I ran 14 miles on Sunday without agravating my blister. What was the key? For one, it was a training run and I wasn't running very fast. But I also bought some new shoes that I'm quickly falling in love with.
On Saturday I went to RunTex and tried on shoes looking for one that had a wider toebox, fit my foot, had good cushioning, and had minimal medial support. A situation like this simply requires a specialty running store. I dare you to go into your local Foot Locker with that list of requirements and get anything more than a dumb look followed by, "We have some really cool looking Nikes."
Instead the young salesman nodded knowingly, disappeared into the store room, and returned with about 5 different shoes. Running has made me pretty picky about my running shoes. If I run in the store with them and can feel anything then forget about it. If they slip on the heel at all or put even a little pressure somewhere in the store then they'll be torture devices on a long run. This ruled out most of the shoes. I eventually found a Mizuno Wave Rider that felt pretty good, but it was a 12.5 and was a little too long and they didn't have a 12. A couple of quick calls to other RunTex stores in town located the correct size and off I went. The Mizunos in size 12 didn't quite feel right so I asked for another shoe that I'd also liked. It was a little short in size 12 but they had a nice toe box so I asked for a 12.5. The salesman thought they'd be too big, but they turned out to be just right. So I headed off to the gym to try out my new Saucony Pro Grid Triump 4s. That's a mouthful.
The Triumphs are great. They have a wider, squarer toe box and have a very soft, responsive ride. Probably their best feature for me is the shape and design of the heel cup that fits my heel snugly without being too tight. On my Asics I have to lace to the last hole to pull the shoe tighter around my ankle and prevent slipping. No such problem on the Triumph. I'd heard of Saucony, but had never even tried one on by them. Since Asics has revised the venerable Nimbus in a way that doesn't work for me, the Triumph has now replaced it as my preferred neutral cushioned shoe.
It's a big risk breaking in a new pair of shoes this late in the season, but my blister problems required a change and I think this one is working out well.
I almost forgot one other thing I did for the blister. I bought some 3M NexCare waterproof bandanges and bandaged my pinky toe and the toe next to it. I discovered the 3M bandages a couple of years ago and swear by them. They are made of some wonder membrane that is very thin and stretchy, waterproof, and yet breathable. So, when you wear them they don't have any ridges and they don't make your skin prune up.