Preventing Ironman Triathlon marathon toe blisters

The last thing you need is Triathlon marathon toe blisters when taking on the Ironman.

You’ve battled your way through 2.4 miles of the swim and made it through the 112 miles of the Ironman Triathlon bike course. You’re about 6 miles into the run and can feel a blister growing on your toe. Really, who needs that. There’s enough to contend with.

Whether you are doing long training runs, running in a marathon or in an Ironman marathon blisters can rear their ugly head.


Here are some of the more common reasons for blisters developing on the ends of your toes when running. Mostly it has to do with friction.

  • Your shoes or socks are creating friction against your skin. Running fast can intensify the friction and a blister begins to grow.
  • Poor fitting shoes is the most frequent causes of triathlon marathon toe blisters. Breaking in shoes properly so they fit you perfectly is crucial. I discuss that in a recent post Choose Ironman Triathlon running shoes carefully.
  • If your foot happens to have bunions, heel spurs, or hammertoes you will be more susceptible to blisters.

  • Heat and moisture causes toe blisters. Many Ironman races are in hot climates and this is why triathlon marathon toe blisters are so common. Your feet will swell in excessive heat.

  • In every single Ironman race on the planet triathletes will be passing through aid stations. They’re tired, hot, perspiring, and like almost every Ironman triathlete they are dumping water on their head and body. Of course it runs into their shoes and socks and the ensuing moisture creates a perfect environment for blisters to thrive.

There are several ways to prevent blisters from forming on your toes while running. Here are a few ideas that might work for you. Some are common sense and some are a bit off the wall, but if it works, who cares?


  • Some people have extra dry skin and just like excessive moisture can lead to blisters. If that sounds like you then applying a cream or skin moisturizer before long runs might help.

  • Many runners wear cotton socks. Try wearing a synthetic sock with reinforced heels and toes. Synthetic socks wick away moisture and cotton socks absorb moisture.

  • Try wearing two pairs of socks. The theory is that all the friction will be between the two socks. However, this might mean wearing a shoe size a half size bigger. Not the best idea perhaps, but an alternative is nothing else seems to work.

  • Shoes should be well broken in before the big race. Also if socks are too large they tend to bunch up and this creates a perfect environment for blisters to form.

  • Moleskin is a great product. You put it over the toes where you normally get blisters. Some runners actually line the toe area of their shoes instead of their toes. This might work well for triathletes who do not want to spend time in the bike/run transition applying the moleskin. Give it a try in training.

  • This is a bit different, but often it’s the seams in the socks that cause excessive rubbing against the skin resulting in blisters. Try turning your socks inside out.


The 2XU Compression Performance Run Sock
triathlon marathon foot blisters
Runners like compression socks because they stimulate blood flow and provide therapeutic muscle support, in turn minimizing post-run soreness, swelling, and other types of muscle fatigue and injury. Manufacturers have begun to seriously compete for compression-lovers’ loyalty.

That’s the goal of the 2XU Compression Performance Run Sock. It’s like a moisture-wicking athletic sock and high-tech compression sleeve in one.

Feetures! High Performance Ultra Light Socks
Ironman marathon foot blisters
Feetures! makes solid atheletic socks that are more affordable than many of today’s best running socks. When you invest in a pair of Feetures! High Performance, you get numerous runner-friendly traits for your money.

That includes ventilating fabric panels to wick moisture, seam-free toe closures, an anatomically correct right and left foot design, heel cushioning, and arch support.

Hopefully this article helps you find a way to prevent Triathlon marathon toe blisters.