Foot blisters are so common in soccer that weekend and seasoned player come to accept that sooner or later they’ll get them. The blisters develop from friction between shoes and feet. It’s the constant rubbing as players sharply cut left and right, accelerate and stop hard, all the while driving the weight of their body into and against the structure of the cleats where ultimately, the force is applied against the skin on their feet. Blisters develop when tight-fitting cleats distribute weight unevenly, but it may not be because of the cleat. It may depend on your sock choice, body weight, style of play, how you move on the field, the air temperature, the humidity, and sweat!
The first sign that a blister may be developing is what feels like a hot spot under or around your foot. It occurs where the skin is exposed to pressure from rubbing. However minimal it may be, the movement tears away at surface skin cells. At first you may feel it as a hot spot, and as the rubbing continues, sweat carrying salts and minerals out of your feet is like fine sandpaper. It adds friction that is worsened by moisture and sweat. The natural body reaction is to send in fluid to protect the area, ultimately forming a blister.
All is not lost. There are things you can do to reduce the risk, pain and time needed to recover from blisters.
How can you prevent foot blisters?
It will lower your blister risk. Use a barrier lubricant like Foot Glide® balm. Many blister preventatives are wet, oily, and are easily pushed away from where you need protection. Foot Glide® balm is dry, made of plant ingredients, never oily or messy and it adds a protective layer on the skin to reduce friction.
Wear cleats that are properly sized and that distribute your weight evenly. Don’t take a chance on fit – it’s another critical variable to whether you will get blisters.
Another is your socks. Be sure they are seam free and that they are specifically made to wick away moisture. Always keep fresh socks in your bag to make a fast, easy switch at the half and after a long game.
How to properly treat a soccer blister?
A soccer blister can be quite painful and could sideline you until healed. If you feel the need to drain the blister, be careful and consider contacting a health professional. If you feel the need is critical and must do it yourself (which should be your last resort!) here’s how to do it safely.
- Wash your hands and the blister with warm water and soap.
- Swab the blister and area with an antiseptic like iodine or rubbing alcohol.
- Sterilize a clean and sharp needle by wiping it with an antiseptic.
- Gently puncture the blister in a few spots near the blister edge. Let the fluid drain (applying very gentle pressure if necessary) and do not remove the overlying skin.
- Immediately apply an antibiotic ointment to the area and cover with a bandage or gauze.
- After several days, you can cut away the dead skin using sterilized scissors and tweezers.
- Seek medical advice immediately if you notice redness, pus, warm or inflamed skin or increasing pain as these could all be signs of a serious infection.
And this brings it back to prevention:
Apply Foot Glide® balm right before you put on your socks, before practice and before a match. Put it on areas of your foot, around your toes, at your ankles, under the soles and on the sides of your feet where the forces from quick cuts and hard stops can take a toll. Foot Glide® balm is an invisible barrier between your feet, socks and cleats helping reduce friction that causes blisters!