The unwelcome tingle of a blister is a common complaint among runners, but there are solutions: Make sure shoes fit properly and that sweaty feet can breathe. But most importantly, do what works for you. If you are blissfully blister-free, keep doing what you’re doing! For those who aren’t, here are some of the best preventive and protective options for happy feet.
Photos: Mark Doolittle
REI Tincture of Benzoin, $7.50 for package of 6
Made from tree sap and alcohol, this super-sticky compound goes on skin to create a tough blister barrier—or, if you already have a blister, it can be used to help bandages adhere better, even in sweaty shoes or socks. Single-use vials make it less messy, and easy to carry.
Body Glide Foot, $8
Body Glide added vitamins A and C, as well as apricot and comfrey leaf essential oils (to help calm inflammation and moisturize dry skin) to the same long lasting, sweat resistant, breathable, plant-based waxes used in the original formula, which helps stop blisters and hot spots before they begin.
Compeed Blister Cushions Variety, $8
Stick this moisture-absorbing cushion to blistered or tender skin for a protective barrier that stays in place for days, making it ideal for long runs and breaking in new shoes. It’s like an instant callus that’s easy to remove.
Engo Blister Prevention Patches, $14 for oval 6-pack
What do you do when it’s not you, but your shoes—a rough seam, worn heel pocket or odd spot between the insole and shoe? These thin, latex-free patches stick to shoes to reduce uncomfortable rubbing and stay put for up to 300 miles.
Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic, $10
Sold as an all-in-one package, the Blister Medic pack includes a variety of Moleskin pads (pictured), Glacier Gel pads, antiseptic towelettes and antiseptic wipes.
Blist-O-Ban Bandages, $8 for package of 4
These unique bandages have a dome to fit over blisters and redirect friction away from the area. Made of thin, breathable, water-resistant material, they can also be used in problem spots to prevent blisters from forming.
Wrightsock Endurance Socks, $15
Double-layer construction means the sock—not your foot—absorbs shoe friction. In addition to having a smooth feel, these socks also have padded tabs at the heel and ankle to protect against high ankle collars.
Injinji Spectrum Run Lightweight No-Show Socks, $14
Injinji toe socks have individual, soft-knit pockets for each of your tootsies, meaning you can say goodbye to painful between-the-toes blisters. The lightweight, low-bulk fabric makes this a good style for toe-sock newbies.