Whether you’re training for a marathon or you just enjoy running recreationally, blisters can be the one thing that stop you in your tracks. Don’t let that be the case by following our handy tips to prevent blisters from forming when you run.
Wear the right socks
Your socks are your first line of defence against blisters. Any good pair of running socks will be super moisture-wicking and have extra padding around stress areas like the heel and toes. Keeping your feet dry is paramount to preventing blisters as moist skin will become soft and therefore more susceptible to blisters. If your socks wick sweat away properly, your feet should stay dry no matter how sweaty your feet get during the run! If you find you are getting lots of blisters, it could be time to try different socks.
Make sure your shoes fit properly
Wearing the correct shoes is paramount for happy and healthy running. Our feet swell as we run, and continue to swell the longer we're out, so you need to make sure your shoes give your feet room to breathe. A pair of running shoes that fit well while you're stationary might become tight and uncomfortable after 10 miles of running and sweat build-up. However, if your shoes are too big then they may rub, causing even worse blisters.
Make sure your trainers are properly comfortable and are the exact right size for your needs. Most good running shops will have a treadmill on site which you can use to try out the shoes before you buy them so make sure to take advantage of this.
Use blister plasters preventatively
Plasters and band aids don’t have to be a last resort once you’ve already got horrendous blisters. Most blister plasters are designed to act like a second skin, so by applying them to problem areas before you run, you minimise the risk of them developing at all.
Once you know where your problem areas are, put blister plasters on before you run to prevent blisters from forming. However, if you are wrapping cotton or fabric plasters around the toes, be aware that these may well rub and cause new blisters of their own. Try to keep fabric a minimum by not taping your feet and only use specifically-designed blister plasters which are minimalistic in design and fit seamlessly.
Many runners already know that Vaseline is your best friend to prevent chafing. Many blisters are caused by friction, whether that be skin on skin or fabric on skin. By applying a generous amount of Vaseline to any problem areas of the foot (or other part of the body), you will reduce the friction and therefore reduce your risk of developing blisters.
Be aware the Vaseline can be liable to stain clothing, especially running clothing. There are other dedicated creams and gels on the market, but these can be expensive and Vaseline will do the job just as well.
Keep your feet moisturised
While it's true that overly moist feet are very prone to blisters due to the skin becoming soft, dry feet are also prone to injuries. Dry feet can easily crack and even become infected, so keep your feet moisturised on days when you are not running by using a specialist foot moisturiser. If you are going to be running a lot, taking good care of your feet is very important and well worth the time and money!