ENGO Blister Patches - This Is How They Work
I get foot blisters very easily. I can wear the best sports shoes, my orthotics and the great sports socks and I can still get a blister within 20 minutes walk (or less). So as you can imagine, I’ve hunted high and low for something that works. And what I found in 2009 was ENGO Blister Patches.
ENGO Blister Patches in use
While not without their limitations, there are reasons why these blister patches work when other things don't. Here's why (watch video).
Why I rely on ENGO Blister Patches
1. Your shoe still fits perfectly
The first thing you’ll notice with these patches is they go on your shoe. This is great because patches that apply to your skin have to be replaced every few days. But this is just the beginning. Each patch is only 0.38mm thick. And so unlike pads, cushions and protectors, ENGO Blister Patches don’t change how your shoe fits.
2. 500km blister protection
When you stick something to your skin (like taping or Compeed) you can expect it to last a few days. But when you stick it to the shoe, it can stay there indefinitely.
That's what’s great about ENGO Patches. The adhesive is strong and patches extremely durable. Lasting more than a few days, you can expect ENGO Patches to last day after day, week after week, month after month - for a good 500kms.
This has become the new reality for longevity in blister prevention. And it has taken blister management for the following scenarios to a whole new level:
- Runners and hikers who cover long distances
- Race situations where you don’t have time to stop to reapply blister products
- People who are blister prone and just want to be able to put any shoe on … and go
3. An exceptionally low friction level
Of course, a durable patch that sticks to your shoe will never be any good unless it drastically cuts down friction levels. And it does! Let me give you the technical bits.
- The blue patch surface is made of a material called Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE was discovered accidentally by DuPont in 1938 as a non-stick and low friction material. It lead to the production of what we know as Teflon. You can read more about the remarkable material PTFE here
- The blue PTFE film surface on ENGO Blister Patches has a friction coefficient of 0.16. That’s really low friction! Research by Carlson (2001) and Polliack and Schenberg (2006) compared the friction coefficients of several materials used in shoes and for blisters, as you can see in the graphs below. Take a look at the COF values and remember ENGO's is 0.16.
ENGO Blister Patches have a much lower coefficient of friction that other in-shoe and blister materials (Carlson 2001)
Coefficient of friction data of blister dressings (Polliack and Scheinberg 2006)
Reducing friction levels is how ENGO Patches work. That doesn’t mean it reduces rubbing. Read this revealing article about what it means to cut friction levels and how that helps blisters. It’s quite important!
4. You can use ENGO Blister Patches to maintain good friction
Now this is going to sound like I’m contradicting myself...
Friction is not bad. In fact, friction is necessary. We need friction for traction. Traction for our foot within the shoe is important. Without traction (like when you put Vaseline all around your foot) it’s too slippery and your foot slides around too much. You’ll find this has a detrimental effect on the efficiency of your push-off, on how you change direction and on your balance!
Use ENGO Blister Patches to target high friction blister areas only. Minimise 'bad' friction to avoid blisters whilst maintaining 'good' friction elsewhere to maintain traction and your biomechanical function will be unimpeded. This is the best way to manage friction.
5. ENGO allows the sock to protect the skin
Because ENGO Patches apply to the shoe, they’re able to protect the skin better than other things, like lubricants. Lubricants reduce friction between the skin and the sock. ENGO patches reduce friction between the sock and shoe! What does this mean for your skin - watch the video at the top of this page to see. Hint: it's about how ENGO Patches release the sock from the shoe's grip, allowing the sock to protect the skin.
6. ENGO Patches are a massive time-saver!
If you’re a runner and you run most days, you’ll recognise the wasted time spent taping your blister prone areas. Or the mess of applying powder to your feet each time. Or if you’re blister prone (like me) and you have to apply your preferred blister strategy each morning, you’ll recognise what a drag this is - day in, day out!
ENGO Blister Patches change that. Once in place, you're protected day after day, week after week, month after month. It saves time, it's not messy and it works!
More of what you need to know about ENGO Patches
ENGO Blister Prevention Patches have some significant limitations you need to know about. Read about ENGO's limitations here.
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply ENGO Patches? What if my shoes get wet? How do I know when they’re worn out? FAQs answered here. Plus video tutorials. Head to the ENGO FAQ page.
We’re so confident in ENGO’s ability to help with your blisters that we guarantee your satisfaction. Learn more about our guarantee policy here.
Where can I buy ENGO Blister Patches
You can get your ENGO Patches here.