“Any shoe that doesn’t fit properly can cause blisters. This is because poorly-fitted shoes, particularly those that are too big can slip around on our feet causing friction. Blisters are nature’s little cushions that protect us from deeper damage to our skin,” says Susannah Davda.
When shopping for shoes, make sure they are the right size. You may find that different types of shoes fit slightly differently, so it’s always worth trying them on and walking around to see how they feel.
We know that your shoes should fit well, but are there any shoes which are particularly likely to cause blisters? “Sandals are the type of footwear most likely to cause blisters. This is because they usually have more straps and edges that can rub than closed shoes or boots. Our skin can be quite delicate at the start of the warmer season because our feet have been protected by socks. This means that sandals often rub on their first wear of the year,” Susannah says.
“Some ill-fitting shoes can be more likely to cause blisters than others because of the material they’re made of. Firm materials like leather aren’t as flexible as many other types. That’s why you may find that ill-fitting leather shoes such as loafers tend to cause blisters. Make sure you choose the right size to avoid blisters by measuring your feet (you can have a salesperson do this for you too) and checking there is roughly half an inch gap between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe. Make sure to pay attention to the width of the shoe as well as the length, as this can have a big impact on foot health too,” adds Rachel Clinkard.
“Like loafers, high heels are also usually made out of firm materials which cause extra friction if you don’t have the right size. So make sure to thoroughly measure your heels before buying to avoid blisters. If you feel your feet sliding inside the heels and often lifting out of the shoe, this is a sign that you’re wearing too big a size. You’ll likely know if you’re wearing a size too small, as you will feel the material cutting into your foot,” she continues.
New shoes which are stiff can cause blisters, which is why people talk about ‘wearing shoes in’. When wearing a new pair of shoes, particularly work shoes, Dr. Martens boots or shoes which have a snug fit, it’s a good idea to wear thick socks and take some blister plasters with you.
If you start to feel a blister forming, you can cushion it with a plaster to protect the area from further damage. You may also want to put a plaster on areas of your feet which are typically prone to blisters, to avoid them forming at all.