New Athletic Shoes That Give You Blister

I recently purchased a new pair of walking shoes. I like them, but there is one problem – I have blisters.

Can I correct the problem by using insoles or thicker socks? I read that the best socks are those with a little wool for wicking moisture away from the skin. Any comments?

It’s hard for me to comment on your blisters without knowing where they’re located. My advice is to take the shoes back to the store and ask a salesperson for help; they may need stretching in specific areas if you have a bunion or other localized foot problem. Also, the shoes may simply not be suited to your foot type. Another possibility is that your socks are too thick, which can make the shoe too tight and cause blisters.

I can, however, answer your question about socks! Wool is good for warmth, even if your feet get wet, as they sometimes do in snowy weather. But wool won’t wick the sweat away – synthetic materials have far greater wicking action. Socks that are made of all-synthetic materials, such as polypropylene, are the best wickers. Cotton, on the other hand, gets soggy and loses its softness after it gets wet; cotton socks are great blister makers. Some walkers like a cotton blend because it’s “natural,” but cotton is not better for your foot. In fact, manufacturers have told me that they would leave cotton out of their socks altogether if consumers weren’t hooked on the idea that cotton is “good” and synthetic is “bad.”

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