First off, if you’re looking for tips on athlete’s foot, in-grown toe nails, or just plain stinky feet, see our guide to common foot problems and prevention. Now, if you want to stop a pesky little foot blister, you’re on the right trail. Whether it’s on your heel or your toe, we all can’t wait til that nagging pain goes away so we can get back to the normal training regimen. But before we dive into how to prevent foot blisters, we first need to understand what causes blisters.
What Causes Blisters?
You probably know that blisters are caused by continuous rubbing on the skin. But let’s think a little deeper. What’s doing the rubbing, and why? Typically blisters occur when a grippy, wet sock pulls against the skin repeatedly for an extended period of time. The sock is probably wet from sweat or water, and it becomes loose. When this happens, your sock can’t hug your foot tight enough to prevent pulling and rubbing.
How to Stop Foot Blisters
Now that we understand that blisters are caused by poor fitting, loose, or wet socks, here are some ways to prevent foot blisters:
1. See the experts! Podiatrists can be pricey, but they can be worth it. Quite often, small sports store owners have enough sport experience to make professional recommendations, and running store specialists can analyze which shoes best fit the way you walk or run.
2. Choose a moisture-wicking material that keeps your feet dry like spandex, lycra, or acrylic. For all moisture wicking sock materials, check out our Sport Sock Materials page.
3. Make sure your shoes fit well. The more your foot slides to and from the wall of your shoe, the more rubbing occurs to cause blisters. In particular, running shoes should be a half size to a size bigger than your normal size to eliminate blisters in the front of your toes during those long runs. If you’ve had blisters from shoes with a certain feature, don’t buy shoes with that feature again!
4. Tape up any places where you usually get blisters. Sometimes, our walking and running motion naturally causes blisters. For more tips on foot care, check out our basic foot treatment tips.
How to Prevent Foot Blisters Tutorial
Step 1: Put on a Dress Sock
Like most running socks, dress socks are made of moisture-wicking, breathable materials like nylon, acrylic, and spandex that will keep your feet dry and hug your foot tightly. This eliminates the friction that causes blisters.
Step 2: Put on a Cotton Sock
Wear a cotton running sock over the dress sock. The thicker sock has greater traction inside your shoe and will help your shoe fit better. The cotton sock will rub against the dress sock, but your dress sock won’t rub against your skin.
Step 3: Lace up, But Not Too Tight!
Tie your shoes, preferably with a double-knot. Your shoe should hug your feet tightly, but not too tight to allow for ample circulation from your ankle down to your toes.
Hopefully now you know how to address those blisters and keep off the couch and on the playing field. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here!