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How To Prevent Blisters On Feet

The best bister prevention strategies hone in on the blister causing factors discussed here, plus a couple of other shear-minimisation strategies. Let’s go through how to prevent blisters on feet, one by one.

Blister Prevention Strategies

1. How To Prevent Blisters On Feet – Friction Levels

When you reduce friction, most people think you’re trying to stop rubbing. In reality, you’re trying to make things more slippery. This slippery surface (either on your skin, between sock layers or on your shoe) will reduce the skin from stretching too much. Try it. Put some Vaseline on the back of your handIdeally, the aim is to reduce friction just where the blister-susceptible area is, not all over the foot. Remember the mechanical efficiencies of gait – we still need high-ish friction levels to maintain traction for the foot in the shoe. Examples include:

2. How To Prevent Blisters On Feet – Pressure

There is a lot of pressure on all parts of our feet from weightbearing, shoe contact pressure and from toes sitting so close together so it’s easy to see why blisters are so common on the feet, especially when running, jumping and walking over difficult terrains. Examples include:

3. How To Prevent Blisters On Feet – Bone Movement

If you can reduce the amount the bones move relative to the skin surface, you’ll be reducing the magnitude of skin shear distortions. Examples include:

4. How To Prevent Blisters On Feet – Shear Absorption

If you can use materials that undergo shear within their layers, there will be less shear required within the soft tissues of the foot. Examples include:

5. How To Prevent Blisters On Foot – Spreading Shear Load

Peak shear occurs in very localised areas. It’s likely that if you can spread that shear load over a larger area, peak shear will be reduced per unit area. I believe this is how tapes work because it’s unlikely they work by any other mechanism (for example, they are unlikely to be made from low friction materials).

6. How To Prevent Blisters On Feet – Skin Resilience

Research has demonstrated that we can make our skin more resilient to shear distortions and therefore more resistant to blister formation by subjecting our skin to these forces. Examples include:

HOW TO PREVENT BLISTERS ON YOUR FEET

FOOTWEAR BLISTER PREVENTION STRATEGIES

foot blister prevention with shoe-fit and lacing techniques

While there are lacing techniques that can hold your foot in your shoe, good shoe fit is a must. If you have a wide feet, a bunion, hammertoes or bony lump at the back of your heel and perfect shoe fit is impossible, at least get as close as possible to perfect and work from there. Even with significant foot deformities, it is possible to prevent blisters. You just need to apply the right strategy to the right location. This program will help you identify the right strategy, even if you’re very blister prone.

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foot blister prevention with moisture wicking socks

Moisture-wicking socks are highly advised if your feet are very sweaty, as one of the first line strategies to implement before honing in on your exact blister location if they prove to be insufficient.

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foot blister prevention with double socks

Double socks in all their forms are often used by hikers for blister prevention.

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foot blister prevention with cushioning and insoles

Cushioning gel toe protectors are great at absorbing blister-causing forces; and replacing worn and flattened insoles with good quality cushioning material can make a big difference for ball of the foot blisters.

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foot blister prevention with orthotics

Orthotics are great for certain blisters, for example, blisters under the big toe.

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foot blister prevention with engo blister patches

Engo patches are one of the best ways I’ve found to reduce friction levels for days, weeks and months in one application. They’ll work great for heel, arch and ball of the foot blisters.

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HOW TO PREVENT BLISTERS ON YOUR FEET BY CHANGING YOUR SKIN

preven blisters by adaption of your skin

The skin adapts to blister-causing forces over time. That’s why training or wearing your shoes in gradually is so important. It’s also why people get blisters with new shoes – certain parts of their skin are not used to the pressure.

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prevent blisters with antiperspirants

Antiperspirants actually don’t work very well, unless you only need a little bit of preventive impact.

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prevent foot blisters with powders

Most powders work by absorbing moisture to reduce friction levels. One in particular actually repels moisture but still reduces friction significantly.

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prevent foot blisters with astringents

Astringents like alcohol wipes and cold black tea soaks tighten the skin and dry it out, but probably only in the short term.

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foot blister prevention with lubricants

Lubricants like Vaseline are greasy and make things very slippery ie: they reduce friction levels. They work better for toe blister prevention than other parts of the foot.

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foot blister prevention tapes and dressings

Tapes and dressings form a protective layer and prevent the skin from stretching quite so much.

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ACTIVITY-RELATED BLISTER PREVENTION STRATEGIES

preven foot blisters by changing your running gait

Changing your running gait can reduce blister-causing forces.

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prevent blisters by considering your training regime

Your training program should help to gradually toughen the skin a little and highlight blister-susceptible areas of your foot that will require preemptive action.

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Still got questions about how to prevent blisters on feet?

The best blister prevention strategy will depend on your blister location and what’s causing that blister. For example, is your toe blister caused by the depth of your shoe’s toebox, the shape of your toe, the toe bending over when you walk and run, or something else. Learn how to prevent foot blisters in this very specific way with:

FIX MY FOOT BLISTERS FAST