Someone who hates pretty shoes must have invented blisters because, honestly, they suck. There’s the pain, plus the fact that they can knock multiple pairs of shoes out of your lineup until the skin’s healed (and cause some awkward walking when you try to get from point A to B without cringing). As part of a life-long quest to stop getting the darn things, I connected with Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli to find out what I need to be doing from the very beginning to avoid the pained spots.
He offered up the usual starter points, like making sure the shoe fits properly and breaking them in at home before hitting the street (I’ve been trying this other expert tip with new flats too and thinking about what size I buy).
“We usually know pretty quickly if the shoe is causing unusual pressure spots,” he said. “Checking your feet every day for signs of redness across the toes and heel is a key element to early detection and blister prevention.”
There it is, girlfriends—it’s vital to keep an eye on the situation and get involved early. Sheepishly, I can recount tons of examples where I felt a slight ouch and just ignored it, powering through my day and revealing torn, angry skin hours later. Fashion friends have reminded me, mid-gripe, that I should keep a waxy anti-friction stick with me all the time and use before I start to hurt. It’s wise advice I’ve tried sticking to and so far, no nasty blisters to report.
The other part of my convo with Vasyli that I loved touched on ingrown toenails (a fear of mine). To avoid, make sure you’re trimming your nails properly. “You should leave a little bit of white nail, I’d say about 2 millimeters, following the shape of toe,” he instructed. “Don’t trim down to the side, but leave a little bit of excess. If you cut too far down, the skin could wrap around the nail and it could grow forward, causing the ingrown toenail.” Yikes, right?
Also, to anyone suffering from achy feet or plantar fasciitis, his at-home remedy was rolling the foot over a chilled soda can for both stretching and some cold compression.