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3 Keys to Preventing Blisters


Whether you’re an aggressive long-distance runner or simply have a shoe obsession with less-than-optimal footwear, even the small potential for a blister can be a big problem. Not only are blisters unsightly, but open wounds are susceptible to infection – and they can make wearing any shoes painful.

How to prevent blisters

Help keep your feet happy and healthy with these simple blister prevention tips.

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  • Find the Right Shoe Fit: A lot of people wear shoes that don’t fit — often without even realizing it. To find the right pair, have both of your feet measured, try the shoes on before you buy, as every brand differs a bit in size, and make sure that there is three-eighths to one-half inch between your big toe and the front edge of the shoe. Remember, too, that even high-quality shoes break down with wear and tear. To reduce both turnover and prospective foot trouble, opt for thick soles. Frequently worn shoes should be replaced every six months to a year.
  • Be Smart With Your Socks: You can reduce the likelihood of a blister by wearing socks or pantyhose to provide a cushion. If you’re exercising or anticipate your feet sweating, opt for moisture-wicking socks or go with two layers — a thin interior and a thicker running sock.
  • Reduce Friction with Topicals: A final trick for reducing blisters is to use a topical lubricant, powder or adhesive to create a barrier between your skin and your shoes. Lubricants are popular as they provide immediate relief, but opt for those made specifically to prevent blisters or that offer the staying power needed to maintain decreased friction for the duration of your walk. Powders are another short-term alternative that can also help mask smells. If you’re using a hydrocolloid bandage, these can stay in place for multiple days and are not impacted by humidity. Only change them once they start to peel off on their own, and if you observe that the blister needs continuing protection.

The solution to preventing blisters is preparation. Investing in quality shoes and actively minimizing chafing are the keys to keeping your precious soles in working order. Of course, if you do get a blister, there are ways to treat them so you can stay active while you mend.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017