I’m sure that many of you runners out there have spent some time gazing at your feet in a mix of repulsion and awe, looking at the big, bubble blisters which are the sign of a good run. I know I have, and I hope I’m not the only one!
My whole attitude towards feet has changed since I started running more regularly – gone are the days with soft, pretty feet. These days I have to apologise to my pole class in case they glimpse the soles of my feet when I’m upside down. At least my nails are always painted a nice colour to make up for it….
Anyway. On Saturday, after a 14.5 mile run, I came back to find a very angry blood blister on my left foot. I felt it from mile 8, and tried not to let it interfere with my rhythm & speed too much. I will post a picture at the end…. I’ve softened it with the magical powers of Instagram, and I like to think it now looks more like a red rose petal than a fugly blood blister.
Blisters are the result of friction between your shoes/socks and your skin. As a result of rubbing together, a neat little bubble is formed between the top layers of your skin which fills with liquid. Heat and damp will exacerbate any symptoms, so doing a long and/or hard run is really the perfect recipe for blisters.
So here are some preventative tips to save you from joining the
Fugly Feet Club Rose Petal Appreciation Society:
– Make sure your shoes fit correctly to minimise your feet moving unnecessarily inside the shoe
– Get some socks which absorb moisture and which provide a thick enough layer between your feet and your shoes
– If necessary, double your socks up and get a shoe size that’s half a size bigger to create enough of a buffer
– Lubricate your feet before you run. At Gilly’s recommendation, I now slather Vaseline over any blister prone areas. Lubrication has never been so attractive 😉
– You can also get special protection to guard your feet. My podiatrist recommends Fleecy Web: you just cut a piece off and stick it to your feet before you put your socks on
– Keep your feet moisturised. Before bed, rub some moisturiser into your feet 2-3 times a week to reduce the friction when you’re out running
And then, when you get a blister, what do you do?? Generally, it’s thought that large blisters should be drained to prevent infection and small blisters should be covered and left alone. On the advice of my podiatrist, I always leave them alone because he reckons your feet will generally heal themselves. So I won’t advise here how to drain blisters, but if they do burst, it’s good to make sure the area stays clean. Plus, I will always wear those special blister plasters for a day or two afterwards to make sure I can walk pain free!
So. Here is the promised picture, a warning to all those who don’t yet use half a tub of vaseline on their feet:
Is it just me, or does this post make lubricating and protecting your feet sound sexier than it really is???
Maybe not after seeing the picture…