Last Updated: July 4th, 2022
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Blisters are annoying and pop up when you least want them (not that you ever want them, but you get the point…)
They are painful and take days to heal and leave nasty marks in their place of occupancy…
And unfortunately, some of us are more prone to blisters than others and with the hot combination of running shoes, we have to deal with this lingering problem almost every day…
Then what can you do?
There are two options, run barefoot…(still, there are chances of blisters and injuries) or, run wearing shoes that will reduce the chances of getting blisters…
Since you are here, I have a feeling that you like the second option…
If anything, go for Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22. This is a lightweight shoe with 3D print upper. It will not irritate your feet and create hot spots for blisters.
Also, we have selected the 10 best running shoes for blister-prone feet and we have tried to include a lot of different types of shoes to cater to different types of runners.
Top 10 Running Shoes For Blister Prone Feet
1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
2. New Balance 1080v12
3. New Balance 880v12
4. Brooks Launch 9
5. Brooks Hyperion Elite 3
6. Adidas Ultraboost 22
7. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24
8. ASICS Gel-Venture 8
9. On Cloudflow
10. Salomon SpeedCross 5
Table of Contents
Best Running Shoes For Blister-Prone Feet
Best Running Shoes For Blister-Prone Feet (Detailed Review)
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is one of my favorite running shoes. It is well constructed and is very comfortable.
Also, it provides you with excellent stability and knee protection.
What makes this good for blister-prone feet is that it has a no-sew construction. This means when you wear this shoe, there are no stitches that will rub against your skin to create hotspots.
This version of the shoe is slightly wider than the previous version. Your feet and toes will not feel cramped or suffocated while using this shoe.
Cramped space inside the toe box is one of the major reasons for blisters, especially on the little toe and the base of the big toe.
And if you have bunions, and have a tendency to get blisters, then wearing a narrower shoe is a sure shot way to get blisters.
However, with Adrenaline GTS, this is not the case. You will not feel that rubbing on the sides of the feet. If it was there may have can caused blisters.
The insole is of premium quality and breathable. The finish of the insole is very smooth and doesn’t have rough patches. Also, it doesn’t have the tendency to bunch up and rub against the sole, especially under the toes.
So, there also, you are safe and may not have to deal with blisters.
Lastly, the ankle region and the heel area. Brooks throughout the years has perfected the shape of the heel and the ankle-cut height.
It is molded with a smooth collar that has a premium finish. Also, the inner area of the heel is also smooth and locks in your heels so that they cannot move around. This minimizes the rubbing and helps you to avoid blisters.
The tongue is also well padded and doesn’t move around while you are running. So, no part of your skin gets rubbed while running.
Also, this shoe doesn’t need breaking-in. A new shoe is many times cause of blisters when fresh out of the box. This is not the case with Brooks Adrenaline…
- No-sew upper.
- Available in multiple widths.
- No breaking-in period is needed.
- Upper stretches.
New Balance has recently released the next version of one of the most popular running shoes, 1080. The current version of New Balance 1080 is v12 and is from what I’m hearing in different forums, it is quickly becoming a very popular shoe.
What sets apart New Balance 1080 from the others is its midsole…
But that really is not the point of this post…
In this post, we are discussing how these shoes will not cause blisters…and is New Balance 1080v12 one of them?
Well, the upper of New Balance 1080 is made from engineered mesh and is 3D printed. In other words, it is a no-sew design. This means there is no stitch or thread to rub against your feet’s skin.
Also, the width of the New Balance 1080 is slightly more than some of the other shoes in its category. So cramping of your toes is out of the question. In that way, you may never have to deal with blisters in your toes and the forefoot.
The breathability of New Balance 1080 is good. If your feet have a tendency to become sweaty, then the ventilation of New Balance 1080 will prove useful. The lesser you sweat, the lesser the chance of getting blisters.
One thing, that was not great in the previous version of 1080 is the heel area. Many of them complained about heel slips. This kind of movement can cause blisters on blister-prone feet.
However, New Balance has changed the design of this version and has gone back to a more traditional heel cup with extended Achilles support.
This has minimized the heel slip and any other heel movement. Also, the well-padded collar area holds your ankle and heels in place and doesn’t let them slide around minimizing the chances of getting a blister.
The same goes for the tongue. It is well-padded and doesn’t slide around. The skin on the top of your feet doesn’t rub with the lacing system due to this and you don’t have to deal with blisters on the top of your feet.
- No-sew design for a bister-free experience.
- Slightly wider toe-box.
- Very cushy.
- Runs big.
- Color may bleed.
New Balance 880v12 is a good shoe for long miles, intense workouts, or just a casual run. It is excellent at shock absorption and will provide you with a good amount of comfort.
However, will it work for your blister-prone feet?
Let’s find out…
The upper of New Balance 880 is made from jacquard mesh. This is an engineered mesh and doesn’t require any stitching.
This eliminates the chances of rough stitching getting rubbed against your skin. This is why you have minimum chances of getting a blister from this kind of mesh.
Also, the wideish fit of this shoe reduces toe-cramping and hotspots throughout the feet, thus reducing the chances of blisters.
Being made of engineered mesh, this shoe is very breathable, causing you to break less sweat. This also minimizes the chances of blisters and keeps you comfortable throughout the run.
The insole is properly placed in the shoe and doesn’t bunch up. The smooth finish and no-bunching further reduce the chances of blisters under your feet.
The heel area of 880 resembles that of 1080 and functionality-wise, they perform almost similar. They don’t let the heel slip and the heel doesn’t move around to provide you with an uncomfortable feeling.
More importantly, this means, the skin at the back of your heels will not get rubbed with the inner lining of the heel cup and will not get irritated or form blisters.
- Good breathability.
- Wideish fit for a no-cramped fit.
- Comfortable for long-distance running.
- No-sew upper.
- Runs a bit small.
- Forefoot is slighty harder than the rest of the shoe.
Brooks Launch 9 is one of the favorite running shoes in the responsive category. It is fast springy and provides you with excellent ride quality.
However, is it good for runners who have frequent issues with blisters?
First of all, the upper of Brooks Launch 9 is made of engineered mesh. It has overlays but they are only on the outer surface of the shoe.
This is good because this way, the inner lining feels smooth against the skin and will not irritate it to form blisters.
One of the main reasons for blisters is the additional heat that gets generated from friction. However, since that is absent, it is highly unlikely that you will have a blister from the upper of Launch 9.
The heel area of Launch 9 has adopted the new style. The heel is extended upwards and provides support to your Achilles area.
This also minimizes the movement of the heels and reduces the friction of the side of your heels with the lining of the heels.
This reduces the chances of your getting blisters in the heel area. Also, the reduction in chances of blisters is also due to the fact that the collar and the tongue are properly padded.
This keeps the sliding of your foot in check and also reduces the chances of blisters to the minimum.
- The smooth inner lining and well padded.
- Good responsiveness.
- Runs a bit big.
- Support could have been better.
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 is kind of interesting for me. This is a unisex shoe that seems like being loved by both men and women.
They are comfortable, lightweight, and great for your day-to-day run.
The upper of Brooks Hyperion Elite is made from engineered mesh which is non-sew. This protects your feet from any kind of friction and minimizes the chances of blisters.
Also, it is very breathable which makes your feet sweat less. The reduction of moisture along with a smooth lining, helps you be blister-free.
The heel area cradles your heels properly and doesn’t let them move or slide. This reduces further friction and any chances of blisters.
One thing that I observed may be of some concern…
There is a padded line just along with the opening of the heel cup. This creates a gap between the rest of the heel cup and the collar.
This gap will not hug your heels and if there is some movement like if your heels are on the narrower side, may cause some friction. This creates a possibility of blisters, however, this may be very rare.
Also, just a note, Brooks Hyperion Elite is available only in medium or standard fit. So, if you have a wide foot, please avoid it…if you don’t want to end up with painful blisters.
- Comfortable even for long-distance running.
- Shock absorbing.
- The cushion of the shoe feels firmer.
Probably one of the best running shoes for comfort that is available today. It is supremely shock absorbing and has a toe-spring for easy toe-off.
Also, it has reduced its carbon footprint and now is using a lot of recycled material to create this shoe.
Although there are a lot of thread designs on the outer surface of this, this is not present on the inner side of the shoe. This is great as this will not cause irritation to your skin and cause blisters.
The tongue is an integrated tongue and doesn’t move around. This eliminates additional friction with the top of the feet.
Also, the padding of the tongue is decent and it doesn’t let the laces sink into the feet. This also eliminates any friction of the laces with your skin, which could have resulted in a blister.
The heel has an extended collar that supports the Achilles’ area. Also, the cup is decent and holds the heels in place. No shifting or movement of the heels helps in avoiding blisters in the heel area.
- Very comfortable.
- Fits like gloves to provide a customized fit.
- Reduced carbon footprint.
- Looks boring.
- Slightly wider width is more desireable.
ASICS Gel-Cumulus is a very comfortable running shoe and is great with shock absorption. It has gel cushioning at both the forefoot and the rearfoot and is excellent for any kind of running.
But will it work with your blister-prone feet?
Let’s find out…
The upper of Asics Gel-Cumulus is made from engineered mesh which is non-sew. This means it will not rub with your skin and create blisters.
The toe-box of Cumulus has decent width and your toes will not feel cramped. Also, this ensures that there will be no rubbing against the sides of your feet which is good if you have to tend to get blisters.
The mesh has a lot of holes or perforations to make it breathable. This comes in handy if you have sweaty feet. Also, due to the airflow, the amount of sweat produced is a bit less. Plus the sweat-wicking material of the internal lining absorbs it and dries very quickly.
This means, your feet don’t remain damp for long which is crucial if you want to avoid blisters.
The tongue is thick and padded and sits between the top of the foot and the laces. This ensures that the laces don’t rub with your skin to create blisters.
Also, the heel cup locks in the heels and it doesn’t slide around. This is essential to avoid blisters on the side of the heels.
There is no upward movement also, in the sense of heel slip. This makes sure that you don’t get a blister where the collar touches the skin at the back of the heels.
- Cushy and shock absorbing.
- Available in multiple widths.
- Have multiple measures to avoid blisters.
Asics Gel Venture is a good running shoe for both roads and the trails. However, it will not work on too technical trails.
This shoe seems to be an odd choice as this doesn’t look like a no-sew running shoe and surely it is not.
However, if you step into the shoe and you will be able to feel the smoothness of the lining and the comfort that it brings with it.
The stitches are not exposed and they don’t rub with the skin of your feet. This way, they will not irritate your feet’s skin and cause blisters.
Also, another aspect that will not let blisters to occur is the thick tongue of this shoe. It sits between the skin of the top of your feet and the laces. This protects this skin from getting exposed to the laces and getting rubbed.
This further reduces the chance of getting blisters. Also, the flat laces don’t dig in and create more problems for your skin.
Now comes the heel area. The heel cup locks in the heels and doesn’t let it slip or slide around. This minimizes the movement of the heels and doesn’t cause the skin at the side of the heels to rub against the shoe.
This reduces the occurrence of blisters and is great for keeping them at bay.
One aspect that may be slight of concern is that it is not as breathable as Asics Cumulus. So, if you have sweaty feet, it is best to avoid them.
- Good for roads and medium trails.
- Excellent shock absorption.
- Reasonable price.
- Breathability is a bit less.
On Cloudflow is a racing shoe and is good for shorter-distance runs. It is cushy and responsive and provides you with a good energy return.
The upper of this shoe is a mesh construction which is very breathable and stretchable. This is essentially a no-sew construction like most of the other shoes in this list.
Also, the joint that you see near the heel cannot be felt inside the shoe. Essentially, the inner of the shoe is smooth and comfortable and doesn’t irritate your skin.
Same goes for the heel area. It is smooth and the heel cup holds the heels in place and provides you with excellent confort. Also, the heel doesn’t slide around and thus doesn’t rub on your skin.
This helps you to avoid blisters in the heels and around the ankle area.
The thick collar is also a contributor in this aspect.
One thing that concerned me was the flap like tongue of this shoe. I thought, that will cause the laces to dig in and make you uncomfortable.
However, the laces were flat and doesn’t dig in or mark your feet and the tongue doesn’t move around, providing you proper protection against the friction of laces against your top of the foot.
This helps you to avoid the blisters further and is great if you have a blister prone feet.
- Excellent responsiveness.
- Doesn’t create a hotspot.
- I would have loved a thicker tongue.
With all the road running shoes on the list, we didn’t want to leave our trail runners high and dry.
They also have their fair share of experience with blisters and maybe more so if they are used to running in humid or muddy conditions.
How will Speedcross help these runners with their blister situation?
First of all, Salomon SpeedCross like its road running counterparts has a mesh upper that doesn’t have stitches in them.
Sure it has overlays, but they are exposed to the inside and don’t have stitches in them. This means that no part of the mesh rubs against your skin to create blisters.
Also, the thick tongue extends from the base of the toe to just passed the ankle joint. This acts as a protective layer between the skin of the top of the foot and the Quick lacing system.
This ensures that it doesn’t rub on the skin and provides you with a blister-free experience.
The ankle area is also well padded and the heel locking system is also pretty good. You will not run into issues like heel slip or something similar. This ensures that you have minimal chances of getting a blister, if any.
- Great for muddy trails.
- No break-in time is needed.
- They run a bit large.
- Doesn’t come in wide.
How to select a running shoe for blister-prone feet?
To select a running shoe for blister prone feet, you should have sufficient space in the toe box, the inner surface of the shoe should be smooth and there should not be any movement in the heel area.
Now let me explain:
When you don’t have sufficient space in the toe-box, your toes are cramped. This makes it uncomfortable for running, but also generates additional friction and sweat. This gives rise to blisters. It is very important that you have enough space in the toe-box not only when you wear it, but also when you spread the toes during landing and take-off.
Not only the toe-box, but the overall shoe should also be spacious enough to not cramp your feet. The reason is the same. You need to avoid additional sweat, heat, and friction to keep blisters at bay.
No or limited inner sewing
Threads and joints have a funny way of getting back at you and many times they will rub against your skin to irritate it.
No matter how smooth it feels, they tend to change their nature when you start running and irritate your skin. So, avoid running shoes with inner sewing.
Proper heel lock-in
The heels should be locked in place. If it moves around or slips, then you have chances of getting blisters either on the side of the heels or on the Achilles.
The tongue must be thick. This protects the skin on the top of the feet from friction against the laces and blisters can be avoided.
Also, the tongue itself should not move for the same reason. For this a gusseted tongue is great.
No matter how careful you are in selecting your running shoes, there will be incidents where you may have missed something or the shoe behaved unexpectedly. In such cases, socks will protect you from blisters.
Also, if some small sand particle or stone gets into the shoe, you will not have to deal with it as the socks will protect you until then.
But wear properly fitting socks that are sweat-wicking else, it will be your primary source of blisters.
How do I prevent blisters from new running shoes?
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
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