I get foot blisters very easily. I can wear the best sports shoes, my orthotics and moisture-wicking socks and I can still get a blister within 20 minutes walk (or less). So as you can imagine, I’ve hunted high and low for something that works. And what I found in 2009 was ENGO Blister Patches. While not without their limitations, there are reasons why these blister patches work when other things don’t. Watch this video to see why.
Why I rely on ENGO Blister Patches
1. Your shoe still fits perfectly
The first thing you’ll notice with these patches is they go on your shoe. This is great because patches that apply to your skin have to be replaced every few days. But this is just the beginning. Each patch is only 0.38mm thick. And so unlike pads, cushions and protectors, ENGO Blister Patches don’t change how your shoe fits.
2. 500km blister protection
When you stick something to your skin (like tape or Compeed) you can expect it to last up to a few days. But when you stick it to the shoe, it can stay there indefinitely.
That’s what’s great about ENGO Patches. The adhesive is strong and the patches are extremely durable. Lasting more than a few days, you can expect ENGO Patches to last day after day, week after week, month after month – for a good 300 miles (~500kms).
This has become the new reality for longevity in blister prevention. And it has taken blister management for the following scenarios to a whole new level:
Runners and hikers who cover long distances, day in, day out.
Race situations where you don’t have time to stop to reapply your blister strategy, like lubricants or powders.
People who are blister prone and just want to be able to put any shoe on… and go!
3. An exceptionally low friction level
Of course, a durable patch that sticks to your shoe will never be any good unless it drastically reduces friction levels. And it does! Here are the technical bits.
The blue patch surface is made of a material called Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). PTFE was discovered accidentally by DuPont in 1938 as a non-stick and low friction material. Since then, it lead to the production of what we know as Teflon. You can read more about the remarkable material PTFE here.
The blue PTFE film surface on ENGO Blister Patches has a friction coefficient of 0.16. That’s a really low friction level! Research by Carlson (2001) and Polliack and Schenberg (2006) compared the friction coefficients of several materials used in shoes and for blisters. Take a look at the COF values in the graph below, and remember ENGO’s is 0.16.
Reducing friction levels is how ENGO Patches work. That doesn’t mean it reduces rubbing. Read this revealing article about what it means to cut friction levels and how that helps blisters. It’s quite important!
4. You can use ENGO Blister Patches to maintain good friction
Now this is going to sound like I’m contradicting myself…
Friction is not bad. In fact, friction is necessary. We need friction for traction. Traction for our foot within the shoe is important. Without traction (like when you put Vaseline all around your foot) it’s too slippery and your foot slides around too much. You’ll find this has a detrimental effect on the efficiency of your propulsion (push-off), on how you change direction and on your balance!
Use ENGO Blister Patches to target high friction blister areas only. Minimise ‘bad’ friction to avoid blisters where it’s needed whilst maintaining ‘good’ friction elsewhere to maintain traction for unimpeded biomechanical efficiency. This is the best way to manage friction.
5. ENGO allows the sock to protect your skin
Because ENGO Patches apply to the shoe, they’re able to protect the skin better than other things, like lubricants. Lubricants reduce friction between the skin and the sock. ENGO patches reduce friction between the sock and shoe! What does this mean for your skin – watch the video at the top of this page to see. Hint: it’s about how ENGO Patches release the sock from the shoe’s grip, allowing the sock to protect the skin.
6. ENGO Patches are a massive time-saver!
If you’re a runner and you run most days, or your on a multiday hike, you’ll recognise the wasted time spent taping your blister prone areas. Or the mess of applying powder or lube to your feet each time. Or if you’re blister prone (like me) and you have to apply your preferred blister strategy each morning just to get through the day, you’ll recognise what a drag this is – day in, day out!
ENGO Blister Patches change that. Once in place, you’re protected day after day, week after week, month after month. It saves time, it saves money, it’s not messy and it works!
More of what you need to know
? Frequently asked questions
How do I apply ENGO Patches? What if my shoes get wet? How do I know when they’re worn out? FAQs answered here. Plus video tutorials. Head to the ENGO FAQ page.