Prevent blisters while running

Blisters are never fun when you’re running.  When I was running the NYC Marathon and just passing over the Queensboro Bridge at Mile 15,  I felt a huge water blister forming on my right pinky toe and a smaller one on my left pinky toe.  Funny as it sounds, I had a hard time making left or right turns.  When I did, I could feel my shoe pushing against the water in my blisters.  It was really painful.  I pretended I was a truck and ran the rest of my turns wide with no sharp angles.

The main cause of blisters is improper running shoes.  I’m usually very careful about the running shoes I wear.  I wear only Saucony’s and have been wearing different models of the same brand.   Blisters only form because there is friction between your foot and the shoes you wear.  If the shoes are too big, there is too much room for your foot to move around.  Therefore causing unnecessary friction between your foot and the sides of your feet.  If the running shoes are too small and fit too tightly around your feet, your feet does not have enough room to move comfortably.  Tie you shoe laces comfortably.  Don’t “strangle” your feet, at least let them have some room to move.  Double tie if necessary.   Ask your local running store expert to see what kind of feet you have.  There are different running shoes for wide and narrow feet.   Pay special attention to see if you have neutral, high arched or low arched feet.

Another reason is a very subtle cause for blisters and that is your socks.  I always wore normal cotton socks that my mom bought from Walmart.  I didn’t want to dish out the mucho money on running socks.  The problem with normal socks is that if they are bulky and thick.  After running for about 20 minutes, your sock naturally slides down and folds up in the corner or bottom of your shoe.  Although the fold is small, it will rub constantly against the shoe and your foot causing blisters to form.  Special running socks fit to your feet called low rise “compression socks”.  Most of them are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic, and CoolMax because they will wick away moisture.  For winter running, wool blends such as SmartWool are also a good choice.  Stay away from cotton as they will absorb water and cause addition caffing.    Running socks range from $6 – $20 a pair.  If you don’t already have a good pair of running socks, these are definitely a good investment.    Oh yeah, note to self, not good idea not to run with socks that have holes.

Another good tip to prevent blisters while running is to lather vaseline on your feet so it will reduce the dry friction against your feet.  I’ve done that a couple times during the winter, mainly because the air is really dry and cold and my running shoes and socks get wet from the snow.  Applying vaseline really helps a lot.  Wherever I run, my vaseline is not far behind.

What’s your blister story?

Related Running Tips:

  1. Pre-running preparations
  2. Treat and Prevent shin splints
  3. Running in the heat
  4. Vibram Five Finger Shoes Review
  5. Winter Running -15C What did I wear?
  6. Good luck New York Marathoners
  7. Foot Pain Under Toes

One Response to “Prevent blisters while running”

  1. Kendrick Winckler says:

    Hey cool! Published update, Phil. I was beginning to wonder. Hopefully mine will arrive any day.

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