Targeted Friction Management - Why It Matters

by Rebecca Rushton

Friction plays a big part in making blisters. So is friction bad? No, friction isn’t bad. In fact friction is necessary.

You need friction for traction. Traction within the shoe is important. Without it, your foot would slide around too much and cause problems.

Problems like bruises and bleeding under the toenails (black nails) as your toes hit the end of the shoe. This is painful. But it's also the type of trauma that over time causes nails to get thicker and thicker. This change is irreversible so worth avoiding.

Black nail - you need targeted friction management and blister prevention

Black toenails from the foot sliding too far forward in the shoe

And it's not just local foot trauma and deformity you need to consider. The lack of in-shoe traction will make your proximal muscles work harder to stabilise the rest of your body, predisposing you to musculoskeletal injury further up.

Not to mention its effect on your functional efficiency. If you reduce friction all over, accelerating / decelerating and changes of direction are harder to perform. It's like when you run around in your socks on a tiled floor - it's the lack of traction (friction) that makes you slip and slide. You're noticing the loss of efficiency and added energy expenditure required to get you where you're going. Now imagine your foot doing this in your shoe!

 

Targeted friction management is the aim with blisters

 

Friction management in blister prevention

When foot blisters are a problem, you legitimately want to reduce friction in your shoe (in order to minimise blister-causing shear). There are lots of ways to reduce friction: skin drying strategies; lubricants; ENGO Blister Patches; tapes and double socks.

 

Global vs targeted friction management

To avoid the problems of inadequate traction, the aim is not to reduce frictional all over. The aim is a targeted approach to friction. Targeted friction management allows you to minimise 'bad' friction in discrete areas to avoid blisters. Whilst maintaining 'good' friction elsewhere to maintain necessary traction.

An example of global friction reduction is the use of lubricants over large areas of the foot, particularly the plantar surface. 

An example of targeted friction reduction is ENGO Patches. By targeting high friction areas only, normal in-shoe friction is maintained, leaving foot and lower limb function unaltered and unimpeded. This is super-important to podiatrist, sports medicine professionals and anyone concerned with your functional efficiency and performance!

 

targeted friction management with ENGO Blister Patches

Targeted friction management

Think about targeted friction management the next time you're dealing with a friction blister. It's the appropriate way to deal with friction whilst maintaining normal biomechanical function.

ENGO Blister Patches 4-Pack

ENGO Blister Patches 4-Pack - Learn more

 

ENGO Blister Patches Rectang;e Pack

ENGO Rectangle Pack





Rebecca Rushton
Rebecca Rushton

Author

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


Leave a comment


Also in Blister Blog

How To Hold A Toe Straight With Strapping
How To Hold A Toe Straight With Strapping

by Rebecca Rushton BSc(Pod)

Here's a quick video to show how to strap a curly little toe to stop it bending under the next one and getting blisters on it. Learn the technique and understand the pros and cons to decide if this is worth trying on your toe.

View full article →

Why Do I Wear Holes In The Back Of My Shoes?
Why Do I Wear Holes In The Back Of My Shoes?

by Rebecca Rushton BSc(Pod)

Ever worn holes in the back of your shoes before the rest of the shoe wears out. It’s kind of annoying (and expensive). Here why it happens and a few ways to fix it.

View full article →

At night, remove all dressings from the blister to expose the area to the air. This will speed up healing.
Should A Blister Be Exposed To The Air To Dry Out, Or Bandaged?

by Rebecca Rushton BSc(Pod)

Leaving your blister open to the air to dry out and scab over is either counterproductive (deroofed and torn) or inconsequential (intact). It is certainly not beneficial to any blister, only maceration. Here's why.

View full article →