Taking care of your feet: Questions from RunAddicts readers

Why do I keep getting blisters on my feet when I run long distances?

If you are a forefoot striker or you tend to over pronate, your chances could be higher of having blisters especially after long runs. Friction is the one and only cause of blisters but it varies from one runner to the other. Some of the common causes of friction include:

  • Friction between your shoes and your feet
  • Friction resulting from your toes rubbing against each other
  • Friction between your socks and your feet

Tips to prevent/cure blisters

  • Get the right shoe size. Here is an easy tip: there should be a thumb-width space between your toes and the shoe front when you are standing up
  • There are so many downfalls to wearing a cotton sock because cotton tend to retain moist which often causes blistering and skin breakdown. In addition, cotton fibers swell when the cotton is wet resulting in friction. So, saying goodbye to cotton socks is a wise move and fortunately the alternative is available: use polyester-based socks that are often referred to as “technical socks”
  • Your technical socks should fit smoothly without any extra fabric at the heels or toes. Too large socks can easily result in friction. That’s why; you need socks that fit just right, not too loose and not too tight
  • If taking the above steps was not reliable enough to eliminate your blisters, consider wearing a two-layer sock. The advantage of wearing this sock is that all the friction will happen between the sock layers, leaving your feet friction free
  • Reduce the amount of your feet movement by Lacing your shoes with heel locks. This way, your heels will be pulled back against the heel counters of your shoes
  • Since you know the blister-prone spots on your feet, take a preventive action and apply either petroleum jelly ,Body Glide lubricant, or Vaseline before running
  • Once you have blisters or skin breakdown, protect your skin using moleskin or BandAid pads

 

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