Let's face it, getting blisters on your feet is the most irritating injury from running. Most runners have had at least one run or race destroyed because of a painful foot blister. Detailed below are the side effects, causes, and tips on the best way to prevent and treat blisters.
Here are the products that I mention below with links so you can check pricing on Amazon.
What Causes a Blister on your Foot?
The folks from drugs.com define blisters as "bubble of fluid under the skin" These fluid-filled pockets are created when the mix of warmth, friction and sweat irritate the surface of the skin. Blisters typically form on the toes, soles, and heels of the feet.
Here are three typical ways of how blisters form, all of which are easy fixes. Of course there are other variables that can cause blisters while running, but I have found that these three to be the main culprits.
- Shoes that don't fit well
- Socks that don't secure the skin
- Extremely sweaty feet
Why do I get Blisters Between my Toes ?
The most annoying and irritating place to get a blister is between the toes. Blisters between the toes (or the medical term is interdigital blisters) are similarly caused by the same issues that you would get foot blisters but because of proximity of one toe to another and the natural shape/curl of your toes these happen more often than not.
The easiest fix is to purchase "toe socks" (# 3 on our Top 5 Socks to Prevent Blisters). Toe socks not your thing? Podiatrist Rebecca Rushton from blisterprevention.com.au also recommends toe wedges, silicon toe sleeves and taping. All of which are viable options. They may be a little uncomfortable at first but after a few miles it will start to feel natural.
How to Avoid Blisters when Running
The easiest way to reduce your risk of developing blisters on your foot while you run is by ensuring your foot fits comfortably inside the shoe. Too little or too much space allows your feet to foot's rub against the side of the shoe.
Here are a few quick tips on How to Avoid Developing Blisters.
- Got new shoes? gradually break in your shoes - don't go for a 10-mile run the moment you put them on. Try a shorter distance to break them in gradually.
- Make sure your shoes are no more than a 1/2 size larger. Feet swell when you run. If your shoes are snug before a run, it might be wise to grab a new pair.
- Don't over tighten when you tie your shoes. This added squeeze on your feet coupled with the warmth of feet when you run can equal blisters.
- Wear good socks particularly ones that you would wear during a race that are appropriate for your feet (size and thickness) - Our Top 5 Socks.
- Do not wear wornout socks - this one seems like common sense but if you are running with holey socks you are asking for blisters.
The Best Steps to Treating Blisters on Feet from Running
1. Drain & Bandage it
When blisters do occur most would recommend not running at all and let it heal. But let's be serious, we love to run so this is might be tough. So the first step is to slightly poke a tiny whole in the blister to drain any fluid from it. Once the fluid has exited be sure to clean the area with antiseptic ointment/cream. Once cleaned, cover it with a bandage.
If you blisters has an excessive redness, colored discharge or irritation or sensitivity around the area be sure to contact your doctor. I really like the specific BLISTER Band-Aids. I've used these numerous times and they tend not to slip off of my feet when I run. I also like how they cushion my blister without irritating it.
2. Cover it
Once the blister has started to heal (normally a couple days) be sure to wear dry, well-fitting socks. You might get the urge to wear the thicker cotton socks thinking that the extra thickness would serve as padding. This is actually counterintuitive. The thicker cotton socks hold moisture and creates friction which adds to forming of blisters.
Blister Relief For Runners
So you have drained the blister, cleaned the area and bandaged it up. What are other ways to seek relief? I have used the padding rolls that you would put on a blister. Sometimes when I run I find that I get blisters in the same exact spot over and over again regardless what socks I wear. So these Dr. Scholl's Padding Rolls work really well. The cushion for the area that creates friction or rubbing and reduces the risk of additional blisters from forming. Some runners truly love the HikeGoo Blister Cream. I've never tried it but I do know several runners that absolutely love it. We received over 25 emails from fellow runners raving about the Body Glide Anti-Blister balm. It goes on like deodorant for your feet and it keeps your feet cool and dry.
Toe socks have started to become extremely popular within many running circles. The separate your toes so that it removes the friction and removes the chance of developing blisters between your toes. Here are the five best toe socks that we have tested.
I hope these tips and recommendations help you keep blisters from forming or treat them so that you can get out and run pain free. Got a tip that you want me to include? Send me an email and I will include it - firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update on 2020-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API