What are Blisters?

How blisters form and the best way to prevent them.

How Blisters Form

A blister is a small pocket of fluid within the upper layers of the skin. It usually forms because the outer layer of the skin has become damaged. Blisters are usually caused by friction or heat. Any rubbing of the skin can cause a blister if it is continued for long enough.

diagram: formation of a blister

Blisters are the most common sports injury. 40% of marathon runners suffer from them. The pain can severely interrupt the performance of any athlete, whatever the sport, and will spoil the enjoyment of a leisure walker/hiker. Blistered skin can take 5-7 days to recover. Though there are numerous after-care products available, wouldn't it make more sense to try and prevent blisters forming in the first place.

What Contributes to Friction Problems?

  • Poorly fitted footwear (too small, too big, seams in poor locations)
  • Poorly constructed sock (fabric, seams & weave)
  • Debris in footwear
  • Frequent changes in terrain
  • New footwear or insoles
  • Unconditioned feet
  • Foot irregularities (hammer toe, Morton's toe, bony protrusions)
  • Laces too loose or too tight- 

The list goes on and on …

Introducing Friction Management

By providing a low-friction component between the skin and friction-causing footwear, blisters are effectively prevented. Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, Inc. of Minnesota introduced ENGO® Blister Prevention Patches in 2004 after recognizing the need for an effective and long-lasting product to help athletes with their blister problems. ENGO® has been proven through rigorous testing to effectively prevent blisters.