Everyone has experienced the pain of a blister. Whether walking on mountain trails, plodding across endless city blocks, or trudging through rain-soaked roads during a marathon, blisters have decimated countless feet for years. Yet, oddly enough, despite the terrible pain and discomfort bad blisters can cause, people still do not take the adequate steps to prevent them in the first place.
Instead, many runners want to know how you handle a blister once they get one. Common knowledge calls for bubbled, non-painful ones to be left alone, only to pop themselves and drain later. Conversely, if you develop a bubbled blister that radiates pain, standard practice is to boil a needle for sterilization and, once cool, to pop the blister, drain it, and finally dress it in an antiseptic cream and covering.
Although both of these treatments get used thousands of times a day across the running world, they really needn’t be such a common practice. Rather than fix the problem, try preventing it. Use the five suggestions below to help your feet avoid developing blisters.
Keep those feet dry: The more moisture that surrounds your feet, the more blisters will begin. Blisters feed off moisture, so take every precaution to insure that your feet can remain dry and comfortable. If you anticipate a wet run, have extra socks at the ready. If you sweat a lot, powder up before strapping those sneakers on.
Pick quality socks: Good running socks seem to be budget busters, costing anywhere between $9 and $20 per pair. Buying loads of inferior socks will eventually come back to hurt you. High quality moisture wicking socks that are made of good materials that will last are unquestionably your best bet. Not only will you save money in the long run, but your feet will experience far less discomfort. Decide whether you like thick or thin socks, but make sure they are made of a wicking fiber that will extract moisture from your feet.
Get shoes that fit properly: Picking off the sale rack isn’t always the best idea. Taking the time to find a shoe that fits correctly can seriously decrease potential running injury, especially blisters. Knowing the type of foot you have and understanding the type of shoe you need will do wonders for your feet. Shoes that are too cushioned, not cushioned enough, too stiff, too floppy, etc., can cause blisters to creep up unbeknownst to you.
Apply lubricants: Cutting down on the friction rubbing against your feet will help stop blisters. Applying Vaseline, BodyGlide, or Sports Stick can reduce the friction your feet endure. Generally speaking, the more the better, especially for runs in excess of ten miles.
Cover the spots: If you have a nagging blister problem that just does not seem to want to respond to any of these other treatments, use band-aids or other coverings to dress the afflicted areas before beginning running. Covering the area that normally gets blistered can reduce the chance of it reoccurring.
While blisters are not completely preventable, they certainly do not need to be as prevalent as they are. Take the time to prepare your feet to avoid blisters. I am pretty sure you’ll be happy if you do.