Best Blister Bandages Reviewed and Rated
You can run, you can hide, but you cannot avoid blisters! Whether you are breaking in a new pair of running shoes, pushing yourself to run more miles than normal, or your sock fell down in just the right place to rub your heel- it’s something that every athlete has to deal with.
Running with blisters isn’t won’t kill you, but your brain likes to convince you that it could. It’s a very specific pain that makes walking just one more step tantamount to torture. That’s why keeping blister bandages on hand in your medicine cabinet is an excellent idea.
Not only can blister bandages comfort your unhappy feet, but they also help to heal your heel just a little bit faster than normal. In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of our very favorite blister bandages to keep your feet happy.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research
Top 10 Picks
1. Band-Aid Brand Hydro Seal
A little too delicate
It comes as no surprise that our favorite style of blister bandages comes from one of the leading brands out there on the market. Band-aid was founded in the 1920s, so they know a thing or two about superficial wounds! What we loved about these bandages is that they fit like a glove and will stay put no matter what.
The best feature of the Hydro Seal is that these bandages have a gel padding to comfort irritated skin. Plus, it fits so snugly against the skin that it prevents you blister from rubbing up against your shoe which will expedite the healing process.
It’s called Hydro Seal because it stays put no matter what. If you have sweaty feet inside your sneakers while you run, these will not bunch up and shift around. You can even wear them in the shower without worry! Basically, these act as a second skin that you can stick on and completely forget about.
Users love this option because they are clear so you won’t even be able to tell you are wearing a bandage. If you are in the market for something that stays put, is incredibly comfortable, and helps you heal faster, the Hydro Seal from Band-Aid is one of your best choices.
2. Vivesole Moleskin
Made from moleskin
Not very sticky
If you want to keep blisters happy, moleskin is one of the best materials to work with. Moleskin is used in a variety of ways when it comes to injuries. It is often lined on the inside of casts because it is soft, pliable, and wicks away moisture. What we loved most about these blister bandages from Vivesole is that they use moleskin to comfort and heal.
This roll of moleskin bandages comes with a set of wooden stencils to help craft the perfect shape bandage for various places on your foot. Simply place the stencil on a piece of the moleskin take, and then cut along the lines that you created. This allows for multiple bandages on a single roll.
Each moleskin bandage adheres to your foot and feels just like a second skin. It will stay in place for days at a time, and help wick away moisture and bacteria. When you fend off moisture and bacteria, your blister will heal much faster than it would on its own. Plus, it protects your blister from further irritation.
If you are in the market for something that feels just like a second skin, these bandages from Vivesole are one of your best options. It requires a little bit of work to cut out the shape for your needs, but it is well worth the little bit of extra effort in our opinion.
3. Spenco 2nd Skin Squares
Pack of 200 squares
What we loved most about Spenco 2nd Skin Squares bandages is that they can be used just about anywhere. The large tub of 200 cooling bandages will fit anywhere on your foot where there is a lot of rubbing that causes blisters. It works on the side of your foot, in between toes, or even on your heel.
What users love most about this brand of bandages is that they actually help cool and soothe hot spots on your skin. If you have an area that feels hot but hasn’t begun to blister just yet, this is a great tool to have on hand. Plus, even if it has turned into a blister, the gel padding of each square protects the blister from further irritation.
Another thing that users love most about this design is that due to the fact that it is made from mostly water, it adheres to the skin without actually sticking to the skin. This means that when it comes time for removal, it will leave all of the hair and skin on your body instead of ending up attached to your bandages!
If you need a bucket of bandages at your disposal that fit just about anywhere and provide you with excellent cooling comfort, then these bandages are one of your best options. Users love them because their small size fits just about anywhere on your foot, and they stay put while in use.
4. Dr. Frederick's Original
Falls off over time
If you need something that will really stay firmly in place while in use, this is one of your best options. What we loved about Dr. Frederick's Original bandages for blisters is that they are heavy-duty and will not shift around on your foot while in use. Plus, they come in a lot of different sizes that accommodate all parts of your foot.
If you are training or running in a marathon, painful blisters are on the top of your concern list. these bandages are perfect for prevention as well as soothing existing blisters. They create a watertight seal, so you won’t need to worry about them shifting around in tight shoes, or even coming off in the shower. They fit perfectly so you can pop one on like a second skin and completely forget about it!
Plus, the ample padding ensures that your blisters will feel comforted and protected throughout the entirety of your day. What’s great about Dr. Frederick's Original blister bandages is that they prevent blisters from even forming! If you are training for that marathon in a new pair of sneakers, it would be wise to pop a pair on before you even hit the trails!
What we loved most about these blister bandages is that they provide a lot of extra cushioning over some of the thinner brands. They feel like moleskin without the additional price of moleskin bandages. If you are in the market for something thick and durable, this is one of your best options.
5. Compeed Advanced
Limited quantity per pack
What we loved most about this brand of bandages is that they are a lot larger than your normal options, and they provide a lot of comforts. While many blister bandages are only small enough to cover the blister itself, this design covers up the entire heel. This special design feature helps it really stay in place.
What we liked about these bandages from Compeed is that they are incredibly large and cushioned as well. Simply place it on your heel, and forget that it is even there! It is completely water-resistant, so you can wear it for days without it slipping around. At the end of a few days of continuous wear, your blister will be healed up and good as new!
The size of these bandages also makes a big difference. Due to the fact that it covers the entirety of your heel it has less of a chance of getting snagged or slipping around when you put on your shoes. One pack also comes with additional cushions for the side of your foot, and a single toe patch as well.
If you are in the market for something that stays put for days, even when you are training for a marathon or you are on your feet all day, this is a really great option. It not only offers a lot of comforts, but it helps your blisters heal much faster as well.
Rolls up over time
Nexcare is one of the leading brands in the bandage world, so it comes as no surprise that they have landed on our list. What we loved most about these Nexcare blister bandages is that they are incredibly thin and fit just like a second skin. They are water-resistant which means you can pop one on for days and completely forget that it is there!
What makes these bandages just a little bit different from others that we have seen lies in the application. The backing of each bandage is a lot like double-sided tape. Remove the backing for the skin side, and place it firmly on your skin. Then remove the top side to reveal a bandage that is so incredibly thin that it won’t even look as if you are wearing a bandage at all!
Not only do these bandages fit incredibly snug, but they also help soothe irritated skin. Blisters have a history of burning even when they are at rest. They are also equipped with a snug gel padding to help comfort and soothe as it also protects.
If you are in the market for something that is super thin and feels just like a second skin, this is one of your better choices. It is made to firmly stay in place to keep out moisture and bacteria for days as your skin has a chance to heal under the gel padding without excess irritation.
7. Dr. Scholl's Blister Cushion
Does not stick well
Dr. Scholl's knows a thing or two about keeping feet happy. What we liked about this brand of bandages is that they are incredibly comfortable and thick. If you are in the market for something that has all of the squishy gel paddings as your favorite shoe insert, you want to check out these bandages from Dr. Scholl's. Plus, they are designed to stay firmly in place as you work or run throughout the course of your day.
What users love most about this option is that it is incredibly comfortable. If your blisters are screaming for just a little bit of relief, this is a great option. It is made from incredibly soft gel cushioning that moves and bends right along with your foot. Plus, it can even be used in the prevention of blisters in the first place.
These bandages have a clear gel coating which is almost invisible when applied to your skin. They are water-resistant, which means that can wear them all day without worrying about them shifting around when your feet start to get a little sweaty. Plus, you can wear them for days- even in the shower- without it falling off.
If you are looking for something with all of the comfort and gel cushioning you would expect from Dr. Scholl's, this is a great choice that is worth checking out. Not only does it stay put during the course of your busy day, but it also provides a lot of comfort to your irritated skin.
8. KT Tape Performance+
Slips around on foot
Need something that will speed up the healing process while offering a lot of comforts? What we liked most about these bandages from KT Tape Performance+ is that they are very thick and padded, and they actually stay put for days at a time. Plus, they comfort irritated skin so that each stride is comfortable and easy.
One thing that users love most about this design is that it is large enough to cover the entire heel, and it is very thick and cushioned. The extra gel cushioning helps protect your blister from additional damage, while it also soothes it as you train. Plus, the watertight seal keeps bacteria from entering which will help your blister heal just a little bit faster than normal.
These blister bandages are completely water-resistant, so you can wear them for days and they will not fall off. KT Tape Performance+ claims that one bandage is able to be worn for up to 7 days before it starts to lose its stickiness. Each bandage is rounded and tapered at the edges so that it won’t get snagged when you take your shoes on and off.
If you need something that offers a lot of padding to soothe your screaming heals, this design from KT Tape Performance+ is worth checking out. Users love that it stays put for days at a time, and the thick padding offers a lot of cushioning for irritated feet.
9. Adventure Medical Kits Blister Medic
Additional Glacier Gel
Made from moleskin
Doesn’t stick well
What we loved most about this brand of bandages is that it comes with an entire kit of all of the tools you need on hand to soothe your aching feet. This kit comes with moleskin bandages that can be cut to fit perfectly on the trouble areas on your feet. Plus, it has Glacier Gel and antiseptic wipes to keep blisters clean which will promote quicker healing.
Users that elect for this kit are often on the go and need something to toss into the pack when blisters start to rear their ugly heads. Our favorite part about this kit is the customizable moleskin bandages. It doesn’t matter where you get a blister, this pack is made to accommodate.
What makes Moleskine perfect is that it is designed to really feel like a second skin on your feet. The bandage is soft and pliable and offers a lot of extra cushioning. Plus, it isn’t so sticky that removing it will also remove all of the hair and skin cells off of your body!
If you are in the market for something that is designed for hikers on the go, we feel that this option from Adventure Medical Kits is worth checking out. Not only are the bandages made from high-quality materials, but it also throws in a few extra features to keep your feet clean and protected.
Doesn’t stick well
What we loved most about these bandages from Welnove is that they have a smart design that stays in place on your foot. They offer excellent padding to help soothe your irritated skin, and they keep bacteria and water out to speed up the healing process.
Users love that these bandages are just a little bit bigger than some of the similar brands out there on the market. A wider fit means that it covers more of your foot to offer optimal protection. Plus, it means that it is less likely to shift around on your foot as you go about your busy day.
They are also completely waterproof, so you can wear them for days in sweaty shoes or even in the shower without them slipping off of your feet. This is great because it really allows your skin to be able to heal without moisture or bacteria slipping in.
If you are in the market for something that is incredibly comfortable and effective, this is a great option. It has a lot of padding to keep your feet nice and comfortable, and it is made to stay in place as you travel throughout your day.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are just some brands out there on the market that stand out from the pack.
Brands such as Band-Aid, Dr. Scholl’s, and Nexcare are some of the leading brands out there on the market. When you purchase a product from these brands, you know you are getting quality products.
Band-Aid is a brand that was founded in the 1920s and has a wide product line of bandages that range from simple cuts and scrapes to the dreaded blister. They use high-quality materials that are easy to use and stay put when placed. You know that when you select a product from Band-Aid that you are receiving something that is designed specifically for your needs.
Dr. Scholls is another that is worth a look when it comes to blister care. While they aren’t a company that is known for bandages, they know a thing or two about protecting your feet. Comfort is the goal when it comes to any product from Dr. Scholls. If you are tired of blisters cutting your workouts short, you may want to look into the comfortable designs from the Dr. Scholls line.
While there are many name brands that are found on our list, there are some other options that you may not have heard of before. If it incredibly important to us that we select brands that are trusted within the industry, as well as tried and tested by previous uses.
When you see a brand land on our list that doesn’t sound familiar, trust that we have done our research to ensure that the brand used is from a trusted source. Dr. Frederick's, for instance, is a brand that many have never heard of before. We found in our research that they are a small company that was founded by an actual doctor to provide quality products for your specific needs.
Even if you have never heard of the brand that has landed on our list, you can feel good that we have done all of the research to ensure that it is a quality brand. Plus, smaller and lesser-known companies often have something to prove and go above and beyond to stand out from the pack!
At the end of the day, you just want the throbbing pain to stop!
That’s why we wanted to make sure that we selected designs that were actually effective at managing your pain, and promote healing. There were a few things that we took into consideration when selecting designs for our list.
Water-resistance: In order to promote healing, you need to keep moisture away from your blister. When you are breaking in a new pair of shoes, friction and moisture are the key components to blister growth. A bandage helps create a barrier to reduce friction, but you also need to limit moisture as well.
That’s why we wanted to select brands that are considered to be water-resistant or even waterproof. This keeps moisture from your feet or even from the shower from penetrating your blister. With a dry environment that isn’t constantly aggravated, your blister will have the time that it needs to heal properly and quickly!
Gel padding: While a gel padding isn’t going to do a whole lot to promote healing, it will make the process a little bit more bearable. That’s why we wanted to make sure that we included products that offered a comfortable gel pad that feels great and even cooling against your troubled and angry skin on your feet.
Ease of Use
We wanted to select designs that we easy to pop on right out of the box!
Anyone that has even opted for discount bandages at the drugstore knows how difficult flimsy bandages can be to put on. Cheap bandages stick to themselves and never really feel right when they are finally in place.
We wanted to size step that specific headache by selecting brands that were really easy to place. There were a few things that we took into consideration to make your life just a little bit easier.
Water-based bandages are some of the easier designs to get right the first time. These bandages aren’t as sticky as traditional bandages, but they won’t stick together when you go to place them on your skin. They are just a little bit more forgiving than other non-water-based options.
Another thing that we looked at was what previous users had to say about the application. If there were a large number of users that felt that their bandages were just a little too finicky to get in place, we would often move on to another product. Stickiness is important, but not when it is too difficult to get into place!
The easiest designs were those that came in a variety pack of different sizes. If you opt for moleskin options, you will need to spend a little bit of time cutting out a shape that will fit the shape of your foot perfectly. Moleskin is great, but it often takes a little extra work to apply.
Finding the right size for your blister is half the battle.
Blisters can pop up just about anywhere! The most common blister location is on the back of the heel (especially when breaking in new shoes) but other areas of your feet are prone to blister as well. Some users get blisters on the side or tops of the toe, or even at the bottom of their foot (ouch!).
When applying a bandage, you want to ensure that you have the right size for your blister. If you commonly get blisters on the side of your foot, a heel bandage will not be your best option. To ensure that these products will be effective, size and shape are incredibly important. You want to feel light and comfortable each and every time you go to lace up those running shoes!
If you know that you only get blisters along your heel, selecting a brand that only provides heel bandages is your best option. Heel bandages are often a lot wider than others, and they cover a lot more surface, Plus, the heel often gets a lot more action that other parts of your foot when you put on and take off your sneakers. This means that heel options are wider, and they often have a lot more padding as well.
Toe and foot sizes are a lot smaller than those designed for the heel. The less surface area they take up on your foot, the less you will be able to feel the bandage. Just like you don’t want a rock in your shoe, you don’t want to be able to feel a bulky bandage against your foot! If these cases, we suggest selecting a brand that offers a lot of different sizes and designs of bandages.
If you are truly unsure of what size bandage to get, and you are paralyzed in indecision, we suggest purchasing a roll of blister tape. While you will need to go to a little extra effort to cut the shape that you need, it will be worth it in the long run. The only downside to selecting tape is that it doesn’t offer the same level of padding as you traditional bandage.
Staying firmly in place is half the battle.
Putting a bandage on your foot is a lot like putting a bandage on your elbow. Your feet are constantly in motion, and they are slipping in and out of shoes and socks all day long. That’s why it was incredibly important that we selected designs that were durable.
There are a few things that we considered to ensure that each and every bandage would stay in place throughout the course of your busy day. The first thing that we looked at was reviews of previous users on the level of adhesion.
Previous users are the very first to tell you how well a bandage stayed on their foot throughout the course of the day. If there were an overwhelming number of users that reported back that the bandage simply would not stay put, we moved on to another brand.
Great adhesion doesn’t simply mean how sticky each bandage is. While stickiness is important, sweat and water can erode away at the ability to stick. Products that were water-based often stayed in place better. They have a tendency of shifting around a bit, but they don’t roll up or fall off as often.
We feel that shifting around is acceptable, but rolling up is where we draw the line! The last thing you want from your blister bandage is for it to roll up on you the second you lace up your sneakers to go for a run in the morning.
Another thing that affects durability is water resistance. We made sure that all of the bandages that we selected for our list were considered to be water-resistant or waterproof. This function allows you to wear your bandage inside of sweaty sneakers or even in the shower for days at a time.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While it may be tempting, avoid popping your blister! A water-filled blister is your body’s natural way of healing and moisturizing the irritated skin underneath. If you pop it, you are extending the healing process as well as increasing the risk of infection.
Blisters are like paper cuts- they are a normal and minor injury that heals fairly quickly on its own. However, you need to know when to see a doctor. If your blister shows any signs of an infection (such as red streaks around the affected area), it’s time to make a doctor's appointment.
The best way to treat a blister is to prevent it from even happening. If you just bought a new pair of stiff shoes that you need to break in, applying blister bandages at the heel and the sides of your feet will make the breaking-in process just a little easier.
Other Factors to Consider
Blisters are an athlete’s worst nightmare (aside from being chased by bears). It’s such a small injury that can make a real impact on your performance. The bad news is that more often than not- they just cannot be avoided. A change in running shoes or even a different pair of socks can aggravate your feet.
The good news, however, is that with a pack of the proper bandages at your disposal, something as inconsequential as a blister won’t keep you down for long. Modern bandages have cooling gel coating to soothe your blister, and a watertight seal allows it to stay cool and dry to heal much faster.
If you just bought a new pair of running shoes but you are worried about blisters, these products are also really great at preventing blisters as well! Pop a pair on the places of your feet where you worry may get irritated, and you can sidestep this annoying injury altogether!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why should I wear a blister bandage?
Whether you are training for a marathon, you are on your feet all day, or you just need to break in your stiff new pair of Doc Martens, blisters can happen to the best of us. While it is a malady that will go away on its own if you just persevere through the pain, bandages make the healing process just a little bit easier.
They work in two ways. First, they prevent moisture from irritating the skin. Blisters occur when friction from shoes and moisture join forces to attach your unsuspecting feet. If you can fight off moisture, half the battle is won!
Creating a comfortable barrier between your skin and the source of irritation is the next step to easing your pain. A blister bandage works by creating a second skin between your shoes and your body to help ease irritation. When you limit the irritation, the blister has more time to heal without keeping you out of the gym or off of the trails!
q: How can I prevent blisters in the first place?
There are ways to prevent blisters from even happening in the first place. If you just brought home a new pair of running shoes, a good way to prevent blisters from even happening in the first place is to pop on a bandage in a place where you feel will give you the most trouble.
When breaking in new shoes, the most commonplace that blisters occur is right on your heel. A little preventative action by applying the proper bandage will prevent the blister from even happening in the first place!
Also, a good pair of socks goes a long way. While your old reliable running shoes will never let you down, a different pair of socks can cause a little bit of trouble if you aren’t careful. If it’s time for new socks, we have some great suggestions for running socks that will keep your feet happy and healthy no matter how long you are on your feet during the day.
q: How long does it take for a blister to heal?
Blisters aren’t a dire medical emergency, but they sure do sting. If you tend to your wound with proper care and protect it with a bandage, it typically takes anywhere from 3 to 7 days to heal completely.
One of the most important pieces of advice that we can give you is to never burst your blister! We know, it seems awfully tempting to burst that bubble, but it can end up hurting you in the long run. A blister is your body’s natural way of protecting the skin underneath, and bursting a blister greatly increases the risk of infection.
Also, if your blister bursts on its own, you should never peel the skin away. Again, you may be tempted to remove dead skin, but this also increases the risk of infection.
q: Can I apply the bandage directly to my shoe?
Applying the bandage directly to the heel of your shoe is not a good idea. To work properly, the bandage needs to be applied directly to your skin.
When you apply it to your shoes, it doesn’t have a smooth surface to stick to and it will not stay in place. At the end of your run, you will likely have a rolled-up and sweaty bandage stuck the middle of your socks! Secondly, a bandage works by creating a seal between your skin and your shoe. This seal not only reduces friction, but it also keeps water from irritating your skin.
When you apply the bandage directly to your shoe, you rob yourself of all of the benefits a blister bandage can bring you.
q: Are they just for athletes and runners?
Absolutely not! If you are a human being that wears shoes, you can benefit from a blister bandage. Breaking in new shoes- whether they are running shoes or 4-inch heels- can be a strain on the skin of your feet. Doc Martens, for instance, are some of the most comfortable shoes on the planet- if you can get past breaking them in!
Keeping a stash of these bandages in your medicine cabinet makes breaking in those killer new shoes a little easier.
q: How often should I replace them?
The good news here is that they don’t need to be replaced very often! If you opt for a water-resistant brand (which is all of the products we select for our list), they will only need to be replaced once they start to lose their stickiness.
The goal here is to create a tight water seal to keep moisture and bacteria away from your blister. This means that you can wear your bandage overnight, in the pool, in the shower, and all-day as you run around town.
The only time you will need to replace your bandage is when you notice that it isn’t as air-tight as it was the day you put it on. For some, they will need to be replaced daily. For the more expensive options, you can wear them for up to 7 days!