Just penning a short description of my blister problem and what has worked for me. I know it is a very individual thing and trial and error is what is required to find the solution. If this helps just one person, I would be very happy image

I started running in January 2012 and soon became hooked. From an early stage I was getting blisters, small ones that were not too painful. As I started running further and slightly faster, the blisters started getting worse. People recommended every sock shape and make under the sun as 'the solution'. I tried them all, blisters kept appearing, worse each time. I read "Fixing your feet" which is packed with useful information and repeatedly makes the point there is no one fix all solution. I tried using dollops of sudacreme pre run, different lacing options, nothing I tried seemed to work.

In June my blisters and old skin from previous ones on the right foot were covering approximately one third of the sole of my foot. Worse they became infected and I didn't run for nearly two weeks. I fixed an appointment with a podiatrist who was most helpful. She spent ages tidying my feet, and gave me some 2nd skin self adhesive felt material also ordered some special insoles. One thing she suggested which is also in the book is to use duct tape.

Now I tape problem toes (big one and the next one) with zinc oxide tape, use either 2nd skin or duct tape around my feet before any training runs and races. Tending to use the more expensive 2nd skin for races, duct tape for training. If using duct tape, just wrap carefully over the problem areas, not being afraid to use several layers. Feels strange at first but the relief from not getting new blisers is amazing. Sweat ensures the tape doesn't become stuck hard and fast.

Having thought I would have to pack in running and getting totally cheesed off with the situation, I have not had a new blister of any note on the bottom of my feet since taping and covering the areas.


  • Glad it works for you, I have been duct taping my large toes for the past 3 years and have done a marathon and many other races with duct tape. Thanks goodness its cheap....

  • Shouldn't be that bad. Socks and shoes in good order ?
  • Dave, had new shoes properly fitted at Sweatshop and tried all the fancy socks inc twin skin etc, must have £100 worth of socks that didn't help a jot. I think one of the causes for me is how hot and sweaty my feet get during runs, this could be down to bad shoe design (Brookes ghost4).

  • Duct tape doesn't work when running for hours in bogs and crossing streams, just finished a course of antibiotics myself for infected blisters!!! image
  • I wore duct tape at the blackdown beauty last weekend 19.5 miles cross country of bogs, mud, bogs and more mud. Duct tape stayed on fine, no blisters.  It is a prevention not a cure.  If you have blisters then they need to be healed before you tape them.  If not then it has to be compeeds.

    I have tried everything in the past and I mean everything...and it is all about finding what works for you.  I just accept it now and tape..


    As a podiatrist my self I always tell my patients the duct tape trick, even better is to place some petroleum jelly on the outside of the tape, works even better.  


    I would be careful about putting tape all the way around your toes (circumducting) the toe as your toes will swell a little during your run and can cut of the blood supply to the end of the toe if non flexible tape is wrapped around it -  Not good!



    The other indication for getting blisters on the big toe is if your toe doesn’t bend properly during your running, functional hallux limitus. A good podiatristimage will be able to get you some insoles to solve that problem, if that is noted during a clinical exam. 


  • Obviously some people have foot and shoe problems that aren't easily solved, but I'd agree with Ex-Spartan Dave that blisters really shouldn't be that bad if your shoes are a good fit. Socks don't play nearly as big a part in blister prevention as shoes. If I was suffering badly from blisters, I'd address the shoe problem before I tried changing my socks.

    At the end of marathons I always see a few people taking off their shoes to examine their blood soaked socks, and it just horrifies me. Hats off to these folk, cause if running ruined my feet like that, I'd have binned it years ago. I just don't know how people can keep going through foot horrors like those.

    Jake: Never mind hot and sweaty - I'm one of the sweatiest people I know, and I can get round a wet trail marathon without any blisters. Unless you have the annoying excess sweat problem (think it's called hyperhydrosis) in which case you might want to look into NHS botox jabs to reduce sweating to a reasonable level.

    'Professional' shoe fitting often isn't all it's cracked up to be, even from well known places like Sweatshop, and I'd strongly suggest that with blisters as bad as you describe, unless you're regularly doing ultra distance runs, your shoes just aren't the right ones for your feet.

    That said, the 'Fixing Your Feet' site is amazing. Glad you found something that has sorted out your blister problems. I still can't get my head around the thought of duct-taping feet. It's just so damn sticky! How do you get the tape off afterwards?

  • Duct tape is easier to get off than zinc oxide tape. Its not as sticky as you think.

    I have tried everything and its cost me a fortune over the years on trial and error. Upt o an hour and I am fine, over an hour and the blisters start (only on the inside of my big toes. I use toe socks and they have helped but I still tape.  It has just become part and parcel of my routine now.

  • I bought a new pair of shoes acouple of months back 2 nd run in them was the Chester half marathon in 2 hrs 6 mins. Think my 7 or 8 run was The marathon at the Outlaw I never even consider blisters. And I buy my shoes off the web. Just buyin the model I always run in

    Suppose I must be very lucky

  • I will deffo try some new shoes next, when the current ones are done. Like a muppet I bought two extra pairs of the same shoe after I had a few runs in the first pair I bought thinking they were ultra comfy. They are without doubt the comfiest footware I have ever worn, but there would be no harm in trying a different shoe.

    The fixing your feet book says someone who has never had a blister for twenty years could go out for a run one day without having changed socks or shoes and come back with bad blisters. The author goes on to say it only takes the slightest change to ones stride or gait to start getting blisters when previously they had none.

    Ultimately I consider myself lucky that I found something that works and I have never had a more serious injury that has no quick fix.


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