13 Best foot Blister Treatment Kits Tested & Compared
For runners, blisters are a small thing that can be a big problem that make keeping up with your training difficult. You may be willing to suffer for your run, but should you? Even if you grit through it, the pain and the inhibiting factor of the blister will still limit your performance.
Blisters can appear anywhere friction or heat build up in your shoe, usually as a byproduct of an imperfect fit. Running or walking an especially long distance will increase the chances of developing a blister. Good socks can compensate for this, limiting extra space inside the shoe and allowing our feet to breath.
If you're running in a hot climate, challenging terrain, or are simply breaking in a brand new pair of shoes, 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 can save a lot of pain in the long run.
- Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
- Pure Compression Sport Socks
- Compeed Blister Cushions
- Body Glide Foot Anti Blister Balm
- Gold Bond Friction Defense
- ENGO Oval Blister Prevention Patches
- Wrightsock Anti-Blister Quarter Sock
- Spenco 2nd Skin Squares
- Dr Scholl’s Moleskin Roll
- Band-Aid Advanced Healing Cushions
- Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit
- Dr. Scholl's Molefoam Padding
- Kinesio Tex Gold Tape
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 13 Picks
1. Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
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
For those who like to be fully prepared, the Adventure Medicals’ Blister Kit offers more than one line of defense. This handy package combines Glaciergel, Moleskin and a few other useful items like antiseptic towelettes and alcohol wipes. This is a complete foot care kit, it’s great if you need to care for a group of people or like to be extra well supplied.Read more
- 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
2. Pure Compression Sport Socks
Provides a protective barrier against irritants
Material breathes well
Moisture wicking properties
Some felt the price was a bit high for a single pair
To put it simply, Pure Compression has developed one of the most comfortable running socks out there, and they’ve paid special attention to some of those problematic blister causing contact points. They offer advanced dot padding technology which translates to maximum support, and cushioning where you need it most. The aesthetics of these socks are quite pleasing as well, with a sharp Italian-style design. A great pair of running socks and solid blister defense all rolled into one.Read more
- Effectively prevents blisters from forming
- Graduated compression helps to provide a bit of arch support
- Fits like a second skin
- Made in Italy. Material is 88% Polyamide / 12% Elastane
- Material breathes well and does not overheat
- Moisture wicking, stays free of perspiration
- Keeps feet firmly in place within the shoes. Compression ensures they stay in place
3. Compeed Blister Cushions
They use a good quality adhesive
Contains patches sized to fit different areas of the foot
No cutting necessary
A bit expensive
Blisters are such a common occurrence in the heel and achilles area that we’ve added another option well suited to deal with the issue. Compeed Blister Cushions are premium grade patches that provide instant relief for an inflamed heel. These patches stay firmly in place for up to a few days and they won’t get soggy in the way many band-aids do. Overall, these are another very effective treatment option to have in your back pocket.Read more
- 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
4. Body Glide Foot Anti Blister Balm
Vegan tested and approved
Contains Vitamins A and C for skin health
Results seem to differ from person to person
Body glide makes a number of very useful products for athletes, not the least of which is their Blister Balm. This foot-specific offering applies a dry coating (non-greasy) on the contact points between your foot and both your sock and shoe. This eases tension and ultimately can head off any friction that can lead to blisters or other sores. This handy solution can help foot odor issues and best of all it's sweat resistant. Give it a shot today and see the difference.Read more
- 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
5. Gold Bond Friction Defense
Helps moisturize skin
Creates a barrier to prevent unwanted friction
Stays on for a long time
Some people react differently to it, so you may want to test first
Good Bond is another great form of preventive care — dash a bit of it on before you hit the road and your odds of getting blisters goes down dramatically. Not only is this a good deterrent for painful sores but it contains aloe vera as well so it’s good for skin care in general. Good Bond does an excellent job of moisture control leaving the skin protected and far less prone to blisters. In a pinch Gold Bond powder can be used, but obviously this specially formulated blister product is going to give better results.Read more
- Soothes and moisturizes skin
- Good for sensitive skin, doesn't irritate
- Proudly manufactured in United States
- Reduces blister-causing friction
- Long-Lasting, no need to reapply every hour
- Non-Greasy and oil-free
6. ENGO Oval Blister Prevention Patches
Compatible with all types of footwear
Simple to apply
Lasts a long time
Some reviewers felt that the adhesive may not stay on as long as they would like
The ENGO Oval blister prevention patches are a great aid if you suffer from blisters or simply want some insurance while breaking in a new pair of shoes. The patches come in different sizes and are quite malleable allowing them to seamlessly offer protection to sensitive areas. The real kicker is that, unlike many blister aids, they attach to your shoes and not your skin. This makes them last much longer than similar (often times single use) products.Read more
- 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 you're done
- Built to last (if applied properly) up to 300 miles
- They fit in all types of footwear, from running shoes to cleats and beyond
7. Wrightsock Anti-Blister Quarter Sock
Money back guarantee
Double layer construction for durability
Created for use during intense sports and activities
Mixed results for some reviewers, although the majority were happy
As the old adage goes: an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. We believe this is as true today as it was when Ben Franklin (was it him?) said it 200 years ago. The Wrightsock is that ounce of prevention. The Wrightsock’s patented Dri-Wright technology mixes polyester, nylon, and lycra in a unique double layer to supply just the right degree of padding and reduce issues arising from friction and moisture buildup. These socks are specially formulated to keep your feet blister-free, so if you prefer to solve problems before they happen they may be worth considering.Read more
- 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″
8. Spenco 2nd Skin Squares
Provides a second skin like barrier
Easy to use
Useful for just about any situation
If you really like to push yourself and are happiest when things get rough and tumble, Spenco Second Skin Squares could be a valuable addition to your kit. These high-grade patches act as a second skin when you damage or cut your feet. They provide premium protection from blisters and contour nicely to the skin. One thing that stuck out in particular is that the product has managed to strike the adhesive balance perfectly. The Skin Squares stay in place nicely but don’t create extra pain/irritation when it comes time to rip them off. Overall these are highly recommended.Read more
- 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
9. Dr Scholl’s Moleskin Roll
Protects against friction and uncomfortable spots in your shoes
Customize to fit your needs
You'll need to cut it yourself
Probably the best known and loved treatment for blisters out there, Moleskin is or should be a mainstay of everyone’s medicine cabinet. If you’re unfamiliar with Moleskin it’s pretty simple; it's a soft cotton adhesive padding that can be cut to any size to relieve friction. Moleskin can be used as an aid for other issues such as painful corns, calluses, and tender spots in general. Moleskin is often one of the best reviewed products for treating blisters and we’ve found Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin in particularle to be dependable.Read more
- Soft flannel fabric rests comfortably 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
10. Band-Aid Advanced Healing Cushions
Protects from friction, dirt, and grime
Fairly water resistant
Adhesive holds well, but doesn't hurt when removed
Only six to a pack
Let’s start with the basics: Band-Aid makes a great well, Band-Aid, specifically for blisters. This is a normal looking bandage that has an extra cushioned gel pad, which relieves pain and stops further friction. These are cut to fit the heel thus ensuring a comfortable fit. They’re waterproof and have a superior adhesive that holds firm for extended use. These Band-Aids do a great job of sealing out water, dirt, and germs that can cause infection, or acting as a preventive barrier at the onset of a blister. Every runner should have a few of these on hand at all times.Read more
- 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 of Band-Aids
11. Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit
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 easily noticable
Convienent for travel
Some users reported having trouble getting them to stay in place
Spenco has created this kit specifically for healing blisters, as well as treating hot spots to prevent blisters in the first place. The 2nd Skin Blister Kit is great for alleviating pain and reducing the total healing time. The adhesives and pads are flexible and can be cut to fit the shape of your foot or shoe. The pieces of the kit are easy to wear and come together in this convenient pack. The 2nd Skin Blister Kit is great for hiking, camping, and other traveling where you are going to be on your feet in hot weather.Read more
- Comes with 1 large pressure pad
- 6 1 inch moisture pads
- 6 small adhesive knit sheets
- 1 large adhesive knit sheet
12. Dr. Scholl's Molefoam Padding
Can be cut to size
Stays in place
Padding may be too thick for some
Another option on this list that is specifically designed for preventative wear rather than treatment. This is always a smart choice, since an experienced runner can feel hot spots coming and know that they have to nip it in the bud. This Molefoam Padding is extremely soft and plush. It will protect your foot by adding that extra level of padding in your shoe and can be cut to size as appropriate. Dr. Scholl’s Molefoam padding will also remain where you place it without sliding around, making it great for treating specific areas.Read more
- Contains 2 sheets
- Moleskin + latex foam
- Made up of tiny air cells
- Won’t catch on clothing
13. Kinesio Tex Gold Tape
Flexible and stretchy
Aids in healing
Reduces chance of blisters
Some users had allergic reactions to the adhesive
May not last as long as advertised
The Kinesio Tex Gold Tape is more of a preventive measure than a treatment for blisters but can still aid in long term healing. It's a stabilizing and supportive tape that will fill in gaps and prevent hot spots from forming. This Tex Gold Tape barely feels like you are wearing anything at all, being not only flexible and elastic but also waterproof so you won’t have to take it off to shower. Kinesio also designed this tape to last multiple days of wear without needing to be changed, which makes it a great investment. Put it on and forget about it.Read more
-2 inches wide by 16.4’ feet in length
-Sells in packs of 2
-Microgrip deep set adhesive
-Fingerprint Technology provides a deep massage
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When choosing your blister solution of choice, it's important to keep in mind what materials it's made from.
Type of Material Options
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 padding that also has adhesive on one 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 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.
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 so it's many inches longer than the diameter of your forefoot. Then, wrap the tape around the ball of your foot, pressing the edges down so they 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.
Some products on our list, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Cushions, are made from a plastic/nylon blend. The good thing about this material is that it usually sticks well to your skin, and conforms to the shape of your foot. The bad news is that the adhesive doesn't last as long as other options, and if not placed carefully to avoid being on top of the blister, can tear it open when removed.
Some products on our list, such as the Spenco 2nd Skin Squares, are water-based, so they are very gentle on your blisters. They don't last long however, so you'll need to apply a new one every time you go for a run or otherwise want blister prevention and healing.
Several of the products on our list are blister kits with many different items and accessories, so it's important to take them into account to find the right one for you.
Some of the kits come with scissors for cutting the protective material to the correct size, others have pads that are already cut to many different sizes and shapes. Most of the kits come with some sort of antibiotic cream, while others also have some sort of anti-friction lotion or powder.
If a kit sounds right for you, you'll have to decide for yourself what options are right for you. Some people like the convenience of having a diverse kit ready to go for lots of different situations, while others enjoy being able to customize their padding.
When it comes to features, blister prevention and healing products are pretty simple; either they stick to your skin well or they don't, either they're comfortable or they're not, and maybe they're breathable, but maybe not.
All of the products on our list have great features for blister protection and healing. Some of our favorite features are products that stick to your shoe instead of your skin for multiple uses, saving time and money. We also love products that are sure to stick well, since having to adjust them is a pain, and can end up causing even more discomfort and blistering.
Please take all this into consideration when choosing the best product for you, and happy, pain free running!
We're all price conscious these days, so you'll be glad to know that protecting and healing yourself from blisters won't break the bank.
Many options on our list are $10 or less, and that's for multiple uses. Products that come in bulk, such as the Spenco 2nd Skin Squares, are very affordable on a per use basis, but even the more expensive options, such as high-quality anti-friction socks, can represent a great value over time if that's what you're looking for.
The bottom line with blister protection is the same with any other product; either it works, or it doesn't.
Based on our research and reading customer reviews, we have determined that the comfort of the material and quality of the adhesive are probably the two biggest factors that will determine if you're happy with a anti-blister product or not.
Other Factors to Consider
The comfort of the type of blister protection you use is very important. If it's not comfortable, or causes even further irritation, you're not going to want to use it, period.
All of the products on our list reviewed highly as being comfortable to use. Be sure to take into account your individual needs: do you want something single use or that will last over time? Do you need to heal a blister you already have or are you getting ahead of the game with prevention? How often do you run? All of these things are important factors in making sure you choose a comfortable blister solution that is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 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.
This depends on their severity of course, but generally, blisters resolve within a few days if they are not further aggravated.
There is no easy answer to whether or not a blister should be popped. It all depends on 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 thing to consider is whether you have a compromised immune system. If you do, then it's 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 like this and it’s what we refer to when in doubt.
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 also 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.
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.
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
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.
First, it is important to determine if the blister is indeed 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. If symptoms persist it's advisable to talk to your doctor. Blisters may seem mild, but infections can become serious business, so it is best to seek professional treatment.
This is something that you will have to 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 out with time.
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.
- 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, ,