How To Save Your Poor Feet & prevent them from blisters
This post is dedicated to all those long-suffering runners, whether they are novices, initiates or experienced runners who have suffered from blisters in areas of the feet that you did not even know existed. Here we want to offer you some tips to prevent them from appearing. Don’t let a blister ruin your career!
A bleb or blister is an accumulation of clear fluid or blood and is the result in friction or repetitive friction , either with the sock, templates or slippers. They can be of different sizes, from a few millimeters or spread over large areas of the foot (depending on the friction). They usually appear mainly in areas of high friction, such as the arch of the foot, the toes and the back of the heel .
Choose shoes that are exactly the number you need , since if they are short, long, narrow or wide, the foot will not be comfortable, there will be rubbing or friction and it may cause blisters. If you wear insoles , check that they are in good condition, and that there are no worn or broken areas.
The socks perform two very important functions, of protection between the shoe and the skin and the evacuation of the sweat that is generated when running. Excess moisture from sweating can macerate the skin and predispose to the appearance of blisters. Socks with Coolmax®, Dryarn® or Drytex® type fibers wick away moisture better than natural fibers (cotton or wool), which retain that moisture.
An alternative to reduce friction and thus the appearance of blisters is the use of a double sock , being very important that the sock in contact with the skin is well adjusted to the foot. This solution is usually used in long-distance tests and as long as the weather conditions are not very hot. Anyway, most of today’s high-end socks have built-in anti-blister systems, such as head bands, double layer, etc.
For blisters that appear on the toes, a fantastic option is socks with specific compartments for each toe (eg injinji © socks) that form an extra layer of protection between the toes.
3.- The skin
Like all body structures, the skin adapts to the physical demands of running. When the skin is subjected to repeated frictional forces, epidermal cell turnover is faster, and the outermost layer of the skin thickens , thus protecting us against blisters. For this reason, it is why as we are more experienced runners, generally less blisters appear. We can also prepare the skin to be subjected to great running efforts, eg before a long distance test, marathon, trail, etc. We can use 3 groups of products:
A dry foot , without excess perspiration (sweat), keeps the friction of the skin low and consequently is a protection mechanism from blisters. However, these must be used in the days leading up to the race. Ideally, if there is high perspiration, it would be to use the antiperspirant the week before the race, from Monday to Friday, to stop using it on Saturday and the day of the race. This is done because the mix of antiperspirant powders and race day sweat… can be an explosive mix!
The best known lubricant, without a doubt, is Vaseline, which acts as a layer that keeps the foot and the sock separate . The estimated time to last is 90 minutes and then the lubricant layer becomes thinner, it is absorbed into the skin, increasing the hydration of the skin and therefore also helps to reduce friction. We advise using Vaseline only in known friction areas, that is, where we know that blisters usually appear (area of the arch, fingers, etc.). Sometimes we see runners getting petroleum jelly all over the foot, which could cause the foot to slip into the sock and shoe.
The application of bandages or dressings are aimed at avoiding abrasion of the skin . Without a doubt, the best known for their efficiency and ease of use are Compeed dressings . These should be applied to dry skin (we recommend putting them on the day before the race), and after warming them slightly with your hands, so that they adapt better. In long-distance or stage tests, the use of other plasters is common, such as kinesotaping or leukoplast, which will allow its daily renewal and will alleviate the pain in those suffered feet.
Well dear runners, we hope these tips have been useful to you and you can avoid the appearance of that unwanted “friend” of runners, such as the blister. And if the blister has appeared and it bothers you to continue the race or training, you can use these tips .