There’s nothing worse than playing a full 90 minutes and having your feet sting for the rest of the week due to blisters. When I played soccer, I developed severe sores on my toes and on the balls of my feet all the time, no matter what boots I wore. In this guide, we’ll show you how to prevent these pesky blisters from ruining your day.
What causes blisters?
Blisters are pockets of fluid in between different layers of skin, often filled with blood or a clear pus.
Soccer player ultimately develop blisters due to friction between their cleat or sock and their skin. Sweat helps to exacerbate this friction by acting as a lubricant between your sock and your skin. That’s why blisters occur at certain pressure points on your foot where your foot & sock or sock & boot are able to move while remaining in contact with each other.
That’s why leading brands such as Adidas have started to make grippy socks that stick to the outside of your boot as you run. Some players such as Luis Suarez wear these socks over their regular attire to prevent slippage when shooting the ball.
How can I stop getting blisters when playing soccer?
Since you’ll be running and changing direction frequently when playing soccer, you’ll need to find a way to reduce the friction between your foot and your cleats. Try some of the following techniques and see if they work for you:
- Buy tighter cleats. Your soccer boots shouldn’t move around when you run or kick the ball – in fact, they should fit quite tight compared to your regular trainers. This is why many players buy cleats a half size or a full size down from their regular shoe size. However, your boots shouldn’t be too tight as this can place extra pressure on certain parts of your foot, causing blisters to form.
- Get better socks. Find some soccer socks that more closely resemble the shape of your foot, like the types which have a custom-fitted sock for the left and right foot respectively. There are also socks that are designed to grip the inside of your boot, like the Adidas Traxion (which we mentioned above), which reduce friction when running.
- Reduce sweating. Breathable cleats and soccer socks will help to keep your feet nice and dry during the game. This can stop blisters by reducing the impact of the rubbing.
- Use two pairs of socks. You can wear another sock under your regular soccer socks to reduce the friction passed on to your foot. The theory is that the outer sock rubs the inside of your cleat, and this friction is then passed on to the sock underneath (this can just be a regular ankle-length sock) rather than your foot.
- Lubricate your skin. By rubbing your blister-prone areas with a lubricant such as Vaseline, you can ensure that the friction that does occur is smooth, rather than having the sock rub away at your skin. The issue with this is keeping the Vaseline in place during the game. If you can, try and reapply the substance at half-time. Otherwise, use a strong band-aid to keep it in place. It will likely dislodge during the game (depending on what part of your foot you’re using it on) but this method should help you for 45-60 minutes at least.
- Padding. You can also try padding the blister-prone area so that your sock rubs on tape or a band-aid rather than your skin. However, like with the Vaseline method, this technique can prove ineffective if the protective layer dislodges mid-game.
Have we missed your favorite technique for preventing blisters? Let us know in the comments!
Tom is an accomplished writer, with years of experience producing buyer’s guides and tutorials for athletes online.
And it goes without saying – he’s sports-mad.