Blisters are not always devastating as far as injuries go, but that can hurt, a lot, and prevent you from working out to your full capacity. This can be particularly challenging for anyone who is trying to put in extra miles during race training. However, it’s possible that you may never need to deal with one again.
Common ways of dealing with blisters (or attempting to) include tapes and bandages, pads, liquids, pads, powders, antiperspirants, etc. Some of these might be able to help cut down on pain or pressure in the short run, but they won’t be able to prevent the blisters from forming completely. Of course some of these things can be helpful for a night out in some dress shoes that haven’t been broken in yet, but put dozens of miles on there and things start to feel a bit differently.
Emergency medicine physician Grant Lipman, MD, took it upon himself to find a better solution for dealing with blisters. He teamed up with Stanford University Medical Center and used 40 years of past research on blisters to see what else he could find. What they came up, was success using mildly adhesive surgical tape.
His study was published in Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, and used 128 different runners. They were all participating in a specific ultra marathon event, which was taking place over 155 miles in the Gobi Desert across Jordan and Madagascar. The tape that was applied to the runners feet was done just on one of each of their feet, so that their own other foot could serve as the control.
As for where the tape was actually applied to their feet, they either applied it at random, or on previously blister prone spots if they happened to have them. Then throughout the race medical assistants kept up with the runners and reapplied the tape as necessary.
Out of 128 runners, 98 of them did not develop any blisters where the tape was applied, and 81 of them did develop blisters where the tape was not applied.
That clearly shows that the tape is an incredibly good option for preventing blisters, especially because these runners were doing a lot more running in a short amount of time than the average person is going to do. Not to mention the fact that the tape is safe, easy to find, and super cheap.
“It’s kind of a ridiculously cheap, easy method of blister prevention. You can get it anywhere. A little roll costs about 69 cents, and that should last a year or two.”
So there you go. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just trying to avoid a blister on your treadmill jog, now you have a successfully research backed way to do it.