Last Updated on September 27, 2023 by Doug Morneau
This article will teach you everything you need to know about preventing blisters while wearing work boots.
Unfortunately, blisters are a significant and painful problem for workers that are caused by the rubbing of the work boots against the feet or when breaking in new footwear.
Fellas, I believe in this article I’ll share with you the best methods both to prevent and heal them. Let’s get started.
How to Prevent Blisters in Work Boots
Most people think that blisters are very hard to prevent. However there are a lot of things you can do to make sure you don’t have to deal with the discomfort and pain generated by blisters.
Here’s a quick rundown of the steps you should take to avoid blisters even if you’re wearing bulky work boots.
- Wear Proper Socks
- Put on Bandages
- Use Powders and/or Petroleum Jelly
- Wear Broken In Work Boots
- Stop When You See Your Skin Turn Red
1. Wear Proper Socks
When you think of socks, you might believe that they are made just to warm your feet when exposed to harsh winter temperatures.
However, socks serve an additional function: preventing friction.
Socks act as a barrier between the skin of your feet and the inside of your work boots. This is critical to preventing blisters from forming due to repeated friction.
Ideally, the socks should be moisture wicking to make sure that the feet stay dry. This is, of course, critical because it not only prevents sweaty feet but also reduces the chances of skin irritation, which is the first step in the development of a blister.
Some people prefer to wear double socks because it reduces the likelihood of repeated skin friction even further.
However, I must state that this is more uncomfortable and may reduce airflow inside the work boots, which may be detrimental to preventing blisters from forming.
2. Put on Bandages
Another great advice to make sure you prevent foot blisters from coming up when wearing work boots is to place a soft bandage on those areas where the foot skin is getting irritated by repeated friction.
Normally, these “problem areas” are right below the big toe or even on the foot sole right below the toes.
By covering them with a bandage you’ll put a stop to the friction between the skin and your work boots, which is key to prevent blisters from developing.
If you don’t really know where these “areas” are, just wear your work boots for one or two hours take them and the socks off and see where the foot is getting irritated. Apply a soft bandage and that’s it!
3. Use Powders and/or Petroleum Jelly
Using foot powder or petroleum jelly to prevent blisters is one of my favorite methods.
The powder has the aim of absorbing sweat which is an essential element that helps blisters to develop.
Once the petroleum jelly is applied on the feet it has the sole aim of lubricating them which is key to stop the friction inside the work boots.
If you do this correctly, you will keep your feet dry and soft (as the friction disappears), which is essential for preventing blisters.
4. Wear Broken In Work Boots
Breaking in work boots can be one of the most difficult tasks.
Given their new-state, the leather fibers on work boots are very stiff, which may cause blisters due to friction with your feet when wearing them.
As a result, I recommend only wearing work boots that have already been molded to the shape of your feet.
But, how do you do this if you just got a pair of new work boots?
First and foremost, I’d recommend you to read an article I made that contains the step by step how to break in work boots quickly.
In short, I’d advise you to wear your new work boots for an hour or two each day before switching back to your old work boots. That way, you’ll decrease your risk of getting new blisters while gradually breaking in your new pair of work boots.
5. Stop When You See Your Skin Turn Red
When it comes to blister prevention, there is no more effective method than simply stopping what you’re doing and taking off your work boots.
I mean, how can a blister form if you stop the source of the friction?
I know, there are some workers that can’t stop what they’re doing, especially if you’re in a middle of a work shift, but I just had to at least mention it.
How to Heal Work Boot Blisters Fast
Here’s a group of tips I personally follow when I have to deal with painful blisters. I hope it helps you.
- Clean the Area and Let it Dry
- Loosely Cover Blister with Soft Bandage
- Cut Some Padding and Apply It Above the Blister
- Don’t Pop the Blister!
- Seek Medical Care
1. Clean the Area
You spent the entire day on your feet, and now it’s too late to prevent blisters because you already have them?
The first thing you should do is keep both the blister and the surrounding area clean. You can wash it with warm water and soap or even using rubbing alcohol if you want to be 100% sure.
This will disinfect the area, which is important for preventing skin infections, which can lead to more serious problems that could keep you out for weeks.
2. Loosely Cover Blister with Soft Bandage
Another great way to treat blisters is to cover them with soft bandages, especially if you can’t avoid wearing your work boots.
Although this will not speed up the healing process, it will prevent the blister from worsening by reducing friction between the feet and the work boots.
This will allow you to return home, remove your work boots, and, after a shower, let the blister heal itself by following the rest of the tips in this guide.
3. Cut Some Padding and Apply It Above the Blister
Let’s go back to basics:
Blisters pop up because certain parts of the foot are in constant friction with the inside of the work boots which leads to skin irritation and ends up in a skin bubble full of clear liquid (a.k.a. a blister).
Once the blister is fully formed, applying some padding right above it can help in not only stopping the blister from bursting or worse but also in allowing it to heal itself.
4. Don’t Pop the Blister!
Unless a medical professional advises you otherwise, I believe it is best to let your body heal itself and not pop your blisters.
Our bodies are smarter than we think, and given enough time, they can heal themselves quite effectively.
Otherwise, you will not only be in excruciating pain, but you also risk developing a skin infection.
That is why maintaining the area around your blister clean is really important.
5. Seek Medical Care
Last but not least, having your blister checked by a medical professional is a great idea.
I mean, it could not only prevent larger risks from occurring (e.g., skin infection), but it could also expedite the healing process.
Frequently Asked Quesitons
Here are some questions I found were asked very frequently regarding how to prevent blisters in work boots.
When Should I Pop a Blister?
Although some people recommend popping blisters with rubbing alcohol and a needle, I would advise against it.
Well, the body is much smarter than we give it credit. If you give it enough time, it will heal the blister quicker than if you popped it.
And, there’s the risk of developing a skin infection too.
That said, if your blister does not appear to be healing or is extremely painful, I recommend seeking professional assistance.
How Long Blisters Take to Heal?
Blisters, depending on their size, take about 2 to 7 days to heal. That is based on my personal experience (and I had hundreds of them over the years as a construction workers)
It’s very important for you to follow the tips I gave you earlier as this could make your blisters go away faster than you think.
Oh, and remember not to burst them! You run the risk of a skin infection and you’ll definitely slow down the healing process!