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I play a lot of 5-a-side football/soccer on concrete, although I used to get the same issues when playing on wooden court as well. I've tried plastering my feet in bandaids, double layer socks, and currently I'm playing with real thick nike football socks, none seem to make much difference.

The smaller the court, the larger the chance and damage of getting blisters, I assume simply because on a small court, the ball and run of play tends to switch a lot more, requiring constant change of direction.

I don't seem to get many blisters on larger astro turf or grass.

I've read that getting the "right" shoes is a big deal, however I really don't understand the criteria to apply to find the right shoes? Should a shoe be a little loose during play, or should it be a perfectly tight fit? Are there any inserts or soles that might help?

In addition, what is the best method to deal with healing blisters? My wife seems to think I should be covering them in bandaids, where as my mind is telling me that leaving covering off for a while so that it can harden quicker is the better path to recovery.

Thanks!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

For sure, in my opinion there are two factors:

1. COMPEED !

You're gonna need Compeed brand blister covers. They come in a small blue plastic pack.

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There is almost nothing that will help once you do have a blister. I have tried everything, home-remedies to high-tech. If you do have a blister, and you must keep playing, your best bet is to use a Compeed patch. It's better than nothing, it's your best hope.

In my testing (left foot versus right foot), you are completely right they will heal faster if you leave them open to the air rather than a band aid (I mean, if you are not playing - if you have to pay with a blister, try a compeed).

For prevention, use Compeed patches liberally. The critical element is, the very first moment you start to feel wither rubbing or heat in a particular spot, you have to get some compeed patches on that spot. Don't hesitate. It feels girly to immediately slap on prevention at the very first warning (heat feeling or rubbing feeling) but the alternative is - get a blister.

2. SOCKS !

The advances in sock technology in our time is amazing. My hobby is endurance day-walking (no big deal, but like 12+ hours in one day) so it's all about blisters. For me, the new modern socks are "a miracle". I encourage you to try the new double-layer socks to begin with. I use Monnet brand. (There are various brands - some are specifically sold as "anti-blister" -example) They are basically "a miracle" in terms of blister prevention. If those don't work, try the various socks made by X-Socks company. Personally for me I use this model:

enter image description here

and these socks in fact specifically prevent each of the three spots between my feet where I would normally get a blister, when wearing my Meindl boots for 10+ hours. So those are the exact solution for my particular foot -- for me "it's a miracle" to be able to not get blisters, keep walking.

Consider also the "Sky Run" model. (The "Speed Run 1" model, for example, in fact WILL give you blisters, it's only for hauling ass over short distances - their socks are very specific and all very different.) Finally X-Socks have a new model called "trekking extreme light" (it's black all over) which is another approach to prevent blisters -- it is a very very thin sock (like a panty-hose), and your foot will (perhaps) just happily slide inside your shoe, using that sock (indeed, it's a weird material - it's almost like wearing one huge Compeed patch all over your feet). It may work for you.

To summarise (1) there is nothing much you can do once you do get a blister - but a Compeed is your best hope. (2) prevention is the secret, but, you have to be "girlie" and stick on a Compeed patch at the VERY FIRST feeling of heat or rubbing. your teammates will think you are a wimp, but they'll have blisters later in the day! (3) we live in a new age of "miracle socks" which prevent blisters - and that might be the solution for you. You will have to try various (fairly expensive) sock pairs.

The problem with shoe size etc. is that it seems to me (after extensive reading, etc) that are two different approaches. Approach One: have a loose shoe and use an incredibly slippery miracle sock like the black "trekking extreme light" X-Socks. And/or indeed use Compeeds. With that system your foot will comfortably and harmlessly slide around inside the shoe, causing no blister.

Whereas Approach Two is to bind everything up really tight. Nothing will move much, and no blisters. In theory, it must work.

It's tough because you have to go one way or the other. They are totally opposite approaches!

I have never been able to make approach two work. For me it's approach one - sliding, but in such a way that the thing touching your skin (the sock or compeed) does not move, rather, that thing (the sock or compeed) moves against the shoe, if it must move. The actual final layer literally touching your skin, does not move.

This is based on my quest to prevent blisters when walking long hours, so, I hope it applies to you in the world of sports. Hope it helps in some way!

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Nice answer @Joe! –  Ivo Flipse Jul 22 '11 at 10:26
    
Great answer thanks! Unfortunately as a Hong Kong resident I'm not sure how much brand advice I can utilize, but I'll certainly look for similar products. Also in HK, my feet tend to feel like they are reaching boiling point in the summer, so I guess they can swell up pretty crazy! –  DanH Jul 23 '11 at 3:56
    
Hi @DanH! I love HK! i do business in HK and we would live in HK if flats weren't so expensive to rent! Man that is a tough problem. So you really need something for extreme heat/humidity, I guess. I have to say I just don't know, i've never exercised in those conditions. I guess the problem here is tropical blister prevention. Something that really wicks away the sweat -- goretex shoes? (I've only seen goretex hiking shoes, not goretex trainers.) It's possible those brand-new XSocks "trekking Xtreme light" (all-black, a weird feel) could help. Sorry I don't know more, tropically!! –  Joe Blow Jul 23 '11 at 7:53
    
Moleskin also works. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moleskin –  user1064 May 30 '12 at 3:55

While I've already accepted the answer, due to being very in depth and helpful, I find it very difficult to get the bits and pieces recommended in that answer.

Instead my physio ahs recently given me some Atex Medical Sports Tape which works perfectly. I can't find it for sale anywhere online, and my physio doesn't actually sell it off the shelf so I can't really recommend it for purchase from anywhere, but I think it's finally lifted the curse!

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You should have some gel sole of padding which helps a lot as it cushions your feet which helps your feet feel easy to run and so that your feet are comfortable while playing a sport

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Best recommendation to prevent blisters is to use a little bit of Vaseline on the part of your foot that normally get them. The Vasaline will help keep the area dry, and also provide lubrication. Also thick socks help too, to prevent friction.

Vasaline also helps with runners rash.

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