woman running in the rainAs a web-footed Seattleite, you're used to running in the rain. But you may have noticed the type of rain in Seattle seems to be changing.

The misty rain you grew up with or experienced when you first moved to Seattle seems to have shifted to more constant rain that requires some adjustment to the type of gear you're used to wearing. Now that we've fallen back to standard time, it's getting darker earlier. The combination of rain and darkness makes it even harder for drivers to see you. 

While I normally talk about how to resolve your runner's heel pain, ball of foot pain, or toe pain, it's also important to learn a few safety tips when you're out pounding the pavement. 

Here are some tips that will help you run safely in the rain.  

Light Up Like a Jack-'O-Lantern

You might love wearing black but for runners, black can be deadly. Wear gear that is bright and neon-colored. Purchase bright yellow, turquoise, and even white clothing at Brooks or Road Runner Sports. Additionally, a reflective vest, belt, lights, or snap bands will make you highly visible to drivers; these items can be purchased at REI.

Wear Shoes With Grooves

Although most running shoes come with grooves, it's important to replace your shoes every 500 miles so you have the tread that will keep you from slipping and turning an ankle. Also, slippery roads will put more demand on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons making it more likely to worsen existing foot problems. Go more slowly than you might have in dryer conditions.

Wear a Hat or Visor

Keeping the rain out of your eyes is critical for your safety. You need to be able to see road irregularities and drivers who may still not see you even if you're wearing all the right gear. Use an anti-fog cleaner on your glasses to prevent them from steaming up.

Wear Socks That Wick Away Moisture

Socks that wick away moisture are best for runners to prevent blisters. Look for socks made out of the nylon, CoolMax, polyester, wool, Lycra, and Spandex. Some brands I recommend are Smartwool Run Ultralight, CEP short socks, or Balega Running Socks.

Wear Gear to Keep Dry

Not all raingear is alike. As Seattle moves into a harder rain weather pattern, in addition to wearing a jacket bright enough for drivers to see you, finding a jacket that will keep the rain from getting in and keeping your sweat at bay is essential. Some reasonably priced highly rated jackets are Under Armour Scrambler Hybrid Jacket for Women and the Columbia Outdry Ex Tech Shell Jacket for Men.

Of course, if your runs have become painful due to foot problems, don't wait any longer to come see us.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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