5 Foot Stretches for Runners

12 Oct 5 Foot Stretches for Runners

Stretch to Save Your Feet

Running makes you feel great and does a lot of good things for you, but it can be hard on your feet. You’re probably already doing stretches to avoid injury before a run, but you may be neglecting your feet.

Runners are prone to several sports injuries. Running can put a strain on the ligaments in your feet and legs, leading to debilitating injuries like:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel spur
  • Turf toe
  • Tendonitis
  • Achilles’ heel

These conditions will put an end to your running, at least temporarily. You will also need professional treatment that can range all the way from orthotics to surgery. But you can avoid them by adding some simple stretches to your routine.

Seated Foot Flex

  • While sitting down, place one foot on the opposite knee.
  • Bend or “flex” your toes forward and hold the stretch for a few seconds.
  • Flex them the opposite way and hold for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times, then stretch the other foot.
  • Repeat this stretch three times a day.

Ice Bottle

  • Fill a plastic bottle with water and put it in the freezer.
  • Place the bottle on the floor and your soles on the cold bottle, and roll in under your feet for several minutes.
  • This feels good, reduces swelling and stretches your heels and fascia.

Toe Spelling

  • While lying down, lift your leg and point your toes.
  • Use your toes to “spell” each letter of the alphabet, as if you’re writing in the air.
  • Try it with your toes pointing backward as well.
  • Repeat with each foot three times a day.
  • This exercise strengthens the feet and ankles and is also excellent to rehabilitate a sprained ankle.

Step Down

  • Stand with your toes on the edge of a step and your heels hanging down.
  • Drop your heels down and then lift them back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Do this exercise three times a week.
  • This exercise will stretch your toes and keep your plantar fascia flexible.

Toe Band

  • While seated, wrap a band around your toes.
  • You can use a small resistance band or just a regular rubber band, wrapping twice if needed.
  • Flex your toes against the band and release.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Do this once a day to keep your toes flexible.


You can’t run if your feet hurt or if they’re sidelined by an injury. A sprained ligament can knock you off your feet for weeks. To stay one step ahead of running-related sports injuries, take simple preventive measures.

  • Always wear shoes that fit properly.
  • Ask your podiatrist if custom orthotics will help your gait, especially if you have high arches, flat arches or a tendency to pronate.
  • Replace your running footwear when it gets worn out.
  • Always warm up before a run.
  • Continue your stretches to avoid injury.
  • Get regular foot checkups.


These tips will keep you striding along to better health and happier feet. If you’re a runner or other kind of athlete, make regular stretching part of your routine, pay attention to your footwear and see your podiatrist regularly. You’ll stay in the running for a good long time.


About: Dr Shuman provides podiatry services in Potomac Falls, Sterling, Ashburn, Lansdowne and Leesburg Va.  Shuman Podiatry offers: custom orthotics, diabetic foot care, heel pain and spurs, wart removal and more.  Contact Dr Shuman today for all your foot care needs.

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