Blisters: the bane of any runner’s life.
These little blighters might not be dangerous, but they’re certainly annoying – and often, surprisingly painful. If you’ve ever suffered from a blister, you’ll know that they can really throw a spanner into your training schedule.
Read on to find out what causes blisters – and, more importantly, how to avoid blisters when running – in our handy how-to guide.
What causes blisters?
The three Ss – socks, shoes and sweaty feet.
First up, socks: if your socks are too tight, too loose or gathered in the wrong place, they’re going to rub. And friction causes – yep, you’ve guessed it – blisters.
It’s the same with running shoes – if your trainers are too tight or the wrong fit for you, they’ll create friction against your skin and you’ll be suffering before you know it (need some advice on choosing the right running shoes? Check our guide out here.)
Sweaty feet can also cause blisters – all that moisture can make your feet softer and more prone to blisters. Confusingly, though, if your feet are very dry, it can also make blisters more likely – so knowing your feet (and how much you typically sweat) is important.
Get the right socks. There’s a huge range of professional running socks out there, and you may need to try out a few options to find the ones that suit you best. However, as a guide, choose ones which claim to be ‘moisture wicking’ (i.e. draw sweat away from your skin) and with minimal seams to avoid rubbing.
Wear well-fitting trainers. Again, there are thousands of options when it comes to running shoes, but don’t be overwhelmed – our top tips are go to a proper running shoe store and get checked out by a pro and checking out our trainer guide here – remember, you need at least half an inch between your toe and the front of your shoe. How you lace up your shoes can have a significant impact on how they fit, so make sure you try different methods – and remember, you don’t have to lace up both shoes in the same way!
Keep your feet dry. If you’ve noticed that your feet get particularly sweaty when you run, try talc, antiperspirant or another skin-drying product to help. And a fresh pair of socks every time you head out is essential!
The exception to this rule is if you have unusually dry feet, in which case you might want to try applying some Vaseline at points where rubbing is likely.
Happy blister-free running!