This post is sponsored by GORE-TEX on behalf of their #OwnTheRun campaign. It is also brought to you by my personal disdain for soggy socks and wet feet.
Let’s talk about running with wet feet.
How many of you just cringed at simply the thought of it? I know I still do, which is somewhat hilarious, considering the number of mud, trail, and obstacle course runs I’ve participated in over the years (not to mention last weekends Ragnar Hurricane Relay). You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I’m not. Running with wet feet, wet socks, and wet shoes can be wildly uncomfortable.
I’ve heard arguments from fellow ultra runners saying that you should run with wet feet MORE often in order to condition your feet, making them tougher. And by “condition”, they mean beat them up into unrecognizable, thick skin, callus covered appendages at the bottom of your legs that could probably even withstand walking over rogue Legos. Moms and dads, you know the pain I’m talking about. This approach makes sense, I guess, as water crossings and puddles are almost inevitable and unavoidable on ultra courses…and raw, blistered feet can absolutely ruin your race.
But for the rest of the (not as crazy) running world, especially those who stick to pavement, wet feet are an occasional nuisance that come with the territory of being an all weather runner. Sure you can avoid puddles easily, but putting in miles in the rain or snow will eventually lead to soggy socks. And with that can come discomfort and sometimes even painful blisters.
And therefore, it’s no surprise that the prospect of running with wet feet can sometimes lead to excuses for skipping a workout. You know what I’m talking about, in fact, I’m willing to bet you’ve made the rotten weather excuse yourself at some point in your running career. It’s OK, no one is judging you here. I’m completely guilty myself of putting off a long run because I woke up to find the weather was not in my favor. It happens.
But what if it didn’t have to?
Let’s talk about keeping your feet dry while running. Wet feet are not necessarily inevitable, and the rain or snow is not guaranteed to interfere with your run. Here are a few tips to keep your feet happy, dry, and blister free as summer fades away and the rainy, snowy months approach.
Treat your feet. Prevention of blisters is key, so if you KNOW you might possibly get your feet wet, start with a layer of skin protection or anti-chafing lubricant. There are tons of options available that were designed with endurance athletes in mind, but I also know of many runners who simply reach for diaper cream, Vaseline, or baby powder. I personally like to go with a coat of Tri Slide lubricant, topped off with Anti-Monkey Butt powder to help absorb moisture. So far it has worked pretty well for me.
Moisture wicking socks. There are a number of fabrics, both natural and synthetic, that can wick moisture away from your skin, helping keep your feet dry. Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of wool socks, and am ecstatic that so many companies have started manufacturing running specific merino wool socks. When people think of wool they often associate the fabric with keeping your feet warm. And that they do. But I’ve found the thinner wool socks help keep my feet dry in the summer, wicking away sweat very effectively.
GORE-TEX lined shoes. Yes, these are a real thing, and they could potentially transform your cold and wet weather running experience.
Products engineered with GORE-TEX® fabric are durably waterproof and windproof, combined with optimized breathability — enduring products that maximize protection and comfort for the wearer (that would be you!). And as luck would have it for the running world, a number of running shoes (in many of your favorite brands) are available with the durable, breathable, GORE-TEX liner. What does that mean for you? Dry, comfortable feet.
Good bye, bad weather excuses.
My friends at GORE-TEX are encouraging and inviting runners of all abilities to overcome their excuses in the spirit of progress with their #OwnTheRun social media campaign.
What does it mean to own the run?
It could mean not apologizing for your pace.
It could mean not letting the time constraints of work, parenthood, or life stop you from finding the time to squeeze in a run.
It could mean doing just a little bit more this week than you did last.
What will you conquer to #OwnTheRun ? Take the pledge and join the movement. Head over to the #OwnTheRun contest between now and November 8th (2016) and let GORE-TEX know. In doing so, you might even win some cool stuff. That’s right, GORE-TEX is offering weekly giveaways of the latest running shoes with GORE-TEX liner, such as the Brooks Ghost 9 GTX, Asics Cumulus 18 GTX, and Saucony Ride 9 GTX (pictured above, in the women’s version). Plus, one lucky grand prize winner will take home a package of head-to-toe running gear including new shoes with GORE-TEX liner, running shorts, running pants, jackets, headphones, a watch and more.
Sound off: how do YOU own YOUR runs? What are your thoughts on running with wet feet?