Foot Pain & Roller Derby
10. June 2016 14:35
Of all the aches and pains associated with roller derby, one of the most common (and annoying!) is foot pain and podiatry issues. Without healthy feet, we can’t skate. Here are some tips compiled from podiatrists and skaters on how to keep your feet healthy and happy for optimal skating:
- Ensure proper fit of skates. If possible, get fitted by a professional skate supplier, or make an appointment with a podiatrist and bring your skates. Custom orthotics can often do wonders in ensuring proper alignment, fit and arch support, or try insoles for a cheaper solution.
- A cobbler or skilled shoe repair professional can assist in fitting skates, often with the help of a hair dryer and leather conditioner.
- Wear appropriate socks. Each skater has their own preferred combination, so find what’s right for you by testing a few pairs of socks in various thicknesses. At the very least, use moisture wicking socks (wool, specialty athletic, and hiking socks can be great), and make sure they aren’t too loose or too tight.
- Try padding for sore spots. Some crafty skaters with toe pain from toe stop running have even used pointe shoe padding (for ballet dancers). Also try moleskin, circular blister pads or round makeup pads to create a buffer between your foot and skate.
- Blisters can be inevitable, but try and keep them intact. Bacteria can cause infection in open wounds. Once home (or any environment cleaner than near the track!), a troublesome blister can be soothed by: cleaning the area, using a sterilized needle to puncture a few spots near the edge, applying Neosporin and covering with a bandage.
- Calluses can be your friends. If you’re a fan of regular pedicures, ask the salon technician to leave calluses in place – the thicker skin may help reduce friction in the future.
- Ensure your feet get plenty of airtime – that is they stay as dry as possible. This is especially important at tournaments or when traveling and skating a lot. Use talcum powder or chafing cream as needed.
When in doubt, ask a professional! This general information is not meant to serve as medical advice. Podiatrists, specifically a sports podiatrist, is your best source of information to help with your specific foot related issues.