Blisters on the back of your heel from new shoes, walking long distances or running are a nightmare. They can pop open at any time and make every step you take a miserable experience. And while they may be little, they have the power to seriously disrupt your work, race, gym practice, vacation or special event.
- New shoes may pinch and rub to begin with, which could cause heel blisters.
- Avoid popping or bursting a blister when you can to reduce the risk of infection.
- Blister cushions can help prevent or protect blisters from new shoes.
In this article we’ll look at:
- What causes shoe blisters?
- How to prevent blisters from new shoes
- How to prevent heel blisters – General tips
- How to treat blisters
What causes shoe blisters?
Most heel blisters form when your skin rubs against your shoes or socks repeatedly over time. The damaged upper layer of skin shears away from the layers beneath and fluid collects in the space to create a firm bubble under the skin – forming the dreaded blister. They develop very quickly, can take several days to heal, and if they break open, they can become infected, making the pain even worse.
Shoe blisters develop most frequently in the summer because those hot humid days can cause our feet to sweat more than usual. When your feet are sweaty it’s a dangerous combination, ripe for feet friction.
New shoes can also cause blisters if they don’t fit correctly as they’re more likely to pinch your feet in areas like your toes or the heel. This causes friction which can damage the skin and cause blisters.
There are lots of activities that can cause blisters too. In ill-fitting shoes, activities like running, hiking or even golfing and gardening, can lead to painful blisters from the repetitive movements that cause rubbing. Hikers get them frequently, especially when their socks get wet, causing friction in their hiking boots.
Any activity that requires a lot of walking, like visiting an amusement park with your family, or a day of shopping, can be ruined with shoes that are more chic than comfortable. Going out for a night in town? You don’t want to wake up with blisters the next morning. Taking a big vacation soon? Watch out! All that walking and sightseeing can leave you feeling cultured, but they can also lead to painful feet.
How to prevent blisters on back of heel from new shoes
Buying well-fitting shoes is key to preventing blisters. Try wearing your new shoes around your house for a short time to stretch them out and let your feet get used to them.
Keep an eye out for any developing redness or soreness. At the first sign of irritation, try applying a blister cushion.
How to prevent heel blisters – General tips
- To prevent shoe blisters before they happen, it’s important to keep your feet in good condition.
- Overly dry skin is more likely to cause irritations than healthy skin, so try to apply a foot cream every night before bed.
- Another way to avoid blisters is to wear well-fitting shoes and comfortable socks.
- Using an insole can also help prevent ill-fitting shoes from rubbing or give the soles of your feet more cushioning to prevent blisters from forming.
How to protect against blisters
Once a blister forms, you should treat it quickly to minimize the pain, help prevent infection and to not delay healing. You can do this by:
- Gently cleaning the area, applying a specialist bandage to cushion the blister from harmful pressure and friction. This will also help to protect the blister from bacteria and dirt.
- Avoiding wearing anything that irritates the area.
- Keeping the blister from bursting.
- Cleaning any blisters that do open up with mild soapy water. If possible soak it in a saltwater foot bath for 10 minutes and then cover with a fresh specialist blister bandage.
- Applying a blister cushion to prevent or reduce further pain and irritation.