Prevent Blisters with Paper Tape

Feet blisters can happen to runners, walkers, workers or anyone whose shoes repetitively rub against the skin. Very painful, even leading to bleeding, and potential for infection, blisters can put an end to moving on your feet until the pain subsides and healing ensues.

An emergency medicine physician from Stanford University, Dr. Grant Lipman, looked for a method to better prevent them. He must have treated many long distance runners in his Emergency Room, or was a long distance runner himself, who wanted to find a better solution to prevent blisters from developing in the first place.

The solution he found was super simple, inexpensive and readily accessible.

Paper Tape.

“In a new study, Lipman and colleagues report that inexpensive paper tape, the kind available at most drugstores, when applied to blister-prone areas prior to exercise, successfully prevented both the incidence and frequency of foot blisters. The tape, commonly referred to as surgical tape, is used for wound treatment. It is only mildly adhesive — an advantage because it doesn’t tear the blisters if they do occur. The results will be published online April 11 in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.”

His study included applying paper tape to one foot of 128 runners who covered 155 miles over a period of 7 days.

“For 98 of the 128 runners, no blisters formed where the tape had been applied, whereas 81 of the 128 got blisters in untaped areas.”

Amazing that something so simple would be so useful.

I tried it myself, as I have a pair of shoes that hurt at the little toe and heel if I walk a lot in them at work. So I purchased some paper tape, applied it to the areas on both feet, and enjoyed quite a bit more pain free walking throughout my day. The only drawback for me was when I removed the tape, there was residue of adhesive which remained on my skin. But other than that, it was a good option for future blister prevention. If you decide to try it out, share how it goes for you!


See to read the full article.

About Candace

Candy Dye is a Nurse Practitioner and teacher that loves everything about health, wellness, looking beautiful, and being with people who enjoy life and love to have fun!


  1. Tamara says

    Great Post Candy, I’m going to try this. I have paper tape on hand. I get lots of requests for blister prevention/management on movie sets. Right now I’m nursing a big blister I got from walking along the streets in San Francisco. Wish I would have known about this before I had a big old painful open blister. Thanks for the info!

    • Candace says

      So lovely to hear from you, Tamara! It was an interesting study for sure! The researcher change and/or reapplied the tape throughout the race, which may be helpful if you try it out. Let me know how it works for you!

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