Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and that means we’ve got to ready our feet for full days of trooping around in new, sometimes painful, shoes.
Do we really need a set of new kicks biting at our toes and scraping at our heels while we attempt to keep our spirits up for the festivities? Trust that we speak for everyone when we say: No thank you.
Fortunately, we already have a list of comfortable shoes that will take you through the day, blister-free. But you can never be too prepared; With the help of these easy tips, we can finally move past the days of limping around from house to house in agony. Before you take a bite on those new shoes, here are 5 ways to blister-proof your feet for the upcoming walkathon we call ‘CNY visiting’.
Lubricate your feet
Friction creates heat and tearing forces, which make the skin prone to blisters. The formula is straightforward: Reduce friction, and the formation of blisters follow suit. One way to reduce friction is by lubricating your feet so they slide against contact with your shoes rather than rub. You can either use Footglide ($17.90 at Watsons) — a blister-resisting balm, or plain ol’ foot lotion.
Household products such as petroleum jelly and vaseline can be used as substitutes, but it is worth noting that these will not wash out of your socks easily, and that in turn causes dirt to cling onto your socks. That can mean there is more grit in your shoe to irritate your foot, which could, in turn, cause more blisters.
Keep your feet dry with powder
Patting on cornstarch, baby powder or talcum powder in your socks and shoes can keep your feet dry, which in turn prevents blisters. Spraying antiperspirant on the feet works as well. Getting dehydrated can contribute to blisters, so keep your body fluids in balance by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Wear socks with your shoes
You can also try wearing your heels with a pair of fun socks. They add an extra layer of protection, while allowing you to get creative with your look. Choose a pair of socks made with synthetics (cotton retains foot sweat, which softens the skin and leaves it prone to breaking with friction) and ensure that the socks are not too thick such that your toes no longer have room to squiggle around freely.
Keep band-aids and foot petals on hand
Cushioned plasters and foot petals are a last-ditch attempt at avoiding blisters. You can either cover the problem spots – a.k.a the spots that are prone to getting blisters – on your feet before you hit the pavement, or keep them with you so that you can apply them during the day. We know it looks rather unsightly, but hey, it’ll do most of the legwork (hah!) in staving off blisters.
Re-adjust when you feel a hot spot
You will often feel a hot spot developing that can turn into a blister. While you may want to keep going, the best thing to do is stop immediately. Re-adjust your socks and shoes to try to eliminate places where your socks may have become bunched up, apply powder on your feet if it feels damp and sweaty, and whip out one of those aforementioned band-aids to cover over the spot.