Why Do My Feet Burn in My Tennis Shoes?

A woman is tying her tennis shoe.
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A burning sensation in your feet during exercise can be so uncomfortable that your workout is cut short. The tingling, burning and sweaty feeling makes exercise less enjoyable. Whether you experience the sensation every time you exercise or only when you wear a certain pair of tennis shoes, the cause of your burning feet could be the same. Schedule an appointment with your doctor for a more accurate diagnosis and ways to cope with the condition.


Athlete's Foot

A common cause of burning in the feet is athlete's foot, the result of a fungal infection that grows between the toes. The warm, moist area between the toes is ideal for this fungus to grow and fester, resulting in itchy, burning toes. When you wear tight tennis shoes to exercise, the sweat can exacerbate your condition, making it worse while exercising. Since athlete's foot is technically an infection, you'll need ointment medication to heal the burning sensation.


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Irritating Shoes

Wearing ill-fitting, non-supportive tennis shoes, also can lead to a burning sensation in the feet. The same problem can be exacerbated by certain socks as well. When combined with sweat, synthetic materials might be irritating. When exercising, ensure that you wear socks made from natural fibers, like cotton, which wick sweat from your foot. Look for tennis shoes that support your foot properly and are snug without being tight to ensure the best fit and support.


Poor Circulation

If your burning feet are attributed to poor circulation, it's likely a condition that you've suffered with your entire life. When your body doesn't circulate blood to your feet efficiently, they might feel tingly, numb and hot. Poor circulation also can be the result of athletic clothing that is too tight or remaining in a position that cuts off circulation to your lower extremities. It's important that all of your athletic gear is properly fitted for your body, especially when it comes to the type of shoes you wear.


Foot Care

Caring for your burning feet starts with a trip to the doctor's office. Since foot trouble can be a warning sign of diabetes, it's important that you explain the nature of your foot pain, when it occurs and when it stops to a health care professional. You can purchase anti-fungal medication for athlete's foot at the drugstore, but your doctor might prescribe stronger medicine if necessary.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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