April 2018 - Blisters

The Question

April's question was from Bam in Sydney. Bam's in pain:

Anything I can do to stop blisters on my feet? I've tried blister patches and they're OK but expensive when you're running a lot.

- Bam

Phil - running coach
Phil - Marathon coach and parkrun fan

“We put our feet through all sorts of stresses as runners. Here's some advice from the NHS on treating blisters and a few general prevention tips. In terms of prevention, it's most helpful to look at the equipment directly in contact with your feet - shoes and socks.

Shoes

Have you checked your shoes are the right size and laced well? Ill-fitting, particularly loose, shoes are a common culprit. And lacing correctly can make a big difference. Give Lydiard Lacing a go.

You should also ideally have more than one pair of running shoes of different makes and rotate their use. This'll prevent subjecting your feet to exactly the same rub every time you run.

Find the corresponding area in your shoe where blisters are occurring and check that there isn't anything obvious causing excessive rubbing. If there is, then it might be an idea to cover this area with something - this is actually a good use for blister patches and they last a long time when they're on the shoe itself rather than your foot.

Socks

Moisture makes blisters more likely, so wearing proper running socks, that help wick away sweat, can help somewhat.

Another thing you can do is double up your socks. A normal pair of running socks on top of a thin pair means that any rubbing that does take place tends to do so between the socks rather than between the sock and your foot. You can buy some "twin skin" socks which effectively do the same thing.”

Our Member's Answer

April's member's answer was from dorian.

Dorian - sure-footed

“Something that people often forget is a proper foot care routine. Runners just accept that they'll have horrible feet. No way! I regularly soak them, use a pumice stone, moisturise and get the occasional pedicure. OK, I'm not immune to blisters, but I feel like I suffer less than my running buddies.”

Thanks, Dorian. Sounds like if you treat your feet well they'll reciprocate.

More questions »