Friday, March 9, 2007

Small Socks + Large Shoes = No Blisters?

How did I get through the marathon without blisters?

I've had my battles with blisters during training and it seemed that what worked best for me was to use somewhat larger shoes than I was used to wearing, or that a sales person at a shoe store would recommend, and socks that fit nice and tight.

When I started training for the maraton nearly a year ago I would almost always buy size 9.5 shoes. When I got a pair of New Balance 111 size 9.5's I had to loosen up the laces and I blistered my heels. Same thing with the size 10 Loco Banditos, though it wasn't a blister but a jammed toe nail that did me in. Once I got a larger size shoe, these problems went away. When I say a larger size, I mean a much larger size--11's. I wanted to get another pair of Loco Banditos they didn't have the size I ordered so I settled on size 11's with the stipulation that I could get them swapped out with size 10.5's once they were in stock. I wore out those big shoes and when I my next shoes, Asics DS Racers, there weren't any 10.5's either so I bought the 11's. Never a blister or problem with those large shoes.

As far as the socks, I experimented with thick and thin and ended up preferring the Thorlo protection level 1 running socks. One day I got my socks mixed up with my nephew's. They were one size smaller than what I was used to but they were comfortable enough. It seemed that these tighter fitting socks worked better than any of other blister prevention measures I took like Body Glide on the heels and toes or slapping petroleum jelly all over my feet. In fact all I use now is a sprinkling of foot powder. It keeps the feet dry and slippery at the same time.
So there you are, small socks and large shoes seemed to solve the blister problems for me.


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