Whether you’re a seasoned runner, jogger, or just like to take long walks, you are no stranger to blisters are you?
These tiny sores can be a huge annoyance and cause pain and aching. The worst part is the more you walk or run the worse they get.
If you want to prevent blisters you will have to get the right walking shoes, socks, and take certain measures to keep your feet dry and lubricated before, during, and after your walk or run.
You can’t just put on a band-aid, hope for the best, and keep at your regular routine. So here is what you can do to prevent blisters and quickly recover from them.
How Do I Stop Getting Blisters on my Feet?
Before you drop a few hundred dollars on expensive shoes, pads, and socks you need to make sure that your feet are prepared to take on the toll of a long walk or run.
If you haven’t figured it out yet you are probably an amateur but anyone starting out running and walking as a hobby or way to get in some healthy cardio is referred to as a tenderfoot. This isn’t some quirky nickname; beginners are prone to more blisters because of how untrained their feet are.
The softer and pinker the skin on your feet the more prone you will be to getting blisters. So chances are even if you take every precaution you will most likely get a blister or two after prolonged exposure to the elements.
Of course, toughening up your feet is a great place to start.
If you have made the decision to start walking and running you need to understand one rule, calluses are your friends. Don’t shave off or try to get rid of calluses. They are like a natural layer of protection.
Most seasoned joggers or marathon walkers have plenty of calluses on their feet similar to the thick skin on the inside of bodybuilder’s palms. Since you can’t buy and attach a thicker layer of skin on your feet you will probably have to resort to other measures as a beginner.
One thing you can do is expose your feet to tannin. You can either buy 10 percent tannic acid and cover your feet with that or go with the more natural route you can buy teas with high amounts of tannins and soak your feet in a vat of the strong tea.
Doing this twice a day for three or four weeks is a great way to strengthen the skin in your feet, this goes for seasoned pros and complete newbies.
Other measures you can take include lubricating or applying powder to your feet.
It seems like an oxymoron but keeping your feet both moist and dry is a great way to prevent blisters.
When you walk or run your feet get extremely sweaty and this causes your skin to become soft and exposed to the risk of developing blisters. Keep your feet dry by using a blow dryer and dry powders.
Blow dry your feet before you go out of the house or put on socks because even if they aren't completely wet, there is some moisture that could be cause for concern. More importantly, you can apply cornstarch or baby powder to your feet preventing them from sweating too much and rubbing against your socks and shoes.
What to Use to Moisturize your Feet
Whenever you see cracks forming around your heels make sure you apply plenty of moisturizer so that your calluses don’t become a painful problem.
Also, consider lubricants and ointments. Products like Vaseline vaseline are great for preventing friction between your feet, socks, and shoes. The right lubricants and running products like Sports Slick and Body Glide, found in most sporting goods stores, are perfect for people like you who take long walks or go walking or jogging often.
Applying lubrication will allow your feet to slide in your shoes instead of rubbing against the inside.
If you’re a super pro like a long distance or marathon runner or even tourists excited to explore a new city, you might want to consider getting petroleum jelly for your feet. This solution is fairly inexpensive but it comes with a few downsides.
The gel-like substance is fairly sticky so if you are walking or running on natural terrain, then you are likely going to be exposed to sand, dirt, or gravel which will stick to your feet and get inside your socks making the situation worse. Petroleum jellies also tend to stick to socks and don't come off easily so consider when and how you use them for lubrication purposes.
Get the Right Socks
You have probably figured out that you need the right shoes to prevent blisters but socks play just as important a role.
Cotton is great for your bed covers and clothes but you aren’t running with your bed sheets on… I hope not at least. So avoid cotton at all costs and switch to socks made of synthetic materials.
Cotton retains water which again softens up your feet. So consider getting some acrylic, polypropylene, or CoolMax synthetic socks.
Some brands like WrightSocks actually have a no-blister guarantee, so give it a go.
A great trick is to always carry one some lubricant and an extra pair of socks with you so you can quickly moisturize your feet and change your socks always through your trip or run.
Finally, check the areas in which the socks are most exposed within the shoe. These areas are most prone to blisters and should be addressed.
Some socks have custom padding in specific trouble areas that keep your skin relatively safe and protected from constant close contact friction.
Get the Right Shoes That Prevent Blisters
For a seasoned runner buying the right pair of walking or running shoes is a commitment like buying a new car or getting married… ok maybe not that important but you get the idea.
Putting on the right pair of walking shoes is the difference between having a blissful time out versus a blistered time out, crawling back home in agony with each step more painful than the last.
In general, the first thing you need to look for in a shoe is how well it fits.
New shoes are usually tighter and overall more uncomfortable so it will take some time to break them in. You can avoid getting too many blisters by taking it slow after buying a new pair. Apply lubricant to troubled areas that feel too tight.
The thing is, most modern sports shoes do not give as much as natural materials like leather. So if you are buying a sports type walking shoe, if it feels tight when you try it on it is likely to remain tight.
Many brands sizes come up quite small for Western consumers so check out our guides as we research sizing to reduce the hassle of ordering the right size.
Like a good partner, your shoes should give you extra support throughout the day so make sure they have proper padding on the bottom and backside.
You may also have shoes that don’t necessarily fit you right. A good shoe should have a little space in the front for your toes and be a little wide on the sides. When you're sitting down it feels like the shoe feels great but once you start walking your feet expand and swell up - up to eight percent bigger.
If you are buying in store and can find a pair in stock that is the size you think you need, make sure you try on shoes beforehand. Walk around in the store before buying just to check if they feel comfortable.
Buying online from a reputable source is a good option because you do not have to spend ages picking the walking shoe you want, then waiting 10 minutes while the shop assistant disappears only to return and tell you "Sorry, size 11 is out of stock, would you like to try a size 10."
And you want them so much you buy the size 10's even though they are tight and then never wear them!
With a good returns policy, a bit of research with us 🙂 checking sizes, you can order and try them on indoors at your leisure. If it does not fit just return it.
Top Rated Shoes for Preventing Blisters
Sizes vary between brands but some great shoes include New Balance, Nike, Skechers and Brook’s, neutral and stability running shoes.
If you’re looking for something comfortable, stylish, and is durable during long walks and runs go with the Men's Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35. The Pegasus is a great outdoor shoe that is durable, able to withstand heavy workout, and it’s breathable keeping your feet dry and healthy.
They are labelled as a running shoe but work great for walkers too. Order at least half a size bigger by the way.
The Men's Brooks Glycerin 16 is also a great walking shoe for men looking to avoid blisters. These shoes are less stylish than the Pegasus by Nike but you get great value for your money. The Glycerin 16 is perfect for people with flatter feet and they are super comfortable, with a shallow drop and great cushioning for walkers.
The Asics Metrolyte II women's walking shoe is a great shoe for walkers looking to prevent major blisters. These shoes are supportive, comfortable and lightweight which significantly reduces the chance of too much friction.
How Do I Stop Getting Blisters from Walking?
Look the bottom line is you have to get up out of your seat at some point so if you already have blisters you can take some steps to reduce the pain.
You might think a band-aid is the best solution but that’s not always the case. Band-aids can be dry and painful when rubbing against your socks and shoes and will likely come loose and make the problem worse..
Instead, you should apply Vaseline or Aloe Vera to cool off your feet and keep the exposed areas moisturized.
In the absolute worst case scenario you can attempt to drain a painful and large blister but to avoid any infection it is best done by a doctor or nurse.
You'll need to take it easy for a little while and protect the skin until it heals. When you’re done, remind yourself that you don’t want to go through that process again and take the necessary precautions to prevent blisters in the future.
If you do decide to go about your daily walk or run make sure you take things slow and don’t harm yourself before you even begin to get into a rhythm.
Soon enough walking will become an addiction, luckily this addiction can be harmless of approached in the right way.