Best Blister and Chafing Prevention for Runners 2023
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
Running is a repetitive, sweaty event, and there is plenty to worry about as you log training miles or race a half marathon.
As you sweat and your body repeats the same motion over and over, two major concerns for runners are chafing and blisters.
If you’ve ever wondered how to prevent blisters or chafing during your run, we’ve got answers. We compiled this list of the best blister and chafing solutions for runners to keep you comfortable throughout your entire workout.
What causes blisters and chafing?
The most typical cause of blisters and chafing for runners is friction. When your skin moves against other skin (such as your thighs) or clothing, it can create hot spots, which can quickly turn painful.
Friction becomes more intense when sweat or moisture is involved, which is why you tend to chafe more or get more blisters when it is hot and humid. Cotton clothing absorbs moisture and dries slowly, holding it right against your skin where it can cause excessive friction.
Other common culprits are irritating seams or ill-fitting gear. You’re more likely to run into problems if a seam on your shirt constantly rubs your armpit or your feet are sliding around in shoes that are too big for you.
Fortunately, some of these common problems can be easy to solve.
How can you prevent blisters and chafing?
One of the most prevalent causes of blisters is ill-fitting running shoes or wearing the wrong pair of running shoes for you. So, go to your local Fleet Feet to let the experts help you choose the right pair or look for our guide on how to choose running shoes.
Make sure you are also wearing the best running socks to accompany your shoes, as a good pair of running socks will have a deeper heel, better moisture-wicking properties and a more precise fit.
Wearing better running clothes will help, too. Typically, the best running clothes are made from synthetic materials that wick away moisture and dry quickly to reduce friction. They’re also designed with flatlocked seams to prevent any irritation on your run.
Even with shoes that fit and clothes made for running, there are still some areas where you may need a little help to reduce friction, like your inner thighs, underarms, feet, nipples or under your bra straps. If that’s the case, there are several different products to reduce friction and keep your skin looking and feeling great so you can focus on your run.
Here are our top picks for the best blister and chafing prevention for runners:
[This is part of our Best Running Gear & Accessories Guide 2023. Check out our guides to the Best Running Socks, Best Running Shoes and Best Running Clothes for more gear that prevents blisters.]
Body Glide places an invisible barrier between you and anything rubbing against you during your run. Packed in a deodorant-like tube, you can swipe Body Glide on areas where you get hot spots to help keep blisters, chafing and irritation at bay. This non-oily, invisible formula doesn’t ruin rubber, neoprene or any gear and stays on your skin through sweat, humidity and water. Your skin is able to breathe, and perspiration escapes, all while keeping you protected. It also washes off easily with mild soap and water. There’s also a women’s “For Her” option that has a vitamin-enriched formula with aloe to retain the moisture in your skin.
Squirrel’s Nut Butter
The all-natural Squirrel's Nut Butter protects areas of the skin prone to chafing and blisters. Its formula contains coconut oil and cocoa butter to create a slick, lasting barrier on the surface of your skin that prevents rubbing and irritation. Candelila wax keeps the oil and butter in place to make it lasting and effective. It also can be used to restore dry or cracked hands and feet. There is also a vegan version.
Squirrel’s Nut Butter comes in both stick and tub form. Although the stick is easier to apply, it is best used in cooler temperatures below 70℉ because it can melt if you leave some in your car while you’re at work or on the trail. If you plan to leave it in your car, opt for the tub instead.
Protect your skin from chafing and blisters with 2Tom’s SportShield. This liquid roll-on makes it easy to apply a thin, invisible coating to your skin. The coating eliminates or greatly minimizes friction that causes chafing, blisters and irritation. This silicone-based formula is non-toxic, non-greasy and non-staining.
Perfect to use on thighs, feet, underarms, nipples and more, it is also ideal to put on under bras, athletic supporters and even works under wetsuits. It is easily removed using soap and water and does not leave any residue. Plus, it contains no animal products.
Liquicell Nipple Protectors
One of the tough circumstances that men face while running is bloody nipples. Although you are putting your all into running, Liquicell Nipple Protectors takes the “blood” out of “blood, sweat and tears.”
These nipple protectors are easy to use and have a completely safe peel and stick application. They will stay in place through all of the sweat, so you can go ahead and put in the work. Plus you can use the same bandage for multiple runs (although it is not recommended to leave the same bandage on for more than 72 hours at a time). This low profile nipple protector will prevent those bloodstained shirts and keep you running strong.
How We Picked the Best Blister and Chafing Prevention Products for Running
With more than 45 years of experience, Fleet Feet is the expert in running. What makes the ideal blister and chafing prevention product for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, preferences and style of that runner. At Fleet Feet, we have been helping runners pick out the right gear for decades and want to pass that knowledge on to you.
We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best energy bars for running. With all that in mind, we picked gear that lived up to our personal (and professional) expectations and we think they will live up to yours as well.
Standing Behind Our Picks
We picked the best blister and chafing prevention products based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy any gear from us and you don’t love the way it looks, fits or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund.
Plus, we offer free shipping on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.
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