Sore feet after running is not uncommon. Even the most comfortable and supportive shoes can leave your feet aching after an intense run. For most people, the longer the run, the sorer the feet, but if you're a beginner, even just a mile can result in soreness. Running can cause your feet to swell and ache, but some basic self-care remedies can help relieve these symptoms. Consult your doctor if your foot soreness persists or worsens.
Rest is perhaps the best remedy for sore feet. The amount of rest needed for your feet to recover depends on how long or intense your run was. For some, one long-distance run is enough to cause sore feet, while for more seasoned runners, sore feet can develop over a series of runs. In either case, resting should entail minimal standing or walking, if possible. If you know you will have to stand or walk for a considerable amount of time at a certain point, schedule your run at a time that will allow you to properly rest before needing to be on your feet again.
Sore feet can be accompanied by swelling. The feet swell because of the amount of pressure placed on them during a run. The pressure can cause blood to pool in the feet. With the consistent pounding from running, proper circulation in the feet becomes difficult. If your feet are swollen after a run, take off your shoes and socks and elevate your feet, MayoClinic.com recommends. Your feet should be elevated above your pelvis to allow blood pooled in the feet to circulate more efficiently.
Many runners turn to ice to help numb soreness and discomfort caused by running. After a run, remove your shoes and socks and elevate your feet. Place an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas on the sore area of the foot. If the ice pack or bag is too cold, wrap it in a thin towel or pull your sock back on. The cold helps relieve the pressure that builds up in your feet during a run, and can also help prevent swelling or reduce any swelling that has already developed. Keep the ice pack on for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
A foot bath can be a relaxing remedy for sore feet. The temperature of the bath water depends on your preference. Many prefer warm or hot water to help relax the muscles in the feet. Others enjoy cold water, which, much like ice packs, helps numb the soreness and relieves built-up pressure. Foot baths can be enhanced with various oils and salts that further soothe the skin and comfort the feet. You can draw a foot bath immediately after a run or at any time while your feet are sore. Soak your feet for at least 10 minutes.
Andrea Boldt has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.