How to avoid blisters

We could categorize them among the milder injuries, maybe not even among those: blisters are more of a nuisance. They can make your runs annoying, though, especially since with a few tricks they are also easily avoidable. Let’s see which ones.

1. Avoid cotton socks

Cotton socks are not a good idea (definitely better technical ones, more on the next point): cotton absorbs sweat, soaks in and softens the skin on your feet, easing blisters.
If you want an environmentally friendly solution, try bamboo socks (ie: made from bamboo fibers) or wool socks.

2. Use technical socks

Technical socks have several functions but the two most important are support and breathability. As you may have noticed, their shape is not that of simple “tubes with a closed end). Technical socks are composed of zones with different densities of texture and elasticity, so as to put the foot in the ideal working condition, supporting the most stressed parts and being softer on those less so.
Breathable function, on the other hand, is provided by the synthetic materials used, which, like clothing, promote the expulsion of sweat and rapid drying.

3. Go easy on new shoes

Each foot has its own shoe but each shoe must have time to adapt to your feet, taking their shape and allowing them to “fit in.” That’s why it’s never a good idea to get a lot of mileage out of a new pair of shoes right away, but it’s better to let your feet and them get to know each other, adjusting little by little. A shoe that constricts the foot too much inevitably leads to blisters, so it is best to be patient, perhaps alternating with another pair or the old ones that are close to retirement.

4. If you sweat a lot

Sometimes even the technical sock may not be enough. Some people have feet that sweat a lot, making it difficult for them to dry out, which technical fabrics can provide. In fact, always remember that sweating and the constant contact of sweat with the skin of the foot softens it, promoting blistering. To avoid this, you can sprinkle your feet with talcum powder before training or the race or bring a pair of dry socks to change (which, evidently, you cannot do during the race, as long as you don’t agree to lose precious seconds).

5. If you sweat… non so much

It may also happen that your problem is having feet that sweat very little, resulting in poorly moisturized skin. This is also a condition that could ease blistering. How to get around it? Using moisturizing creams or even lube on the most stressed spots and where the most rubbing is.

6. The skin does not always have to be soft

Or rather: when you start running, the sole of your foot is not used to that particular stress. This is why the first few runs can be plagued by blisters. Again, this must be done gradually, giving the foot time to adjust to certain new pressures. How? Even with the formation of calluses or hardening of the skin, real “natural soles.”

7. Attention to the insoles

The insole-that is, the part of the shoe on which the foot rests and which separates it from the midsole-has an importance that is often overlooked. If it is made of a plastic material that is too slippery, the foot will rub against it all the time and especially much more than it should (the foot should always be nice and firm inside the upper anyway). Better to opt for gel or foam insoles that better conform to the sole of the foot, minimizing movement and slippage.

8. Lacing

Lacing is not the first responsible that comes to mind in the case of blisters, yet think about it for a while: the pressure the foot puts on the insole depends on how snug the upper is.
Take some time to adjust it so that it is not uncomfortable and your foot feels unconstrained while being sufficiently contained.
Consider that during running, the foot expands and increases in volume-a very tight lacing before a run may bother you after a while, even causing blisters. Find a middle ground and try different lacing patterns.

(Main image credits: VGeorgiev on – Via South China Morning Post)


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