How to Toughen Your Feet to Minimize Blisters

Cover a blister with a topical antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.

Blisters are a consequence of friction. When something rubs against the skin, it creates heat. Eventually, this heat causes one of the lower layers in the skin to breakdown, according to Billy Trolan M.D., in "Outdoor Research (OR) Blister Fighter's Manual." Fluid fills the damaged area to push the outer skin layers up and form the blister. If you are a jogger, walker, cyclist or athlete, chances are you deal with blisters on a regular basis. Toughening up the soles of your feet is one approach to avoid blister formation.


Step 1

Take your shoes off when at home. This is especially true for those who wear shoes or slippers around the house. Get used to walking barefoot.

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Step 2

Walk without your shoes at the local park or beach several times a week. Stay on the grass or sandy area when barefoot. This exposes the soles of the feet to a mildly abrasive texture. Keep your walks short initially and then increase them as the feet toughen.

Step 3

Jog at the park or beach when walking becomes too easy. Increasing the speed with provide more friction to make the feet tough.

Step 4

Pat rubbing alcohol on the soles of the feet and around the edges. Alcohol is a drying agent that helps to harden skin. Do this several times a week until calluses form.

Step 5

Walk around barefoot on harder surfaces such as a sidewalk once the soles thicken to keep the skin tough.


If you develop blisters in the heals or toes, your shoes may not fit properly. This can cause other problems with your feet, as well. Avoid wearing shoes that are too small.


If you get a blister, do not pop it. This can lead to infection. Apply a bandage designed for blisters such as a moleskin doughnut. Keep your shoes off when possible to allow the blister to dry.

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Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.