How To Prevent and Treat Running Shoe Blisters!
These unpleasant pockets of fluid are often due to poorly fitted shoes, the wrong choice in socks, or a combination of both. Even if your shoes fit your feet perfectly, some new shoes require a brief break-in period that can cause blisters.
Knowing why blisters occur and taking blister prevention steps to stop them will keep your feet happy the next time you lace up your running shoes.
Why Blisters Occur
Blisters are most common right on hot spots along your heel, but they can happen anywhere. If there is moisture, heat, and chafing, you have all the ingredients for a blister.
They can occur on your heel, big toe, on the side of your pinky, or even between your toes!
One of the biggest culprits for blisters is ill-fitting shoes.
If your shoes fit too tightly, this can cause hot and sweaty skin to rub against the fabric in your socks or shoes.
If they are too loose, this can also cause blisters, especially between your toes.
The key is to ensure that you find a running shoe that fits your foot like a glove.
2 Ways to Prevent Blisters
You need to consider two things to be blister-free: your running shoes and socks.
Even if your shoes fit like a dream, the wrong choice of socks can rub your feet raw.
1. Picking the Right Running Shoes
If you have the option, always try new running shoes before purchasing. If your running shoes don’t fit quite right, they can cause painful blisters.
Be sure to select a design that provides good lockdown with uppers that are flexible that move with your feet. Many runners think that blisters only happen when shoes are too tight, but they can rub your skin raw if they fit too loosely.
If you have bunions, calluses or hammertoes, always opt for running shoes with a wide toe box. Tapered toe boxes may cause your toes to jam at the end of the shoe and rub painful blisters. Shoes like the Altra Torin provide runners plenty of room in the toe box!
Additionally, shoes that are too loose can also create problems. If your foot is a little narrow, try out running shoes with slim sizing options.
Nikes have a reputation for running slightly narrow, making them ideal for runners with narrow feet.
2. Picking the Right Socks
Even if your running shoes fit like a glove, the wrong choice in socks can also cause blisters to occur.
Your reliable cotton socks may be comfortable, but they are never good to wear when running. To prevent foot blisters, it’s imperative to keep your skin nice and dry. Cotton absorbs moisture, and when soggy socks constantly rub against your foot, it is the perfect recipe for a blister.
Good running socks are made from moisture-wicking materials such as nylon, polyester, or acrylic.
Socks such as Swiftwick FLITE XT Zero Tab, Rockay Accelerate, or Feetures High Performance are all excellent choices to wear.
When paired with a good-fitting pair of running shoes, blisters don’t stand a chance!
4 Keys When Treating Blisters
Sometimes, a blister is unavoidable, especially if you are breaking in a new pair of running shoes.
With proper blister treatment, you can ensure that even the most painful running blister won’t keep you down and out for too long!
1. Don’t Pop it!
It can be hard to fight the temptation, I know.
Blisters are insulated little pockets of fluid that aren’t exposed to bacteria, as long as you don’t pop them.
They take between 7 to 10 days to heal completely, so you need to treat the pain and ride it out.
Once a blister pops, it’s more prone to infection- so leave it alone!
2. Give It Some Air
Ideally, exposing your blister to air will help speed up the healing process. Walk around your house without socks and let the oxygen in the air work its magic.
You could lounge around the house for a week to allow your blisters to heal naturally in a perfect world, but we don’t live in an ideal world.
When you need to pop on a pair of shoes, wrapping it will help protect it.
3. Wrap It Up
When you need to put on shoes, wrapping your blister in a moleskin bandage or wrap will prevent further irritation.
Moleskin is ideal because it naturally contours to the shape of your foot and feels much more natural than your typical band-aid.
Band-aids work in a pinch but always reach for moleskin if you have the option.
4. What To Do If It Pops
If your blister pops, keeping it clean and protected will prevent infection. It may be tempting to peel away loose skin, but keep that skin in place and let your body do the work.
Cover the popped blister with a protective barrier such as Neosporin or Vaseline, and cover it with a bandage.
The key to healing a blister is to keep the affected area clean to prevent infection.
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