Do you dread wearing in a new pair of shoes? Are you worried they might give you blisters or hurt your heels? Read on if you would like to know how to stop shoes from rubbing the back of your ankle.
It’s one of those things that you just know, you will get blisters if your shoes start rubbing. Short of taking them off, what else can you do to prevent them from hurting the back of your foot? Then there is the pain that can result in your Achilles tendon, heels, or ankle.
Let’s look at some things that might help prevent this from happening and keep your shoes comfortable.
What Can Be Caused by Shoes Rubbing Your Ankles?
There are a few things that shoes rubbing the back of your ankle can cause. These include:
- Friction blisters: That painful, fluid-filled raised area of skin caused by rubbing can be very painful. They are one of the most common things caused by shoes rubbing against your heels and ankles.
- Achilles Tendonitis: There are several causes of this inflammatory condition, one of which is a shoe rubbing constantly against the heel or top of the foot.
- Achilles Tendonosis: This strain on the Achilles tendon can cause a bump on the base of the heel or at the ankle. It can be caused by tissue breakdown due to overuse and rubbing shoes won’t help.
- Bursitis: The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that help cushion the bones and tendons in the ankle. Ill-fitting shoes or high heels can cause them to become inflamed and painful.
How to Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Back of Your Ankle
There are some things you can do to help prevent your shoes from rubbing against your ankle and causing injury. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Preventing Blisters from Shoes
We have already mentioned that this is one of the most common things shoes that rub against your heels or ankles causes. These are some of the things you can do to prevent blisters forming:
Stick Moleskin Inside Your Shoes
Moleskin is a strong thick cotton fabric with a plush shaved pile surface on one side and sticky on the other. You can stick some inside the heels of your shoes to prevent rubbing.
What You Need
- Moleskin, like this one from Scholl’s.
- Pen or pencil.
What You Do
- Unroll a section of moleskin large enough to stick over the area of your shoe you want to cover.
- Place this inside the heel of your shoe and trace the area you want to cover with the pen or pencil.
- Using scissors to cut out this shape.
- Make sure the inside of the heel of your shoe is free from dust or dirt.
- Peel back the protective backing on the moleskin shape.
- Stick the shape in place on the inside of the heel of your shoe
Cut the shape required a little larger than you need to make sure the offending area is covered.
Stick Moleskin to Your Heels
Moleskin can also be applied to your skin to help prevent blisters forming.
What You Need
- Moleskin with a sticky back.
What You Do
- Make sure the skin on your heel is clean and dry.
- Using scissors, cut a piece of moleskin large enough to wrap around your heel.
- Remove the protective backing.
- Stick the moleskin to your heel (much the same as you would stick a band-aid).
- Cover an area larger than the places that might rub, this way it might stick better.
- Wear thin socks over the moleskin to help keep it in place.
You can find a video here from the Academy of Dermatology on how to prevent and treat blisters.
These sticks can be purchased at drug stores online. They contain a balm which is applied directly to your skin, creating an invisible barrier. This, in turn, prevents friction, one of the causes of blisters when shoes rub.
You can choose one like this from Solemates. It’s unscented, hypoallergenic, and gentle on your skin.
Cover Existing Blisters
If you were too late in stopping your shoes from rubbing and blisters have already formed, be sure to keep them covered. This will prevent infection and cushion them from further damage.
You could choose something like these heel bandages from Band-Aid. They are cushioned and waterproof to shield blisters from becoming worse and aid the healing process.
Use Anti Perspirant
Keeping feet dry can help prevent blisters. You can use antiperspirant on your heels to prevent the moisture and sweat which create chafing from shoes that rub.
Reduce Foot Movement
Ill-fitting shoes can cause your feet to move around inside them, causing friction leading to blisters. Consider placing an insole inside your shoes or using a heel grip to hold your foot in place.
These from Ballotte have gel inside them to cushion your heels and side protection to prevent chafing. They help hold your heel in place and stop it from moving around.
Make Sure Your Shoes Fit Well
Ill-fitting shoes can cause any number of foot problems, some of which are associated with shoes rubbing your heels. Making sure your shoes are the right size for your feet is important. There are lots of ways to find out the correct size of your feet for shoes and boots.
Shoes that are too big can benefit from over-the-counter insoles to take up the slack.
Shoes which are too small will cramp your feet leading to pain. I am sure we have all been there with a new pair of shoes we couldn’t wait to wear. You end up aching to get home to take them off.
There are few things you can try with shoes that are too tight or new shoes to stretch them and soften up the heels.
Soften the Heels of Shoes
Softening the back of new shoes can help prevent them from rubbing your ankles. Leather and suede will soften easier than things like fabric, rubber, or plastic.
You can soften heels by:
- Using a leather conditioner, like mink oil or beeswax. Apply it and leave it overnight to condition the leather. Just be aware it might change the color of the leather.
- Put on two pairs of socks and then use a hairdryer to warm your shoes. Put the shoes on and then walk around in them. As they cool, they will mold to your feet.
Using a hairdryer on plastics and synthetics might not be a good idea. Even on leather and fabric, don’t get the shoes too hot, just soften and warm them.
Shoes can be stretched using either a shoe tree, a shoe stretcher, or a shoe stretch spray. Shoes that fit your feet better will be less likely to rub your ankles.
- For a shoe tree, place it in your shoes whenever you aren’t wearing them. It will help them keep their shape and if it’s a little too wide or long can stretch them over time.
- A shoe stretcher does what it says, stretches your shoes; most have a handle and a knob that you turn to adjust them. Pop them in your shoes and turn the knob until the material of the shoes is snug over the stretcher. Leave them for about eight hours or so and adjust further if they aren’t stretched enough.
- A shoe stretch spray like this one from Foot Matters might work on many different materials. You simply spray the area you want to stretch and then walk around in thick socks with the shoes on until they dry. The application can be repeated if needed.
- If you don’t trust yourself to stretch your own shoes then you can always take them to a cobbler to do it for you. This video shows you a cobbler stretching a shoe.
- One other way of stretching your shoes is to wear them in gently by walking around in them at home for short periods of time. This will take longer than the other methods but hopefully will eventually make them more comfortable.
Tips for Caring for Your Feet
Looking after the general health of your feet is just as important as having good fitting shoes. Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your feet in tip-top condition:
- Wash and dry your feet daily to keep bacteria at bay.
- Soak your feet in hot water and use a pumice stone to remove rough dead skin. Do this gently so you don’t damage your skin.
- Moisturize your feet and ankles to help prevent the skin from becoming dry and cracked.
- Keep your toenails clipped. When they grow too long it can affect all of your foot and your ankles.
- Change your socks daily so moisture is not retained in the heel and ankle area.
Now you know some of the things you can do to help prevent blisters and pain in the ankle bone and heels from shoes that rub. Putting these into practice will have you striding out in your new shoes with confidence.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to stop shoes from rubbing the back of your ankle. Leave us a comment with your thoughts and experiences and don’t forget to share.