How To Prevent Blisters

Blisters and Blister Bandages
Blisters Bandaged After 3-Day Walk. Wendy Bumgardner ©

If you walk far enough and long enough, especially in warm weather, you are likely to get a blister. Even walking short distances in new shoes you may end up with hot spots of raw skin or blisters. Take these precautions to prevent blisters and to stop them from growing.

Here's How to Prevent Blisters:

  1. Shoe That Fit Right: Buy shoes with adequate room in the toe box and good fit in the heel. You need enough room for your feet to swell while they walk, but still have a good fit so they aren't sliding around in the shoe. More: Fit Your Shoes to Prevent Blisters
  1. Wear Socks that Wick Away Moisture: Avoid cotton socks as they hold moisture, softening your skin and leaving it more prone to blistering. Socks made of wicking fabric such as polypropylene, CoolMax, or nylon blends are preferable. Many people like dual-layer socks or wear an inner sock of wicking fabric under a wool sock. More: Socks to Prevent Blisters
  2. Reduce Friction with a Lubricant: Friction is the main cause of blisters. Coat areas of your foot that are prone to blister with a blister/chafing prevention agent such as BodyGlide or petroleum jelly. More: Lubricants to Prevent Blisters
  3. Shake-and-Bake: Put some cornstarch in a plastic bag and coat your dry foot with it before putting on your sock. The cornstarch both reduces friction and draws away moisture. Repeat during each hour or two of walking.
  4. Cover Up: For areas already raw or very prone to blister, cover with a gel bandage containing Compeed or with moleskin or with tape. More: Blister Tape and Bandages
  1. Take Action: Stop whenever you feel a hot spot developing and cover the area with moleskin, sport tape, or a Compeed Band-Aid.


  1. Band-Aid Blister bandages with Compeed can be found in the foot care section, not the bandage section, of the drug store.
  2. Your walking shoes should be a size to a size and a half larger than your dress shoes.
  1. Lubricants such as BodyGlide can be found in running shoe and gear stores.
  2. Cornstarch is dirt cheap and can be found in the baking section of the supermarket.

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