Protecting your feet is key to a successful UTMB. Nutrition, training, equipment: in these areas, participants' preparation for this ultra-trail extravaganza is usually exemplary! This meticulousness should come as no surprise; the UTMB is a life goal, the payoff to years of passion and months of dedication.
But some runners occasionally overlook the most important variable of all, neglecting to take care of their most fundamental piece of equipment: their feet! Indeed, during the UTMB, nearly 20% of withdrawals are the result of foot problems. What is behind them? Blisters, black nails, overheating, chafing or other types of foot pain so severe as to shatter your dream of finishing the race.
Discover how to use our toe protectors, anti-blister protectors and anti-chafing cream to ensure foot comfort throughout the race and give you the best chance of crossing the legendary finishing line set in the heart of Chamonix.
"But some runners occasionally overlook the most important variable of all, neglecting to take care of their most fundamental piece of equipment: their feet! »
"Blisters, black nails, overheating, chafing or other types of foot pain so severe as to shatter your dream of finishing the race."
"A word of advice: make sure to keep this anti-chafing cream on hand, not just during prep, but during the race itself, and particularly at Aid Stations."
If you could only choose one of the products featured in this article, let it be our anti-friction cream! Highly recommended by our champions, this anti-chafing cream will quickly become your best ally throughout your UTMB adventure! A word of advice: make sure to keep this miraculous ointment on hand, not just during prep, but during the race itself, and particularly at Aid Stations.
This anti-chafing cream is designed to prepare the skin of your feet for the extreme conditions to which they will be subjected during the UTMB. Its protective action increases your skin's elasticity and tone, as well as its ability to protect itself against shocks and humidity. In short, our anti-chafing cream nourishes the skin of the feet, moisturising and strengthening it.
Notable feature: unlike the vast majority of similar products on the market, which are packed full of chemicals, our anti-chafing cream stands out for its 99% natural formulation.
The anti-chafing cream can be used in two ways:
- BEFORE THE RACE: To prepare your feet for the dampness and repeated shocks that come with running an ultra-trail in the mountains, we recommend including this anti-chafing cream in your skin-prep routine.
1/ From D-20 to D-10: Rub your feet with lemon juice in the morning, and massage them with moisturising cream in the evening. This will strengthen your feet without drying out the skin.
2/ From D-10 to D-1: Rub our anti-chafing cream into your feet every day, on a regular basis, ideally before going to bed. After applying the anti-chafing cream, be sure to massage your feet with it until it penetrates into the skin, from the tip of the toes to the heel, without leaving out a single spot.
3/ On the big day, about 1 hour before the start of the race, before slipping on your running socks, massage your feet generously with the anti-chafing cream until it penetrates, with particular emphasis on the arches of your feet.
- DURING THE RACE: Depending on your condition and needs, do not hesitate to change your socks and shoes during the race to set off again with renewed energy. This will provide you with a sense of unparalleled comfort. Before changing into dry socks, generously coat your feet again with anti-chafing cream.
For practical ease of use during the race, our tubes of anti-chafing cream come in small sizes, so that you can take them with you wherever you go. This includes the Aid Stations along the route.
"This big toe protector, in the form of a silicone cap, absorbs the impact of the foot against the shoe to prevent black toenails."
The big toe protector is not only for prevention, it can also allow you to run your UTMB even with a black nail.
Finishing the UTMB means covering 170km and climbing, then descending, more than 10,000m of elevation gain. Inevitably, there is a risk that the repeated impact of your nails against the front of the shoe will lead to black toenails. The Toe Cap, a protection device for your big toes in the shape of a silicone cap, absorbs the shock of the foot against the shoe and prevents the appearance of black toenails. It is ideal for prevention, but also as relief for an already painful toenail. Washable and reusable, this silicone toe protector is designed to be lightweight and thin, thus imperceptible inside your shoe. To the point that, along with the pain, you will also forget you're wearing one!
This big toe protector can be worn as a preventive measure on a big toe that is already sensitive or painful. Or you can take it with you to an Aid Station and put it on when you change your socks and shoes.
"This cylindrical toe protector prevents friction between the toes of your feet, which are sometimes squeezed into overly tight trail shoes."
Toe pain is one of the most common issues brought up by our athletes when we ask about the causes of aching feet. Often, black nails cause a great deal of pain by impacting with the shoe with every stride, particularly when running downhill. This problem can affect all the toes of the feet, not just the big toe!
The Toe Wrap is a toe protector in the shape of a tube, designed to prevent blisters. Based on the same principle as the cap, this cylindrical toe protector prevents friction between the toes of your feet, which are sometimes squeezed into overly tight trail shoes. Washable and reusable, this silicone toe protector is designed to be lightweight and thin, thus imperceptible inside your shoe. To the point that, along with the pain, you will also forget you're wearing one!
Like its counterpart, the Toe Cap, the Toe Wrap can be worn as a preventive measure on a toe that is already sensitive or painful. Or you can take this toe protector with you to an Aid Station and put it on when you change your socks and shoes.
"Unlike conventional hydrocolloid dressings, which often irritate the blister instead of healing it, this anti-blister protection in silicone gel can be used from the first symptoms of chafing to curb the blister's growth."
Above, we presented our foot comfort products, designed to prevent chafing, overheating and black toenails. So here's the final item to complete our foot comfort range: anti-blister protections!
To complement the effect of our toe protector, we have been working on a highly effective and comfortable anti-blister protection. Unlike conventional hydrocolloid dressings, which often irritate the blister instead of healing it, this incredibly thin, light and therefore imperceptible blister protection in silicone gel can be used at the first symptoms of chafing to curb the blister's growth, ease the pain and allow you to continue running.
These anti-blister protections are a last-recourse, preventive measure before having to resort to treatment. We recommend applying them at Aid Stations. After drying your feet thoroughly, place the protections on spots subject to chafing that could cause the formation of blisters.
The protections come in a variety of shapes to best suit the different areas of the foot:
- The Toe Protector, a protection against toe blisters:
- The Foot Protector, a protection against heel blisters:
"With its immediate cooling effect, this recovery gel optimises blood circulation after sport to maximise recovery."
After the work, the reward...
Through its immediate cooling effect, this recovery gel optimises blood circulation after sport to relieve any foot pain while favouring muscle relaxation.
This recovery cream will not provide any positive effects during the race itself. However, it can be a valuable tool, all the same:
- Before the race, during prep, after long outings or intense sessions, it can promote recovery and keep you on the trail.
- Later, once you've crossed the finish line, it can help your legs recover more quickly, thus avoiding jokes and teasing about your robotic gait from your friends and family!
Knowing how to make the best use of these foot protection products can greatly increase your chances of crossing the finish line of the UTMB.
Lastly, to ensure your peace of mind during preparation and get rid of the unpleasant feeling of having forgotten something important, we have developed 2 kits designed specifically for foot protection:
1/ The FOOTCARE KIT, which includes: a tube of anti-chafing cream, 1 tube of Cryo gel, 2 big toe protectors, 4 toe protectors, 5 blister protectors & 1 pouch.
2/ The SAFETY KIT, a lightweight, compact emergency kit approved by the UTMB, that includes: a tube of anti-chafing cream, 2 adhesive strips and a survival blanket.
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See you in Chamonix, at the Place du Triangle de l'Amitié!