Heel Blister Prevention & Treatment
There are three areas of your heel that can blister:
Back of the heel
Under the heel
Edge / side of the heel
These three blisters have completely different causes. You can implement the same heel blister treatment to all of them:
If the roof is intact, apply an island dressing to protect the weakened skin.
If the roof is torn, apply an antiseptic liquid or antibiotic cream and cover with an island dressing.
If it’s deroofed, apply an antiseptic liquid or antibiotic cream and apply a hydrocolloid blister plaster to encourage the raw blister base to heal from the outside-in.
But to stop these blisters from coming back again, you must implement very different preventions:
Blisters at the back of the heel
Blisters behind the heel bone respond best to reducing friction levels with ENGO Blister Patches. You can use the “heel patches” or the “large oval patches”. While there are other products, methods and techniques you can try (donut pads, calf stretches, lacing techniques), the ENGO patches should be all you need to not only prevent your heel blister, but also relieve pain if you already have one. The most successful heel blister treatment involves implementing prevention as well! You can read more about blisters at the back of your heel here.
Blisters under your heel
These are a rarer beast. Suffered mostly by runners and hikers traversing downhill terrain, these are tricky to get relief from. They’ll cause you to alter your walking and running gait too and that can lead to ankle, knee, hip and back soreness or injury. Preventing these heel blisters can be as easy as a good quality shear-absorbing padding (like Spenco or Poron), reducing your stride length a little or an ENGO blister patch on your insole. You can read more about the pros and cons of these heel blister prevention strategies here.
Edge / Side of heel blisters
These blisters are exceptionally common at endurance events and races where people increase their running or walking distances and durations substantially. They catch people completely off-guard because they’ve never had one of these blisters before. The other tricky thing about edge blisters is they’ll appear on the side of the heel – either the inner (medial) side or outer (lateral) side. I see a lot of people focussing all their attention on where the blister is, instead of where the blister is caused. The best edge of heel blister prevention is a technique called the Two-Patch Technique. You can learn more about preventing heel edge blisters here.
Got a blister right now? This report will give you some advanced heel blister treatment tips.
In the planning stage for a multi-day hike? This resource will help you pack the right heel blister gear.
Next ultramarathon is just a few weeks away? This blueprint will give you tips on maintaining your normal running gait so you don’t pull up so sore, all because of a heel blister.