I Want To Clear Something Up About Footwear And Blisters

I Want To Clear Something Up About Footwear And Blisters

Perfectly fitting shoes alone does not guarantee you won’t get blisters.

I’d know! I’ve had superbly fitting shoes and I still got blisters.

But shoe-fit is one of the most basic prevention strategies there is and you have to get this right (or as close as possible to it) to make things easy for yourself!

We’re talking about length, width and depth:

  • Too short is bad

  • Too long is bad

  • Too narrow is bad

  • Too wide is bad

  • Too tight is bad

  • Too loose is bad


Generally, you want about the width of your thumb between the end of your longest toe and the end of your shoe upper. Your second toe is usually your longest toe, but not always.


If you see your forefoot bulging over the sole of the shoe, it's probably too tight. If you're at all unsure about the way your shoes fit, get the advice of the people that work at a specialist shoe store. Depending on the shape of your feet, this may be very difficult. For example, shoes are not made to accommodate the structural changes of a bunion or hammertoe. If this is you, the reality is you may not be able to find a shoe that fits perfectly, especially an athletic shoe. But if you're serious about preventing blisters, you need to leave no stone unturned in your efforts to get the best fit possible.


Length and width are obviously critical factors. But don't forget about the value of adjustibility. Learn how to tie your laces to secure your foot adequately. There's no point having a perfectly fitting shoe if you're going to have your laces too loose and let your foot slide forward (toe blisters are a common consequence).

I want you to know this...

If you’ve spent a fortune on shoes and no matter what brand you buy, you still get blisters, I want you to know this...

I’m the same.

As a podiatrist, it’s fair to say I know a bit about feet and shoes. But no matter what shoes I get, and I’m talking about running / walking / athletic shoes, I will get blisters at the back of my heel when I walk and run. And at the edge of my big toe knuckle when I play hockey.

I mean, I don’t anymore because I have my blister plan in place and on auto-pilot and I just don’t need to worry any more. But for you and me and many others out there, it’s not as easy as “you’ve got the wrong shoes, go get a new pair”. Even with perfectly fitting, top quality sports shoes, we still get blisters!

Now, is blister prevention impossible for us? No, it’s not impossible. It’s VERY POSSIBLE.

And that’s a big part of how I help people.

If you’re having this kind of trouble...

Podiatrist, blister prone ex-hockey player, foot blister thought-leader, author and educator. Can’t cook. Loves test cricket.