How Athletes can Prevent Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are common injuries for athletes. Not only do they cause pain and discomfort, but they also have an impact on the athlete’s running form. When this occurs, they have the potential to lead to more serious injuries of the leg and hip by affecting the athlete’s normal gait.

What is a Foot Blister?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the outer layer of the skin after it has become damaged from friction or burning. They form to prevent the skin underneath from becoming damaged any further and to give it enough time to heal.

“Water” blisters are filled with serum, which is blood plasma without red blood cells and clotting agents. Some blisters do contain blood. If a blister is infected, it can be filled with pus.

How Athletes Can Prevent Foot Blisters

  • Wear shoes that fit comfortably.

Ideally, there should be about a thumb’s width 3/8-1/2-inch) between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. If the shoes are too narrow, they can cause blisters on the fifth toe. Shoes with a narrow toe box can lead to blisters on the tops of the toes, and loose shoes can cause them on the tips of the toes.

  • Choose shoes made for your specific sport.

When trying on shoes, wear the same type of socks, insoles or orthopaedic inserts as when working out or playing sports. The best time to get shoes fitted is in the late afternoon or evening, since feet tend to swell during the day.

  • Wear shoes around the house for one or two hours before heading onto the court, to the gym or field.

By wearing them when not engaged in a sport or a workout, it’s easier to determine whether there are any areas causing discomfort.

  • Check the contours of the insoles from time to time.

The insoles can become flattened down, causing the shoes to fit improperly. Make a point of examining them periodically and replacing them if necessary.

If you notice blisters or other painful foot conditions that may be affecting your athletic performance, arrange an appointment with Toronto podiatrist Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. for a consultation.