Your feet and calf muscles take a tremendous amount of stress with each step you take. There are 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and thousands of nerves, tendons and blood vessels in your feet. Because of their complexity, your feet are delicate structures susceptible to burning. Your calves are also susceptible to soreness while you walk.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 2 million individuals are treated for plantar fasciitis each year. Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia -- the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes -- becomes irritated and inflamed. Plantar fasciitis occurs as the result of stress placed on your feet. Having tight calf muscles may make this condition worse. Plantar fasciitis can cause pain along your foot, which is likely to increase when you walk or participate in other forms of physical activity. This condition can be treated with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, cortisone injections, orthotics, night splints and surgery if all conservative measures fail.
Poor choices in footwear for walking can lead to burning in your feet and sore calves while walking. Invest in a good pair of walking or running shoes prior to engaging in a walking exercise routine. Your shoes should fit well. They should be snug in the heel and have a fingers-worth of space between your longest toe and the tip of your shoes. Shoes that are too small or too big can leave you more susceptible to injury. Your shoes should have adequate shock absorption to take some of the stress of your feet and lower extremities. If you are unsure about the fit of your walking shoes, take your shoes to a podiatrist or sports medicine professional for an evaluation.
The surfaces you choose to walk on may play a role in pain or burning in your feet and calf muscles. Surfaces that are hard absorb less shock as you run -- such as pavement or cement surfaces. To take some of the impact off of your feet and calf muscles, consider walking on a treadmill or a softer surface, such as your local high school's track. You can also walk on grass or trails. Be careful of uneven surfaces that may cause you to trip or twist your foot and ankle.
Overuse can also lead to burning feet and sore calves while walking. When you start out a new walking exercise program, avoid completing too much too soon. Start out slow and work your way up to your desired pace. Most health authorities recommend that you participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week. When you walk, allow yourself a day to recover if you are sore or experience pain afterward. Make sure to stretch your calf, foot and ankle muscles prior to walking. Stretching can help to loosen up your muscles, joints, tendon and ligaments leaving your less susceptible to injury.
- "National Academy of Sports Medicine; Essentials of Personal Fitness Training"; Scott Lucett; 2008
- American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine: Running and Your Feet
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs