Running Shoes

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

When you worry about getting injured from running, walking or some other part of your fitness routine, you expect it’ll be something major, like a wrenched knee or a sore back. Actually, an injury smaller than the size of a dime is more likely to take you down this summer. Best Running Shoes for Blisters

I’m talking about blisters, those tiny, puss-filled hot spots that crop up on your feet, especially on the toes, heels and edges. Blisters are caused by friction and irritation, usually from something that scrapes against your foot. Some exercisers are more prone to blistering than others, but everyone is more susceptible during hot, humid and wet weather.

The best way to deal with blisters is to avoid them in the first place. Since I am insanely blister-prone myself, I have given blister prevention and maintenance a lot of thought.  Footwear that’s too roomy is more often the culprit than shoes that are too tight, because your feet slide, rub and bump when there’s extra space.

I know some of you buy athletic shoes that don’t quite fit right in the hopes you can break them in. Mistake, mistake, mistake! Shoes should feel comfortable from the instant you take your first step until the moment you replace them. They shouldn’t require any stretching, padding or taping to make them wearable.

A properly fitting shoe has the same basic shape as your foot: It’s wide where your foot is wide and narrow where your foot is narrow. There should be about a thumbnail’s space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe when you’re standing with your weight evenly distributed and, when you lace them up, your foot should stay firmly in place without feeling like it’s in a straightjacket.

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Running Shoe PictureRunning Shoe NamePrice on Amazon
Asics Gel Nimbus 21Check Price
Adidas Ultraboost 19Check Price
New Balance 520v5 Check Price
Asics Gel Kayano 25Check Price
New Balance Women's Arishi V1Check Price
Brooks Women's Glycerin 17Check Price
Saucony Guide 10 Check Price
New Balance Summit UnknownCheck Price
Mizuno Wave Rider 22Check Price
Saucony Peregrine 10Check Price
Mizuno Wave SkyCheck Price

Don’t risk buying if you feel even a single bumpy seam or raised stitch. Try several brands and models; there’s no one right fit for everyone. If you’re a blister magnet, lace up using the traditional crisscross method until you reach the second to last eyelet then thread each end into the last eyelet on the same side to create loops. Next, crisscross one lace over the other and thread the ends through the opposite loop.

Tighten and tie; this helps keep your foot from sliding around. Wearing the right pair of sports socks is your number one blister control tactic. Without them, your feet are subject to big time friction. Thin with good moisture management and high durability are must-have features for happy feet. (There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, I recommend wearing thicker socks with hiking boots.) Best Running Shoes for Blisters

The socks you wear should conform perfectly to your feet; no wrinkles, bunching, or extra folds. I prefer synthetic materials like nylon because they dry quickly and hold their shape. For example, I’m a huge fan of PowerSox. I wear the ones with an anatomical performance fit; as with shoes, there’s a left sock and a right sock to give you a customized fit.

One old marathoner’s trick involves slipping on knee high stockings underneath your socks. The socks slip against the nylon but the nylon conforms to your feet. I admit this is a little odd, but I know some hardcore road warriors who swear by this method. So if you’re really suffering, pride be dammed.

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Blisters

Gooping up the feet before a workout is an icky affair but it’s effective. Petroleum jelly works fine, but I think products especially made for blister prevention work better. I personally swear by Lanacane Anti-chaffing gel.

If you’ve got recurring hot spots, try placing some athletic or duct tape over the offending area. You can also look for a bandage such as Blist-O-Ban which has laminated layers of breathable plastic film and a self-inflating bubble you center over the blister. When your shoe rubs against the bandage, the layers slide smoothly against one another rather than your tender skin.

If your blisters balloon up anyway, visit your doctor or try draining them yourself using a sterile razor blade or nail scissors. (Now that I think about it, just go see your doctor!) You can also cut a hole in an old pair of shoes over the corresponding area so your blister has nothing to rub against. This should eliminate painful friction and allow the blister a chance to heal completely. In the meantime, toughen up the area by painting it frequently with a liquid bandage.

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Blisters

Women’s New Balance Vazee Pace v2, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

For solving the problem of running shoes and blisters, the survey responses point to just two strategies. The first way to reduce friction caused by running shoes is to reduce the shoe’s bulk, and so several models here are lightweight uptempo trainers that will even serve you well in a 10K race. The New Balance Vazee Pace v2, with a snappy 6mm heel-toe drop and the highest energy return of any women’s shoe, and weighing just 7.8 ounces in a size 8, definitely belongs among the racing shoes.

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Blisters – Women’s Brooks Transcend 4,  Stability Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

The Brooks Transcend 4 embodies the other strategy for avoiding blisters from running shoes: prevent rubbing by putting runners in highly cushioned shoes with a high-tech, sock-like fit built from the highest quality materials. Premium cushioning comes at a price—and it feels magnificent. Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Blisters – Women’s Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17, Stability Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Four of the top seven models for women are from Brooks, so if you find yourself telling the clerk at your local running store, “My running shoes give me blisters,” maybe you should take a close look at the Brooks rack. If you like the Brooks fit but aren’t sure about the price of the Transcend 4, a great alternative is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17. This shoe is consistently rated as one of the best running shoes in the world.

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Blisters – Women’s Brooks Glycerin 15, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

When you think of blisters and running, you might wince as you think of blistering on your toes or under the ball or heel of your foot. But runners experiencing Achilles tendon issues face additional misery from blistering when their upper heel rubs against their shoes in all the wrong ways. Brooks’s Comfort Collar gives the Glycerin 15 an extra degree of cushioning that makes it a standout when it comes to ankle comfort.

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Blisters – Women’s Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

The top spot on the women’s list of best shoes for blisters goes to the Gel-Nimbus 19. That’s not surprising for Asics’s premium neutral shoe, whose guiding principle is comfort. No exceptions, no excuses, just all the gentle cushioning you need, when and where you need it. This shoe is popular for both women and, as you’ll see, men. Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Best Men’s Running Shoes for Blisters

Men’s Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Putting in road miles, zipping through an interval workout, preventing blisters from running shoes: is there anything the Pegasus isn’t good at? We haven’t found it yet. With a breathable Flymesh upper and smooth ride thanks to a lateral crash rail system, the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 is many runners’ shoe of choice for blister-free running.

Best Men’s Running Shoes for Blisters – Men’s Brooks Glycerin 15, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

For men whose running shoes are causing blisters, the Brooks Best Running Shoes for Blisters lineup is as promising as it is for women. If you’re looking for Brooks’s fit and premium cushioning in a neutral trainer, the Glycerin 15 is an excellent shoe. It’s also one of the best shoes for runners with flat feet and back backs.

Men’s Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, Neutral Running Shoes

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

When it comes to comfort and cushioning, you have to admit that Asics Best Running Shoes for Blisters knows how to go all out. As with the best women’s running shoes for blisters, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 19 is at the top of the men’s list, and it’s the top-ranked neutral trainer as well. Nearly an ounce heavier than any other men’s model, the Nimbus 19 isn’t exactly feather-light. It just feels that way on your feet.

Men’s Hoka One One Clifton 3, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Like the Wave Rider 20 for women, the Clifton 3 from Hoka One One is the one in-between shoe for men, but Hoka has taken a different route to making the Clifton 3 Best Running Shoes for Blisters one of the best shoes for blisters. The Clifton 3 marries Hoka’s trademark maximal cushioning to racing-flat attitude, resulting in a shoe that’s slightly heavier than the Zoom Elite 9, but just as much at home on a flat and fast road course. This is consistently one of the best reviewed shoes–from durability to bunions. And with the new version out, you can certainly find the Clifton 3 at a discount.

Men’s Saucony Kinvara 8, Neutral Running Shoe

Best Running Shoes for Blisters

Go to a big high school cross country race, and it seems like half the fast guys are warming up in Kinvaras, and a quarter are still wearing them in the race. Saucony built the Kinvara 8 for speed, yielding a natural shoe with the lightest weight, the highest energy return, and the lowest heel-toe drop of any shoe on the men’s list. If you don’t want to be one of the guys showing off their blisters from running after the race, take a close look at the Kinvara 8 Best Running Shoes for Blisters .

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