I get foot blisters very easily. I can tape my blister-prone feet, wear the best sports shoes, my orthotics and moisture-wicking socks and 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 prevent blisters and relieve existing blisters when other things can’t. I’ve looked deeply into how they work, not just for me, but also for endurance athletes, multiday hikers and people who play high impact sports. If you get blisters easily and nothing seems to help, read on.
ENGO Blister Patches Reduce Friction Levels
There are many ways to stop blisters from forming. From pressure-management to shear-absorption to changing the way your bones move. ENGO Patches do ONE THING and they do it exceptionally well. They REDUCE FRICTION LEVELS. Not by a little, by a lot! And they do this even moist conditions, like it invariably is inside your shoe. Take a look at these bar graphs – ENGO is the smallest bar in both. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s wet or dry. In essence, they take moisture out of the equation.
Frition levels of various in-shoe materials.
Why I Rely On ENGO Patches (And You Can Too)
The first thing you’ll notice about these blister patches is they go on your shoe. This is a great thing! Because when you stick something to your skin (like tape or Compeed) you can expect it to last a day, maybe even a few days. But when you stick your blister prevention strategy to your shoe, there’s nothing else you have to do. It’s already done. You’re ready to walk out the door – day after day, month after month. But there are other reasons that make ENGO Blister Patches so effective.
1) Your Shoe Still Fits Perfectly
ENGO Blister Prevention Patches are very thin – only 0.38mm. There’s a significant advantage to this, and that is, they won’t change the way your shoe fits. This is exceptionally important, especially in endurance activities where your feet swell. It’s also important if your shoes are tight already in certain areas – like if you’ve got a bunion. You simply can’t afford to add more bulk into your shoe in this area without making things worse. Blister pads, cushions and protectors all take up room in your shoe and can change shoe-fit.
2) They Last A LONG Time!
When you apply an ENGO Blister Patch to your shoe or insole, with just a tiny bit of care, it will stay there indefinitely. The adhesive is strong and the patches are extremely durable. You can expect a single ENGO Patch to last day after day, week after week, month after month – for a good 300 miles (~500kms). You’ll know it’s time to replace them if the blue surface wears through to white.
This has become the gold standard 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) They Allow Your Sock To Protect Your Skin
As you saw in the graphs at the top of this page, ENGO Blister Patches coefficient of friction is the lowest of all materials tested. It’s all thanks to the blue surface. 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.
Reducing friction levels means making things slippery. In ENGO’s case, it allows the sock to glide easily back and forth over the patch. In this way, the sock can remain in stationary contact with your foot instead of rubbing against it. This might be different to what you thought preventing blisters was all about, and I know it can take a little bit to get your head around. So watch the video below the see how ENGO’s low friction blister prevention patches work in this way.
4) ENGO Blister Patches Maintain Good Friction
Now this is going to sound like I’m contradicting myself, so bear with me…
Friction is not bad. In fact, friction is necessary. We need friction for traction. Without traction (like when you put Vaseline all around your foot) it’s too slippery and your foot slides around too much in your shoe. This makes walking and running harder and less efficient. The detrimental effects on the efficiency of your gait, like propulsion (push-off), braking (slowing down), changing direction and on your balance, also make injuries more likely.
When you use ENGO Blister Patches, you put them just where you need them – only at those blister-prone areas. In this way, you’re relieving ‘bad’ friction to avoid blisters whilst maintaining ‘good’ friction elsewhere esle. This is the best way to manage friction. We call it targeted friction management.
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 feet. 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! Take a look at the ENGO Blister Patch Placement Masterclass below to help you get started with ENGO Patches.