For some reason, I’m ridiculously naive when it comes to my favorite heels and sandals. As soon as spring starts up, I’m so psyched to wear them out that I convince myself, “These shoes won’t cause blisters this time. It’s been a whole year, so clearly my feet are somehow miraculously better adapted to wearing strappy, circulation-constricting high heels for nine consecutive hours.” If you’re not sure how this ends, I’ll give you three hints: a morning footbath, an onslaught of Band-Aids, and a “Can someone grab my phone from downstairs? The bottoms of my feet still feel like the underside of a volcano.”
Unfortunately, strappy shoes, open-toed heels, and summer sandals just aren’t often made for comfort, and the usual relief-supplying methods that we use on boots and sneakers (like blister-resistant socks and full inserts) don’t translate so well to open shoes. Fortunately, however, the sandal-lovers of the world have spoken, and inventors have answered. There are now a whole bunch of hacks and tips to prevent chafing, blisters, and pain while wearing your favorite warm-weather shoes. Plus, they’re subtle enough that they’ll be out of sight and out of mind, even on your most summery pair.
Subtly Support Your Highest Heels
These gel heel pads are clear pads that provide acupressure support to your heel and can both reduce foot pain that you may be experiencing from conditions like plantar fasciitis, while also making your highest heels a whole lot more comfortable to wear. They come in four sizes with three material options: firm rubber, rubber/gel hybrid, or soft gel. Not only do these pads provide instant relief to make any shoe more comfortable, but they work to slowly help heal any pain you're feeling in your foot.
Comfort-Line Your Flip Flops
These gel thong protectors have a special cutout to fit any of your favorite thong sandals. They're completely transparent and low profile, which just means they'll lay flat and won't add any awkward height to your toes. These self-adhesive gel wraps suit any size shoe and are actually washable and reusable. They'll keep your toes from chafing and can prevent those horrible blisters that are often times an unfortunate reality when you wear thong sandals.
Prep Your Feet For All-Day Wear Before The Blister Forms
This Blister Elixir has near-perfect user review ratings because it’s an easy and convenient way to prevent pain and blisters from forming while wearing any of your shoes. Its non-medicated formula works to moisturize and lubricate skin, in an effort to keep blisters from forming in the first place. That being said, it’s non-greasy, non-staining, and lasts up to eight hours. It can also be worn with stockings or socks, and reviewers are raving about how much of a difference this stuff makes during sandal season.
Give Pumps & Sandals Personalized Blister Protection
For those of us who are into DIY and personalization, this Jaybird And Mais Moleskin Roll allows you to cut out any shape cushion you need and easily adhere it to shoes and sandals. Its strong and soft material allows for ultimate comfort, and because it's lined with a hypoallergenic adhesive on the other side, all you need to do is remove the paper, and stick it on. It’s also subtly colored and easy to cut, so no one will ever know you’re wearing it.
Rubbery Inserts Work On Narrow Sandals, Too
To prevent that feet-on-fire feeling you get the morning after wearing strappy heels, the world now has these Foot Petals Killer Kushionz. Its soft cushioning offers a high degree of shock absorption, so you’ll be up for any amount of picnicking or bar-hopping, and because they’re small and sleek, they can be worn with any pair of open shoes or sandals. They’re made with a rubber-like material, so they won’t absorb odors, and reviewers say they really stay put once adhered.
Stretch Shoes For Your Comfiest Fit
While many shoe-stretchers are made for flats only (and can’t really be manipulated into anything with an arch) this High Heel Shoe Stretcher is specifically made for your stilettos and high strapped sandals. It’s made from high-quality beech wood, and it has three separate bunion plugs for stretching problem areas, so your shoes fit better and more comfortably. One reviewer said her strappy shoes used to tightly constrict her toes, and now she can wear them, no problem.
Treat Emerging Blisters On-The-Go
For a fast, travel-friendly, and convenient way to prevent blisters (or stop them in their tracks), there’s this Body Glide Anti-Blister Balm. It forms a protective barrier between your skin and your shoe using a Vitamin A and Vitamin C infused formula, and it’s highly moisturizing without feeling wet or greasy. Reviewers keep dropping the word “lifesaver,” and it’s easy to see why: If you keep this one in your purse, you’ll never again be caught without a solution to chafing shoes.
Reinforce Even The Thinnest Sandal Straps
If you’ve got a pair of strappy shoes that give you constant trouble, these Foot Petals Strappy Strips might just end the frustration. They’re thin, performance-material strips that easily adhere to straps and pinching sling-backs to prevent blisters and increase comfort. They stop shoes from slipping and prevent angry red marks across your feet, so you can stop avoiding that adorable pair you’ve got stashed in your closet.
Clay Powder Offers Relief Without Staining Shoes
If you’re wary of balms and lotions, this Squeaky Cheeks All-Natural Foot Powder prevents blisters, rashes, and chafing in a dry, clean-feeling powder. It uses natural ingredients like bentonite clay and corn starch (and foregoes the harmful talcum powder that others use) to create a smooth barrier between tender skin and your shoes. This powder also won’t stain shoes, and it helps absorb sweat and unwanted smells, too. That's a must for toes sweating under the sun!
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