Recurring foot / sole soreness...

Just re-posting this ere, cos i didn't get a response on the Injury forums... was wondering if you lovely kind people on the ultra forums could help me and me poorly feet....


Hi all,

Just some background first... I ran the UTSW in June this year, and pretty much gave my feet a hammering, to the point of stupidity and should have pulled out way before i did. I have got some numbness in some toes since then, and have concluded i have probably killed some nerve endings in them which i can cope with.

I then ran the adidas thunder run in July (my feet were still a little sore, but i had recovered enough to be able to give it a go). However by the end a massive blister had sprung up where the soreness is (on the pad of my feet below my toes).

I recovered from the thunder run, and now ramping up the training again, but getting the soreness / potential blistering in the exact some spots on both feet again (across the pads of my feet below my toes).

This is getting hugely frustrating now, cos my legs (muscle wise) and endurance fitness levels are where i need to be, but getting stopped by sore feet!?!

Any other endurance/ultra based runner experience this? and has anyone got a short term solution to solve this for a multiday event / and a long term solution to stop this recurring everytime i run long...!?

Much appreciate any help image


  • Not an expert but a few things I would go through myself if I had the issue described :

    Have you used the same shoes each time this has happened? Are they different from previous pairs?

    Have you used the same socks?

    Is there any external signs of a problem remaining from your UTSW effort?

    Do you treat your feet at all? I don't mean the odd box of choccies and flowers!

    Have you tried taping your feet? There are plenty of articles on this online or books available on how to do it well.

  • No specific advice, but I'd recommend 'How to Fix Your Feet' book. It won't necessarily give you an instant fix, but makes you think about how you can treat your feet to prevent/fix problems. It comes with the standard 'what works for some, or even on some days, doesn't work for others' disclaimer.

    Agree with WIB's list, and would add:

    Check inside shoes for lumps etc in area where problem is occuring.

    Are your socks too worn? Threadbare, lost wicking etc.

    Does the area get hot/red before blistering? Have you tried any pre-treatment for your feet, lubricating/taping/compeed?

    Have you altered your gait at all to 'protect' the area since the problem happened?

    Have you seen a chiropodist?

  • Only repeat what has been said.    Shoes, socks and chiropdist.

  • Hi, Just a thought...

    The numbness in your toes could be a sign of morton neuromas. The best way to get a diagnosis is to visit a podiatrist, if so, the two options are custom orthotics or surgery to get the nerve removed.

    I really suffered with numb toes which was causing a lot of pain when running (although no blisters), I got a pair of custom orthotics I've had no problems since.

  • Cheers guys.

    I wore trail shoes (inov8 roclite 319) for the UTSW because it was compulsory, i normally wear road shoes for comfort n cushioning. This is where the original foot / sole problem came from (but then again i may have had the same problem if i wore anything else on my feet from that race). Since then i've been back to road shoes, even for the Thunder run.

    Tried thin socks, thick double lined socks, 2 pairs of lighter socks. But not tried taping or lubricating yet. Tried looking for some tape but wasn't sure what to use...!? I've tried soaking them in ice water to try to reduce any swelling or inflamation which i think may have helped a little.

    The numbness in my toes is not really causing me an issue, there's no pain there at all (although both the numbness and problem area has come at the same time), it's purely the pad below my toes that takes the impact and gets really sore and blisters.

    I just don't want to except that this is my weakness area and i have to live with it, every other weak area or problem i have worked on to strengthen thro aggressive targeting of the area... but this i can't really do!?

  • Sounds daft but have you tried the Docs first????? That would probably be my first call and then if there's no help there a chiropodist or sports physio.

  • Not daft at all, cos i haven't... Everytime (which is twice) i go to the docs with a sports or running related injury i get a frown and look to say you're an idiot for running in the first place then get referred. Yeah i may go straight to a chirpodist or podiatrist if the problem persists. Would a sports physio provide any help with this...? Not sure...?

  • Depends what the cause of the issue is I suppose. Is it possible the first blistering removed a layer of thicker caloused skin which you now need to rebuild? It's not clear from what you've written, is it constantly sore?

    If it's been a problem for a while, then seek professional advice - quickest way to fix it image

  • Hi Superglue

    I had really horrible issues with the pads of my feet for my first two 100 milers. The pain was taking any enjoyment out of the events. I have tried alot of different things including all sorts of taping and socks to sort it. I have narrowed it down to the prolonged exposure to moisture paired with the constant rubbing in my socks.

     What i have started doing is smearing Hydropel on the potential hotspots and wearing the thinest socks i could find. Then during a long event i will stop every 25 mile or so to clean feet, re-apply lube and change to clean dry socks.

     Not perfect but 100 times better to my feet than running the whole event in the same damp socks.

    Just an idea..

  • Cheers Dill, sorry but glad to hear it's not just me thats had this problem. I just ran into work this morning (17miles) and sure enough after about 11-12 the hotspot sprung up and then by the time i'd finished a painful blister. Soooo frustrating, my legs feel great and strong.

    The trouble is, i may not be giving it enough time for them to heal properly. But i'm sure this problem will crop up on the longer runs now.

    I think that's how i got the initial problem, by my feet getting wet. But thanks for the advice, i think that's def the way forward, just more TLC i think. And maybe Xtrain in the meantime. Out of interest how much recovery time do u give ur feet after a 100miler...?

  • I always lance my blisters the following day and i tend to heal very fast. Probably a week and they are back to normal.

    17 miles is not a lot before getting blisters. You are probably right and your feet need a good rest to repair themselves. Then start a fresh.

    I find it amazing that however well prepared you think you are something like blisters can ruin your race. My feet were so badly mascerated during the TP100 that the last 60 miles felt like i was running on broken glass. Every step was agony.

    I've been cross training for 3 weeks because of injury and it sucks but sometimes you just have to.

  • I try and keep my feet as dry as possible by wearing Sealskinz if there is the slightest possibility they migh get wet - wet feet are a disaster for me as I am very thin skinned image.  I also use the Scholl foam pads that you hook over your big toe and cushion the balls of the feet - they are a bit old ladyish, but they work really well for me (cos I is an old ladyimageimage)'

  • Oh dear it's the TP100 i'm tragetting next year Dill. I've done the TT50 and doing again in Feb, and doing the Toad at the end of the month, so it's all about the Thames Path for me...!

    It's scaring me now, cos i feel in such good shape and the toad will be all about recovering for the next day and staying blister and injury free! Think i will end up lancing and plastering for this event image. Then take some time off.

    Think i have narrowed it down to socks/cushioning... it's def not trainers, distance or terrain, as i've done very simliar runs Sunday and this morning... Sunday no soreness or blistering at all, today very sore. So it's either socks or 2x training days in a row...!?

  • Im no expert or ultra runner but I know one thing that can cause blisters in this place is if you're a midfoot striker and your pushing off too much from the ball of your foot. If your're getting blisters in different socks and different shoe this is probably the reason.

  • I'm doing TP again. With my sore feet i hobbled round in 26hrs 36 but i reckon i could run that in sub 22 if i can avoid blisters and injury.

    I've tried tape, in particular kinesio tape with tincture of benzoin for extra stickyness. Works ok but i've yet to get it to last more than 30/40 miles and wouldn't want to re-do mid race.

    I've been using Hilly Monoskin Lite socks which i find very good. I'd be interested to know when you work out what it is and how you sort it.


  • John i think thats exactly how i run yeah. Just need to solve it now image. I'm sure a good rest is needed, but committed to the Toad now. Might be a painful one.

    Cheers all.

  • Thats ok glad I could help a bit. I think one of the solutions is to think about lifting the feet whilst running. So if you concentrate on lifting your right foot instead of pushing off your left foot will land naturally etc.

    I was getting blisters on my right foot in this area, from pushing off and got this information from a barefoot running book which focuses on midfoot running technique, seems to have worked for me.

  • pmo wrote (see)

    Depends what the cause of the issue is I suppose. Is it possible the first blistering removed a layer of thicker caloused skin which you now need to rebuild?

    I'd think about this. Worst blistering I ever had (and it was peanuts compared with what you're describing) was on the end of my 2nd toe - ended up losing all the skin over the top of the toe and round the nail. Healed up quite quickly and looked fine but was extremely tender and prone to falling apart again for months afterwards. Took about 6 months before it toughened up and settled down for good.

    +1 for the Fixing Your Feet book for advice on preventative taping. The American ultra runners seem to favour duct tape over any fancy sports tapes for this...

  • Cheers RWD, i have bought some duct tape a while ago and never used it, was keeping it for emergency taping rather than preventative taping.

    How would i go about it? One of two strips across the base of the foot or wrap around from base to top to get a couple of layers (would this maybe squash the foot too much?). Wonder how long this will stay in place for!?

  • Well, I've never tried it myself so cant give you any specific advice on how best to go about doing it. But... there's also a very good 'fixing your feet' website with loads of pics and advice, so that might be your best bet if you're keen on trying out duct taping. Good luck with it!
  • Well i can def recommend the Falke socks i bought. They were expensive (for socks) but i didn't get one blister during the whole Toad Challenge (90+ miles over 3 days). They're not thick and i did put an extra pair of thin socks over the top for the 3rd day just in case. I also rolled on a bit of bodyglide on the balls of my feet too.

    My feet were sore, but they were going into it, so to do over 90miles and not blister i think is a result image

  • Wow! That's impressive. The 90 miles I mean, not the sIckes, but they sound pretty good too. I'd never heard of them before now - will have a look though. Glad you se to have found a solution image
  • Sickes? Damn iPhone typing horrors. Socks I meant of course. LOL!
  • Glad you've found a solution image

    With regards to tape for your feet, I found some excellent fabric tape listed as 'Zinc Oxide tape' on ebay. Very strong, and very sticky. I've left it on for a few days before when I've had issues, and never known it move. Might be worth a try if it comes back.

  • Cheers both, i will look into that tape too. Although i didn't blister my feet are still sore... and it wasn't all good... i have a terrible swollen shin/ankle, which was agony on the last day and i only got round due to popping pain killers... (don't wanna think stress fracture, but i'm gonna have plenty of rest and cross train for a few weeks anyway).

    But i can't blame the socks for my ankle can i !? I blame stubborness.

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