Running is a great workout, a stress reliever, and (most of the time) is an all-around great time. But, sometimes we run into issues when we are pushing our mileage. We all know the feeling as soon as it starts, our toes, legs, chests, or underarms start warming up, we try to change up our form to fix it but… here comes the chaffing! Why does our skin do this?
Chaffing is nothing to be ashamed about and we guarantee you that every runner you know has had an experience with it. So let’s talk about what you can do to fix it before your skin even starts heating up.
What Causes Chafing While Running?
The main cause of chafing is friction. Think about it, all of the places that we mentioned chafing and the places where you get it are places where your skin moves back and forth against itself or your clothes. If you go for, let’s say a 5mi run and you take the average 2,000 steps per mile, each step for 10,000 steps is another opportunity for more rubbing of skin and skin/ skin and clothes. And did we mention that the presence of heat and moisture makes chafing worse by making your skin more susceptible to it. Running is the perfect storm of factors to create uncomfortable chafing. But how do we stop it?
Here’s how to Stop Chafing While You Run
- Lubricants: The Holy Grail! Body Glide, Squirrel’s Nut Butter, or even Vaseline, and other products like this create an instant barrier between your skin and the things rubbing against it. Sport-specific products like Body Glide and Squirrel’s Nut Butter and others are specially formulated for athletes and can hold up to friction, rubbing, and the heat. All while being invisible and not making you feel oily. We swear by the stuff!
- Moisture Wicking Materials: No Cotton Socks! When you go on runs you want to make sure that you are wearing clothes that are made for working out. They usually provide some kind of moisture wicking and heat dispersion that your normal clothes do not. As we mentioned, getting rid of that moisture and heat as quickly as possible will lower your chances of chafing.
- Properly Fitted Shoes: Having extra space in your shoes can lead to more space for your foot to slide and create friction and heat. Not having enough space can lead to your toes rubbing against each other. The moral of the story is be like Goldilocks and choose the shoes that fit just right!
- We suggest visiting your local running store so that they can make sure you find the right shoe for your body and the way you run
- Bonus: Toe socks are a great option for people that still need a little more help keeping those toes safe from chafing and blisters. Toe socks, from makers like Injinj and others, allow for each of your toes to be separated by their moisture-wicking fabric to help cut down on moisture, heat, and friction build-up.
We’ve all dealt with it at one time or another, when you feel that heat start to build you know you are starting to chafe! But there are things we can do to stop it before we even get to the run. Make sure that your running kit is giving you the best chance possible to have a great run, with zero chafing.
Shoot this article to a buddy because like we said… everybody chafes!