Getting blisters from new shoes is practically inevitable unless you're choosing to go barefoot for the rest of your life. It doesn't matter how comfortable your shoes are, they can still lead to unpleasant blisters that affect your daily life.
I'm not being dramatic when I say a blister has ruined my entire vacation before.
Lucky for you (and not so much for me on that vacation) there are actually ways you can prevent yourself from getting blisters!
1. Proper Fitting Shoes
This sounds so simple, but it's something people don't realize. I worked at a shoe store for four years and the amount of people who don't know how to properly tell if their shoes fit is astounding.
You should have approximately half an inch, or a thumbnail's difference, from the end of your toe to the end of the shoe. As you walk, your foot slightly slides forward and you need the extra space.
Your heel should not slide while in the shoe. This is a main cause of blisters, as the heel cup will irritate your ankle while it constantly moves.
You shouldn't have to grip your toes in order to stay in your shoes. Walk around the store in the pair you want, and if you feel any discomfort then don't buy them.
The sales people will tell you they'll "break in," but odds are it won't make a large difference in the long run. A hard heel cup will not get less hard as time goes on. Materials like leather and canvas will, however, stretch.
2. Cover Problem Spots
If you know that a certain area of your foot is prone to blisters, then be proactive and cover that spot.
Soft bandages or even medical tape can help prevent blisters on your feet, so carry some with you in the case of an emergency.
Moleskin is also a common solution to preventing blisters. It's a thicker material which prevents friction between your toes and between the sides of your feet and the shoe. Put it on problem areas for the first few times you wear the shoes while they soften up a little.
3. Anti-Blister Socks
If you find that your blisters happen while you're working out, then anti-blister socks are for you! Most anti-blister socks have two layers: one that stays snug to your foot and another that moves with the shoe.
Even if there's friction, the dual layers will protect your foot against blisters.
4. Stop When You Feel Discomfort
Again, it sounds simple, but if you're out walking and you feel a blister starting to form...DON'T KEEP WALKING! The more irritation the area gets, the worse the blister.
Have things in your bag to help counteract blisters, like band-aids or moleskin, so that you don't have to keep hurting your feet. Take a little break to give your feet a rest and if you can, take your shoes off.
An extra 10 minutes of your day to sit and treat your blister is way better than four days of agony because you were too busy to slow down.
5. Plan Ahead
If it's warm, wear sandals! If you're going to be walking, bring sneakers! If you're going to be dancing, get comfortable heels!
Knowing what shoes you need in advance will mean you can avoid blisters at all costs. If you're going on a hike, don't wear those brand new boots you bought that you haven't worn yet. That's a recipe for disaster.
The wrong shoe can irritate your foot, so you need to know what styles work best for certain situations.
6. Build Up Calluses
Though most of us head to get pedicures and smooth down our feet, calluses actually help your feet prevent blisters.
The thick-skinned areas on your feet act as extra padding for your soles, which don't allow for the creation of blisters. They are extremely beneficial for your feet, especially during the summer months. Our sandals and summer shoes rarely have good support or soles, so the extra padding that comes naturally is perfect.
7. Blister Blocker
If you're someone who is prone to blisters, investing in a blister blocker could be a good move. It essentially acts like lip balm for your feet, and provides a barrier to protect your skin.
It's easy to throw in your purse or pocket, and if nothing else you'll have peace of mind that if something did happen, you'd be prepared.
8. Dry Feet
Attention everyone who hates wearing socks: start wearing them. Sweaty feet are one of the main causes of blisters, and not wearing socks contributes to that. The bottoms of your feet may be used to the friction of shoes, but the tops of your feet can become irritated from the tongue of the shoe. Socks are your best way to prevent this.
If you find that your feet get sweaty even when wearing socks, applying baby powder to your feet can absorb the moisture and keep your feet blister-free.
Some people have claimed using antiperspirant on their feet has stopped them from sweating as well, but this isn't something I'd recommend.
9. Flip-Flop Protectors
Other than your heels, the most common place you get blisters is probably between your toes if you're a flip-flop wearer. The flimsy shoes are easy and comfortable, but the hard plastic thong can cause a lot of issues.
If you're someone who love the look of flip flops but hate the blisters, find some between-the-toe pads to help ease the discomfort. These pads are generally made out of silicone and provide extra cushioning.