The most common cause of blisters in sports is friction, causing the outer layer of skin to separate from the layers beneath. This makes fluid fill the gap between skin layers, creating a painful and irritating blister.
Blisters can become an issue whether you play football, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, or any other sports where you’re on the move for a long time. However, by acknowledging a set of tips and tricks for blister prevention, you can play sports blister-free, making things more enjoyable.
Stick with me, and I’ll explain the best tricks I know to prevent blisters from cleats that I know to work!
- How To Prevent Blister From Football Cleats
- How to Treat Blisters
- My Favorite Football Equipment
How To Prevent Blister From Football Cleats
Below you can find 11 methods that work in preventing blisters. You can try all of them separately or implement many tips for the best result, depending on your skin sensitivity and preference.
1. Size Your Football Cleats Right
The first and most important method to prevent blisters in football and other sports is to have right-sized cleats.
Too small cleats will squeeze from your heel to toes, making things very uncomfortable. It will also result in considerable friction, especially in your heel and toes and the sides of your foot. This can easily cause blisters, so it’s important to size right.
In contrast, too large cleats will allow your feet to move loosely in the shoe, making the material chafe your skin, and if you continue this for hours straight, the chances are that blisters will form.
If you’re unsure about your feet’ size, I highly recommend going into the store and trying them on. If you’re more of an online shopper, check out this cleat sizing guide for help!
Below you can find some of the most common sizes and their feet length for initial reference.
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If you want to learn how to choose football cleats and how they should fit, you should read my resource about it! It’s filled with valuable information about football cleats that you don’t want to miss.
2. Break-In Your Football Cleats
Assuming that you just bought the right-sized football cleats and started using them straight out of the box, you can get blisters if you don’t break in the cleats properly.
Shoes used straight from the manufacturing line, and hot out of the box haven’t yet adapted to your feet’ curves and form. When you use the new cleats without breaking them in, the rough edges will move and chafe your skin improperly, causing blisters.
That’s why it’s important to break in your new cleats before you use them to minimize the risk of blisters. You can do this in the following ways;
- Wear them around the house
- Soak them in warm water
- Steam them with a steaming machine
- Twist & turn the cleats ferociously
I like the soaking method best as it’s the most effective. You can do this by wearing the cleats
and soaking them in warm water for 15 minutes while moving your feet inside the shoes. This process will soften the material and form the cleats for your feet.
For further guidance and information, I encourage you to refer to my football cleat breaking-in guide, where I walk you step-by-step through all the mentioned methods.
3. Wear Proper Socks
Moving away from cleats, the socs are the only thing between your skin and cleat material. Knowing this, you can deduce that they are very important!
There are high-quality and poor socks, and the difference is big when it comes to sports that you will be playing for hours straight. You will also sweat from your feet, and when sweaty skin rubs against the cleat material, chafing is at its maximum level.
So what is the difference between a good sports sock and a low-quality sock? Sports socks are specifically designed for continuous movement and sweating, making them thicker and durable than regular socks.
If you are prone to gaining blisters easily, I highly recommend using sports socks instead of regular dress socks. My favorite product for the purpose is Adidas Athletic Cushioned Sports Socks. These socks are designed for sports activity with smart construction and extra cushioning. Also, the moisture-wicking feature makes the abrasion effect minimal.
If you are used to wearing normal socks instead of sports socks, I highly recommend that you learn the difference between normal and sports socks.
4 Wear Two Pairs of Socks
If you already use proper socks but find the chafing too much still, you should try adding a second pair of socks to the game!
Whether your cleat size is on the tight or loose side, fitting your feet with two socks inside your cleats can be easy, hard, or impossible. If you can fit two thick sports socks, then you should go for it and see the results.
However, if two thick sports socks are too much material and the cleat won’t go on your feet, you should try using a thin regular sock on top of your sports socks. This gives more space and increases the chances of fitting, and the extra material reduces the rubbing of your cleat.
5. Have a Second Pair of Football Cleats
When you get a second pair of football cleats, it’s smart to keep the old ones as they have adapted to your feet’ form as well as possible. I’ll tell you why.
The forming of a blister requires time and irritating abrasion for a long time. Hence, you can know when a blister is starting to form from the area’s hot, itchy, and painful feeling.
When you feel this sensation, change your new cleats to the old pair for as long as the sensation is gone and the skin area is at least better. This prevents the blister from forming, and you can continue with your new cleats!
6. Keep Your Feet Dry
Do you know what the most important rule was in Vietnam War? Keep your feet dry and change your socks, as moisture and rubbing would quickly put your feet in bad shape. It isn’t so different in sports when examining the aspect of moisture and shoes.
When your feet rub against your cleats, it’s worse when they are moist from sweat. Add in warm temperature and low airflow, and the recipe for blisters is ready.
You should use proper sports socks and great cleats with airflow. However, this isn’t always enough, so if you sweat easily, you should dry your feet or change your socks when it’s halftime or during a break at practice.
7 Use Vaseline
Vaseline is a life hack for blisters that doesen’t come to mind on its own, but when you know about it, you can find great value.
Virtually any sort of lubricant will be helpful for blister-prone areas on your feet, but I have found that vaseline performs the best! The vaseline works because the rub between your skin and cleat won’t be as harsh as without it, creating a more smooth training session and, thus, fewer blisters.
Vaseline can make quite a mess, so it can also be annoying. You should add a small amount of vaseline first and only then increase it if you find it necessary. A bandaid on top of the lubricated area will keep things nice and tidy, with no slippery mess.
If you think this could be helpful, Body Glide Original Anti-Chafe Balm is specifically designed for reducing the chances of blisters, and it isn’t as messy as regular vaseline.
8. Use Padding or Tape
One of the most effective ways to prevent blisters on this list is body tape or padding, especially when implementing other recommended tips such as the usage of sports socks and anti-chafe balm.
The way body tape or/and padding can help you with reducing blisters is simple. Add a piece of body tape such as KT Performance + Tape to the sensitive area, and it will prevent rough friction in the area. This prevents blisters and reduces the hot and itchy feeling too.
I like the KT Performance + Tape over others for various reasons. First, it comes in pre-cut pieces, so any cutting and annoying long rolls of tape aren’t in sight. Second, it’s specifically designed for tough sports sessions and can stay on for days. Third, the thin yet durable construction improves the comfort fart above other body tapes.
Alternatively, you can use patches such as Engo Oval Blister Patches placed on the shoe instead of your feet. For example, you can add a patch on the shoe’s heel, toe, and side areas. The patches are smoother than the cleat material, creating a smoother sports process while reducing the chance of blisters.
9. Consider Field Temperature
I previously noted the importance of dry feet. Well, the temperature plays an equal role in the chances of getting blisters from sports. So that’s something you should consider.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the type of field you are playing. Is it a natural or artificial grass field? Blisters doesen’t form nearly as easily on a natural grass field as they do in artificial turf fields. This is because artificial turf fields absorb more temperature, making the field a hotter area to play on.
If the temperature is between 77-104°F (25-40°C) and you’re about to play on an artificial turf field, you should take extra good care of dry feet and prepare yourself for the training with body tape vaseline, and so on.
10. The Deodorant Hack
Deodorant is another trick most people wouldn’t come up with when thinking about ways to reduce blisters in football and other sports. However, it’s an effective way to do so.
Spray deodorant on the most vulnerable areas of your feet, such as heels, toes, and sides. This keeps your feet drier and reduces the negative effects that rubbing does. As a bonus, your shoes will get a more pleasant odor than sweat!
11. Take Time Off The Field
Last but not least, a break and time off the field are important to take in more cases than just when you are tired from blisters.
If you train a lot, are sensitive to abrasion, form blisters easily, or have healing blisters, you should take time off because consistently gaining blisters isn’t good for the skin, making them form even easier than before.
How to Treat Blisters
Even though you can play sports with existing blisters, I would advise for more self-caring way, which is letting them heal before giving the blister area more reason to become worse. That said, how can you treat blisters so they can heal faster?
The best way to treat an existing blister is to poke it with a sterilized needle after washing your hands and empty it. Afterward, apply antibiotic ointment and add a proper blister bandage to the area.
I have found this is the most hygienic and effective way to treat a blister with minimal discomfort!
To learn exactly how to do this, check out the step-by-step instructions below.
- Ensure the blister is healthy: Before anything, make sure your blister isn’t infected. You can spot an infected blister if it’s green or yellow or has an unusual swelling for a blister. If it’s healthy, you can proceed. If it’s infected, contact a doctor!
- Wash your hands: Wash your hands properly with soap and warm water to get rid of any bacteria.
- Sterilize a needle: Use rubbing alcohol or boil the needle for 20 minutes to sterilize it.
- Poke the blister: Use the sterilized needle to poke the blister around the edges. Use a piece of paper and gently press the fluid out of the blister until empty.
- Apply ointment: Add a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to the blister’s area.
- Add a bandage: Cover the ointment-covered empty blister with a bandage. Repeat the ointment & bandage process daily.
- Cut the dead skin: You can cut the dead skin away after a few days. Afterward, add more ointment and add a bandage until healed.
- Monitor the blister: During this process, monitor the area in case of infections. If you notice unusual behavior, contact your doctor without hesitation!
Remember to take care of yourself and follow these tips on the list above, and I’m sure you will have nothing but enjoyable experiences in football or other sport of your choosing.
My Favorite Football Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value you can implement in your life. Finally, below you can find my favorite football equipment that I think would serve you well on the field!
- Football: I like to get quality things at once, so I don’t need to replace everything after a short while. And for that reason, Wilson “The Duke” Football is the only choice for that. You can get this authentic NFL football as an official game ball or a cheaper metallic edition version. Whichever you might choose, The Duke is the only official football in the league’s history, making it the best choice.
- Cleats: Cleats play an important role in football as they are the traction between you and the field. There is no better than the Nike Vapor Edge Pro 360, and for a good reason. The cleats feature a lightweight, short upper, supporting lacing system and a wide stud layout for fast speed and reliable traction. Oh, and all the various designs are beyond stunning!
- Gloves: No matter whether you throw or receive the ball, you can say goodbye to your performance if you don’t have proper gloves. Enter Seibetron Receiver Gloves equipped with various benefits, such as excellent grip on the fingers and palms, great durability, and a green light for machine washing!
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.