I've just read Steve Smythes article where he was answering questions re: marathon running and have a comment on the advice about Blisters.

As follows;

'Q. Sorry if this is a daft question, as it's not specifically about training. Training has been fine, and I'm on for a 4:30-45 finish time I think. However, the one thing I worry about is blisters. I have been properly fitted for shoes and the twin layer socks, but every time I run more than 13 miles I get blisters and it really slows me down. Do you have any tips? Sascha Williams 3A. It's not a daft question and many runners suffer from blisters. I've generally been okay in marathons in past years, but the last few races over the half-marathon distance have been a problem to me, and I don't want that discomfort for 26 miles.It may be worth a visit to a chiropodist or foot care expert to cut away old skin that may cause friction. I tend to apply blister patches to areas that have been a problem in the past, and I also apply talc or Vaseline. Talc inside your shoes may also help. Some runners also like to wear their socks inside out.'

Steve Smythe

In my opinion talc is only good for drying out the feet, which increases the likelihood of friction which dramatically increases the chances of blisters.  And if you have talc in your shoes and it rains on the day it just forms lumps of goo!

I've completed 5 marathons and have been hill walking all over the world with the British Army.  An old infantryman gave me the best piece of advice ever for avoiding blisters.  It's so simple... Vaseline!

It's mentioned in the article but it's benefit can't be too highly praised.

You need to use quite a bit.  Start by turning your socks inside out and spread liberally over the area where your toes will be, and heels if thats where you suffer, then turn them back the correct way.  Next spread even more liberally in and around the toes and pad of the foot, and if necessary around the heel area.  Finally get the socks on without disturbing too much of the vaseline already on your feet.

It feels a bit 'squidgy' at first but trust me you'll appreciate it by mile 18


  • If anyone has any better ideas pleae feel free to let the rest of us know.
  • I use lanacane anti-chafe gel on my feet for a similar effect. Does the trick!
  • I use either Body Glide, Vaseline or tape on areas I know i get blisters. The tape i use is called "Muller" and i pick it up from the climbing section in Cotswolds shops. (other tapes and shop options available!)
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