How can I prevent blisters? 

Blisters are a big reason why people pull out of run and walking events and can make the experience extremely unpleasant.

We want to help you prevent blisters and give you the tools to manage them.

Cause

  1. High friction
    • The skin is stretched repetitively, which is also known as a “shearing” force, causing trauma to the underlying tissue
  2. Moisture/Sweat
    • Not necessarily always a factor, but can worsen the blister due to the skin being softer and hence more prone to damage

Prevention

“Prevention is always better than cure”.

If you have noticed any red or sore areas during your training runs, these are likely your “hot spots” for blisters. The aim with the following strategies is to reduce the level of friction and moisture.

  1. Taping
    • Common areas we tape are:
      • Toes
      • Big toe joint
      • Heels
    • Hypoallergenic white tape eg) Fixamull, Hypafix
    • Never put Sports tape directly on the skin, this will tear the roof off a blister due to the glue in the tape and will be very painful
    • See videos below
  2. Footwear
    • Always get measured – length and width
    • Brands can change the shape and make up of their shoes every 6 months
    • Lacing techniques – a great one is “lock lacing” for blisters at the back of heel and toes (see below)
  3. Engo patches
    • Self adhesive patches that are applied to your shoes to reduce friction
    • https://goengo.com/
  4. Technical socks
    • Moisture wicking socks
    • No to cotton – absorbs and holds moisture
    • We love Steigen, Thorlo, Injingi, Balega and Feetures. They all have a different thickness and fit so best to try what suit you. 
    • The Happy Runner, Torquay and The Running Company, Geelong have a great range
  5. Toenails
    • Cut toenails 1-2 weeks out from the event
    • Exposing fragile underlying skin, need time to let this skin adapt or if will be susceptible to trauma
    • Long toenails can cause blisters and cuts to the neighbouring toes
  6. Other great products
    • Silicone toe sleeves
    • 2Toms BlisterShield – https://www.2toms.com/blistershield/
    • BodyGlide

If you need any clarification on the taping techniques or have any questions, please ask. We love being able to help!

Already have a blister? Take a peek at our following blog!

 

 

Blister Prevention - Maddie McMahon, Torquay Podiatrist, gives her top tips.

(Lock Lacing technique)

Maddie McMahon

Podiatrist

madeleine@torquaysmc.com.au