Blisters 4 min read

Why Compeed is a must-have for all parkrunners

Why Compeed is a must-have for all parkrunners Why Compeed is a must-have for all parkrunners Why Compeed is a must-have for all parkrunners

If you’ve taken part in parkrun before, you’ll already be well aware of the positive impact community running and its camaraderie can have on your fitness, mental wellbeing and social life. You’ll also be well aware of the less positive impact it can sometimes have on your feet.

Blisters are the bane of every parkrunner’s favourite activity, making an invigorating outdoor run far less enjoyable and rewarding than it otherwise would be. All it takes is a little too much friction in the wrong place and then suddenly there’s a blister, suffusing each step you take with increasingly unbearable pain.

Fortunately, there is a solution: Compeed. Simply stick it over your blister for the pain to disappear instantly and the healing to begin. As such, Compeed is a must-have for all parkrunners – but let’s take a closer look at what makes it so essential.

What’s parkrun?

If you’re not already familiar with parkrun, it’s a free, community-powered movement that hosts 5km events every Saturday in thousands of parks and green spaces across the world. The runs are open to people of all ages and fitness levels (there are dedicated junior events for children on Sundays), and although most take place in the UK, there are also parkrun events in more than 20 other countries. The events have a convivial, social atmosphere that promotes fun and fitness rather than competition, and so far more than 5 million people have taken part in parkruns worldwide. You can find your nearest event to take part in here.

Why do we get blisters?

There are three main causes of blisters forming on your feet – and, unfortunately, they are all guaranteed byproducts of running and exercise.

The first is friction: running makes your skin rub repeatedly against other surfaces like your shoes and socks, leading to layers of your skin separating and fluid filling the space between to form a blister.

The second is heat: higher levels of heat make your skin more prone to damage, and therefore more susceptible to the effects of friction. This is why you are more likely to develop blisters during hot, humid runs.

The third is moisture: when you sweat – or run through puddles, for example – your skin becomes wet, which again increases friction, causing greater damage to your skin more quickly.

Correct footwear: first step towards preventing blisters

The causes of blisters mentioned above can be made worse by ill-fitting or inappropriate footwear – and that applies to socks as well as shoes.

Shoes, however, as your main protection from the high-impact nature of running, are all-important. A shoe that doesn’t fit properly will increase friction, either by being too tight and causing your toes to rub together or by being too loose and causing the shoe to rub against your foot. You also want to make sure that there’s enough space for the natural swelling of your feet that takes place when you run, and that your shoes are made of a breathable material that will help your feet stay dry.

Socks, meanwhile, should also be made of a moisture-wicking material that draws sweat away from your skin to reduce friction, and should fit well without wrinkles or bunching that could cause rubbing within your shoe. You might even want to consider double-layered socks, which have a lining that moves independently of the outer layer to minimise friction.

When footwear fails, you need Compeed…

The history of Compeed is an illustrious one, but it all started in Sweden in 1983 with a pioneering thinker named Lars Backsell. Lars worked for Coloplast, a company that was making innovative use of then-new hydrocolloid technology in medical dressings. But as a man frequently plagued by blisters, Lars’ mind inevitably turned to how Coloplast’s hydrocolloid dressings might be applied to his ailment – and so the first rudimentary Compeed-style blister plaster was born. A prototype was tested on soldiers in the Swedish Army, and by 1986 Compeed was available for Swedish consumers to purchase. The era of instant blister-relief had begun.

But what is Compeed?

Compeed plasters are hydrocolloid plasters, meaning they contain an active gel that absorbs fluid from the blister, as well as maintaining a moist environment that helps to heal the blister – all while cushioning the affected area from anything that might rub on it, providing instant pain relief. They are designed to be almost imperceptible while you’re wearing them, staying firmly in place during prolonged physical activities like a parkrun. So not only do they greatly lessen the pain of blisters – allowing you to remain active – they also create the ideal conditions for your blister to heal as quickly as possible.

And Compeed is more than just pain relief…

Making Compeed an essential part of your running toolkit provides the ultimate peace of mind: there is no chance of a nasty blister getting between you and your parkrun. On goes the Compeed, and straight away you are ready for your next run, without having to worry about the pain negatively impacting your running form and increasing your chance of injury. The peace of mind doesn’t just stop there – Compeed’s wide range of variously sized and shaped plasters designed for toes, fingers, heels or the ball of your foot means there is no blister you can possibly get that a Compeed blister plaster can’t tackle.

To parkrun and beyond…

Running is just one possible reason you might need Compeed, but the versatility of hydrocolloid blister plasters means that there are all sorts of situations in which Compeed could come to the rescue. Breaking in new shoes taking longer than you thought? Break out the Compeed. Taking a long walk in the great outdoors? Take your Compeed with you too. Do you play a sport that involves a lot of running, sweating and getting hot? Not for long, if you’re not stocked up on… you get the idea. In short, Compeed makes it possible to keep enjoying the activities that you love, without having to worry about a blister suddenly sucking the fun out of everything.

Don’t let anything stand in the way of taking your next step, running your next parkrun or winning your next match. Keep Compeed with you – and keep going.