Heel edge blisters occur around the heel’s rim. They’re caused by the contour of your insole (or orthotic) heel cup. As your blister fills with fluid, weightbearing pressure pushes the blister fluid upwards – to an area where there’s less pressure. This can trick you into thinking the blister is caused by something higher up the heel. But it’s not.
Preventing heel edge blisters is all about two things:
- Reducing pressure from the heel cup of the insole or orthotic
- Reducing friction levels at that junction
1. Eliminate excess pressure from the heel cup
- Insole: Some insoles are more cupped around the heel than others. These contours are most likely to cause edge blisters. Aside from that, your insole’s contoured heel cup may be creased, buckled, folded or protrude in some way. You need to flatten it out or position it so doesn’t cause an area of localise higher pressure to your foot. Replace it with a new one if you need to.
- Orthotic: If your orthotic has slipped forward, you’ll be standing on the heel cup, with blisters (or at least callouses) a certainty. Apply some double sided tape under the orthotic and fix it so it’s sitting correctly at the back of your shoe. This may not work if your orthotic has made an impression into the shoe – you might not be able to fix it all the way back and make it stay there. But it’s worth a shot. Another cause of blisters is a thick or misshapen heel cup. Your podiatrist will be able to adjust this by either heat moulding or grinding it (pictured below).
2. Making a low-friction junction
With the heel cup of your insole or orthotic sorted out, if you’re still getting edge blisters, you’ll need to manage friction with ENGO Patches. This will create a low-friction junction between the shoe and the heel cup. Cover each surface with a separate oval patch using the Two Patch Technique: one patch goes on the shoe, the other on the insole or orthotic (pictured below).
To get the Two Patch Technique right for the heel, you need to make sure of two things:
- The top rim of the heel cup is covered with the patch (make sure the widest part of the patch covers this area); and
- There are no creases that will irritate the skin. This can be tricky on curved and contoured areas like heel cups.Large creases on the outside of an orthotic heel cup (below) are fine. So you can use the large ovals on the sturdy heel cups of orthotics like this. But bulky creases on the outside of a thin or flimsy shoe insert may be irritating. So it’s best to use the small ovals. That way there will be less bulk folded over.
Make sure the widest part of the patch goes over the heel cup. For edge blisters at the back of the heel, creases on the outside of the heel cup are fine.
Here’s what you’ll need
You’ll need the ENGO 6-Pack. You can use the large ovals on the shoe surface, and either the large or small oval patches on your insole/orthotic.
Don’t limit yourself to choosing one of these strategies over the other. The ENGO patches are a really simply strategy to implement in any scenario. But don’t neglect focal pressure from a prominent heel cup!