Footballers’ Feet: What are they like?

In my experience as a Randell’s Footcare podiatrist working with professional footballers, I have found two well defined stages during the football season. The bad one and the worst.

Blisters, calluses, damaged nails

Despite what we might think (that footballers must have perfect feet), in contrast, once inside the treatment room you find completely the opposite. Blisters, callus, bruised nails, damaged nails or even no nails!  Sometimes our mission is just to make things a bit easier for them. Sometimes they just need advice to find the way to keep their feet in tiptop condition. In some cases we need to do extra work on them.

Pre-season is normally blister time. Footballers’ feet are constantly under pressure. Tight boots, fast movements and stops, rotations and pivoting motion. This all creates a friction that, combined with moisture, normally ends up with blisters.

Some areas are much more susceptible than others. Blisters frequently occur under the big toe, under the metatarsal joint and backs of the heels. We need to drain them, dry them and help build up a slightly protective callus by using different tapes. This helps to reduce the friction inside the football boots.

Match game Injuries    

During the season it’s mainly maintenance work. Above all we need to keep those calluses under control, prevent them from becoming too thickened and keeping the nails as comfortable as possible. It is usually the case that football players like to have extremely short toenails, so then we need to avoid any possible in growing toenails.

We often deal with bruised nails after stabs from studs (injury from studs are painful and common). Frequently it is just damage to the nails caused by pressure from the boots. Once this happens, it’s important to release the pressure and file the nail down to make it comfortable. This is a continuous cycle!

A worthy job

It’s our job as the team podiatrists to advise them well. But fortunately, footballers are aware of how important it is to keep their feet in good condition. So they are always very pleased with our service just as any other Randell’s Footcare patients.

Miquel Bibiloni  Podiatrist Randell’s Footcare

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