footbionicsBlisters are a pain! It's amazing how something so small can be so debilitating. Prevention is better than cure so how can you stop these from forming?
First check your shoes - are they the correct size and fit? Surprising how many patients we see with shoes that are either too small or too large. We have even found a different size shoe for each foot was sold to the patient by mistake. Next check for any areas internally that are worn or abraded and likely to increase friction? Feel around the regions of the upper where there are joins as they will be thicker and often have extra stitching that may be prominent and over the area the blister is forming.
Now check the lacing. Lacing should be firm and comfortable however not too loose as the foot will slide particularly running downhill. The heel lock lacing is a nice one to reduce forward slide of the foot inside the shoe. It will also significantly reduce heel slippage - it could be that simple!
Insoles or orthotics should also be checked for regions of abrasion as this may contribute. Socks also may be an issue with stitched seams or even those with higher cotton content as they become saturated with sweat and aren't as conforming as synthetic socks. Sometimes the use of Vaseline rubbed into the affected part of the sock will help reduce friction. Don't rely on this method though so make sure you test it out first.
OK so you've checked the above and nothing seems out of the ordinary - let's look at your feet. Check for any callused areas as these can often contribute to blistering particularly beneath the ball of the foot. Debriding these with pumice or seeing a podiatrist to have this removed may be necessary. Any prominent regions or bumps on the foot are more prone to blistering. Shoes that have good padding in the heel or tongue may be more protective.
Blisters will form more easily when skin is excessively soft and damp. try conditioning the skin by going barefoot, salt water baths or using surgical spirits as an astringent to dry the skin out and give it more toughness.
Potassium permanganate is another astringent and a good way to reduce sweating. A few crystals in water provides a simple and cheap way of preparing your feet.
For blistering on the toes the use of gel sleeves can prevent these from occurring. You can obtain these from most pharmacies or podiatrists. For areas such as the heel or arch - the use of "Compeed" or "Spenco 2nd skin" are good protective options to use.