New Study Uses 19th Century Technology to Prevent Blisters
Athletes and runners and anyone who spends a lot time on their feet may have an opportunity to rejoice in the near future, it seems that science may have finally found a solid method for preventing blisters.  The method they've been testing involves an invention that dates back to the 19th century.  That solution? Surgical tape! According to an article published by The Telegraph, Stanford University "has discovered that binding the feet with sticky tape is the most effective way to stop blisters from forming."  The study stated that "people have been doing studies on blister prevention for 30 or 40 years and never found anything easy that works."  Through their study, it seems that the simplest solution (surgical tape) may be the best solution available. These past studies focused on using powders, lubricants or adhesive pads and none proved effective in preventing blisters from forming.  In their tests, they surveyed endurance runners, and found that 63% of the runners developed blisters without taping, whereas only 24% developed blisters with blister prone areas taped. The article reports that in other tests, Dr. Grant, Lipman of Standford University Medical Center, "recruited 128 runners participating in the 155-mile, six-stage RacingThePlanet ultramarathon event" and for the run "Paper surgical tape was applied to just one of each of the runners' feet. The untaped areas of the same foot served as a control zone. The tape was applied to either the participants' blister-prone areas or, if they had no blister history, to randomly selected locations on the foot."  They found that 98 of the 128 runners had no blisters where tape was applied, whereas 81 of the 128 formed blisters in the untaped areas. The study is not yet fully available, but will be Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine according to the article here.