Book review: Fixing Your Feet

From heels to toes, resources to rehabilitation, this bible of foot care has it all

If the average marathon takes about 55,000 steps to complete, then how many does it take to do an ultra? The answer: a ridiculous amount. Add in all the steps from training and it’s firmly into seven-figure territory.

So it’s strange that most runners tend to look after other parts of their body, but neglect their feet. Step forward (pun!) John Vonhof, whose book Fixing Your Feet should be on every runners’ book shelf.

Dubbed “the foot magician of ultra runners,” Vonhof has almost four decades of experience as a runner and medical professional, and has aided at numerous ultra races around the world. He knows his stuff and Fixing Your Feet – a book so popular a seventh edition is out soon – offers great tips and tricks to avoid potentially race-ending issues.

It covers an array of problems, from calluses and toenail fungus, to inflamed metatarsal heads and bothersome bunions. Just about anything foot-related is included and given detailed analysis, with prevention and treatment info that is easy to follow and understand.

It also has an exhaustive overview of blisters, with three whole chapters given over to our watery lesion friends. One chapter provides prevention details, another gives taping tips, while the third chapter offers treatment advice, both mid- and post-run.

These suggestions – like everything else in the book – are beneficial for any runner, regardless of distance or preferred running surface. Everything is straightforward and the additional tales from accomplished runners not only flesh out the text, but inject personality and entertainment value.

Even if you have somehow avoided foot problems up to now, Fixing Your Feet is a wise investment. It’s a valuable and thorough resource, and one day you will be grateful you own it.

An essential purchase if ever there was one.