As you may know from my recent posts and Instagram complaints I have been dealing with a nasty blister on my heel for the past 2 weeks. I’ve learned more than anyone should have to know about blisters, so I thought I would share some information to help anyone else who may be in a similar situation. But you know what they say about an ounce of prevention… So really, the best thing to do is to not get a blister in the first place! But we all know these things happen from time to time, no matter how careful we may be.
Wear the right shoes and socks
When you try on a new pair of shoes, make sure that they are comfortable. Try running in them before making your purchase. If you bought them online then test them out so you can decide if you should keep them. (Running Warehouse has a 90 day return policy!) Make sure you are wearing a good quality sock that covers enough of your foot and ankle so your shoe can’t rub against your skin. Some of my favorites are Feetures and Injinji.
Notice if something is rubbing
If you start to notice that your shoe is rubbing against a certain area of your foot, take precautions to make sure it doesn’t turn into a blister (aka don’t be stupid like me!) You may realize that your shoes are not a good fit for you, especially if they are new shoes. If you have been wearing them a while then maybe there is another factor involved. For example, if it’s humid your feet may be more swollen, or maybe you aren’t wearing a good quality sock.
Protect any sensitive areas
Use Engo Blister prevention patches, Moleskin, or Trail Toes on any areas that seem like they are sensitive. The blister prevention patches actually go directly on your shoe. So if there is a shoe you like, but it’s caused you blisters, there may be hope after all! I’m trying this out with my Altras + Orthotics (the combo that caused the blister). Moleskin is a pad that you can stick to your skin, but don’t use it directly on an open blister. If there is an area that is getting rubbed by your shoe you can put it there, or cut out a hole and place it around the blister. Finally, Trail Toes is a cream that you can rub on your feet that helps to prevent blisters.
Use the Lace Lock Technique
I’m not sure if this really helps, but it is supposed help keep your heel from moving as much. See how to do it here. If you are getting blisters in other areas of your foot you may need to look into different lacing techniques.
If you can leave it alone and not risk making it worse, then that’s probably best. Most of the time it’s impossible to avoid aggravating a blister on the foot so in these cases it may be best to drain it (unless it’s already popped on its own). Make sure to clean the area and use a sterilized needle. Then use neosporin and cover it up. Here is some information about how to safely pop a blister.
While it should be covered up at least initially, you also want to give it a chance to heal so when possbile let it air out. If it doesn’t hurt to sleep without a bandaid then use that time to let it breathe.
While it’s healing try to wear different shoes that don’t rub your foot in the same place. Even if your shoes don’t hurt it’s probably best to bandage it anyway especially if you are running. A combination of the products I listed above for injury prevention (Patches, Moleskin, and Trail Toes) plus a big bandaid and/or tape can be useful. I have been using medical tape over a bandaid to make sure it doesn’t move. Also, I tried the blister bandaids but the ones I got weren’t big enough to cover the sensitive area of my heel.
Figure out why it happened
Now, this part is a little tricky. In some cases it may be obvious, like you were in the wrong pair of shoes or not wearing good quality socks.
I also found some interesting information about tight calves and heel blisters. I’m not sure if this is totally accurate (I just found it on google). I read that when calves are tight the extra tension can cause the heel to lift sooner, higher and with more force. Isn’t it interesting that I got the blister on the foot that has been giving me trouble all along? (I should note that my left foot – where I got the blister- is also every so slightly longer than my right foot, so I’m sure this is a factor as well).
Now go take care of those feet! No one wants to be sidelined with this type of easily preventable injury. Need more info about preventing and treating blisters? Check out this site.
Do you get blisters on your feet from running shoes?
What is your favorite treatment for a blister?
What are your favorite running socks?