Are Calluses Good For Running

As a seasoned runner, I’ve often wondered about the benefits of calluses when it comes to running. After all, these toughened areas of skin develop as a result of constant friction and pressure, and I’ve often questioned whether they are a help or hindrance to my running performance. Let’s dive into the topic of calluses and explore their impact on running.

What are Calluses?

Calluses are thickened and hardened areas of skin that develop in response to repeated friction, pressure, or irritation. When it comes to running, calluses typically form on weight-bearing areas of the feet, such as the heels, balls of the feet, and toes. These areas are subjected to significant stress during running, leading to the development of calluses over time.

Protection or Discomfort?

One school of thought suggests that calluses act as a natural protective layer for the skin, reducing the risk of blisters and providing a degree of insulation against the constant impact of running. On the other hand, some runners argue that calluses can become uncomfortable, especially when they become excessively thick or cracked, potentially leading to pain and discomfort during runs.

The Role of Calluses in Running Performance

From a personal perspective, I’ve found that well-maintained calluses can indeed provide a level of protection, allowing me to focus on my running without being sidelined by blister-related woes. However, when calluses become too pronounced, they can alter my gait and lead to discomfort, ultimately impacting my running form and performance.

Maintaining Calluses

For those who see the benefits of calluses in running, proper maintenance is crucial. Regular exfoliation and moisturization can help keep calluses in check, preventing them from becoming excessively thick and uncomfortable. Additionally, wearing well-fitting running shoes and moisture-wicking socks can minimize friction and the development of painful calluses.

Consulting a Professional

If you’re grappling with persistent discomfort or issues related to calluses, seeking advice from a podiatrist or foot specialist is advisable. They can provide personalized recommendations and address any underlying biomechanical factors that may be contributing to callus formation, ensuring that your running experience remains as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.


In conclusion, the presence of calluses in running is a nuanced topic that depends on individual preferences and experiences. While well-maintained calluses can offer a degree of protection, it’s important to strike a balance to prevent them from impeding your running journey. Whether you view calluses as friends or foes, being mindful of their impact and taking proactive steps to manage them can help you continue to enjoy the many benefits of running.