Running Away from Blisters A Tale of Two Shoes


Okay, so I’m not a runner lets get that out of the way from the start.

I run away from scary things, but I have never enjoyed running as a sport or leisure activity.  The main reason is that it would always hurt when I ran.  As a child running my ribs would hurt and send shooting pains during the run.  As an adult I would get shin splints and blisters on bottom of feet from running, nearly each and every time I ran.

Now, I’m not a person that hates activity, quiet the opposite, I love sports and I was always interested in running short distances. If I was running my preferred method is doing sprints and I have even enjoyed the occasional Indian run (running in a single file line of people with the back guy sprinting to the front of the line over a select distance).  I played baseball, football and basketball regularly as a kid and even a little bit of schoolyard soccer in grade school.  So, to say that I was, or am out of shape is not accurate.

When I first started community college I worked out with a buddy of mine who loved to run and would take me on short 1-2 mile runs on campus.  I didn’t mind this as I was staying in shape and he liked to sprint between light-posts and rest/job between every other.  From there I went in the military and was required to run, like a lot of running.  Every year I had to complete a fitness evaluation which included a timed run and as well my units also like to do regular company runs.  So running, all-be-it grudgingly, has been a regular part of my life.

A Blistered Past

Another part of my running life that has followed me has been getting blisters on the bottoms of my feet when I  run.  Prior to about 3 years ago, petty much any run I went on over 3/4 of a mile I would end in blisters.  The longer the run the worst the blistering.  I tried many things to get rid of the blisters, everything from new running shoes and moleskin bandages to padded insoles.  Nothing worked until I was recommended to try a shoe store that strictly sold running shoes and running apparel.

A Solution is Found

It was just a small store with a couple employees and the owner.  The owner is onsite most of the time and is very passionate about running shoes and teaches his employee how to correctly size a person for a running shoe.  I have really flat feet and in the past I wore the wrong shoe. My problem was that my preconceived idea was that I had to compensate for my flat feet with arch supports and running shoes with high arches.  This could not have been further from the actual truth.  I was sized into a very flat shoe that had  a cushion based on what material I would be running on.  Concrete, running tracks, sand, asphalt and treadmills all behave differently and need different soles if you plan on running them regularly.  So I got a shoe that was primarily for running outside on hard-pack pavement or concrete.  I also got some running socks and a little roll on material in a container that looked like a deodorant stick.  I didn’t use that very long because I found out that the change in shoes and socks was enough to free me of blisters.

And Now

I have stuck with the same shoe brand and type of shoe for about 3 years.  Every once in a while the company changes the color but the fit is usually about the same.  For a while I didn’t like the color change so I got on Amazon and was able to find the older model in the color I liked.  Now, I’m still a average runner and I still hate to run but at least I can run without pain and without blisters.

If you found this blog helpful please comment below. I’d like to hear your shoe success/failure stories.

Shoe Recommendations

Not every shoe brand is going to work for every person. I have complied a list of my favorite shoe resources for you to consider.

  • Road Runner Sports – If you don’t have a running shoe store this is a good site for finding different running shoes and apparel. Also here is a link to their blog if you are looking for some shoe product reviews.
  • Balega Hidden Comfort– I’ve found that a good pair of running socks really helps reduce the friction while running
  • Saucony – My favorite brand of running shoe
  • Brooks – Another good shoe brand
  • Mizuno – My wife was wearing this brand for a while and liked them
  • Asics – A solid brand and would probably be my second choice to consider
  • New Balance – My first brand of running shoe, probably would have worked for me if I was wearing the right kind of shoe for my feet
  • Adidas – Another good brand to consider
  • Nike – I don’t wear Nike because they tend to run wide on me.
  • Reebok  – A brand I’m not sure about but worth considering
  • Amazon – Once you find your shoe look on Amazon to see if you can save a little

More Reading

Tips & Tricks – Foot Care (aka Blister Prevention)

Tips for New Runners – Chafing and Blisters

How to Treat (and Prevent) Running Blisters

How to Manage Running Blisters

Blister Prevention and Management

LIFE IS BETTER IN RUNNING SHOES: How to Buy New Running Shoes?

The BEST Running Shoes

Best Running Shoes for Women

Top 10 Best Running Socks Tested