The ‘B******’word – it really is offensive language to use around runners! I’ve had a few beauties during my years running but nothing that I haven’t been able to overcome. As well as a few practical tips to prevent blisters, I’ve given the increasingly popular and technically advanced RunBreeze anti-blister socks a thorough test because as I’m sure most runners would agree, the right socks virtually as important as wearing the right shoes. Prevention really is the best cure for blisters.
Before identifying your solution you need to quickly look at the cause of blisters. There are some more unusual causes like extreme cold or heat but for most of us sporty folk, the enemy would be friction. Friction from forceful rubbing of the skin against any material repeatedly will result in a blister as the fluid builds in the upper layers of the skin. It is actually the body’s way of protecting the tissue under the skin from any further damage – cushioning, like a car air bag perhaps!
How to Keep Those Blisters at Bay
In shopping list fashion, here are the common preventative and curative actions most runners try, including those that work best from my personal experience on the roads…
- First and foremost, get snug fitting shoes. Too big and your feet will slip, too small and they will rub – both result in friction!
- Vaseline between the toes. This has a smoothing affect and I’ve found it to help stop corns between the toes from becoming aggravated.
- Talc in the socks (and the shoes). Great for reducing moisture levels thereby preventing friction.
- Put plasters over any existing trouble areas (e.g. where an old blister has shrunk away and left sore skin).
Every regular runner has their ‘favourite’ socks. Mine were the Adidas Foremotion socks which I completed 3 marathons in without a sorry blister in sight. However, I’ve recently been presented with a new challenger…
RunBreeze – it’s all in the name…
For a sock, RunBreeze have developed a pretty advanced item of clothing. RunBreeze was started in 2008 by two fitness coaches who understood the importance of this garment for runners. The sole aim (excuse the pun) is to deliver technical socks at cheaper prices (by selling directly online to runners).
I’ve been lucky in being asked to test the RunBreeze Anti-Blister Ankle Sock. It has about as much technology as you could fit into the good old sock including:
- Cushioned sole for added impact protection
- Double Layering to stop rubbing against the foot.
- Coolmax XtraLife™ for moisture management
- Left and Right ergonomic fit. The RunBreeze star shows you which feet to wear each sock on (Have the star on the outside to have the socks on the correct feet)
- Arch support and mid foot grip to promote anti-slipping
- Achilles heal protector
- RunBreeze heal to support anti-slipping
The key feature is in the name of this sock though, ‘Anti-Blister’. The first thing I noticed that was obviously different about this sock was a double layer of material which aims to reduce friction. As we identified above, friction is the enemy here. Reduce friction and perhaps you can avoid blisters. That was true in my experience. This clever double layer did its job because after a few longer runs wearing these socks (with my usual, comfortable running trainers) there were no signs of any blisters. Further, the moisture wicking technology appeared to do its job as my feet remained quite dry (with the help of talc too) through the whole run. You would think that a double layer could make your feet too hot but the material remains breathable so did not encourage sweat and friction.
If you get hold of these socks, I’m sure you will agree that they offer plenty of foot loving technology, the colour and design are not offensive and you can feel the quality just from touching them.