Excessive Shoe Rubbing Can Cause Blisters
Its been a pretty hot summer here in Chicago but still great weather to get outside for some healthful exercise. No matter what activity you choose running, walking, hiking, climbing or in-line skating remember to always wear well-fitting footwear that is appropriate to each sport.
Even with shoes and boots that fit you perfectly, you may get blisters on your feet. These common problems are pockets of fluid that form on the upper skin layer or epidermis. The fluid in the blister is usually clear but can also look yellowish if there is an infection or pink if there is any blood inside.
Blisters are most often caused by excessive rubbing or friction on the foot when shoes dont fitproperly. New shoes that are too stiff can create blisters. When shoes are too big, they can slip at the heel and create more friction. Blisters can also result from foot sweating and some fungal infections such as athletes foot.
Treating Blisters at Home
Most blisters can be cared for at home if they are not infected. If, however, you observe signs of infection like warmth, redness or pus, please contact Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for professional treatment.
Dont try to pop or drain a blister. Leave it alone and let it pop on its own to allow it to heal. If the blister is very painful or sensitive, here are some home care steps:
If you have diabetes, always inspect your feet carefully for any injury including blisters Seek a doctors care for any type of foot injury.
How Do You Prevent Toe Blisters
To prevent blisters on toes all you need to do is just wear good moisture wicking socks because blisters are caused when sweat is trapped inside the toe areas.
Also, you can tie band aids on the longest and the little fingers on both ends of the feet because these are the two toes that get rubbed against the walls of the boots the most.
Strategies To Prevent Foot Blisters
Blisters are a common complaint of walkers and runners. If you have just started walking or running, switched your shoes, or started doing longer workouts, you may get blisters on your feet and toes.
A blister is a fluid-filled sac caused by friction . Walkers and runners dread them, but there are ways to prevent most foot blisters. You can eliminate sources of rubbing in your shoes, toughen and protect your skin, keep your feet cool and dry, and be alert for hot spots that will turn into blisters if not treated.
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Tip : The Right Shoes To Prevent Blisters
A common source of blisters are your shoes themselves. Everybody has feet of different shapes and sizes, and no single shoe will be right for everyone. Getting the right size and shape of shoe can help prevent blisters.
Cause: New Shoes. If you take new shoes out for a long walk, you may get a blister. Any pair of shoes may give you a blister in its first few wearingsbefore your feet and the shoes have grown accustomed to each other.
Solution: Take it slow, and only go on short walks with new pairs of shoes, even if they are the same brand and model you have been wearing. Build up your mileage and speed in each pair of shoes.
Cause: Cramped Shoes. With a cramped toe box, toes rub against sides or end of shoes. This can even lead to blackened toenails or losing the toenails after a long walk.
Solution: Your walking shoes should have a fingers width of length between the end of your toe and the end of your shoes to allow your feet to expand while walking. Select shoes of the proper width for your foot, so toes have enough room. Do you need bigger shoes?
Cause: Feet Sliding Around in Shoes. If your shoes have a sloppy fit and your feet slide forward and back within the shoe with each step, you are adding extra blister-causing friction. You may also get a black toenail.
See our Walking Shoe Guide for tips on getting properly fitted for your walking shoes.
Cause: Rough Edges in Your Shoes. The seams and the edge of the insole can rub against your foot or toes.
Use Inserts To Fill The Boots Volume
Even if you find the right size for you, you might find that a pair of boots fit well in the width but are bit a too long maybe the heel slips.
In this case, there are a few things you can do to fill in the extra volume in some parts of the boot so you dont get a blister. Youre very lucky if you find something right off the shelf that fits you 100 percent, says Steve. Its never the case.
The good news is that you can break them in and adjust the fit.
Steve told me when he got a new pair of Aldens, I had to put in an insert to take up a bit of room in them. I wear a 10.5, the boots were an 11. They were a little bit larger on me, so I put the inserts in there and they fit me perfectly.
Inserts cause your foot to get lifted up in the boot, filling up the extra space, and allowing the leather uppers to better grip the foot, reducing friction and blisters.
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Make Your Shoes More Comfortable
The second step is to try to make your shoes more comfortable. Your shoes could be causing your foot pain because theyre new. Some shoes need to be worn a few times to break in their initial stiffness.
Based on anecdotal claims , here are some recommendations for breaking in new shoes and making them more comfortable:
- Stretch them. Use a wooden or plastic shoe shaper overnight to gently stretch the problem shoes. You can find shoe shapers online.
- Oil them. Massage oil, such as neatsfoot oil, mink oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, into the edges of leather shoes that are hurting your feet. After a few days, the shoes should be softer and less abrasive. If youre concerned about the effects of certain oils on the color or durability of the shoe, consider using a leather conditioner instead of oil.
- Warm them up. Wear thick socks with your shoes. Then, use your hair-dryer to heat up the tight spots for about 30 seconds. Walk around while the shoe material is still warm and flexible. Once you think theyre ready, take off your socks and try them on.
- Mold them. This method works well for strappy sandals. Put on your sandals and dunk your feet into a bucket of water. Towel them off but leave them damp and then walk around in them for a couple of hours. Before you fully dunk the sandals, you might want to test a small area with water first.
How To Treat Blister Hot Spots
Hotspots are areas of our body where blisters usually develop. As discussed earlier, hands and feet are often prone to such abrasions because of movement and friction. In most cases, slight symptoms develop at hotspots before a blister fully forms.
Identifying the actual cause can be helpful. Avoid scenarios that can worsen the situation. For example if a tight fitting shoe causes discomfort on the backside of your feet or if it causes too much friction while walking, avoid wearing it until you have broken it in. If your socks are drenched in rain, immediately remove them.
Hotspots are treated in a similar way as blisters are treated. If swelling, redness or small abrasions are noticed, clean the area immediately with soap and water. Apply a blister patch or bandage if necessary. Do not touch the area unnecessarily as it may worsen the condition.
Weve all had to deal with blisters at least once and we know that blisters can be really uncomfortable and painful. To stop blisters from forming and to prevent existing blisters from worsening, it is ideal to understand root causes. Treatment should be given based on the factors identified. Never let your symptoms go unnoticed.
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How To Treat A Blister
Blisters can take up to two weeks to heal. If possible, try to avoid the activity that gave you the blister in the first place until it has gone away. If a particular pair of shoes irritated your feet, try sporting a different pair, for example.
1. Keep a bandage on the blister. Pad areas where there is pressure or friction, such as the bottom of your feet or between your toes.
2. Always keep the area clean and covered.
3. Do not pop blisters, as this can cause infections. If your blister bubbles, is painful, or you feel you need to drain it, sterilize a small needle using rubbing alcohol. Pierce the edge of the blister so fluid can drain. Remember that your skin serves as a barrier against irritation, so do not peel the skin off the top of the blister.
4. In some cases, blisters may require medical treatment. Reach out to a medical professional if you notice redness, pus, or blood coming from the blister, or experience pain, swelling, or a fever in conjunction to a blister.
Ways To Prevent A Blister On Bottom Of Foot
Its difficult to walk with a blister on the bottom of your foot, particularly under the ball of your foot. This is a major weightbearing area of your foot, after all. In this article youll learn about the anatomy and biomechanics of the ball of your foot, why its susceptible to blisters and the best ways to prevent them.
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How To Treat Blisters
Blisters are treated depending on the scale of damage. From soft bandages to routine hygiene, all are essential components of treatment.
Prevention is better than cure. This applies well here. Any skin condition should be given adequate attention before it becomes a significant problem. It is better to identify and avoid situations that may result in skin injuries.
The below recommendations are suggested in treating blisters on feet:
Lets Talk A Little More About Anatomy And Biomechanics
Ball of foot anatomy
Anatomically, this is where the metatarsal heads are. These are weightbearing bones so the skin is subjected to high pressures. And as part of normal healthy foot function, the metatarsal heads move back and forth under the skin.
Ball of foot biomechanics & blisters under feet
Metatarsal heads move back and forth with every step we take:
- During propulsion
- Going uphill and downhill
- Whether walking or running
Picture this. When the foot plants, the metatarsal heads skid forward over the skin, and then backwards during propulsion. Moving bones above, high friction levels below and weightbearing pressure compressing everything together, this creates a lot of skin shear . This is completely normal and usually below our blister-causing threshold but not always. Watch this video to see how moving bones cause blisters.
You can imagine that as your activity increases in intensity and/or duration, shear may reach a point where it becomes excessive more than the skin can handle. At this point, skin damage occurs. And it occurs under the surface of the skin, a few layers deep. Blister medical researcher Stanley Comaish described this skin damage as epidermal fatigue because the connections that bind these skin layers tear under the excessive and repetitive shear load. This type of injury is not as deep as the blood vessels, so bleeding or blood blisters do not ordinarily occur.
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Select A Shoe Made From Flexible Material That Allows For Natural Movement
If your shoes are made from a rigid material, they wont flex and bend with your feet on every step. This will create an excessive amount of friction between your feet and shoes.
On the other hand, if your shoes are made with soft, flexible materials, then theyll be able to bend and flex naturally with the movement of your feet.
If your shoes and feet move together, then friction between the two will be limited.
Prevent Blisters By Keeping Your Feet Dry
Keeping your feet dry starts with wicking socks, but you can also use other strategies, such as these two products:
- Antiperspirant: A military study showed that using a special heavy-duty antiperspirant on the feet reduced the incidence of blisters. While regular antiperspirant is less concentrated, some runners use it for the same purpose.
- Cornstarch and talcum powder: Plain cornstarch can be sprinkled in your socks and shoes to help keep your feet dry. Reapply it at least once in a long-distance event. Baby powder or talcum powder both smell nice and also act to keep the feet dry.
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Consider Stretching Your Shoes
While we always recommend starting with the right fit, if you want to stretch out or wear in a new pair of shoes to minimise your risk of painful rubbing, there are a couple of ways you can go about it:
- At home, put your shoes on wearing two pairs of thick socks. Dont overdo it or stay in these shoes for long periods and take them off if theyre causing you any foot pain or cramps. But adding to your sock thickness can help with quickly stretching your shoes and has been used by many avid hikers for their new hiking boots for years. The socks also help prevent blisters. This works particularly well with leather
- If you want to skip the hassle, take your shoes to your local bootmaker or shoe repair store who should be able to stretch your shoes using professional equipment. There are sprays available that are designed to help shoes stretch but you want to be careful with these and patch-test them to make sure they dont change the colour of your shoes
How To Stop Shoes From Rubbing The Heel & Fix Heel Blisters Video Summary:
Do you have a bottom of the foot blister? Toe Blister or Heel Blister?
- We will show you how to prevent foot blisters and see if they are dangerous!
- We go over the best ways how to treat blisters on feet and toes.
- These include blood blisters and friction blisters on the back of the heel and the bottom of the feet!
- We answer questions like: should you pop a blood blister on your foot or pop a small blister on the toe?
- To learn how to prevent and treat blisters on the bottom of your foot!
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How To Prevent Blisters From Shoes On The Back Of Heel
Blisters are a pervasive problem if you have an active lifestyle. Frequent walking, running, and moving around can get you a blister. It is also known as shoe bite. Shoe bites can be painful at times when no proper treatment is taken. Blisters are the fluid-filled sacs that one can experience while running and walking. The main cause behind getting a blister is friction between your heels, toes, and shoes. When your skin rubs against your shoe or socks, you get a shoe bite.
When the rubbing between your skin and the shoe increases, you are at a higher risk of getting a blister. The higher rubbing can be due to faster walk, running for long hours, uncomfortable and unfitted shoes, or wearing a new shoe. Blisters can hinder your walk or run. Marathon runners are most affected by shoe blisters. Blisters can get worse if not treated on time. When you feel a blister stop your activity because of heat pressure and moisture, these foot blisters can worsen and cause bacterial infection.
It is better if you take proper precautions for getting a shoe bite. Note that your shoe must be fitted and comfortable. If you are wearing a new shoe, take a short walk rather than a long run. Give time to a new shoe to get adjusted to your feet. Slowly and gradually increase your walk, and when you feel comfortable with your new shoe, you can go back to your active routine.
Wear Golf Shoes That Fit You
Blisters happen from heat or friction by wearing shoes that are not fitted properly, most often its wearing a shoe size too big causing excessive movement of the foot.
You should buy a comfortable golf shoe like the popular ECCO Golf shoe or any shoe that has heel support to prevent excessive friction with your foot being locked into the shoe whilst still comfortable.
Buying a Golf brand will not always be the best choice as I heard Callaways Golf shoes are notoriously uncomfortable and cause blisters.
You dont have to break in a new pair of Golf shoes either, a great option is using Engo Blister Prevention patches from , these are design patches designed to be placed upon the blister prone areas of the foot to put a layer of protection between your foot and the shoe.
They are proven to last 6 weeks or 300 miles, so will last many Golf rounds and they come with 6 patches will numerous glowing reviews on Amazon. Why not give them a try?
Another option is using a shoe tree like this Stratton Cedar Shoe tree grown in the USA from Amazon.
It has adjustable spring coils that provides tension designed to fill the length of the shoes this reduces creases and wrinkles on your Golf shoes and helps them keep new and fresh, this tension reduces the break in period of the shoes if theyre too tight.
Do you get blisters on the hands as well? Learn how to prevent hand blisters in my article.
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