There’s nothing better than getting faster and stronger as a runner – and nothing worse than facing a setback due to something as bothersome as blisters on feet.
As a runner, it’s incredibly important to take care of yourself from head to toe (literally!) by preventing and treating blisters with the right tools and techniques.
Try these tips for avoiding painful blisters.
Wear the Right Shoes
Running is a simple sport that only requires one key piece of equipment: the right shoes. Before you set out on a long run, visit a local running store to make sure you find a shoe that fits your unique stride and the shape of your foot. Most running store employees can assess your cadence and form to make sure you have the right fit.
You’ll want a pair of shoes that fit snugly along the sides with ample room near your toes. Because feet swell during a run, it can be a good idea to buy running shoes a half-size larger than usual. Don’t buy your shoes too large, though. If your feet have excess room to move around, they’re more likely to bump and rub the sides and front of the shoes, and form blisters.
Once you find a shoe you love, I recommend stocking up and buying multiple pairs for the future. Shoe brands constantly change their products and alter shoe models, and it can be painful (emotionally and physically) to adapt to a new version of a shoe you used to love.
Wear the Right Socks
If there’s anything more important than your shoes, it’s your socks! High-quality socks are the unsung heroes of many successful races. Although it can be tempting to skimp and buy cheap cotton socks (who even sees them, after all?), I’ve learned over the years that sweat-wicking, nylon-based socks are worth the splurge.
A good pair of running socks can easily cost $15 or more, but every dollar spent will help keep your feet dry, comfy and blister-free when you’re on the run. Personally, I’m a fan of Swiftwick socks – not only do they perform well and look great, but the company is also based right here in Tennessee!
Treat and Repeat
If you’re prone to blisters on a certain part of your feet or whenever you wear new shoes, take preventive action to beat blisters before they happen. Cover problem areas with soft, breathable bandages before you set out for a run.
If you develop a blister, treat it immediately by washing it gently, applying petroleum jelly and loosely covering it with a bandage. Use your best judgment when it comes to running with a blister. If it’s too painful to put pressure on it, take a few rest days and let the blister heal. It’s better to have a couple days off to recover than weeks of discomfort as you push through the pain. If your blister becomes infected or extremely uncomfortable, see a dermatologist.
Want to know more about how to best prepare and recover from every run? Check out our pre- and post-run fuel tips.
The opinions and experiences are solely those of the author, and not those of BCBST, and are not necessarily representative of all of those who use the product(s) discussed in the post.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.