Ultra Runners


Running with wet feet (Read 500 times)


    The longest run I've experienced with my feet being wet for almost the entire time is 47 miles.  By the end of it the skin on my toes was ghost-white and soft.  I had two blisters, I believe due to the water as well as I'd never had blister problems prior to this or afterwards.  I'm looking to do some races next year in which I know my feet will be wet for a longer period of time due to multiple creek crossings and wonder if there are some secrets/gear knowledge/techniques I can glean off some of the more experienced runners here before going about the ole' trial and error.  I've seen some runners do 70-80 with wet feet and they are just beat to hell and hobbling by the end because of their foot conditions.


    What kind of shoes/socks do you find work best for draining?

    Is there a way to toughen the skin (callous) to prevent problems forming?


    Feel free to address anything else I may have left out.

      Hi Megiddo


      There will be as many opinions as there are people responding here as your races seem to real beasts. I go through a period as we go into Autumn that I call "Getting my Winter feet", this is a period when I am will be running in more wet & muddy conditions and the calouses and hard skin created by months of dry conditions start to swell and shear off exposing the soft skin underneath.


      I have learnt over time that in fact tje best thing to do is when my feet are totally dry is to remove excess hard skin using a pumous stone or emery board and then moisturising them with vaseline or other product of your choice. During the longer runs I prepare my feet with vaseline (on top surface) to prevent excess water absorption, the added benefit is the vaseline prevents mud clogging up between my toes.


      As for socks, I know that there are moleskins and various expensive types but if you are running in the conditions you are talking about I am not sure even they will be robust enough for the job

      A runners blog-updated daily


        Thanks Jerry.


        I used to use vasoline quite a bit during my LRs and it worked well, I may have to go back to doing that.  The race I was considering is a 10 mile loop with 3 creek crossings about 2.5 miles apart from each other.  The feet stay wet for the entire race and proves to be quite a bear for most runners doing the 100M.  From what I've seen most people's feet are toast by mile 70-80 from being wet for 17+ hours at that point.  There is quite a bit of climbing as well (16,000' gain/loss), so that also contributes to the degradation as well.

          Megiddo, what race is that?


          Are you still in for the Bartram 100?


            Megiddo, what race is that?


            Are you still in for the Bartram 100?


            Potawotomi Trail in Pekin, IL.   HERE


            I'm still considering Bartram, but I've been having hip flexor/groin issue in my left leg for a while now and it doesn't seem to be healing as quickly as I'd like.  I race Glacial Trail 50M in this shape, but I don't want to enter my first 100M without being as close to healthy as possible.  Whether I run it or not will depend on if I can heal up well enough to pull the trigger in time.

              Epic snows and creek crossings at Hardrock this year kept my feet wet from mile 2 until mile 102.5.  Soaked.


              I just wore trail shoes, and some type of coolmax sock.  No issues.  I guess I'm lucky in that regard... but I didn't do anything special other make sure I had good socks, well-fitting shoes, and stayed well-hydrated (on the inside).