by Faye Rapoport
Foot.com spoke to Paul Martin about the foot care issues he faces as an amputee athlete. Martin lost his left leg below the knee after a car accident at age 25, and went on to become a world-class athlete. He recently published his autobiography, “One Man’s Leg.”
Foot.com: Welcome, Paul. Foot.com congratulates you on your many athletic achievements as a triathlete and Paralympic cyclist. Competing with one leg amputated below the knee must present unique challenges in caring for your one natural foot. Can you describe your footcare regimen?
Paul:I’m a big fan of Vaseline. My right foot takes a bit of a beating and I find that Vaseline – or any other petroleum jelly, I suppose, helps keep my skin in good shape. I also wear a custom heel orthotic with most shoes. It’s hard plastic with a foam pad. Having one foot that does a lot of work on the run, the orthotic helps add support and stability, which, in turn, helps prevent injury to the foot, ankle and knee.
Foot.com: Do you wear special socks or athletic footwear that helps maintain a healthy foot?
Paul:No. Nothing special athletically speaking. Although I do wear a custom ski boot liner.
Foot.com: What type of shoes or socks do you wear when you’re not training?
Paul:I wear running shoes most of the time for both comfort of the right foot and easy roll-over on the prosthetic side.
Foot.com:Have you ever injured your right foot?
Paul:So far so good!
Foot.com: Your athletic career has been an inspiration to many young people, people with disabilities and others who have doubted that they can achieve great things. What are your words of advice to anyone struggling with a foot or other injury that might be affecting their quality of life or their athletic performance?
Paul: If you’re suffering from a foot injury I’ve found that aqua jogging, while not the most thrilling of all athletic training tools, is a great way to keep your running form while rehabilitating. Also, cycling may very well be a great alternative to running while battling a debilitating issue or temporary injury.
Foot.com: Thank you, Paul!