ENGO Patches are not a cure-all
You should be aware of the following limitations.
1. ENGO Patches will not help pressure-related pain
ENGO Patches minimise friction via their blue polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) surface. They can’t help with pressure [friction is a parallel force, pressure is a perpendicular force]. However, because they are only 0.38 of a millimetre thick, you can be sure ENGO Patches won’t increase pressure. If pressure is the problem, you'll need to concentrate on good shoe-fit, proper shoe selection for the activity, lacing and cushioning. And remember, a Podiatrist can reduce pressure by providing stretches, orthotics and other biomechanical interventions if they're necessary.
2. ENGO needs a dry surface to adhere to
Like most things that stick, the surface must be dry for initial adhesion. After that, the adhesive won’t be adversely affected by the moisture of perspiration. No matter how hot, active and sweaty your feet get, the patches will stay stuck! Moisture can't soak through the patch.
3. The adhesive won’t handle waterlogging
ENGO Patches will come unstuck if the shoe becomes waterlogged. For example:
- Putting them in the washing machine
- Wading through deep puddles, swamps and river-crossings
- Excessive body run-off, eg: in prolonged or heavy rain, tipping water over the head at running event drink stations, the swim transition of triathlon events.
The patch is unlikely to detach immediately. But the adhesive's life expectancy will understandably be reduced, particularly if you don't allow your shoe to fully dry before wearing again. Once a good initial adhesion is achieved, the adhesive will cope with some water. But you should be prepared to replace the patches after circumstances like the above.
4. Waterproofing compromises adhesion
Sometimes, patches just don't seem to stick very well, right from the start. Or, they come off within the first few uses. The problem is almost always with hiking boots (but not all hiking boots have the problem); the boots are almost always new; and this almost never happens to patches applied to the insole, but rather the inner lining of the shoe (where you get blisters around the heel).
The American manufacturers suspect this is due to either:
- The use of waterproofing lining materials which don't accept the adhesive
- Or chemical contaminants from manufacture sitting on the lining material that prevent adhesion (because sometimes the second attempt of patch adhesion is fine)
To minimise the chance of this happening to you, rub the area of the shoe where you're about to apply the patches to with a dry towel (or something similarly abrasive). This will remove any loose contaminants and allow for best possible adhesion. Please be assured, ENGO's satisfaction guarantee ensures you will not be out of pocket if this occurs to you. Simply let the manufacturers know by completing this form and we'll be in touch.
Note: Independent of this issue, and not covered by warranty, is when patches loosen at the top edge due to not enough care being taken sliding the foot into the shoe. Be careful not to drag the patch down when you slide your foot into your shoe, especially for the first few wears, as it may cause the patch to become unstuck. This becomes less critical over time as adhesion becomes stronger with wear.
5. Some patches have a fault called 'delamination'
We've identified an uncommon fault with some patches where the patch falls off the shoe after one or two wears, but leaves the majority of its adhesive on the shoe. It looks something like this (below). The manufacturers have been investigating this fault for some time. Unfortunately, faulty patches don't look any different to unaffected patches and with only 0.068% reports of this fault, it's been difficult to pin down. If you experience this problem, please let them know by completing this form. We'll be in touch soon after so we can send you new patches. Remove as much adhesive as you can and place the new patches in the same location.
6. ENGO Patches need to apply to the shoe to stop blisters
And so they can’t stop blisters between the toes – because there is no shoe surface to apply them to (except Vibrams of course). We do have customers that stick them to toe-socks. But they won’t last the washing machine cycle.
Written by Rebecca Rushton
Rebecca is an Australian podiatrist with over 20 years experience. She has spent a lifetime dealing with her own blister prone feet in her sporting and everyday life. Rebecca specialises in helping athletes and sports medicine professionals figure out how to manage foot blisters with ease. And for kicks, she enjoys providing blister care at multiday ultramarathon events.
Rebecca is the founder of Blister Prevention and author of both "The Blister Prone Athlete's Guide To Preventing Foot Blisters" and "The Advanced Guide to Blister Prevention".