier they are to damage. But another part of making sure your nails are trimmed and your calluses or bunions shaved down is important for getting a proper and comfortable fit. Blood blisters can form under a callus if it gets to be too big. I’ve had this experience myself and it sucks.


3. Care for the muscles in your foreleg

A lot of foot issues can be potentially be caused by tightness in the foreleg. You also want to be able to avoid getting shin splints or a torn Achilles so self care for these muscles are a must. Useful foreleg stretches can be found on YouTube.


4. Foot care techniques

These following foot care techniques will be good for plantar fasciitis, foot discomfort, foot cramping or tightness. However before doing any of them make sure there are no breaks or tears in the muscles of your foot if there is a suspected injury. These techniques should be practiced at least once every other day for any benefit. I usually do them twice a day on a game day.

  • Take a pressurized can of spray, it can be shaving cream can or deodorant, step on it and roll it under foot and stop on the sore spots. Make sure to put some pressure on it otherwise you won’t get the benefit. It will hurt at first but the more you do it the less it will hurt. If you are feeling adventurous do it with a pair of golf balls.
  •  Soak your feet in ice water for 3-5 minutes. Don’t want to do it too long to avoid getting frostbite. This will reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Barefoot exercises will get the muscles in the leg and foot to strengthen. Barefoot shoes can run anywhere form $70 to $100 for a decent pair. I prefer minimalist shoes with a very small heel rise. It is best to start off barefoot running very carefully as to not cause foot injuries so it is best to work your way up.
  • Double socking can really add a new degree of comfort and can supply a snug fit to most boots. It also decreases the likelihood of blistering. I’m a devout double socker and I can tell you it makes a world of differences. I also find that it doesn’t really effect ball feel noticeably so it isn’t going to harm your game any.

5. Use the right boot for the surface

This mostly applies to using firm ground boots on turf. Whenever I do without fail I end up with extremely sore feet. My toes cram up against the front of the boot when I decelerate or have to make a stop or cut and I end up having to Ice my toes after. One of the many reasons why I strongly recommend using turf boots when playing on turf.

You should also make sure to check out this article: When is the Right and Wrong Time to Wear FG Boots?


6. Blisters are not entirely bad

Blisters do happen on occasion, but after blistering you are more likely to have a helpful build up of scar tissue or develop a callus. However the only place your really want this to happen is at your heel or around the sides of your ankles, if you get them on any other part of your foot the boots you are wearing may not be right for you. These are areas of high abrasion and can become irritated by the collar of an ill fitting boot. But after that callus forms this won’t be a problem.

But if Blisters aren’t your thing.

A pair of true sox or simply doubling up your socks can drastically reduce the likelihood of blistering. I wear true sox whenever I break in a new pair of boots and the only place I’ve ever blistered while wearing them is at the heel where the socks don’t cover as well. Also I keep a box of blister band aides with me to get that little extra level of protection.

About Jim Gauthier

Jim is a a licensed massage therapist with a vast knowledge of anatomy and injury. When he is not healing people with his magical abilities, Jim's goal is to provide everyday players with in-depth knowledge from an amateur players perspective. Find him on his Facebook Page for any personal questions or injury help!

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21 comments

  1. this article helped out a lot i also use double socks but been staying away from doing it because i injured my Achilles while double socking and had a question that maybe it could of been the cause

    • Jimthesoccerguy

      I have always double socked and have never run into achilles issues. That would definitely not cause an achilles injury.

      • For those of you who wear double sucks. For example if you are a size 9 1/2 . Should I wear that size or perhaps half a size bigger and go for a 10size cleats ?

  2. My 14 yr old daughter is having blood blisters and calluses on her side of her foot where you would get bunions. I'm not a soccer player….how do I ensure she had a correct fit? Do I need to go with an all leather upper shoe? Help…..

    • My daughter has the same problem… how do I help her????

    • hi Peggy please include me on any responses to this question. Thank you

    • A different upper material will help for sure. Does she currently wear synthetic boots? Leather is a viable option, but there are also plenty of knit uppers out there right now that will reduce pressure along the side of the boot. If you are willing to invest in a higher end pair, the Magista Obra is the perfect option. They are expensive, but they provide a very accommodating fit and the material stretches with the contours of your foot without increasing pressure!

    • Here is a link to a podiatrists guide to soccer cleats/boots http://healingfeet.com/sports/the-ultimate-guide-

      They recommend finding a soccer cleat that is wider, as many are made narrow. I too have wide feet and can't wear most of the brands out there. This should help with bunions and toe box issues. Toe box needs to be wider!!!!

  3. What can I do for a sore feet and a sore achilies and what are the best boots for them

  4. i got a blood blister on my big toe from curving the soccer ball and it hurts to walk…how long do you think it will heal?

  5. Most of the runners, sportsmen, and athletes lose their bright career prospects due to unbearable pain in heel and foot arches, which is actually a disease, commonly known as Plantar Fasciitis. As we know, prevention is always better than cure, so it will be truly necessary for all sprinters, runners, and athletes to wear right type of shoes, so that it helps avoiding sports related injuries to a great extent. Soulline shares detailed information about Plantar Fasciitis through its blog, which is worth reading, and I highly recommend everyone to go through the articles, whenever possible.

  6. Hi Thank you for this post , i really like your tips , what i can do to get rid of callus in ly feet please??

    • In reality, a callus is telling you where you are exerting more pressure on your foot through play. They are necessarily a bad thing as they provide protection to problematic areas. The key would be to find out what is happening to kill the skin cells, producing the callus. I wouldn't try to remove them until you find out what the underlying cause is!

  7. Hi…I had a problem with my pinky right toe…I just bought a pair of new boots and it was meant for wide feet like mine. However i felt painful on my right pinky toe after wearing it for an hour. My new pair of boots are made of synthetic material. I realised that when i wear leather soccer boots i do not face this kind of problem. Is there a solutiion to this problem?… I do not want to change my new boots as it is very comfortable less the pain that i was suffering. Please help. Thank you.

  8. Indeed, you must keep your feet healthy to win your game as an athlete. Orthopedic shoes might help to aid your feet, but the right footwear can also prevent foot pain, injuries, and even plantar fasciitis. Since your feet take the beating while you are running, you may add a little comfort with cushioned insoles. It can help prevent blisters by shifting your running style to have less impact during your run.

  9. Absolutely Jim, if your feet are bothering you it becomes hard to focus on your game, so it matters to pick the comfortable shoes to keep you pain-free. If you’re on a budget, adding a cushioned insole sounds more practical than investing in new pair of shoes. The insole can help you to increase your efficiency as a runner while preventing blisters. This way, you’ll play comfortably and your feet will be thanking you later.

  10. Actually, I think you’re right Jim, but I would like to add taping your toes as a hack for avoiding blisters as well as protecting your feet from plantar fasciitis. You just have to cover hot spot areas so you can increase your mileage without pain. Also, you may prevent friction by avoiding cotton materials and keeping your skin moisturized so your foot will glide with the shoes effortlessly. And like you said, doubling the socks will help to retain less sweat, and have less chance of a blister forming.

  11. I really think so Jim, as athletes often wear their running shoes on all their activities. Apart from it, I think stretching exercises can also help to deal with plantar fasciitis. Some tricks like using your feet to pick up pens, marbles, or golf balls can strengthen your muscles. While orthotic insoles can aid to the foot problem, ensuring that your feet, particularly your heel, has proper support will help to prevent worsening the pain.

  12. You’re absolutely right Jim, a lot of foot issues are often caused by ill-fitting footwear, not to mention too comfortable shoes that can also weaken your feet. Self care for your muscles is a must, so it’s important to go for the right shoes that will suit your strenuous activities. Shoes with proper arch support are more comfortable than minimalistic shoes, as well as footwear that follow your foot pronation.

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