Running-related bruising on the sole of the foot can be worrisome, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain. It can be caused by a variety of conditions and training errors. As this bruising can sometimes require a doctor’s intervention, it is important to understand why bruising can occur on the soles of your feet after running and how it can be treated.
Bruising on the sole of the foot after running can vary from mild to severe. Besides bruising, additional symptoms can include redness, swelling, tenderness, inflammation, pain, loss of flexibility, instability and difficulty walking or standing. Symptoms can worsen when you pull up on your toes or press on the ball of your foot. Bruising and pain can feel worse in the morning, fading into a dull ache by the end of the day or after a period of rest.
Bruising can occur on the sole of your foot if you overuse the tendons, fascia and bones with excessive running, over striding or by not taking proper breaks as needed. It can also occur if you frequently run long distances, on uneven terrain, or wear worn or improper footwear. Bruising on the sole of the foot can also be caused by conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and metatarsalgia.
Cut back on your running speed, distance and intensity. Place an ice pack against the bottom of your foot for about 10 minutes at a time right after your running routine. Take an anti-inflammatory medication to help ease symptoms. Wear running shoes that are flexible and offer proper arch support. Place heel pads or makeup sponges into the heel of your shoe to help absorb shock and shift weight away from any painful areas. Wear a thick pair of cushioned socks or slippers when not running.
Extra body weight places pressure on the bottom of your feet: continue running and eating right in order to reach or maintain a healthy weight. If bruising is new, evaluate what types of conditions or factors -- such as increasing your training intensity or running on uneven terrain -- could have caused it. Consult a doctor or sports physician if symptoms are severe or do not improve with self care. An X-ray may be required to rule out a serious problem such as a fracture.