Let’s Talk Blisters

48 comments

A bad blister can take all the fun out of a good run!

I am in desperate need of help.

Here is my problem:

Ever since I have worked out, I have always had a problem with blisters. No matter what brand or type of sneakers I have tried (and boy have I tried LOTS!), I always always get blisters. Even after they are broken in.

And get this- the blisters are always on my RIGHT FOOT. The left foot is free of blisters!

I even went to a podiatrist and got custom orthotics hoping that they would finally help my blister problem, but they didn’t.

All of my sneakers, in the right heel only, get a small hole in the heel from rubbing! This friction is a vicious cycle as you can imagine.

Here I am before my run not knowing what was going to become of my poor right heel!

IMG_1125

As you can see in the picture below, the hole is in the right heel. Over time, this hole will get bigger and bigger if I don’t find a way to fix this problem.

The hole:

 IMG_1134

So on my run today I got an excruciating blister on my right heel. It was so horrible I was almost limping in pain and had to turn back! It really sucked because I was having one of those awesome runs in the sunshine and feeling AH-MAZING!

Check out my views: IMG_1136 IMG_1140

I told you I didn’t want to head back home!!!

IMG_1141  

I have a feeling that this blister/worn right heel has something to do with my right foot being a different size than my left foot. I actually bought these same pair of sneakers in a smaller size and wore the smaller size on the right foot.

It didn’t help!

I have been to running stores and been fitted but nothing has helped thus far.

I am out of ideas and I am hoping that someone knows of a suggestion, tip, or answer! I don’t want to be in pain all summer long. Something has to be out there to help…?

Also, my blister is now raw and burning with pain. Any tips on healing a blister fast??

fitness The run:

  • Distance: 3.9 miles
  • Duration: 38 mins.
  • Avg pace: 9.55 min/mile
  • Max pace: 8:08 min/mile
  • max heart rate: 171 bpm
  • Avg heart rate: 154 bpm
  • Feel the burn: 335 kcals

This was my longest and best run post-injury by a landslide! I felt really great and pain free, well aside from that blister! haha. There’s always something isn’t there??? :) I am going to do Polly’s Yoga for Runners now.

I appreciate any help you can give me regarding the blisters and ill fitting shoes! :)

Today’s question: Do you suffer from blisters while working out? Angela_Signature

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 caitlin May 13, 2009

one word: MOLESKIN. at the drugstore in the foot care aisle. its like $4 and it will change your life.

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2 Shelly May 13, 2009

I get them on my left big toe sometimes when I run (I think it happens when I have extra lateral movement, like during a race when I go side to side a bit to avoid people), and when I run long runs (like when I was training for my first 10K) the arches of my feet blistered. I dealt with that by getting better socks. I was just using regular hanes and my feet were blistering like crazy, so I switched to some New Balance running socks I found on Amazon and that made a huge difference. I think it has to do with my feet not getting as damp. I don’t know if that would help your heel though b/c yours sounds like a rubbing issue.

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3 brandi May 13, 2009

I don’t usually get blisters, but i hope you get some good suggestions!

where is that top from? it’s super cute.

enjoy the yoga – looks like you’re having beautiful weather

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4 Amisha May 13, 2009

I have the same problem with my feet. One foot is a size 7.5 and the other an 8. This is pretty common actually. I always buy a size 8.5 to compensate for the amount of swelling my feet go through while working out. You should always go 1/2 size bigger than your larger foot.

Also, before longer runs I always rub around my toes, nails and heels with BodyGlide stick. It prevents chafing and I dont get blisters anymore. Good luck!

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5 Leah @ Simply Fabulous Now May 13, 2009

I have never heard of this Moleskin that Caitlin has told you about but it sounds like she’s confident! Try it out!

I can imagine it’s super annoying! Sorry girlie!

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6 Bree May 13, 2009

wanna trade right feet? i’d take anything, even a different problem :-P LOL

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7 Dana May 13, 2009

vaseline is also a good inexpensive lubricant, you can also try making your own (i found this online):

Make your own lubricant – with this recipe I found on a couple of the running boards. Mix equal parts A & D ointment and Vaseline (1 cup each). Then add vitamin E cream and Aloe Vera cream (1/4 cup each) to improve consistency and smell. (Mixture should be stiff, yet applicable.) It not only protects skin from chafing but can help heal the skin and also is helpful with blister prevention. Low cost and effective. Measurements do not have to be accurate…. this is not baking!

Hope this helps!

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8 haya May 13, 2009

blerg! none of my comments are going through. google how to tie your shoes properly and look for a technique called “lace locking” this prevented me from getting a lot of heel blisters.

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9 Brandy May 13, 2009

Heel Striker? I am and I always put holes in the back of my sneakers.

I try to improve my form, put certain dri on my feet at night plus wear blister band-aids as “prevention” when I run.

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10 Sheri May 13, 2009

I say Moleskin as well. Check the footcare isle at your local drugstore or Walmart. They also have a slick stick that you can slather on your feet as well to help prevent those nasty blisters! I have never tried it but hear it does help. Great views for your run!

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11 Kelley May 13, 2009

You probably already do, but make sure you’re wearing DriFit socks. Cotton socks create blisters.

Also, I agree with above posters, rub body glide on your feet before you put your socks on.

Good luck!

I have that SAME hole on my sneakers on one side… I dont get blisters from it, thankfully. good luck!

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12 Amy May 13, 2009

New socks may help. These are the socks that I wear and the absolute BEST that are on the market.
http://www.balegasports.com/
Much more expensive than regular socks, but worth it to not have blisters!
The second suggestion: http://www.bodyglide.com/
This stuff is great whenever or wherever you have chafing or blisters.

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13 Meg May 13, 2009

Hi,

Long-time lurker/lover of your blog/site. You’re awesome.

I get blisters all of the time on my right heel and on my two “pointer-finger” toes. The heels I can deal with but the toes, are KILLING me. I’ve tried google-ing it and it appears that I have what is called runner’s toe or black toe. It’s sick and I get blisters UNDERNEATH my toenails.

Yea…

:)

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14 Marisa May 13, 2009

I second Moleskin or a pre-emptive band-aid on the exact spot. My boyfriend is in the military and after long marches they are given Moleskins by the medics in order to be ready to go out again. Or what about doubling up on socks? It’s at least cheaper.

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15 Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 13, 2009

I agree with the moleskin suggestion… I also am willing to bet you that your right foot slightly bigger than your left, hence the extra rubbing!

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16 claire May 13, 2009

maybe moleskin will work, but I go the simple route of Un-Petroleum jelly. Just put it on your blister before you run. it will lube the area and decrease the change of a blister. Also, I think that you may need bigger shoes! I started training for a marathon and had to buy new running shoes b/c my toes on one foot (same problem of one being larger) started to bleed and get blisters.

hope that helps.

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17 Brooke May 13, 2009

Try ‘body glide’ or applying a moleskin patch to either your foot or the shoe. Maybe a different brand of shoe, one that has a wider heel box? Go to runnersworld dot com adn check out their info on tying shoe laces for specific problems. Maybe that will solve it. GOOD LUCK!!

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18 k May 13, 2009

The first thing that popped into my mind was SOCKS! If you haven’t tried a double layer sock (one brand i’ve had good luck with is “Wright Sock”), give them a try.

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19 Stephanie May 13, 2009

I develope the EXACT same holes as you!! I think I am going to try Moleskin. I have heard of it before!
Good Luck!
Steph

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20 Krista May 13, 2009

Try vaseline, it’s a great preventative lubricant for blisters.

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21 meghan May 13, 2009

i have the SAME problem…but it’s because I have a heel spur on the back of one of my feet…DEFINITELY try moleskin! I had the worst blister on my heel and completely covered it with moleskin and completed a half marathon pain and bloody sock free :)

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22 Red Head, Yellow Dog May 13, 2009

I totally suffer from blisters. since I’m injured, I’ve started doing some incline walking (instead of running) and I’ve gotten blisters on the inside of my heels and some times when I would do long runs (10 miles + ) I would get HUGE blisters on the arch of my foot. I’m talking the size of a silver dollar.

Things that helped me were putting bandaids on the area that usually got a blister or putting gauze + athletic tape over the area. If I already had a blister, I would go and get a band aid that claimed to help heal blisters and they TOTALLY work (I forget the name- I’ll look it up and let you know!). You just have to be very gentle when taking them off.

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23 Diana May 13, 2009

I’m with red head, yellow dog. Stick something on the area before you head out. Maybe that will help.
Diana

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24 Run Sarah May 13, 2009

Sounds like an awesome run! I find I get blisters all the time from other shoes, but my running shoes (Asics) are great and don`t give me trouble.

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25 Marcy May 13, 2009

Moleskin is wonderful! It covers up an existing blister very well, and also prevents new blisters from starting. You can find it at CVS, Walgreens, Wal_Mart etc…

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26 Valerie May 13, 2009

I have holes like that one both shoes of my old pair of Nikes but I’ve never gotten blisters from them, thankfully.

Whenever I have gotten blisters from shoes, or think I might, I just stick a bandaid on the area that rubs. But judging from the number of people suggesting moleskin, it sounds like it might be a good thing to try. I think I’ll keep that in mind in case I ever have a blister problem.

Nice pics from your run. It’s absolutely gorgeous here too!

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27 Michelle May 13, 2009

It’s all about the socks in my opinion! You don’t want 100% cotton. You want a nylon/cotton/polyester blend. I like the kind that have a little cushioning on the bottom. These are like the ones I use: http://www.paragonsports.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=79185&storeId=10551&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&u=400017928500&c=white%2fblue&s=na&campaign=2570

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28 Chelsea May 13, 2009

+1 for having good socks. They don’t have to be super pricey- I wear Target brand- but they are much better than cotton. I have a foot-size discrepancy, too, but I always fit the big foot and tie my shoe differently on the small foot so I’ve never had blisters from too small shoes.

Good luck and be (a little) glad it’s not sports bra chafing!

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29 Jackie May 13, 2009

I get a hole in my right shoe also, but not a blister. From what I’ve read you may need to go up one size with your runners. I’m a 7 and my runners are 7.5. My feet swell when I run. Your shoes should fit like a glove.
Also socks are important. Like everyone else said: don’t wear cotton. A cotton, nylon, polyester blend works well. I have a pair from Nike and they work like a charm. They’re expensive, but do they ever work. I’ve been through tons of socks to find the right pair.
As well, I put some vaseline on the problem area & I find that helps prevent more blisters from forming.
If there is a Running Room in your area, talk to them, because they are quite good and knowledgeable.
Good Luck.

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30 AGS May 13, 2009

So sorry to hear of the blister problem. I used to get them a lot, but after finding a pair of sneakers that worked, and learning a new lacing technique, I don’t get them as much. All the suggestions were really great — I hope they help you.

In other news: I tried your walking work-out today. It was GREAT. I got up to 17 incline on the treadmill at 4 pmh. I was amazed at how it got my heart rate up. Thanks for posting about it — it was a terrific break from my usual routine.

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31 k May 13, 2009

Oh, and for healing quickly, try the band aid blister healers: http://www.bandaid.com/productList.do?typeId=4 (scroll a bit).
They are kind of pricey, but I’ve found that they really do the trick.

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32 Alison May 13, 2009

I’ve been getting bad blisters lately. But I think they will go away once I’m back in the habit of running and I buy new shoes.

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33 Eva May 13, 2009

Go to the Running Room and buy a pair of double-layered socks. The two-layers mean the friction rubs between them, and not against your foot.

They absolutely changed my life. I walked into RR with 15 (!!!!!) blisters on my two feet, and one week after buying the socks I haven’t had another blister in 5 years.

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34 Gretchen May 13, 2009

I can’t weigh in on the sock issue, but I’ve had HORRIBLE trouble with blisters and have found that Band-Aid makes Blister Ampoules, which are basically just really cushy, sticky, blister-special band-aids. They have great coverage and stay stuck no matter what, and they heal blisters as well as prevent them. Plus, if you already have one (like yours), you can put this thing on (there’s no adhesive on the part that touches the actual blister so it won’t hurt) and run pain-free right away. Not sure if you have them up there, but it might be worth trying a package :) Good luck!

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35 Alison May 13, 2009

Things that I had to change that fixed blisters for me….

good, non-cotton running socks
body glide

I’ve heard some people put duct tape over blister prone areas too, probably a similar concept to the moleskin.

And just agreeing with another suggestions someone said on tying your shoes, could make all the difference, so your foot stops slipping around in your shoe.

Another thought, have you ever read ChiRunning? Could help you improve your form if that’s the issue.

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36 Lindsay May 13, 2009

I had that same problem back in high school (my feet are still scarred from the blisters) but then I stopped running for a while and then I picked it back up mid college. Now I have NO problem. I am amazed. But I don’t know why. I think one thing has changed is I stopped buying B shoes and switched to 2A… my feet are narrow. I also swear by Brooks Adrenaline shoes. And I took a long (2 year) break and my feet healed during that time perhaps so it wasn’t a cycle anymore? I lace them by looping it back into the top hole http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/locklacing.htm I don’t know but good luck, I know the pain!

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37 Georgia May 13, 2009

wow. I feel for ya- I have never struggled with blisters until Africa. My problem: they were all new shoes, going long distances, AND they were all too big. i had recently gotten inserts and tried on and bought all new shoes based on the inserts.. I had to do away with all those shoes and hiking boots. Lots of lost mula.. Sorry. I tried everything and nothing worked for me either. Could you try a running sandal?

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38 Kristin May 13, 2009

Yes, try moleskin! It is great, I usually cut a hole the size of the blister out so the moleskin surrounds it.

Also, your shoe might be too small…try going bigger!

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39 Jennifer @ His N' Her Health May 13, 2009

I agree with moleskin. I use it for dance constantly. It is my savior!

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40 Ellen @ Peace in Motion May 13, 2009

I feel you pain sistah! I can get THE WORST blisters from my sneakers. The only thing I’ve found that really help is moleskin. You get a piece, cut out a piece bigger than you blister, then cut out the piece where your blister is. Then you put it in sticky side down, but so that the hole you cut out exposes the blister. Seems counter intuitive, but the moleskin keeps the show from actually rubbing against the skin. It almost acts like a bumper! Good luck, hope it helps!

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41 Amy May 13, 2009

Hey there.. I didn’t read all the other comments, but try the double layer socks from the Running Room.

They work like a charm!

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42 carrie May 13, 2009

I swear by Body Glide and Wright socks. Wright socks have two thin layers. Doubling socks never worked for me because of they way they move around. Ran and did marathon training in Wright socks and Body Glide. Good luck.

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43 Asta Sigrun May 14, 2009

Dear Angela- first time I comment, but I actually have a wee solution for your problem. I used to get blisters all the time, but now what I do is that I wear nylon socks (like 40den)- you know the ones that go up to your knee (they also come shorter). I actually don´t put them up that high, I just roll them down but the socks really work. A friend of mine who runs the 100km marathons uses this as her magic trick.
I usually wear either ones that have holes in them or have a sibling that got lost in washing or something- my mom keeps me in supply. If you buy the black ones you dont look silly haha I know it sounds strange but it works- they let you glide easier within the shoe- hence no more blisters:) Best of luck, and I love your website!
Kind regards
Asta

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44 e May 14, 2009

Military and AT hiker – MOLESKIN!!!!!!!!!!

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45 Fitzalan May 14, 2009

I have the same thing happen with me…and mine is definitely because my feet are almost an entire size different. I broke my ankle in 5th grade and I guess that foot just quit growing then.

I wear EXCELLENT socks. That is the only thing I can find that helps. They are soft but wick. The wetter my feet get, the more blister prone they are.

The quickest way to get rid of them…let them be and try to wear flipflops so that they can air-out/dry out.

Oh how I feel your blister pain!

Happiness Awaits

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46 Jason September 2, 2009

We manufacture a miracle blister product called “ENGO Patches” (www.GoENGO.com). ENGO is a thin, low-friction patch that sticks directly to your shoe, not on your skin. The patches slide smoothly against your skin, so blisters never form.

No more messy creams, powders, thick pads or tape…

Give ENGO a try – free of charge: http://www.goengo.com/try4free.

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47 Netsy November 5, 2009

Just stumbled across this post while Google searching for something else. I too get that worn-out spot in the back of all my running shoes!

Some shoe brands have more padding around the heel, some have less. I’ve found that the ones with more padding have caused fewer problems for my heel, even though that one spot still wears through. Asics and Brooks are two brands which tend to be more padded back there.

I’ve also found that simply running more often tends to thicken the skin around the heel “nub” which creates that worn spot, creating a callus there which can handle the rubbing without any problems. I still get those holes in my heels of my right shoes, but the “nub” hasn’t bothered me in years, even in marathons and ultramarathons.

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