What are Hot spots on foot? Causes and Prevention

Why do we encounter hot spots on foot during exercising? How does this occur? Is it perfectly normal? Should I be alarmed if I have hot spots on foot after running? More often than not, I have found myself asking these questions. The only way I could get to relax was by doing a little research and coming up with the answers.

Recently after running for about an hour, my foot starts getting hot spots, especially near the base of the toes. It feels like somebody actually lit a match at the base of my foot. The pain spreads from the ball of the foot to the outer region and around the toes.


There are so many things that happen after and during exercising or running which leave us so confused on what has happened and how to put an end to it. Hot spots on foot are very basic things which happen to all of us, but when you do not know the actual cause of the condition, it gets a bit alarming.

What are hot spots on foot?

A hot spot is a pre-blister state. It is a type of warning for you to know your skin is stretching too much and it is starting to get tired. The hot spots on foot are a predecessor of an oncoming blister. These hot spots usually occur after an intensive exercise period.

There is no need to be overly anxious about this condition. The condition is quite common. Needless to say, the ball of the foot is the part where greatest pressure is applied while running, hence if there is pain on that part of the foot, it makes running very uncomfortable and painful. No one wants that. Let us look at some of the symptoms of hot spots on foot.

Symptoms of hot spots on foot

It feels really warm like there is something rubbing on you, and mostly appears a bit red in color. They can be painful and usually occur at the base of the foot. The pain might be concentrated on where you land your feet. They may also appear at your heels or inside the big toe.

What causes hot spots?

Hot spots usually develop because of high pressure at a specific site at your foot. Intense training and running might apply excessive pressure to the part your foot where you strike the ground on or where your foot comes into contact with the shoe.

Flat feet

Flat feet are one of the causes of hot spots on foot. Flat feet cause overpronation when running resulting to a lot of stretching and pressure on the bottom part of your foot during the turning of the feet.

High arched feet

One of the common causes of hot spots is the high arched flexible foot which causes. A high arched foot stretches a lot, causing stretching of the areas around your bottom feet.

People with high arched feet may experience irritation of ball of the foot more quickly than others.Some studies have been done on what actually causes this condition. Feet that have high arches put much more tension and stretching on the arch of the foot, exposing them to hot spots.

Incorrect running shoes

When you wear shoes that are too tight, they end up causing a lot of friction on your foot, causing formation of hot spots. Shoes which have a really narrow toe box can also cause hot spots on foot, around you big toe.


Heat causes swelling which puts unneeded stress on your skin making it open for irritation. Heat also makes your skin go soft, making it susceptible to injuries and hot spots.


When your foot gets wet, your skin gets really soft becoming susceptible to hot spots. This is worse in runners since your feet are enclosed in shoes, where sweating happens creating moisture in your feet. Wetness gives your socks or shoes something to rub against during running creating hot spots on foot.


Because the process of running is so recurring, all it takes is something to be slightly out of place and there will be high pressure zones on a certain part of your foot. When you keep on running and hitting the same place over and over again causing friction, the area is likely to get inflamed and form hot spots.

Now that we know what actually causes hot spots on our feet, let us look at how we can treat and prevent hot spots on foot.

Prevention and treatment of hot spots on foot

First and foremost, wear correct comfortable shoes

The key to avoiding these minor injuries like hot spots on foot is getting yourself a pair of shoes that actually fit, have good cushioning and are comfortable to workout in. this will prevent any forthcoming injuries that may result from bad shoes.

When hot spots are a sign of peroneal tendonitis, it is good to get the best shoes for this condition. Simply follow here.

The insoles should be very supportive depending on the kind of work you do or the exercises you are doing. This is more of prevention rather than a treatment option.

Use orthotics or shoe inserts

These are very helpful in providing arch support for you. This will support the arch and all the bones and muscles, and also make the heel stable. These are good for flat feet and high arches as they are designed for specific arches.

Since the hot spots are usually in the ball of the foot, which is a prime area for metatarsalgia, insoles for metatarsalgia can be helpful. Check them out on here.

Look for arch supports

Due to the common occurrence of this condition, there are specialized arch supports that considerably ease the hot spots on the foot. There are different types of arch supports for different arch types. Make sure you know your arch type, i.e.; low arch type medium or high arch type.

Use the correct socks

A lot of runners have recommended double layered socks for this condition. The friction builds up between the two socks layers rather than between the foot and the socks. Socks are also good in reducing the friction between the foot and the shoe as it acts as a barrier there.

You can also visit here. These socks are ideal in reducing friction and stopping hot spots caused due to plantar fasciitis.

Reduce the friction

Via Amazon.com

There are several ways of reducing friction. Some of them are zinc oxide tapes, blister plasters, smothering the foot in petroleum jelly and of course using the correct running shoes and socks.

In conclusion

Hot spots on foot are not unique occurrences. These are quite common in runners, especially if the wrong type of shoes is used. The main cause of this condition is excessive pressure and friction at a particular spot. Hot spots on foot can be treated by using socks, correct shoes, shoe inserts among other things.

I hope this article has been of help to you as a runner. Leave your thoughts and comments in the comment section. Thank you so much for reading this article.

Bella Williams

Hi! I'm Bella. I love running. I write this blog to share everyone about running.

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