It’s an all-too-familiar lament; you get “the” perfect pair of shoes for summer– we’re talking the ultimate heels, the ones in every fashion mag, e-mail blast, and wish list of your shoe-passionate pals. Ready to rock the world in your new kicks, your place them on your feet, and step out the door. Fast forward two hours… you are in utter agony. You may have run a marathon for the sad shape your tootsies are now in– sore, throbbing, and with more than a few swollen ulcerations. You’ve got a foot blister, my dear.
But, shoe lover through and through, you can’t face the “solution” of sliding this prized pair to the back of your closet. And we don’t blame you! We don’t want you to chuck your new, chunky heels to the back of your collection, or wedge your wedges into your shoe graveyard.
Instead, we want to give you a bit of the “Heel Blisters 9-1-1,” getting you on the road to recovery. Follow our tips below and you’ll be alive and kickin’ in your signature pair in no time!
Retreat And Treat: Calming Your Heel Blisters
First thing’s first, honey: We’ve got to heal those wounds. Without getting too technical (or gross), a blister is a painful pocket of collected air on your skin. Its created from the mix of elements your new shoes presented to the tender skin on your feet; namely friction, heat, and moisture. The surface your foot rubbed up against was not welcoming, and therefore, created these painful little spots.
So, get down to business and start easing the pain of these little ulcerations.
First step? Take off the shoes. We repeat: Take off the shoes. OK, great. Now, cool your heels– literally. Let them dry as you wiggle your toes (we won’t tell anyone if you wince in pain a bit during the process. Let it out.)
Now, run some warm, soapy water in a tub or basin. Clean your blisters and feet, and let the soothing treatment add some instant relief in the process. When you’re done soaking, allow your feet to dry fully.
Then, clean your blister on foot with an antiseptic, such as hydrogen peroxide, followed by a wound healing ointment, such as Neosporin. Cover your abrasions in adhesive bandages. We advise against popping the blisters, as this can be a painful process and it’s best to let the damage heal itself. However, if you can’t resist, make sure to use a clean needle to drain the blister, repeating the antiseptic, healing ointment, and bandaging process after.
At this point, your best ally is time. You’ve rested and medicated your lesions, now let your body do its job, releasing its healing powers.
Rest And Revive
We know, we know– we just got done giving you our solemn oath that you don’t have to give up your beloved shoes. But hear us out. Over the next few days, as your wounds heal, you’ll benefit greatly from a “shoe respite.” Find a few of your (other) favorite pairs that don’t hit the pressure points where your blisters are located. This will help the healing process do its thing, and prevent further aggravation of your sores.
Feel free to keep soaking your feet, disinfecting, treating, and bandaging as part of your “Foot Blister Rehab” as you see fit.
Live And learn
So a few days have passed, and those once-red, painful lacerations of earlier in the week are getting ever nearer to a well-healed memory. But take stock of the situation, and learn from it. We’ve got some tips on what to do “next time” you experience the new shoe awe– without the shock of painful blisters.
Practice makes perfect: The next time you come into encounter of the kind of ecstasy that only comes from a new pair of shoes, take a trial run (or two) first. That’s right: Practice at home. Walk around your house, do some chores, empty your dishwasher, fold your laundry, decked out in your new shoes.
As you’re doing your “practice run,” take note of the places where the shoes may rub. You’ll want to keep these areas in mind as we reveal some “insider tricks”
Foot Blister Prevention
If you’ve felt silly for find yourself in Blister City– don’t! Trust us, girl, we’ve been there, blistered that. But our pain is your gain. Here are some of our tried and true blister prevention tips.
Rockin’ and rollin’: Our favorite dirty little “back off blister” byproduct? Call it strange, but it’s men’s deodorant. A good stick of this hygiene product for “the other sex” creates a perfectly slick barrier between your tender tootsies and the unrelenting surface of your shoes. Men’s deodorant has a couple of added bonuses; it smells good (if not a little masculine) warding off any foot odors. It’s also cheap, transportable, and can be expertly applied to either your whole foot or the tender spots you noticed your shoes rubbed against.
Stock up: If you’re not ready to take on our Speed Stick shtick, no worries! Several bandage companies make blister fighting products. The first is a “blister stick,” which comes in a small tube, and can be rolled on just like the deodorant we mentioned above. Many of the products we’ve found are small, and, again easy to pack for your night on the town.
The next option? Little gems in the form of “blister block” bandages. Different from the typical dressing you used when your feet were in “trauma mode,” blister blockers are more rubbery, and form a seal on your foot. They hold their grip on your foot in the face of sweat and friction. An additional bonus is that the products were designed to treat blisters, so, while we are recommending them as prevention, you can apply them to current wounds, where they’ll seal tight while also delivering some wound-healing properties as you walk the walk.
Flat line: Our last tip is more of a “go pass” from one group of shoe junkies to another: Cheat a bit. If you love your shoes, have tried all our tips, and still can’t beat your one way-ticket to Blisterville, we say it’s A-OK to pack some flats. Lots of offerings on the market now are small, compact, and let you slip in and out in transit. Preserve your shoe sanity by utilizing your flats while getting from Point A to Point B. You won’t have to worry about a faraway parking spot or long subway jaunt wrecking your shoe sanity, because you get the best of both worlds, trading off between comfort and cool.
We hope our tips gave you some great wisdom to put to work this summer. Don’t let blisters get the best of you– or your shoes. Rock those stilettos! Pump those pumps! You’ve got blister knowledge now, and you’re no chump! Work it, girl!