You have almost certainly been there – you begin to notice a slight rubbing on your foot which develops into a sharp scratchy pain. You have just developed a blister!
Blisters are the bane of any runner’s life, and they can really take a lot of time out of your training schedule while you recover from them. Blisters are the most common injury experienced by runners, so knowing how to prevent blisters when running is a good idea. In most cases, blisters are not dangerous, although you should follow recommended advice when it comes to treating them. While it might be tempting, popping blisters is normally a bad idea because it can lead to infection. As with so many injuries, prevention is better than cure. Let’s look at how to prevent blisters when running so you never have to take time out of your training schedule or treat them in the first place.
What are blisters?
Blisters happen when your skin is damaged by heat or friction and rubbing. When skin is damaged, a fluid will form between the top layers of skin and the layers below to protect them from further injury.
Why do you get blisters when running?
There are three main reasons that you will get blisters from running:
Skin rubbing against your socks
This is the most common cause of blisters when running. If your sock is not properly fitted it will move against the skin on your feet causing friction. Try Feetures socks, their iWick fibres wick moisture to keep feet cool and dry which prevents blisters.
Wearing the wrong shoes
Running shoes that are too small or which are not designed for your foot and pronation will apply pressure at specific points of your feet. This causes rubbing that, in turn, will lead to blisters.
Your Foot’s Conditions
If your feet are too moist the skin will soften and this also makes them more prone to blisters. At the same time, if they are too dry they may also be more likely to come up in blisters.
The good news is that we know how to avoid blisters when running. There are several different methods that will work for different kinds of runners.
7 Ways to Prevent Foot Blisters when Running
There are several different methods you can follow which make it less likely that blisters will form. Here are 7 ways you can prevent blisters when running:
Choose the right socks
Running socks are specifically designed to reduce the chances of blisters forming. Professional running socks will draw moisture away from the skin (something known as wicking). They will also not use any uncomfortable seams which could cause rubbing and friction. Just like running shoes, you should break your running socks in before going on a very long run or a competition like a marathon. Getting used to the socks will make sure they are the right design for you.
Wear the right running shoes
If your running shoes are too small or do not fit well, you can guarantee they will rub at specific points and lead to blisters. You should have at least half an inch of space between your big toe and the front of the shoe (this will allow space for movement when running downhill) and they should not rub in any uncomfortable areas. If you have specific foot conditions such as bunions or heel spurs, investing in wider fit shoes will be a lifesaver. Asics Running Shoes available at Running Bear.
Keep your skin dry
Keeping your skin dry is an effective way to stop blisters when running. If you notice that your feet get especially sweaty when running long distances, consider using talcum powder, antiperspirant or another specialist skin drying product. This will reduce the chances of your feet becoming too moist.
But also avoid overly dry skin
On the other hand, some people have very dry skin which can also make their skin more prone to blisters. If this applies to you consider using some kind of moisturiser or lubricant on your feet such as Vaseline.
Tape up your feet
Sometimes blisters are inevitable or you are about to join a big race and have noticed the first signs of a blister emerging. In this case, you should consider using foot tape which can reduce rubbing on the affected area. There are various brands which you can pick up in pharmacies or specialist running shops. We recommend these Pellitec Blister Pads.
Do not remove calluses!
Your body will naturally build up calluses at particular points where your feet experience a lot of friction. If you go for a pedicure, the technician may offer to remove them. However, you should avoid this because calluses are there for a reason – they will prevent more painful and unsightly blisters!
Toughen your feet gradually
The more you run the tougher your feet will be – but you should not expect this to happen overnight. Try to gradually build up the distances that you run so your feet become tougher naturally.
Thanks very much to Asics for this Article! If you are having problems with blisters, or just have running questions in general the Bears are happy to help! Give us a ring or stop by our shop in Alderley Edge!