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14 Best Running Shoes for Blisters

By Jonathan G

9/3/17 12:33 PM

If you run, you get blisters. So buy shoes that fit, wear a good pair of running socks, and hope for the best, right?

Not so fast. (That also describes your running if you’re dealing with blister problems.) Blisters from running are caused by moisture and friction. Problem number one: your feet sweat. Problem number two: your feet move.

In other words, the answer to how to prevent blisters when running is going to involve some serious shoe engineering. Your shoes need to be breathable to keep your feet dry. They need to hug the foot precisely and prevent rubbing from touch-down to toe-off. They need to be made from moisture-wicking materials. And they need to avoid seams, gaps, and anything that might irritate your feet.

If you get blisters from running, you’ll need to try various shoes depending on the location and type of blisters. But it’s a fact that some shoes are better than others for preventing blisters. In a survey form Shoekicker of 4000 runners, these were the shoe models (seven for women, seven for men) ranked highest when it came to dealing with blisters.


Best Women's Running Shoes for Blisters


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  1. Women's New Balance Vazee Pace v2, MSRP $110 Neutral Running Shoe

For solving the problem of running shoes and blisters, the survey responses point to just two strategies. The first way to reduce friction caused by running shoes is to reduce the shoe’s bulk, and so several models here are lightweight uptempo trainers that will even serve you well in a 10K race. The New Balance Vazee Pace v2, with a snappy 6mm heel-toe drop and the highest energy return of any women’s shoe, and weighing just 7.8 ounces in a size 8, definitely belongs among the racing shoes.

Click to View Best Price for New Balance Vazee Pace v2




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  1. Women's Brooks Transcend 4, MSRP $160 Stability Running Shoe

The Brooks Transcend 4 embodies the other strategy for avoiding blisters from running shoes: prevent rubbing by putting runners in highly cushioned shoes with a high-tech, sock-like fit built from the highest quality materials. Premium cushioning comes at a price—and it feels magnificent.

Click to View Best Price for Brooks Transcend 5




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  1. Women's Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17, MSRP $120 Stability Running Shoe 

Four of the top seven models for women are from Brooks, so if you find yourself telling the clerk at your local running store, “My running shoes give me blisters,” maybe you should take a close look at the Brooks rack. If you like the Brooks fit but aren’t sure about the price of the Transcend 4, a great alternative is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17. This shoe is consistently rated as one of the best running shoes in the world. 

Click to View Best Price for Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18




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  1. Women's Brooks PureCadence 6, MSRP $110 Stability Running Shoe 

If you’re looking for a solution to running shoes causing blisters, the PureCadence 6 isn’t just another Brooks shoe. Like the Vazee Pace, it’s a lightweight uptempo shoe, but the PureCadence is inspired by the natural running movement, and it’s the highest-rated support shoe. It’s also the lightest shoe on the list, at just 7.8 ounces in size 8. And it has the lowest heel-toe drop, at just 4 mm. By using material sparingly, the fastest and lightest shoes are also the least expensive, with a list price of just $110. So: the PureCadence 6 is the lightest, fastest, and least expensive—and it’s great for blisters, too. 

Click to View Best Price for Brooks PureCadence 7


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  1. Women's Mizuno Wave Rider 20, MSRP $120 Neutral Running Shoe 

With the Wave Rider 20, Mizuno has taken the Goldilocks approach on how to prevent blisters from shoes. It’s light enough for when you need to go fast, but with enough stability and cushioning for putting in long miles. The sole provides a smooth ride under foot, while the breathable Triple Zone Mesh upper and Ortholite Sockliner wick moisture away from your foot while ensuring a snug fit.

Click to View Best Price for Mizuno Wave Rider 21




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  1. Women's Brooks Glycerin 15, MSRP $150, Neutral Running Shoe

When you think of blisters and running, you might wince as you think of blistering on your toes or under the ball or heel of your foot. But runners experiencing Achilles tendon issues face additional misery from blistering when their upper heel rubs against their shoes in all the wrong ways. Brooks’s Comfort Collar gives the Glycerin 15 an extra degree of cushioning that makes it a standout when it comes to ankle comfort.

Click to View Best Price for Brooks Glycerin 15




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  1. Women's Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, MSRP $160, Neutral Running Shoe 

The top spot on the women’s list of best shoes for blisters goes to the Gel-Nimbus 19. That’s not surprising for Asics’s premium neutral shoe, whose guiding principle is comfort. No exceptions, no excuses, just all the gentle cushioning you need, when and where you need it. This shoe is popular for both women and, as you'll see, men. 

 Click to View Best Price for Asics Gel-Nimbus 19



Best Men's Running Shoes for Blisters


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  1. Men's Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34, MSRP $110, Neutral Running Shoe

Putting in road miles, zipping through an interval workout, preventing blisters from running shoes: is there anything the Pegasus isn’t good at? We haven’t found it yet. With a breathable Flymesh upper and smooth ride thanks to a lateral crash rail system, the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 is many runners’ shoe of choice for blister-free running.

Click to View the Best Price for Nike Pegasus 34




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  1. Men's Nike Air Zoom Elite 9, MSRP $120, Neutral Running Shoe

While the Pegasus is an ultra-reliable trainer, the Zoom Elite 9 is the other side of Nike: fast. The Zoom Elite 9 has a Flymesh upper like the Pegasus, but weighs nearly two ounces less, giving you a shoe you can wear everyday that hugs your foot like it’s ten minutes before the gun in Hopkinton. If I wanted to run fast but most running shoes give me blisters, the Nike Air Zoom Elite 9 would be on my short list.

Click to View Best Price on Nike Zoom Elite 9



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  1. Men's Brooks Glycerin 15, MSRP $150, Neutral Running Shoe 

For men whose running shoes are causing blisters, the Brooks lineup is as promising as it is for women. If you’re looking for Brooks’s fit and premium cushioning in a neutral trainer, the Glycerin 15 is an excellent shoe. It's also one of the best shoes for runners with flat feet and back backs. 

Click to View Best Price for Brooks Glycerin 15





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  1. Men's Brooks Ravenna 8, MSRP $110, Stability Running Shoe 

The Ravenna 8, the highest-rated support shoe for men, is nearly identical to the Glycerin 15 in weight, but is nearly 30% less expensive, even as it boasts high-end materials and generous padding on the tongue and around the heel. When it comes to blisters and running, Brooks is doing something right.

Click to View Best Price for Brooks Ravenna 9




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  1. Men's Saucony Kinvara 8, MSRP $110, Neutral Running Shoe 

Go to a big high school cross country race, and it seems like half the fast guys are warming up in Kinvaras, and a quarter are still wearing them in the race. Saucony built the Kinvara 8 for speed, yielding a natural shoe with the lightest weight, the highest energy return, and the lowest heel-toe drop of any shoe on the men’s list. If you don’t want to be one of the guys showing off their blisters from running after the race, take a close look at the Kinvara 8.

Click to View Best Price for Saucony Kinvara 9




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  1. Men's Hoka One One Clifton 3, MSRP $130, Neutral Running Shoe 

Like the Wave Rider 20 for women, the Clifton 3 from Hoka One One is the one in-between shoe for men, but Hoka has taken a different route to making the Clifton 3 one of the best shoes for blisters. The Clifton 3 marries Hoka’s trademark maximal cushioning to racing-flat attitude, resulting in a shoe that’s slightly heavier than the Zoom Elite 9, but just as much at home on a flat and fast road course. This is consistently one of the best reviewed shoes--from durability to bunions. And with the new version out, you can certainly find the Clifton 3 at a discount. 

Click to View Best Price for Hoka One One Clifton 4




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  1. Men's Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, MSRP $160, Neutral Running Shoes

When it comes to comfort and cushioning, you have to admit that Asics knows how to go all out. As with the best women’s running shoes for blisters, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 19 is at the top of the men’s list, and it’s the top-ranked neutral trainer as well. Nearly an ounce heavier than any other men’s model, the Nimbus 19 isn’t exactly feather-light. It just feels that way on your feet.

Click to View Best Price for Asics Gel-Nimbus 19



Topics: running shoes


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