13 Best foot Blister Treatment Kits Tested & Compared
For runners, blisters are a small thing that can be a big problem. It can make keeping up with your regimen a very painful process. You may be willing to suffer for your run, most active individuals are at one time or another, but should you? Should you have to? Even if you grit through it, the pain and the inhibiting factor of the blister will still limit your performance.
Blisters will appear anywhere friction or heat can build up in your shoe, probably as a byproduct of an imperfect fit. Running or walking an especially long distance or long time will increase the chances of developing a blister, the friction of the repetitive motion proving too much for the sensitive skin of the foot. Good socks can compensate for this, limiting the space and allowing our foot to breath.
If your running in a hot climate, challenging terrain, or are simply breaking in a brand new pair of shoe you have to take the possibility of blisters into consideration. This list is composed of not only blister treatments but also preventative measures. An ounce of prevention to cover any hot spots could save a runner a lot of pain in the long run. So take a look at our list, as well as the following information we provided, to help you choose the best prevention and treatment for the blisters you will inevitably incur.
- Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
- Precut sizes
- Pure Compression Sport Socks
- Moisture wicking properties
- Compeed Blister Cushions
- Precut in different sizes
13 Best foot Blister Treatment Kits
Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
- 1 GlacierGel patch (Large Oval)
- 1 GlacierGel patch (Smaller Rectangular)
- 11 Moleskin, pre-shaped stripes (11 pieces)
- Has 6 Antiseptic Wipes to help sterilize cuts, scrapes and sores
- The contents of the package basically make up a first aid kit for tending to blisters of any size
- no scissors needed
- Some don't like the precut sizes
Pure Compression Sport Socks
- Effectively prevents blisters from forming
- Graduated compression helps to provide a bit of arch support
- Fits like a second skin
- Made in the Italy. Material is 88% Polyamide / 12% Elastane
- Material breathes well and does not overheat
- Moisture wicking, stay free of perspiration
- Keep feet firmly in place within the shoes. Compression ensures it stays in place
- Provides a protective barrier against irritants
- Material breathes well
- Moisture wicking properties
- Some felt the price was a bit high for a single pair
Compeed Blister Cushions
- Some plasters cut just for the heel, others made to fit other parts of the foot
- High grade adhesive ensures no slippage
- Comfortable and reliable
- Easy to use, no cutting for fitting involved
- Manufactured in England
- They use a pretty good adhesive
- contains patches sized to fit different areas of the foot
- No cutting necessary
- A bit expensive
Body Glide Foot Anti Blister Balm
- Prevent blisters by applying a coat to your feet before you slide them into your shoes
- A great way to protect your feet from the wear and tear of training or daily use
- Contains Vitamin A and C to help soften skin and restore damaged or dehydrated skin. Works to fight inflammation
- Will not clog pores, allows the skin to breathe naturally and freely
- Allergen free, made from plant-derived ingredients.
- Vegan tested and approved, cruelty free, child safe product
- Vegan tested and approved
- Easy application
- Contains Vitamins A and C for skin health
- Allergen free
- Results seem to differ per person
Gold Bond Friction Defense
- Soothes and moisturizes skin
- Good for sensitive skin, does not irritate
- Proudly manufactured in United States
- Reduces blister causing friction
- Long-Lasting, no need to reapply every hour
- Non-Greasy, oil-free
- Helps moisturize skin
- Creates a barrier to prevent unwanted friction
- Application stays on for quite a while
- Some react differently to it, may want to test first
ENGO Oval Blister Prevention Patches
- Comes with four large ovals (1.75″ x 2.75″) and 2 small (1.5″ x 2″)
- Very easy to use — simply peel the adhesive packing off an ENGO patch, place the patch in your shoes where they rub against your foot and voila
- Built to last (if applied properly) up to 300 miles
- They fit in all types of footwear, from running shoes to cleats and beyond
- compatible with all types of footwear
- Simply to apply
- made to last quite a while
- Some felt that the adhesive may not stay on as long as they would like
Wrightsock Anti-Blister Quarter Sock
- Made from Polyester, Nylon and Lycra
- Blister-Free money back guarantee
- Manufactured proudly in the USA
- Patented Double Layer construction
- Designed to handle high intensity activity
- Dimensions 8.5″ x 3.75″ x 0.5″
- Money back guarantee
- Double layer construction for durability
- Created for use during intense activities or sports
- Mixed results for some, although the majority experienced success
Spenco 2nd Skin Squares
- Offers a nice layer of protection against skin pressure, friction, chafing and blisters
- Non-sterile, important to keep in mind
- Best for general use in clinics, training rooms and or self-use on the go
- Package contains 200 gel squares
- Provides a barrier, like a second skin
- Easy to use
- Useful for just about any situation
- Not sterile
Dr Scholl’s Moleskin Roll
- Soft flannel fabric, rests soft on the skin
- Insulated padding protects against painful friction that causes blisters and a number of other problems
- Famous for its effective cushioning properties
- Self-stick firm gripping adhesive,
- Cuts-to-size as needed
- Protects against friction and uncomfortable portions of shoes
- Strong adhesive
- customize to fit your needs
- You'll need to cut it yourself
Band-Aid Advanced Healing Cushions
- Adhesive Bandages have covered and protected cuts and scrapes for millions of people for over 90 years
- Adhesive won’t rip the skin upon removal
- Water resistant bandages
- 6 count Band-Aids
- Protects from friction and other stuff like dirt and grime
- fairly water resistant
- Adhesive holds well, but doesn't hurt when removed
- Only six to a pack
Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit
- comes with 1 large pressure pad
- 6 1inch moisture pads
- 6 small adhesive knit sheets
- 1 large adhesive knit sheet
- Good for alleaviating pain
- Reduces healing time
- Helps prevent blisters from forming
- Flexible and can be cut to fit
- Comes in multiple convienent pieces
- Not noticable
- Convienent for travel
- Some users have trouble getting them to stay in place
Dr. Scholl's Molefoam Padding
- Contains 2 sheets
- Moleskin + latex foam
- Made up of tiny air cells
- Won’t catch on clothing
- Can be cut to size
- Extremely soft
- Protects well
- Stays in place
- Padding may be too thick for some
Kinesio Tex Gold Tape
-2 inches by 16.4’ feet in length
-Sells in packs of 2
-Microgrip deep set adhesive
-Fingerprint Technology provides a deep massage
- Flexible and stretchy
- Reduces pain
- Aids in healing
- Reduces chance of blisters
- Some users had allergic reactions to the adhesives
- May not last as long as advertised
Criteria Used for Picking Out the Best Blisters Treatment Methods
Blisters happens to be one of the problems that affects athletes and others sports men and women. It can cause a great deal of pain depending on its size, depth and definitely location. Blisters need to be handled with a lot of care, or else they will in turn cause tear of the adjacent skin tissues, cause secondary infections, bleeding and increase pain.
That’s why it’s very important for athletes to learn how to take care of blisters hence be able to go back to their normal sporting activities despite having a blister. Blisters form because of friction across your skin, which makes the layers of skin separate, and when a blood vessel breaks, fills the gap with clear liquid. Blisters mostly occur on our hands and feet but can occur in other areas that experience some sort of excessive friction.
Potential blisters are easily spotted because they begin as hot spots. The skin area around the blister gets very tender and sensitive to any form of contact. It also turns red and becomes irritating. The pressure from the fluid makes the blister to be very painful, as the nerves become irritated. Blisters have different forms of treatment, but the proper treatment depends on the state of the blister.
The way to treat blisters depends on whether the blister has opened or not. An important thing to note is that the skin on top of the blister is a form of protection and should not be removed, it should be left intact to hasten the healing of the blister. Removing the protective skin exposes the skin underneath to possible infection and also increases the pain because the nerve endings are now exposed.
While picking out the best treatments for blisters, we considered the following factors:
Is the Blister Intact or Torn?
Treatment for each blister is different and depends mainly on whether the blister has burst open or is still covered by skin. The skin on the blister should be allowed to remain for as long as possible. This helps speed up the healing process and prevents additional pain from exposed nerves.
Many people wonder if they should drain a blister. If the blister is filled with fluid, draining it will provide immediate pain relief because the blister is no longer causing pressure to the area.
You can drain a blister safely at home. Make sure that you avoid exposing the blister to any infections. The following steps are a simple guide on how to drain a blister:
- Remove bacteria by cleaning the area with antibacterial soap
- Heat up a household sewing needling to sterilize it.
- Touch the blister gently to apply pressure and move the liquid to one side
- Poke a hole in the base of the blister to allow the liquid to drain. Make sure the hole is large enough that it won’t reseal.
- Use clean gauze to absorb the liquid as it drains from the blister. You made need to apply light pressure to the blister to fully drain it.
- Apply antibacterial ointment to the area to prevent infection.
- Place a bandage on the blister to cover it.
- Change the band-aid frequently (at least once per day) until the blister is healed.
An open blister, though already drained, still needs to be treated to prevent infection and promote healing. Follow the steps below to treat an open blister:
- Use antibacterial soap to clean the skin
- After the area has dried, apply antibacterial ointment to prevent infection
- If the skin flap is still there, place it over the wound. Then, cover the area with a sterile dressing, like a small piece of gauze. Then, apply a bandage or tape to keep it in place.
- Change the dressing and bandage daily until the blister is healed.
- Trim the dead skin away if necessary.
While treating an open blister it’s important to check if the skin is completely torn. If it is, then it’s advisable that you remove the torn tissues so that they don’t risk tearing into the healthy skin tissues. Keeping the blister clean at all times is important, clean it with soap and then using sterile scissors remove, carefully remove the torn skin. You can either cover the area with a bandage after applying an ointment. The best option would be to use second skin; this is because the blister will be very tender because it has lost the protective skin layer.
The second skin is able to act as the protective skin. It has the same properties as the protective skin, its placed directly on the open blister. After this, it’s covered with either a moleskin or a lightweight elastic tape. The second skin brings immediate relief. The second skin comes in already precut squares, it’s usually moist, clear in color and has the thickness of several skin layers. It allows the athlete to resume normal activities without any form of discomfort.
Type of Treatment
There is a multitude of products available to treat blisters and the pain they cause. Bandages aren’t your only option. Read below to see what other products are available to treat blisters:
Moleskin is a type of feeling that has an adhesive side. It comes in small, square sheets or in rolls, and can be cut to size. Moleskin acts like a second skin, protecting the area over which it is applied. It allows the athlete to resume normal activities without any form of discomfort. When moleskin is properly applied, it distributes pressure away from the blister to help ease pain and discomfort.
Follow these steps when applying moleskin:
- Cut 2 pieces of moleskin that are both larger than the blister.
- Cut a hole in the middle of one of the pieces of moleskin. The blister should fit through the hole.
- Apply a liquid bandage product on the skin around the blister (and not directly on it. Allow the liquid bandage to dry completely.
- Apply the piece of moleskin with the hole, making sure the blister is inside the hole.
- Place some antibiotic ointment over the blister, then cover with the second section of moleskin.
The double layer skin of the moleskin reduces the pain from the blister by reducing the pressure from the shoe. If the blister is located in a friction-prone area like the heel then tape can be applied to reduce the pressure and friction affecting the blister.
There are many long distance runners and hikers that use superglue for a quick blister fix.
Long distance hikers and runners will often advocate using superglue for on-the-go blister healing. The superglue heals the blisters by creating a bond between the roof of the blister and the skin underneath the blister. This creates a protective shell around the blister that reduces the risk of infection. If you do choose to use Superglue, make sure you thoroughly clean the blister before applying. Also, beware: it stings.
Another popular method for both treatment and prevention of blisters is duct tape. However, duct tape is not breathable and it does form creases and wrinkles which can cause further irritation. If you do decide to use duct tape, make sure to place a clean, non-stick pad on the blister before applying the tape.
Below are some tips for taping up heels, toes, and other areas of the foot. This is a precautionary step in preventing blisters from forming in areas where they tend to pop up:
- The best tape products to use are first aid/medical tape, silk tape, moleskin, or Leukotape. Change the tape frequently or else you risk developing an open blister.
- Be sure to cover the blister with a piece of gauze or toilet paper before applying the tape to your skin. Applying the tape directly to the blistered area will rip off the blister. Ouch!
- Double wrapping toe blisters are the best way to keep them secure. Wrap one piece of tape around your toe, placing the seam at the bottom (or underneath) your toe. Then, do the same thing with another piece of tape, but have the seam on top of your toenail.
- If you have a blister on the ball of your foot, the more tape the better. Cut the piece of tape to be many inches longer than the diameter of your forefoot. Then, wrap the tape around the ball of your foot, pressing the edges down to conform to the shape of your foot.
- Tape sticks better to warm, dry feet. So, try to avoid taping your feet when they are wet, sweaty, or very cold.
- Keep the tape as smooth as possible during application. Wrinkles in the tape can cause more blisters!
- If you are having difficulty getting your tape or moleskin to stick, try Benzoin. This gooey, alcohol-based compound not only disinfects the area but also helps tape and moleskin stick better. It is a good option if you know you will be running in wet conditions.
Other Important Factors To Consider When Looking For A Good Treatment For Blisters
Below are some of the factors that were considered when picking out the best treatment for blisters.
Additional Foot Care Considerations
- Toenails – Keep your toenails trimmed neatly for running and hiking. Not only will this prevent ingrown toenails, but it will also eliminate the possibility of discomfort caused by a tight toe box.
- Air out your feet – If your feet feel wet or sweaty, or if you are taking a break during your hike or run, take a few minutes to air out your shoes and feet. This will help prevent moisture-related blisters and hot spots.
- Take care of your skin – Keeping your skin soft, smooth and crack free can go a long way in the prevention of blisters. Use a callus file or pumice stone on your feet regularly, especially on your heels and forefoot. Taking care of your skin is the first step in preventing blisters and hot spots.
So that’s it. Those are our ten best recommendations for blister care products. For runners who suffer from blisters, there is undoubtedly something in there to help you. Below are a few more pertinent facts about blisters.
In order to help with a bit more information to base your decision off of, we have done a little more research to find out what many other customers are asking when shopping for the most suitable products.
Q. What is a blister exactly?
A. A blister is when a pocket of fluid forms under the outermost layers of the skin. Running, walking and hiking can all cause friction which is what causes blisters. Both shoes and/or socks can be at fault for this friction. Blisters first start out as “hot spots” which is a red and warm area on the skin that which then may start to sting or burn. A blister forms when this hot spot is left untreated. Moisture and excessive heat can also aid in the formation of blisters.
Q. How long do blisters last?
A. This depends on their severity of course, but generally, blisters resolve within a few days if they are not further aggravated.
Q. Should I pop it?
A. There is no easy answer to whether or not a blister should be popped. It is all in the circumstances. You need to weigh the risk of popping it versus what is to be gained. If you aren’t actively walking on it or putting weight on it then there is no need to pop it. If you are, and it is causing you pain, you may consider popping it. The next important piece of information to consider is whether you have a compromised immune system. If you do, then best not to pop it. Do you have access to a clean environment and tool? No? Then don’t pop it. Going to be walking through questionable/ wet terrain in the near future? Don’t pop it. WebMD has a good set of guidelines for different scenarios and it’s what we refer to when in doubt.
Q. How do I prevent blisters?
A. The two most important steps you can take to prevent blisters from forming is to reduce or eliminate the friction that causes them and to keep your feet dry. Lubricants, powders, and antipersperants can be applied to the feet to help prevent blisters. These products help reduce friction, and therefore, the hot spots that lead to blister formation. Wearing two pairs of socks is another method used by many athletes to help prevent blisters and hot spots.
Wearing appropriate footwear can also go a long way in preventing blisters. Wearing thinner, lighter socks can be helpful. Shoes should be the correct size. If your shoes are too small, the friction caused by tightness can result in blisters. If your shoes are too big, the friction from foot slippage can cause blisters.
Hand blisters can be prevented by wearing sport-specific gloves to help protect areas at high risk for friction.
Q. What causes blisters?
A. Blisters are caused by friction that separates the layers of skin. This results in the breaking of blood vessels and the filling of the gap with clear liquid. The most common areas where blisters occur for athletes are the hands and feet.
There are many causes of blisters, including shoe rubbing and moisture. Blister formation can be noticed by the development of hot spots, which are irritated areas of the skin. They often appear to be red or bright pink and feel tender.
Q. How can these conditions be prevented?
A. The following methods can help minimize the chances of you getting blisters.
- Wear shoes that fit properly and comfortably.
- Wear socks with shoes.
- Use foot powder to help keep your feet dry.
- Wear gloves when you are doing manual labor or working with your hands.
Q. When to call a professional?
A. The only reason to seek medical care for a blister is if it starts to show any signs of infection. If this occurs seek professional help immediately as complications can arise quickly.
Q: What if the blister gets infected? What should I do?
A: First, it is important to determine if the blister is infected. You will feel a noticeable increase in pain as well as be able to see the fluid inside change color from transparent to something more opaque or murky and yellow.
Your best option in the event of an infection is not to tamper with it, as it will likely only worsen the situation. It is advisable, if symptoms persist, to talk to your doctor. Blisters may seem mild, but infections can become serious business, so it is best to seek professional treatment.
Q: Should I stop running because I have a blister?
A: This is something that you will have to really determine on your own. It depends on your personal threshold for pain. With that said, it’s a good idea to make sure the blistered area is at least protected if you are going to keep running. If it looks like it might break open, even if covered and protected, you might consider resting for a day to prevent further irritation. It should go down and dry some.
If you properly care for a blister, you will reduce the risk of infection, lessen the pain and still be able to run. Prevention is the best method, but if you do get a blister, the products above will help reduce the chance of any further pain or potential infection. We hope the information in this guide helped you address this issue.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:
- Gear Review: Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic, Sporting Website, ,
- How to Put Moleskin Over a Blister, Lifestyle Website, ,
- Take Your Blister Kit To The Next Level, Blister Website, ,
- Review: Pure Limits Unisex Compression Socks, Sporting Website, ,
- Compeed Blister Cushions | Review, Consumer Website, ,
- Body Glide vs. Gold Bond Friction Defense, Fitness Website, ,
- ENGO Blister Prevention Patches, Hiking Website, ,
- 5 Best Socks For Runners to Prevent Blisters, Sporting Website, ,
- Anti-Blister Sock Reviews, Running Website, ,
- Tested: Bodyglide Anti-Chafing Lubricants, Sporting Website, ,