A painful blister can completely sideline your running progress. In fact, blisters can even interrupt the career of top athletes. While they aren’t as serious as breaks and sprains, blisters shouldn’t be ignored as they can affect your concentration and performance. The best practice for any athlete is to avoid getting blisters in the first place and your choice of shoes is where the prevention starts.
- Friction between the skin on your feet and your shoes can cause blisters.
- Shoes that are too big or too small will rub more and carry more risk of blistering.
In this article:
- What to look for in running shoes
- Should I run with blisters?
What to Look For in Running Shoes To Avoid Blisters
The ideal running shoes should suit the type of running you do and the shape of your feet. When shopping for running shoes, tell the trained salesperson about your running routine, i.e. how long you’ve been running, what type of environment you run in, and any foot problems you may have.
Some running shoes are designed for the pavement as they are light, flexible and cushion the feet during repetitive strides on hard, even surfaces. Some shoes are designed for off-road routes with rocks, mud or other obstacles. These shoes offer more ankle stability and support for uneven surfaces.
Once you’ve narrowed down the type of shoes you’ll need, it’s time for the fitting. Feet tend to swell a bit by the end of the day, similar to how they spread when you run, so we recommend that you try on shoes in the later part of the day for a more accurate fit.
Make sure you have enough room around the toes. There should be roughly one thumb width between the end of your foot and the end of the shoe. Your foot should be centered on the shoe platform with the shoe wrapped comfortably around your foot, not tight and not sloppy.
After you have found a good fitting pair, try them out. Run on a treadmill or do a few laps around the store to make sure there’s no irritation or slipping in the heel – which could lead to blisters. Also ask the store about good running socks – they can make a big difference.
Another top tip is to apply a blister bandage before one forms. If there is a spot where you have had blisters in the past, or you start to feel your shoes rubbing, then apply the cushioned bandage there.
Should I Run with Blisters?
No matter whether you’re running solo or competing in a team sport, try to have a spare pair on hand. If you feel the hint of a blister coming on, stop and switch shoes immediately.
If that isn’t practical, reach for a Compeed® Advanced Blister Care cushion from your sports bag. That way your run or game won’t be interrupted, and you won’t be letting yourself or your team down.