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Tips to avoid blisters

Losalini Vuki
Friday, February 09, 2018

SOME shoes squeeze your foot, others are too loose while some cause you to walk abnormally and result in blisters. Comfort, it's the one thing we want when it comes to purchasing a new pair of shoes and more likely it leads to blistering.

So how do we avoid footwear prone to causing this? Not to worry, website reports five simple steps to break in new shoes without pain.

Protect the hot spots

Breaking in shoes is always a little harsh on your feet, but some of the usual blisters can be prevented if you know where to look.

Your heels are an obvious spot, but other common hot spots include the sides and tops of your toes. If you're not sure quite where your problem spots are going to be, walk around your house in the new shoes for an hour and you'll definitely figure it out.

Blisters are caused by friction between your foot and the shoe. To reduce friction, moisture is key-dry skin will rub a lot more than hydrated skin. Keep your skin moisturised with lotion, and use petroleum jelly on the worst spots to reduce friction even more.

However, there are also some more unconventional ways to prevent friction and blisters. Antiperspirant is one known option, especially in the summer months.

Unlike deodorant, antiperspirant actually lessens sweating, so applying the product directly to your feet prevents the foot sweat that can make your blister situation a lot worse.

Chunky socks

If your blisters persist, it might be time to work on stretching out the shoes rather than protecting your feet. Put your chunkiest socks over a shoe shaper and stick them in your shoes overnight to gently stretch.

If you don't have a shoe shaper, try using a potato! If you're in a pinch or dying at work, try wearing super thick socks with the shoes during your downtime or secretly under your desk at the office. Instead of walking around getting blisters, you'll be slowly stretching the shoe material with the bulkiness of your socks.

Blow dry

You don't have to wear new shoes long to know that the type of shoe matters when you're trying to break them in. This particular trick works best for leather-and definitely make sure they're leather so you don't end up damaging synthetic materials. If you're feeling some tightness in a particular spot, like the joint of the big toe, grab your hairdryer and those chunky socks we mentioned before.

Put the new shoes on your feet (chunky socks and all) and blow dry over the tight spot for about 20 to 30 seconds, far enough away that you don't burn your feet.

Then, take a quick walk around the room to loosen the shoe material while it's still hot and flexible. When you think they've stretched enough, remove those chunky socks and test them out!

The ice bag

If heat doesn't seem to be working, or your shoes aren't made of leather, there's a great way to stretch your shoes overnight. Fill two plastic freezer bags with water and place them in the toe of each shoe. Then stick your shoes in the freezer overnight.

The water will freeze and expand to stretch out the toe. This method might take a little trial and error, since you don't want to overstretch the shoes but you also need to fill them with enough water to make a difference.

In the morning, take them out of the freezer and you should have well-fitting, ice-cold shoes for the hot summer day!

The water bucket

And finally, here's a tip for those new strappy leather sandals you've been dying to wear, but which are slowly killing your feet. If a shoe doesn't seem to be molding to your foot and you find yourself applying a fresh band-aid (or strip of surgical tape!) every hour, this one's for you.

Put on those new sandals and dunk your feet into a bucket of water, shoes and all. Make sure to towel off the shoes to prevent discoloration but leave them slightly damp for the next step. Then walk around for an hour or two in your wet shoes.

The water will soften the material and allow the shoes to mold to your feet more than they would while dry. Again, this tip is best for leather, and we recommend testing a spot on your shoes with a little bit of water before dunking them just to make sure the water doesn't damage the colour.

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