Blisters :(

I am training for the London Marathon. It's my first marathon and I started training in about October. I've been working my way up to the Silverstone Half Marathon which I ran yesterday. Unfortunately I'm left with three blisters for my efforts!

 It's odd because although I've had sore spots occasionally before I've never had full blown blisters. I can't figure out why I'd get blisters like that; although it was the furthest I've run so far it was only by 0.2 miles as I did 12.9 miles last weekend with no problems.

Does anyone have any ideas why they might have suddenly struck or how I can prevent them in the future? They're painful and I am worried if I run on them it'll do something funny to my gait.

I have been wearing good, comfortable Nike Air Structure Triax trainers and some Injinji mini crew toe socks which have done great so far. Should I be wearing a second pair of socks? Are my trainers coming to the end of their life? Maybe it's because I was feeling a bit under the weather and not running efficiently?

Another related problem I have is that the little toe on both feet naturally rests partially under the 4th toe. It's not ideal. I'm wondering if there's a good way of separating the toes so that I'm not constantly treading on part of the little toe...


  • I recently started to suffer with blisters and found that they became painful enough to stop me training. The first thing I tried was some Twin Skin socks which initially helped the problem, but unfortunately only delayed the blisters.

     Following this, I replaced my shoes, which again seemed to help for a short period of time.

     Now, along with the socks and the new shoes, I am also using a Compeed Blister Stick - which is about the size of a lipstick. You rub this where you would get your blisters and it is supposed to help. For a while I didn't think it was doing anything however, I then removed the skin from the old blisters and I haven't had a problem since.

    If you have blisters that you don't want to pop then you may want to look into Compeed Blister Plasters. I have read a lot of good things about this.

    As for the little toe, I don't have any advise but can completely empathise with you. I have a similar issue on my left foot where the little toe sits under the 4th. Every now and then this get annoyingly itchy where it rubs and takes a small layer of skin off making it weep. - Horrible when it happens but something I've lived with for years!

  • Thanks Simon, that's really useful advice! I'll look into buying some Twin Skin socks and a Compeed Blister stick.

    I've only just come across Vibram FiveFingers which look really cool and the way they separate the toes may help with the little toe tucking under the 4th. But I don't know if it's wise to switch my footwear so dramatically this close to the marathon - I believe it's very very different from regular trainers. Can anyone who has tried them advise?

  • My toe tucking is most likely a result of my work shoes as this was happening long before I started running.

    I've seen the Vibram FiveFingers and I just don't know how comfortable they would be - I'd definately like to try something like that - but only on a try before you buy type of basis... I think it would take a while to get used to!

  • I have a problem with blisters on the inside of my big toes. I use injinji toe socks but I wrap my big toes in duck tape and put a gel toe cover over them as well.  Sounds extreme but its the only thing that works for me.
  • Oh yeah, me too with the toe-tucking. It's been going on for years. I don't know if it's genetic or what because as I was growing up my mother took great pains to try and ensure it didn't happen by frequently buying me new shoes that were specifically fitted to be wide enough (and not pointy in shape).

    Just one of those things, I guess. It just happens that it's one of the things that makes running a little awkward for me when it shouldn't be :/

  • Bodyglide.  Around £6 from any decent running store. 
  • I've heard about people using Duct Tape to help prevent Blisters. I'm hoping I don't have to go to those extremes myself image That stuff is so sticky I could imagine it ripping a few layers of skin off when removing!
  • Wow, duck tape huh? Well, I might try that if it comes to it!

    I'll look into gel toe covers and Bodyglide as well. This is really helpful, thanks!

  • Yeah, that Bodyglide looks similar to the Compeed Stick I use.
  • No it doesn't  actually, as my feet are usually hot and sweaty by then so it just slides off.  Otherwise just be careful when taking it off. 

    Don't know why it works, just know that it does so I am not questioning it.  I even ended up in casualty with blisters on both big toes after a half marathon (before taping days) as they were so bad we didn't know what to do with them.

    Worth a try if you have tried everything else.  If its your toes the gel toe covers are good

  • Well done on sunday i was there to image

    Have you tried hillys? there a make of sock quite thick think there about £11 a pair but work wonders for me
  •  Mick Mick ✭✭✭

    One caution - I find adding gel protectors and other things just moves the blisters along to other areas.

    I tried the 2-skin socks and found them worse than anything, Thorlo 'thick' socks work for me. And last ages, even though relatively expensive.

    General protection, and for overlapping 4th / 5th toe : I used to use Germolene to cover my toes, but after recent forum comments have switched to Body Glide - which I find works better and longer, although a bit more expensive. Prevention is far better than cure.

    And I've learnt - if it starts rubbing or hurting - do something about it. You'll only regret running another 5 or 10 miles on it and live with the blister for the next 2 - 3 weeks (or longer if you just keep re-rubbing it)

  • Apparently the Compeed Blister Plasters are great for existing blisters.

    A little info on how they work -

    I can't speak from experience on these but it is something I am ready to purchase if I end up with blisters again!

  • I'd agree with Mick - prevention is definitely  preferable to cure.  Once you've got that blister you're then risking being stuck in the cycle of it being exacerbated by continued training whilst trying to limit any more damage.  There's also the possibility of it becoming infected, as one of mine did post marathon, in which case you won't be running anywhere until its completely healed!  Also you neeed to consider what running with painful/burst/infected blisters will do to your gait and the knock on effect that will have on the rest of your foot.

    Compeed are great to a point (I've used them and nothing else comes close to protecting a blister imo) but ultimately you want to work toward not having blisters at all (or realisticallly as few as possible).  Resolve the ones you have now (don't burst them!) and order either socks or anti friction gel of some kind in the meantime.

  • Hilly twin skins for me and I powder my feet before a long run too, lashings of baby powder! I forgot last week and got a nasty blister on the end of my toe, will be covering that with a gel toe protector next time I run!
  • Hi, I am training for the Brighton Marathon on 10 April and have the same issue - as mileage has increased, so have the blisters on the arch of my feet.  I have hilly double layer socks, compeed, strapping, body glide, and shoes fitted with inner soles at Profeet!  Not much more i can do, but having got a large area of blister on one foot, which is now under control, i've now got a really painful one on the other foot after my 3 hour run last weekend! 

    I've only got few weeks to go before the big day, and over the past few weeks have been saving my feet for the long runs, rather than exacerbating the blisters with my mid week running (am trying to keep training on bikes, cross trainers etc in the meantime).  If anyone has a miracle cure, or particularly a way of healing these quickly, I would love to hear!

  •  Mick Mick ✭✭✭

    Katie, Compeed blister plasters are good. But if you've already used that...then sorry.

    Other than that, new shoes? Or new socks?
    I found certain asics always gave me blisters on my arches, which nothing would fix. Then I got a pair of Mizumos (neutral cushioned) and the blisters disappeared. So maybe, if still time, try different shoes?
    I also prefer thicker single skin socks, eg Thorlo

    Or insulating tape on the shoe where it rubs? (making sure it's stuck well)

  • Ugh, I just ran 15 miles and have blisters again. I got a big one on the ball of one foot (under another blister that had almost healed) but most of them seem to be on the tips of my toes. Could this be due to my toes being in the wrong position when I run? I mean, maybe I'm landing on the tips of them instead of the bottom somehow...

    I was wearing my new Twin Skins as well as some injinji liner toe socks to wick up moisture from between my toes. I also rubbed a bunch of body glide on my toes. In theory I should have been blister-proof! In practise, not so much.

    This has only happened twice now and only recently. I'm wondering if I need to replace my trainers - perhaps they are worn and are now rubbing in places they shouldn't? They don't look like they need replacing but I am not really all that knowledgeable about... well most things when it comes to running! They can't have done more than 200 miles though... 300 max. I thought it was supposed to be about 500 that they needed replacing?

    Kind of disheartening image

  • Not wanting to start a new thread..

    I've got a blister brewing underneath my big toe, you can't get to it and isn't a blood blister as of yet. I'm currently training for Berlin and plan on doing 20 miles Sunday and beibg already somewhat short of scheduled miles I don't really want to miss that. Should it be ok to run through this? Is it case of waiting for it to do it's worst? Any measures I can take to cut down the pain Sunday? 

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