So small and yet so debilitating, the humble blister is the bane of any athlete so what can the avid cyclist do to help prevent this common scourge?
Shoe fit and lacing
Chief amongst the prevention advice from the pros is making sure you have shoes that fit properly and that they are properly laced as well. It doesn’t sound groundbreaking, and frankly it isn’t, but you would be amazed at how this basic element of sports maintenance gets ignored.
So long as you’re wearing socks, you might as well go with whizzy exciting ones that absorb moisture. The heart and sole (pun intended) of blister formation is moisture, so draw it away from the skin with moisture-wicking socks, although long-term evaporation obviously relies upon the shoe itself.
Having proper insoles can help to hold the foot better within the shoe, which will help prevent moving about and thus getting blisters. You can also get insoles that are antibacterial and help to draw moisture away from the feet, so there’s several ways these little items can help prevent blisters.
Again, these are about making sure that your shoes fit properly, which will be the founding basis of whether they cause blisters or not. The best idea is to go and see a podiatrist, which can be an expensive exercise but is invaluable for anyone who does a lot of sports anyway.
Take a spare pair of socks
This is really basic, and probably sounds a bit silly, but taking a spare pair of socks with you when you go out is probably one of the simplest ways to help prevent blisters, particularly if you’re out cycling all day. Whether feet get wet because of the weather or sweat, simply changing your socks is a surefire way of keeping them drier for longer.
Obviously it won’t come as a shock to anyone, but in the event a blister does start to form, having a packet of Compeed or other blister plasters to hand is always a good idea to stop it from getting worse. Obviously, we hope you won’t have to use them… but just in case.