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How do I Prevent Heel Blisters?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Heel blisters are most often caused by shoes that do not fit properly. Shoes that are too tight can cause hot spots in various areas of the foot, and shoes that are too loose can rub in all directions on the heel, causing blisters. To avoid blisters, you should always choose a pair of shoes that fit snugly but not too tightly, and if you walk, run, or otherwise move around throughout the day, changing socks frequently can help prevent blisters throughout the foot. Replacing socks once they are worn out or too thin can also help prevent hot spots and blisters throughout the foot.

When a shoe is too loose, the heel of the shoe can move up and down as you walk, causing the fabric of the shoe and your sock to rub against the skin of the heel. Heel blisters often follow. To prevent such rubbing, you can either replace the worn or poorly fitting shoes with a better fitting pair, or you can add heel pads to your shoes. Heel pads add material between the shoe and the heel to essentially cut down the gap, preventing excess movement. Be sure to tie the laces of the shoe tightly as well to prevent excess movement.

Even if a shoe fits well, blisters are possible. As the foot sweats, friction increases between the foot, sock, and heel of the shoe, which can lead to hot spots or heel blisters. To avoid blisters in this situation, you should be sure to change your socks frequently throughout the day, and if possible, change shoes at least once throughout the day to allow the insoles to dry out. The drier you can keep your foot throughout the day, the less likely you are to get hot spots and blisters.

Your walking motion may also be the cause of heel blisters. People who walk heel-heavy — that is, they land heavily on the heel when walking forward — are susceptible to blisters on the heel because the impact of the walking motion can cause movement inside the shoe, even if the shoe is on tightly. The solution to this problem is not necessarily an easy one, and it may involve changing the way you walk. A walking gait adjustment can help alleviate other types of pain as well, so if your heel blisters are accompanied by frequent back pain or leg pain, a gait correction may be in order. Consult a doctor or other professional for such advice.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By anon360056 — On Dec 23, 2013

If your shoes are too loose, try Sizers. They are specifically designed to resize your shoes. Work fantastically well.

By candyquilt — On Apr 09, 2013

Heel blisters are so painful! I hate them!

I try to prevent them by wearing thicker socks if the shoes allow it. Whenever I buy a new shoe, I break them in gradually. I never wear them for hours immediately after purchasing them. I start off by wearing them inside the house. Then, I will wear it for half an hour outside and slowly increase the time. I think this is the best way to prevent foot blisters from new shoes.

By stoneMason — On Apr 08, 2013

SarahGen-- My sister uses an anti-chafing balm on her heels in the summer when she wears sandals and she said it works. I think it's definitely worth a try.

In my college years, I used to jog every day and had a serious blister problem for a while. I had so much heel pain that I would sometimes take pain relievers for it. Then, my instructor at the gym told me to use lanolin on my heels. I think this is basically the same concept as anti-chafing products. It might be cheaper to go the lanolin route.

By SarahGen — On Apr 07, 2013

Has anyone tried anti-chafing products? Apparently, they prevent chafing and blisters. Do they work?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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