Beginner with Blisters

Hello everyone. I'm new here but started running in July, when my wife finally shamed me into doing some exercise. I have run in the past, but never more than a mile or 2, and I have always managed to find an injury based excuse to hang up my boots. I'm pushing 40 now, so am determined to try and get in proper shape and stay that way.

Anyhow onto topic, I bought a pair of saucony triumph 9 last month but being a tightwad, I bought them online, and just went with the same size that my crappy old trainers were, which was an 8. The Saucony came up a little bigger though, so with the 8, I have a good thumbwidth and a bit of space at the end of the toe. First run, in them i got terrible blisters in both arches, so I added a set of orthotic insoles (Powerstep??) ON TOP of the standard insoles, which seemed to help. I've run about 40k in them now and I'm still getting a blister in my left arch if I do anything more than 8k. Should I man up and stop being a such a wuss, or should I invest in a second pair of trainers?

Advice gratefully received.


  • I had a similar issue but with brooks adrenaline gts 13 which I cured by investing in thorlos experia socks.However I had got my gait analysed and knew the shoes were correct.(still didn't get on with the shoes but that was personal preference)

    Lots of factors can cause blisters including shoes tied too tight (or too loose) but I think I'm correct in stating that you shouldn't simply add an insole? Hopefully someone else can advise on that but the best advice I've been given( and now pass on) is to get to a specialist shop at least first time to ensure shoes are correct!

  • Cheers for that.

    That was my concern really. I think the additional insole might be slipping a bit..I'm using asics socks, which do have some raised embroidered design in the arches, maybe that's an issue too.

    I had my gait analysed, and was told that I'm a neutral runner and 'a bit forefooty'. I have no idea what that means, but I think the Triumph is neutral. I bought the orthotics because I though I had a pronation problem (before I got my gait analysed), but I continue to use them because they are comfy. Maybe I shouldn't...

  • neutral shoes shouldn't be giving you arch blisters if you are a neutral runner, so I suspect you do need a bit of support

    you might be able to get by with what you're doing now - sometimes you just need a "wearing in" period where your shoes/feet get "in synch" with each other (including wearing some nice hard patches of skin onto your feet in protective areas!)

    or you might end up needing to change to "mildly supportive" shoes (with which you shouldn't then need the orthotics)

  • Here's another question. When I had my gait analysed, I ran on a treadmill for only a few minutes. I tried hard to run naturally without thinking about it, but I was probably running faster than I train, and not for very long, also i found it hard not to be self conscious about my style, so maybe i compensated. I'm sure that gait is different at different speeds, but will it also be changing as I get tired? If so, maybe that's it. I start out neutral, but end up needing some support??

  • Oh also, it was the first time I had ever run on a treadmill, so I was trying hard not to fall off. I managed 38 years without going near one, but it comes to us all in the end image

  • I overpronate slightly and it does get worse as i become tired,although my gait has benefited from regular running and weight loss,(probably due to not being tired as quickly!)

    It may be that you need mild support,the nike lunarglides worked for me and they use a"dynamic support" system which supposedly allows correction as needed but im starting to sound like an advert for these shoes with posts on here.They worked for me which is why but there are durabilty issues and im NOT recommending them to you as i am in no way qualified to do so.

  • Before you head out and buy new shoes :

    If you find the insoles comfortable then try having them in by themselves as opposed to doubling up with the standard ones? Possibly try one of the insoles you can heat and mould to your feet? I have no experience of them so someone may be able to provide better input on them, I am just thinking of cheaper alternatives to replacing your new shoes already!

    Try a couple of different brands of socks. I love drymax socks, they really are very very good, also try and get a pair of twin skin (hilly, x-socks are 2 brands I know of) as a lot of people find they help prevent blisters.

  • OK, I've spent a couple of hours wearing the trainers with just the orthotics as suggested WiB, and I think that might work. Because my foot is now sitting about 3-4mm lower in the shoe, the heel seems better gripped and the fit actually seems more snug now.It's not ideal, as the orthotic is actually slightly smaller than the shoe, but it doesn't seem to slip about...

    Assuming that this cures the blisters thing then I guess I do need the support (quite fancied a pair of saucony mirage anyway!). I also ordered a pair of X-socks. I realise that changing more tham one thing at a time isn't exactly scientific, but I doubt the new socks will be here before my next run anyway. We will see. image

  • Support shoes work by placing a slightly denser material under the arch to prevent overpronation. This can occasionally cause blistering for some people. If the problem persists but you still need a support shoe, then I would suggest that you pick the Adidas Supernova Sequence. It uses a wrap around torsion bar rather than a denser material to provide support, so it is softer under the arches.

  • Well an 8 mile run with just the orthotics in produced no blisters at all, so that was nice. It wasn't a scientific test though, because the X-Socks turned up before the run and I couldn't resist trying those out.

    Ben, your post has me more confused though. I'm getting blisters in the neutral shoe, with neutral insole. I've described the blisters as arch blisters, but they are at the front of the arch, in the soft part about 10mm or so behind the ball of my foot. Using the supporting orthotic insole seems to sort the blister issue out, so it's actually using a higher arched insole that corrects the issue... That soudns counter intuitive to me?

    So in arch terms, would the support or the neutral trainer have the higher arch???

  • Matt - Good news that you are blister free.

    The support shoe would traditionally have a higher arch or certainly a more solid construction in that area. This is typically acheived by lumping a wedge of different material in there as Ben mentions. Take a look at a pair of Asics shoes for example and you will see the sole will have a grey block of material in the mid part of the shoe.

  • Good news!  However I am a great believer in twin skin socks, the Runbreeze ones are really good.  Also if you continue to get blisters it could be due to some roughness in your shoe rubbing against your foot, you can get anti blister patches which would stick over this area and sort the problem.  There is an element of you feet having to toughten up a bit as well but that comes with time.

  • Thanks Elizabeth. I will give the runbreeze a go. And they do underpants too image.

    Another blister free run this morning. 2 in a row!

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