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Hit the streets in style, with Princess Beatrice

23 APRIL 2010

The London Marathon attracts hundreds of celebrities, including, this year, Princess Beatrice.

But if you’re taking part – or even if you run regularly to keep fit – there are basic steps (sorry!) you need to take to ensure you put your feet first, not least because our feet and legs take three times our body weight as we run.

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* Blisters are caused by friction from ill-fitting shoes, excessive moisture or wrinkled socks against the skin. Keep your feet dry, always wear socks as a cushion between your feet and your shoes and buy properly fitting footwear. Don’t pop a blister, to reduce the risk of infection.

* Always wear socks to reduce the risk of fungal infection and blisters. The best running socks are ones that are made from synthetic materials (such as Coolmax) which are designed to take sweat away from the skin and keep feet drier, unlike 100% cotton socks which absorb moisture.

* If you’re training every day, have two pairs of trainers and alternate them to allow them to dry out over 24 hours.

* Follow the 1cm rule. When shopping for sports shoes, ensure you can wiggle your toes a little – leave 1cm of room from the top of your longest toe at the end of your shoe. Try on both shoes and walk around the shop to make sure they don’t pinch or rub.

* Choose the correct shoes for the sport. Running shoes are particularly flexible, allowing the foot to bend and flex through each step and are designed for forward motion, with increased shock absorption as the heel strikes the ground. It wouldn’t give you the lateral support required for racquet sports or aerobics, for example, where moving and stopping suddenly require greater stability and sideways support.

And if you experience any kind of ongoing foot pain, do see a specialist. To find your local registered podiatrist, visit The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrist’s website http://www.feetforlife.org/.

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