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How To Avoid Blisters When Playing Soccer?

How To Avoid Blisters When Playing Soccer?

Blisters are so small yet so painful and playing soccer with blisters is one thing that soccer players dread. The areas of the foot that are most prone to blistering are the heels, the toes, and the ball of the foot.

Soccer players using new cleats that have not been properly broken in are more likely to experience blistering. It will interest you to know that foot blistering is one of the most common forms of foot injuries that soccer players experience.

Most soccer players have had to deal with blisters at one point or another. If you are just getting into soccer, it is definitely something that you have to pay attention to.

The main cause of blistering is excessive friction between the feet of the soccer player and their boots. When the soccer player’s foot constantly rubs against their boot, fluids start accumulating. If nothing is done, blisters follow.

There are many causes of blistering of the foot and one of the common causes is wearing the wrong cleat size. When you wear soccer cleats that are slightly bigger than your feet, it gives enough room for your feet to move around and rub against your boots.

Thankfully, blisters are preventable—and we guess that is why you are here. In this post, we are going to highlight some of the causes of blisters and give you a long list of steps you can take to prevent blistering.

If you follow through on these guides, you will spend more time on the pitch and less on the sidelines—as far as blistering is concerned.

How to avoid blisters when playing soccer?

The belief of some soccer players is that thick socks alone are enough to prevent blistering of the foot. Well, we regret bursting your bubbles, that is not always true.

If you are wearing the wrong pair of boots, thick socks will only make it worse. For example, if your soccer cleats have a narrow toe area, thick socks will make it narrower leading to further crushing of your toes.

‘Hot spots’ always come before blisters and it is your body’s way of telling you that all is not right. Some of the factors that lead to blistering of the foot for soccer players are;

  • Using new soccer cleats
  • Wearing poorly-fitting soccer cleats
  • Playing on hard ground
  • Wearing soccer cleats for too long—especially during training sessions

Kid training soccer at academy

Some of the signs that tell you that you are about to experience blistering include pain, redness, and swelling. Any area of your feet that experiences heat, sweat, or friction will eventually start blistering.

Therefore, avoiding blisters when playing soccer usually comes down to eliminating the factors that favor the development of blisters. For example, sweat makes the feet slick and encourages movement.

Therefore, keeping your feet dry will reduce the chance of movement and reduce your chance of getting blisters. Likewise, heat encourages sweat production and the rubbing of the feet creates friction.

Your journey to avoiding blisters when playing soccer starts with finding the right footwear. Below are some of the steps that can help you to avoid blisters when playing soccer.

Method 1: Keep your feet dry

Like we explained above, wet feet encourage the movement of the feet. Therefore, the drier your feet, the less likely it would move around.

While it is almost impossible to stop a soccer player from sweating, you can keep your feet dry by wearing moisture-wicking socks like merino wool socks.

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Alternatively, you can wear two pairs of socks with a polypropylene sock coming under your team’s cotton socks. Soccer players tend to wear two pairs of socks these days and they are usually more effective in preventing blisters than one pair.


  • No behavioral change required
  • Easy to achieve


  • Double pair of socks can make your cleats feel tighter

Kids wear long socks for soccer

Another way of keeping your feet dry is the use of antiperspirant spray. Antiperspirant sprays are designed to block the sweat pores which stops you from sweating as long as the sprays are active.

Use antiperspirant sprays in the areas that are prone to blistering like the heels, the toes, and under the foot. They are not 100 percent effective and their effect lasts for only a short time. Nevertheless, they are worth a try.

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  • Easy to use


  • Effect is temporary

Method 2: Switch to grip socks

Soccer players used to complain that their feet used to slide around in their boots until 2011 when Trusox was found. These socks have grip pads that prevent the feet from sliding around in the boots—and prevent friction that leads to blisters.

Unfortunately, FIFA has been strongly against soccer players wearing these socks for sponsorship reasons. However, soccer players have found ways of wearing Trusox with soccer socks.

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  • Serves the purpose of wearing double pair of socks
  • Easy to find and use


  • You can be fined for wearing them

Method 3: Tape your ankles

Taping the ankle is one of the methods that soccer players use to prevent injuries to their ankles. However, it can also be effective in preventing blistering in the heel area.

During the heel lock taping, the soccer players wrap the athletic tape around their heels and this prevents direct contact between their heels and their soccer boots. Heel blistering is one of the most common types of blisters and taping of the ankle can effectively prevent it from happening.

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Another thing that taping does is helping to eliminate the pressure points on your heels and under your foot.


  • Taping of the ankle can prevent twisting of the ankle too


  • Can make the boots fit tighter and increase pressure

Man tape ankle for playing soccer

Method 4: Break in new soccer cleats

Breaking in soccer cleats allows it to wrap around your feet and get rid of the pressure points that eventually lead to blistering. Like we mentioned earlier, when you get new soccer cleats, it is always important that you break them in.

There are many techniques that you can use to break in soccer cleats including heating, steaming, soaking, and the use of plasticizers. See the step-by-step guide on how to soften soccer cleats here.


  • Makes new soccer cleats more comfortable
  • Improves the fittingness of soccer cleats


  • Breaking in soccer cleats takes time

Method 5: Use heel pads

If you experience blistering on your heels, it may be because you are wearing boots that are slightly bigger than your feet which causes your heels to lift when you walk. The constant lifting of the heels creates friction between your heels and the boots which causes the blistering

The use of heel pads can stop the heels from lifting. They also provide a soft cushion that prevents direct contact between the skin and the hard material of the soccer cleats.

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  • Improves fittingness
  • Stops heel lift


  • Experience varies depending on the quality of the pad

Method 6: Change your lacing technique

man lacing soccer boots

A proper lacing technique can lock your feet more properly in your boots and prevent them from moving around. This is a small behavioral change that will definitely have a profound effect.

When lacing your boots, focus on making the instep area tighter as this will push back your heels and make them lock better in the heels of your boots. The use of surgical knots can also prevent the soccer cleats from coming undone during a game.


  • Improves overall cleat fitness


  • Takes a while to learn a new lacing technique

Method 7: Lubricate blister-prone areas

There is a reason why the moving parts of a machine are always oiled. Oiling helps to reduce friction between surfaces.

Some soccer players use Vaseline on areas that are prone to blistering. This lowers the friction between the soccer player’s feet and their boots.

However, the biggest problem with the use of Vaseline is how to keep it in place. Also, it makes a mess of your socks and your boots.

Since Vaseline can easily dissolve under heat, you may have to reapply them during the halftime break or at any chance you get.


  • Highly effective
  • Needs no tutorial


  • Leaves your boots and socks messy

Method 8: Use grip spray

Batters use grip spray on their palms to prevent their bats from slipping from their grip. However, you can also use grip spray on your feet to prevent them from moving around in your boots.

In the absence of a pair of grip socks, you can use grip spray on your regular team socks to make them stick better on the inside of your boots.

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  • Easy to use


  • Effect is temporary

Method 9: Cut a hole at the back of your boots

Now, this is not something that everyone would be willing to try and that is why we have left it in the last place. We have seen a lot of soccer players cut their boots including Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

By cutting off the area of the boots causing the blistering, it eases the pressure in that area and allows your feet to breathe. Professional soccer players can afford a new pair of soccer cleats and you should only join them in this practice if you can too.


  • Permanently prevents blisters in that area


  • Can ruin your boots


Unlike other soccer injuries like taking a sliding tackle from an opponent, blisters don’t happen instantly. They start gradually as pain and progress to a hot spot and then a blister if you put up with the pain.

The sad reality that many people may not like to hear is that blisters are actually your fault and not the fault of your soccer cleats. When you develop blisters, it simply means that you refused to listen to the signs presented by your feet.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid blisters is about getting a pair of soccer cleats that fit snuggly. Unless you are making your purchase online, always make sure that you test them out before making payment.

Even if you purchased online, make sure you test the cleats the moment it arrives. Once you feel pain or discomfort on any part of your feet, return them and choose a different size or another brand altogether.

Any pain or discomfort that you feel on your boots is a potential source of blisters if you ignore and continue using the boots over a prolonged period.