COMPEED® is working with Consultant Podiatrist Emma Supple to give you the very best advice on avoiding blisters. Here’s how to make sure your feet last the distance.
I am by no means an elite runner, but I do enjoy it. I am slowly relearning the art of running, taking on some short distances over the next few months and practising what I preach where taking care of my feet is concerned.
Feet are a marvel of construction and, when given some care, they’ll serve you well, leaving you to enjoy the pleasures of running towards and beyond your set goals. I have helped deliver podiatric care for several years at running events and it’s taught me a great deal - especially about blister management and, of course, preventing them.
Foot pain is a misery and the old adage of “when your feet hurt you hurt all over” is a truth widely known. So, build this advice into your running preparation and recovery and invest time in looking after your most valuable assets.
Socks are the second most important factor. Too thick and you will be as uncomfortable as too thin. Just like the story of the three bears you are looking for the right fit, size and comfort. If you are prone to blisters, then the two-layer sock idea is a good one to try. Damp, wet feet are the perfect conditions for foot problems to emerge so a fresh pair every run, please.
In lab conditions, it is difficult to get blisters to appear but we’re all familiar with the terrible trio of moisture, rubbing stress and heat.
Prevention is better than cure. Blisters hurt and, on feet, can be debilitating making the physical act of running a total misery. Don’t ignore warning signs of a blister. If you’re experiencing that raw tingling sensation and skin reddening reach for the blister plasters. They are a kit-bag essential - a footcare must-have for runners.
The skin on your feet is completely different than the skin on your leg for example. It really needs and benefits from a dedicated foot cream. Look for creams that contain urea and apply daily for best results.
BLISTER PREVENTION TOP TIPS
Eliminate moisture – Wear fresh socks for every run. Go for ones made from natural fibres that wick away moisture.
Avoid rubbing – Blisters occur when the skin stretches too far and for too long so buy good shoes that fit well and ensure there are no areas where your shoes rub against your skin.
Tie up your shoelaces properly – Use the lacing hack of “runner’s loop.” This simple but effective trick of looping the last-but-one-eyelet before you tie the bow helps keep the foot up into the shoe and that helps support the whole foot.
So, feet prepped, great shoes, comfortable socks and supple moisturised skin, blister prevention and preparation in place - all ready to run.
Emma Supple is Creative Clinical Director and Consultant Podiatrist; Fellow of the College of Podiatrists in both Podiatric Surgery and Podiatric Medicine of the College of Podiatry. FCPodS, FCPM, FFPM RCPS (Glasg), DPodM, PGDip (Pod)