It's official, blister proneness is a real thing! If your feet blister when others don't, it might not be that you've got the wrong shoes or you're doing anything wrong. It might just be that your skin is less resistant to blister-causing forces. Just like mine is.
I've got three studies that show without a doubt, some people's feet are more prone to blisters than others. Let's have a look.
Blister Prone Research
Blister Study 1: 1955
An early experimental blister study on 19 volunteer British medical students and doctors, showed blistering occurred between 27 and 138 rubs. However, in this experiment, the skin on the middle of the shin was tested.
Blister Study 2: 1966
Another experimental blister study 11 years later was conducted on 54 American army personnel. Some soldiers blistered in 3 minutes and others still hadn't blistered even after 50 minutes. The exact same frictional force was used on all subjects! This time, it was applied to the palm of the hand. This is closer to a foot blister scenario because palmar (hand) skin and plantar (foot) skin are very similar.
Foot blisters in the military are a big deal
Blister Study 3: 2013
This next one is a lot more recent (non-military). It was performed at the University of Salford in England on 30 volunteers. The frictional force was applied to the back of the heel. So this one is directly relevant. Similarly, it confirmed the large range, with blister onset ranging from between 4 and 32 minutes. Quite a difference again!
Let's See Those “Time-to-Blister” Results Again
- 27 and 138 rubs
- 3 and 50 minutes
- 4 and 32 minutes
Within each study, there are different individual responses to the same blister-causing shear force. Therefore, it' confirms the large individual variation of susceptibility to blisters.
Are Your Feet Prone to Blisters?
Does this sound familiar to you? It does to me. My feet blister very easily! Being blister prone can shape your lifestyle! It can force you to live a less active lifestyle than you might have otherwise led. Similarly, it can force you to give up sports you're good at and activities you enjoy. I know of two different people, one a basketballer and the other a triathlete who both gave away their sport prematurely, with persistent foot blisters figuring in their decision. Plus an underground miner who found it necessary to change his occupation because of ongoing foot blisters.
If you're blister prone and you can't find a way to get your blister problem under control, there comes a time when you're just not prepared to put up with the pain any longer. And it's not just the pain, it's the aggravation of everything else that goes with it - the time, the mess, the expense, the inconvenience, the limitations...
The Good News - Blister Prevention Has Come a Long Way
Foot blisters are common, but they're not inevitable. And things have come a long way in recent years. We're better than ever at understanding what causes blisters and how to prevent them. This may surprise you.
If you’re blister prone and feel like you've tried everything, I'm sure I can help. In fact, I'm certain of it. You can search for your blister location on this website. If you'd like some one-on-one help, join my Fix My Foot Blisters Fast course and I'll walk you through everything you need to know. Read the reviews, look at all the things I'll teach you, and how much it costs. Then think about how much it would be worth to you to not get blisters any more.
But if you want to get started with something ASAP, my go-to blister strategy is ENGO Blister Patches. For every blister location (except blisters between toes), these patches are a fabulous place to start. Grab yours today.