Blisters on feet during running – causes & prevention

Unexplained blisters on feet after running can drive you nuts! They can be difficult to prevent unless you find the cause.

Blisters can occur in a number of key locations. You can get blisters on the bottom of your foot, blisters on the side of the arch, blisters on the toe… almost anywhere!

But each location has a typical cause. Better yet, blister prevention is simple and easy once you know the cause.

Blisters on bottom of feet and toes

Blisters on bottom of feet

These blisters typically occur directly under the big toe or on the ball of the foot.

They are often round in shape.

The cause is excessive sliding front to back in the shoe. This occurs with oversized shoes or loose lacing.

Blister prevention involves lacing the shoe firmer, further up the eyelets towards the ankle and using lock lacing techniques.

Blisters on side of arch and side of toes

Blisters on side of foot and toes

This type of blisters form on the side of the arch, big toe joint or between the toes.

They are usually narrow and long or oval on shape.

These blisters are caused by excessive rolling in the shoe as the foot pronates. This is caused by old/worn out shoes, poorly fitting shoes (too loose) or inadequate stability.

Blister prevention involves tighter lacing, adding a cheap foam or gel insole to improve the snugness of the shoe’s fit or improved foot stability with exercises.

Blisters on the tip of the toes

Blisters under toes

These blisters are usually found on the 2nd and 3rd toes.

They are small, localised blisters.

The cause of these blisters is clawing of the toes in response to poor stability or poor grip. As the foot flattens, the toes claw in an attempt to brace the arch. Otherwise it can be a response to a feeling of slipping on wet or loose ground.

Blister prevention involves improving foot stability with exercises, using orthotics or different footwear options.