The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

NYC Podiatrists Discuss: How to Prevent Blisters on Feet When Roller Skating

Posted by on Monday, August 6th, 2018


Roller skating and blading provides a complete aerobic workout that uses all of the muscles in the body, especially the legs. The heart health benefits are comparable to jogging, and it’s a fun way to reduce body fat. A 150-pound person could burn between 330 and 600 calories an hour. Researchers say skating is as beneficial as cycling, swimming, and running. At The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we say it’s actually better for you than running, as it causes 50% less impact on the joints. However, nothing will put a stop to your skating career faster than a hot, sore blister. Find out how to prevent blisters on feet when roller skating.

how to prevent blisters on feet when roller skating
There are many great reasons to roller skate or blade. Don’t let a blister prevent you from enjoying the fitness activities you love. [Image Source: Pexels user Gratisography]

How to Prevent Blisters on Feet When Roller Skating

As with shoes, many problems can be traced back to improper skate size. Usually, your shoe size is an indication of what skate size you’ll need, but that’s not always the case—especially considering most people are wearing the wrong shoe size!

If you have high arches, you may experience pain at the top of the foot. Lacing straight across like a ladder can alleviate some of these pressure spots. If your heel is slipping, you may have on skates that are too big. Try a size down or criss-cross lacing to lock the heel into place. Corns, ingrown toenails, or bunions may require a lacing pattern that allows more freedom of toe movement. Try these additional tips to eliminate discomfort:

  • Choose a pair of skates that fit well. You should have about a pencil width at the end of the toes and behind the heel.
  • If you have tight-fitting areas, go up a size or have a new pair of skates stretched.

Preventing Other Skating-Related Injuries

  • Keep your feet dry and reduce friction with talcum powder or cornstarch inside your socks
  • Wear a doughnut pad or athletic tape to known blister locations
  • Depending on where you are callus- or blister-prone, there are heel sleeves and metatarsal pads
  • Put on thick, high-performance socks or consider wearing double-layer anti-blister socks

Proper Care For Skating-Related Injuries

Blisters can be so painful you can’t wear your normal shoes for a few days. Protect a blister with a foam, gauze, or moleskin product that removes pressure from the area. You will need to wear this continuously for 7-10 days while you’re healing unless you are barefoot around the house or sleeping. You may also apply a gel blister pad.

Blisters that have split open should be washed with antibacterial soap and water—at least twice a day—and treated with antibacterial ointment. Soaking the foot in warm water for 15 minutes can help remove fluid from a painful blister. Soaking the affected foot in green tea is a homeopathic remedy for reducing inflammation and discouraging infection.

For blisters that continually form in the same spot, old-timers often use a tincture of Benzoin to toughen the skin and prevent future blister formation. Apply it to your “hot spots” daily for a couple of weeks prior to an activity.

If you have a bunion or callus developing, rather than a blister, you may need orthotics, special pads, or advanced treatment to correct the anomaly and prevent the situation from worsening.

See an NYC Podiatrist for Proper Treatment

If rollerblading, roller skating, or ice skating leaves your feet with lasting pain, you may have a foot problem that requires professional treatment. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, D.P.M. can offer diagnosis and treatment to get you back to the sport you love. Contact one of our offices in Manhattan or White Plains to request an appointment.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.