Hotspots are the feeling of pain or slight discomfort at the bottom of your feet after running or walking for a long time. Although you might think you can power through it, if left untended, it can get worse. At one point, you will have to change your stride or even might have to stop walking if the pain gets severe.
A hotspot is not very uncommon for regular runners. However, if you take proper precautions, you can reduce it or even stop it altogether. But the first step to prevention is identifying the problem. That is why it is important to know why this issue occurs.
In this article, we will get an in-depth look at hotspots, why they happen, and everything you can do to protect yourself from this problem.
Why Does Hotspots Happen?
Hotspots, in most cases, serve as a warning sign. It is a sign that you will get a painful blister if you continue walking or running. The blister that occurs due to hotspots is usually more painful and might put you to bed for days, unable to walk or run properly.
According to doctors and researchers, the main cause of hotspots is friction. The areas that contribute to hotspots formation are the Achilles tendon, the base of your big toe, and the ball of the foot. In some cases, this is also caused due to improper hygiene or skin issues.
Here are the key reasons behind forming hotspots in your foot:
- Improper running stance
The primary reason behind hotspots is stretching the skin of the foot while running.
People who have high arched feet are especially vulnerable to getting hotspots. Since the skin at the bottom part of your feet gets stretched, it can put a lot of pressure on your feet.
Similarly, people who run with flat feet also overpronate, which results in stretchy skin and can cause hotspots to form.
- Too Much Heat
Another reason behind hotspots is heat. If your feet do not get enough air inside the shoe, it gets hotter naturally. Over time, the skin starts swelling and can become irritable. Hotspots are one of the many issues that can develop because of this.
- Wrong shoe size
Shoes that are not the right size for your feet will often give you hotspots if you run with them for a long time. With tight shoes, the increase in friction between the shoe and foot without any breathing space can result in hotspots.
- Improper tying of shoes
Even if you have the right size of shoe, you can suffer from hotspots if you do not lace it up properly. After tying your running shoe, it should keep the heel, ankle, and arch of your foot enveloped properly. But if you tie it too tightly or too loose, your feet will not get the proper support, and friction inside the shoe will increase.
- Moisture inside the shoe
Sweating or any other form of moisture is another prime reason for hotspots. Since wet skin becomes sensitive, it is highly susceptible to hotspots from the slightest friction. That is why running for a long while usually results in this issue.
How to Prevent Hotspots
Now that you know the main reasons that contribute to hotspots, you can prevent it by taking the proper steps. Here are a few tips to help protect you from this problem.
- Wear the right shoe
The most obvious way to reduce hotspots is by wearing the right shoe. You need to choose your running shoes smartly. This means you need to focus on two factors, the size of the shoe and your comfort. Even if the shoe fits your foot perfectly, it might not be very comfortable.
When buying new shoes, make sure to try out a couple of pairs before making your choice. Make sure your toes do not feel suffocated after tying up the laces. In addition, check the quality of the shoelace and see if it can secure your foot inside the shoe without any issues.
- Choose your socks wisely
Socks serve the very important function of reducing friction inside the shoe. That is why it is essential that you buy the right pair to go with your running shoe. You want a pair of socks that can reduce friction, keep your feet sweat-free and regulate the temperature inside the shoe.
Double layered socks are usually a good choice to prevent hotspots or blisters. In fact, most serious runners choose to go with this type of socks because of how efficiently they can protect your feet. For running, it is a good idea to avoid cotton socks. They might feel comfortable in normal situations, but while running, it is not a good choice.
- Practice the proper running techniques
You also need to run the right way if you want to prevent hotspots. While running, there is naturally a lot of friction going on inside the shoe. With the improper technique, the amount of friction will increase further, which can result in hotspots very frequently.
If you have stance issues like flat feet or hollow feet, you might try out different orthotics. These usually come in the form of insoles or tapes that will keep your foot locked so that your stance remains correct. Orthotics can drastically help in reducing hotspots.
- Breathability is important
Finally, make sure to give your feet plenty of space to breathe inside the shoes. This means both your running shoe and socks needs to be able to circulate air flow to protect your feet from excessive heat.
Hotspots are a nuisance, sure, but the right steps can be prevented. With the tips we mentioned above; you should be able to drastically reduce this issue,
We hope our extensive article gave you all the information you need to ensure you have a pleasant experience whenever you put on your running shoes.
Also Read- Is Walking 20 Miles Hard?