How to Train With Running Blisters

Follow these tips from STACK Expert Andrew Meyers to prevent or treat running blisters so you don't miss a step.

Runners: logging all those miles is great for building your endurance and increasing your performance, but all that rubbing can be rough on your feet, causing chafing and running blisters. Almost all of us have had foot blisters, so we know how painful and irritating they can be. Sometimes, a blister is so bad it prevents us from running. However, there are steps you can take to prevent and treat blisters so you don't miss a stride. Here are some tips and solutions that will keep your feet strong and healthy throughout the season.

Properly Fitting Shoes

Shoes play a key role in determining whether you will get a running blister. When a shoe is too tight, your feet and toes cannot move naturally and become crammed, leading to problems like black toenails, bunions, and, of course, blisters.

The same can be said for loose fitting shoes. When a shoe is too loose, your foot can slide around, causing excessive friction, which leads to chafing, calluses and blisters. When you shop for running shoes, the right shoe will feel snug, but not too tight. There should be a thumb's width between your big toe and the tip of the shoe when you are standing up straight. Running shoes also come in narrow or wide, so if you have large or flat feet, try a wide shoe, and if you have small skinny feet, try a narrow one.

Double Socks, Moleskin or Second Skin

Wearing two pairs of socks can help prevent and treat blisters. It reduces rubbing and helps a shoe fit more snugly, so your foot won't slide around as much. If wearing two pairs of socks does not work or feels uncomfortable, try moleskin or second skin.

Moleskin is a thin piece of felt with adhesive backing that helps cover unopened blisters. Moleskin actually distributes pressure around the blister rather than on it, decreasing the pain. Second skin comes in individually pre-cut squares. It is moist, clear in color, and as thick as several layers of skin.

Learn how the right socks can prevent blisters.

Proper Hygiene

To prevent blisters: Proper hygiene is very important. Keep your feet clean and healthy.

When you run, your socks and shoes become damp with sweat, creating a warm and humid environment, which makes your feet susceptible to conditions like athlete's foot, blisters and infections from open blisters.

To treat and prevent these, remove your shoes and socks immediately after activity. Then, clean, scrub and completely dry your feet and toes to get rid of any germs or bacteria. Put on clean socks and a different pair of shoes so your running shoes can dry properly.

To treat a blister: Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water. Next, swab the blister with iodine or rubbing alcohol. Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol. Use the needle to puncture the blister, preferably from the side. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the blister with a bandage or gauze pad.

RELATED: Stay in the Game: Beat a Blister


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: RUNNING | CLEAN | RUNNING SHOES | ALCOHOL | BLISTERS | CHAFING