How to treat athlete’s foot – 4 easy tips for this common running ailment

Athlete's foot - symptoms and treatment for runners

Athlete’s foot can be a real annoyance, but you can help prevent it (Illustration: Peter Greenwood)

Athlete’s foot is a common infection that affects the skin of the feet and the toes, and us triathletes are more prone to it than most.

Firstly, we spend a lot of our time in sweaty and moist running shoes, which serve as a happy breeding ground for the bacteria. And secondly, we are also more exposed than most to the communal changing facilities, showers and poolside areas that attract the bacteria.

Athlete’s Foot – Symptoms

Athlete’s foot symptoms include:

  • Reddening and cracking of the skin, especially between toes
  • The appearance of a white fungus on the soles of your heels and toes

You can treat athlete’s foot with antibiotics and over-the-counter remedies, but there are steps you can take to prevent it occurring.


  1. Wash your feet regularly with soap and water and ensure that you dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Also ensure that the socks you put on are dry.
  2. Try to allow your feet to breathe as much as possible. Wear sandals and flip-flops as much as you can, walk round in bare feet in dry areas and avoid wearing slippers.
  3. Never walk around in bare feet in wet areas such as communal showers, changing rooms and spas. Infection is most easily spread in these areas.
  4. Try using talcum powder or specialist anti-fungal powder inside your socks and shoes. These will absorb moisture and help to keep your feet much drier.

Find out more about common triathlon injuries or read more about how to avoid triathlon injuries on TriRadar.