So you've started running—awesome. It's great for your physical and mental health, and it's an excuse to wear gym clothes, like, all the time. (No? Just us?)
But for all of its benefits, there's always the chance of injury. Some, like shin splints or tendonitis, are difficult to avoid. Others, like killer blisters, can sometimes be prevented.
We checked in with Dr. Casey Ann Pidich, an NYC-based podiatrist, who warned us about a common mistake she sees runners making: Running without socks.
Related video: Smart socks will change the way you run
Calling the move the “worst idea ever,” her reason makes total sense. “Socks help prevent blisters when running, and they also help absorb sweat,” she says. You should consider them an additional layer of protection for your feet—not to be skipped.
In the event of pain—regardless of its cause—Dr. Pidich also tells us when to push through it and when to back off. Turns out, the whole “no pain, no gain” thing isn't always accurate. “If one foot is painful and looks swollen, something is wrong,” she warns. “Stop running and seek a professional, because you may have tendonitis or worse even—a stress fracture.” Most people, she told us, experience swollen feet at the end of the day, but if one foot in particular looks off, it’s a good indication that something is wrong.
You got that? Always wear socks, and if you think something is seriously wrong, don't push through the pain because it seems like the athlete-y thing to do.