With almost every pair of new shoes comes the “break-in” period, where you complain about how your feet hurt and how you have five new blisters and one has turned into an open wound and everyone says, “Oh, don’t worry, you’re just breaking them in.” (In my experience, this alleged break-in period, which I assume is supposed to conclude at some point, rarely does end.)
Blisters are not sexy. In fact, they’re objectively gross—but they’re also a great equalizer, because they happen to everyone. Blisters do not discriminate. And they’re never more of an epidemic than they are in the summertime, when you slip on your new sandals and they shred your feet in the time it takes to walk to the end of the street and then the rest of your day is filled with pain and hardship. What a life.
Our editors, who wear shoes all the time, spilled their best tips, tricks, and favorite products to turn to in times of very real need, because sometimes taking a painkiller before you put your mules on just isn’t an option.
"New-Skin Liquid Bandage ($7.99) is amazing for all blisters, and you can layer it on—I used to keep it in my tennis bag for my hands, too. I love Dr. Scholl's Moleskin ($3.95) too because you can cut it up to fit the problem area." (Jessica Teves, editor in chief)
"Vitamin E capsules—just break one open and dab it on your blister. Also, putting deodorant on your heel, toe, or wherever your new shoes are cutting into you keeps the area dry. It's weird but it works." (Perrie Samotin, editorial director)
"This is only tangentially blister-related, but I've found wearing thicker socks to the gym afterward is extremely helpful so you don't want to die when you're putting your shoes on. Bombas ($12) are great." (Hilary George-Parkin, fashion editor)
"Old-school Band-Aid Tough Strips ($4.49)—the big super-sticky kind so they don't slip off easily. And Neosporin Antibiotic Ointment ($5.49) for when those inevitable summer blisters do happen, since I'm not messing around with the gross NYC streets while wearing open-toed sandals." (Hannah Hickok, lifestyle editor)
"I know this is kind of basic and obvious, but it's worth pointing out the power of the preventative Band-Aid ($4.49). Whenever I wear a pair of shoes that feel like could cause a blister, I slap on a Band-Aid in the morning on the areas that feel pre-blistery. It actually works like a charm!" (Bibi Deitz, entertainment writer)