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How to prevent foot blisters

foot blister 300x199 How to prevent foot blisters

foot blister on the heel

When running or walking long distances, fatigue and muscle tiredness might slow you down, but painful foot blisters can stop you in your tracks.

Here is how you can avoid foot blisters:

  1. Have correctly fitting shoes that are worn-in and appropriate socks. Don’t wear 100% cotton socks.
  2. Keep your feet clean and dry. Have a few pairs of socks or sock liners on hand and change your socks regularly to keep your feet dry.
  3. Custom orthotics help maintain the foot in a functionally neutral position and help to prevent pressure points and thus prevent foot blisters.
  4. Make sure your existing orthotics or innersoles are not going to be a source of friction: some innersoles are made from abrasive materials not suited to hiking or running long distances. Innersoles can be specially made to fit correctly in your shoes and covered with materials that can help reduce the risk of blisters. Examples of these kinds of materials are Spenco (a neoprene type cover),Poron, Soft EVA and Plastezote.
  5. Tip any dirt, sand or pebbles straight out; don’t wait. If you can feel something inside your shoe, chances are that if you leave it, you will develop a blister. Wearing gaiters can prevent foreign objects getting into your shoes.
  6. Take regular breaks and check your feet for “hot spots”. Hot spots may be identified as red marks or sore spots on your skin that will eventually blister if not treated. You might only notice these while you are resting, so check your feet when you are having a break. They are often close to bony prominences like your big toe joint or back of the heel.
  7. Maintaining proper hydration helps reduce swelling of the feet, so the occurrence of hot spots and foot blisters is reduced. When you become fluid-deficient, the skin loses its normal levels of water in the skin and easily rubs or folds over on itself, leading to blisters.
  8. Some people benefit from taping the feet in areas that are prone to foot blisters.
  9. There are many different theories and products out there that claim to prevent blisters such as lubricants, powders, blister pads and antiperspirants. Unfortunately there isn’t one perfect solution that is going to suit everyone. Experiment with different products and methods during your training to see what works best for you.
  10. If you are constantly getting bad blisters when you are training and this is not getting better with time, then have your shoes, socks and innersoles reviewed, they might be inappropriate.
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