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If you’re a runner, the chances are great that you’ve gotten a blister during a run at some point in your running career. They can be tiny and more of a nuisance, or rather large after a long, hot run. The good news is that they are, for the most part, preventable. Here are the best ways to prevent blisters from running.
Use an Anti-Chafe Lubricant on Blister-Prone Areas
One of the best ways to prevent blisters from running is to apply an anti-chafe lubricant like Body Glide on any areas that you tend to get blisters. I noticed that blisters sometimes develop on the outer side of my big toes after long runs, so I have started using my Body Glide stick on these areas before I put on socks– it’s helped tremendously.
Applying an anti-chafe lubricant like Body Glide or Vaseline helps form a barrier between your skin and the source of friction. If you develop chafing on long runs (very common!), rub some Body Glide on that area too! Chafing often occurs on the nipples (eek!), under arm areas or between the thighs (chub rub).
Wear the Right Socks
Choosing the right pair of socks is another important step in preventing blisters from running. Just like cotton isn’t the best fabric for running shirts, it’s not great for socks either. Cotton soaks up moisture and keeps it close to your skin. Your best bet is to choose a synthetic material that wicks moisture away from your feet. It’s also a good idea to look for a pair of socks with a reinforced toe and heel– two locations where blisters often develop.
My favorite sock brands are Balega and Feetures. I switch back and forth between the two brands, and they have both been very helpful in keeping my feet blister free! Good running socks are one running apparel item I would recommend NOT skimping on. Socks aren’t that expensive to begin with, and your feet will thank you later!
Wear the Right Shoes
I always recommend that beginning runners (and all runners for that matter!) visit their local running store to get fitted for shoes. You can always find great deals for running gear online, but it’s VERY important to get fitted for (at least) your first pair of running shoes. You local running store can take a look at your stride, ask questions about your running, past injuries, etc., in order to help you find the best shoe (one that’s not too big or too small).
Finding the right running shoe can help prevent blisters from rubbing in the wrong areas and potentially from injuries due to poor running form. Local running stores are also great for meeting fellow runners and learning about local running events! They often organize weekly runs and other fun events.
Keep your Feet Dry
If you are running in the rain or through water on trails, it’s generally a good idea to stash a pair of dry socks in your pocket or hydration pack. Blisters develop much quicker in wet socks and shoes. You can also use foot powder– sprinkle some on your feet and in your socks before heading out for a run.
Whatever you can do, try to avoid getting the blister in the first place. It can take a while for a raw area to heal completely, and treating the blister may require you to avoid running for a bit. Follow the above steps, and hopefully you can stay blister-free!