Everyone can suffer from blisters; it is a condition that affects athletes of all ages, recreational runners and professionals alike. It is an ailment that does not discriminate. Blisters are usually caused by three factors which are heat, moisture and friction that build up on the feet of runners. These factors force the top layer of the skin on the feet to separate from the underlying layers leading to formation of irritating bumps filled with fluid. This condition can be extremely painful to the point of stopping runners on their tracks and if not dealt with it can lead to serious infection.
The good thing however, is that there are ways to prevent it; they include –
Wearing the right socks
Wearing the right socks is very important in preventing blisters. Socks provide support to the feet, keep moisture away and also minimize friction which lead to the formation of the painful blisters. Do away with cotton socks that soak up sweat and allow moisture build up and start using nylon ones which provide more breathability and less moisture build up on your feet. If one pair doesn’t do the job well, consider wearing two so that friction will happen between the two layers of socks rather than between one pair of socks and your skin. You can also buy double-layer socks which help prevent blisters by transferring friction from the feet and keep it between the interaction of the two layers. The upper layer will manage air flow to the feet while the inner absorbs moisture.
Wear fitting shoes
Most people new to running don’t recognize the importance of good fitting shoes in preventing blisters. A good fitting shoe is one that is not too tight nor too loose, one that allows you to wiggle your feet as well as offer space for your feet as it swells as you run. If toes are crowded they will rub against each other and cause blisters. Your heel should not move as you run also as rubbing will cause blisters.
Use powders and creams
Specialists recommend runners to maintain moist feet as dry skin is more prone to friction and thus blisters. Buy special foot powder from a pharmacy and pour it into the socks to create a frictionless surface, also apply softening creams and/or lotions to your feet regularly.
Good nail care
Runners should not keep long nails. You don’t have to make them exceptionally short though. Nails of runners should be below the tip of the toe. The idea is to prevent your nails from rubbing against the inside of the shoes and against other toes which will prevent blisters from forming.
Tapes and bandages
For spots where blisters are common, use moleskine or other soft bandages before putting on your socks.
If you follow the above tips, your runs will become blister free and therefore more enjoyable.