Blisters and my toes go together like Spencer and Heidi. I can't remember one without the other and they are really a pain in the ass.
As a dancer growing up, my feet were often being squished into new tap shoes and pointe shoes. I am sure you've all seen what can happen to a ballerina's feet after a couple of hours in a pointe shoe from movies like Centre Stage and Black Swan. The foot gets sweaty, it cannot breathe, its rubbing back and forth, back and forth and then BAM! There is a nice big blister exactly where you need to put the shoe the next day.
I actually seemed to get the worst blisters from a new pair of tap shoes during summer school. My feet would be used to relaxing in a flip flop all summer long and were now being confined into a tight space without any hosiery (which I immaturely refused to wear), in 25 degree weather. It was a recipe for disaster. I do not need to go into detail of how I used to continue to dance each day on these dying feet, but the damage was done. I know had blister scars that would plague me for the rest of my adult life.
What's a blister scar? Well I have nice big bumps on my toes and on the back of my heel which are the first part of the foot that a new shoe attacks. I cannot even begin to count the numbers of blisters I have incurred when trying to break in a new shoe, and wearing an old shoe again after a long absence. I was starting to think I was the only one.
Recently on a trip to the Bay I spotted a great pair of faux suede black pumps. I love the way a suede shoe looks with a pair of black tights. Its seamless really. I tried on my size, and although they were a smidgen tight I figured that they would stretch out just a little. They were a great deal, so I paid up and wore them to school the next day.
What came next? A right toe blister. I used a trick that my Mom had taught me to try and solve the problem. I took a broom, and put the toe of my shoe into its handle. Next I pushed the shoe down as far as I could into the handle to try to stretch out the toe area as much as possible to give my piggies a little more room.
A few days later I tried the shoe again and the same problem and blister persisted. No matter what I did, this shoe was going to blister my right foot. I could have told this exact same story for the flats I bought later that summer.
After complaining to my Mom about my problem, she told me something that I had never quite realized before. The broom trick only worked with LEATHER shoes, not synthetic fabrics. Only leathers (ie animal skins) can stretch out under warm conditions and create a perfect mold of your foot. Once the shoe has set, it will never give you a blister again because it won't rub on your toes bumps, it will gently surround them.
Was real leather the simple solution I had never considered?
Since that fateful day, I have gone out a re-purchased a pair of real suede black pumps (they still look awesome with tights). I have no had one blister from these shoes and I have worn with with and without hosiery. Of course, real leather is more expensive, but isn't it better to have a pair of comfortable shoes you'll wear over and over again instead of a pair you cringe at every time you see them in your closet? Leather also lasts a long time and can be repaired. I bought a pair of black leather high heel boots in London, England over 6 years ago. I've had the heel re-tipped and the sole replaced, but those buggers will not quit! They are just as comfortable now as they ever were and I couldn't picture a sweater dress without
So what are you waiting for? Keep your toes and heels the break that they need. I know cheap shoes are tempting, but are they worth the blisters?