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Foot Blisters: Causes and How To Prevent Them From Happening

Foot Blisters: Causes and How To Prevent Them From Happening

Most runners/walkers have had at least one run or race ruined because of a painful foot blister. By knowing the usual causes and symptoms you can take steps to prevent them. If you get a blister despite your efforts, you will need to know how to safely treat it.

Blisters are a common occurrence, and most people will experience them at some point in their life. Blisters can be caused by friction, freezing, infection, burning and chemical burns. 

They often appear after walking or running for long periods of time, especially if the feet have become sweaty or when wearing shoes that do not fit correctly.

Blisters are raised fluid-filled pockets and not generally a serious concern. It is best not to burst blisters, letting them heal on their own. Applying a bandage can provide relief.


Use these tactics to prevent foot blisters from running:

Shoe Fit & Size:

Your feet swell when you run, so your running shoe should be at least a half of a size bigger than your street shoe. You should have a little room in your toe-box. You can learn to lace your shoes for a better fit so your foot doesn't move around too much within the shoe.

To fill gaps and make your feet more comfortable, you can use running shoe insoles, this can help with pain and shock-absorbing from motion. 


Breathable Comfy Socks: Look for socks made of synthetic fiber (not cotton) such as OMF Unisex Five Toe Breathable Sports Socks. These fibers wick moisture away from your feet. Running socks are anatomically shaped, helping prevent the sock from bunching up and causing blisters.

Also, buy socks with a smooth surface and no seams. Some runners wear double-layer socks created to deter blisters. The idea with those socks is that any friction occurs between the two sock layers instead of your skin and the sock.


Use A Lubricant Oil: You can also spread a lubricant such as coconut oil or Vaseline on problem areas. Go easy as too much can allow your foot to slide around in your shoes.

"Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It has various applications. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C without spoiling". Wikipedia.


Tape or Pads For Protection: Some runners put moleskin or athletic tape over "hot spots" on their feet that are prone to blisters, as a preventive measure.

If you do this, just make sure the moleskin or tape is applied smoothly (no wrinkles) and is not too tight. You can use a bunion splint foot bandage that covers your feet to protect from blisters when walking.


Manage Your Callus Pile Up: If you go for a pedicure, make sure they don't remove your calluses with a razor or emery board.

The callused skin serves as blister protection for your feet. If it's removed, you'll be more at risk for blisters. Use a callus file or grater instead to keep your foot sole smooth with no cuts. 

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