I am not a moleskin fan. Two weeks ago I was inundated with rolls and rolls of the stuff. I worked medical at the San Francisco Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. There were over 1400 walkers and more than 280 volunteers. The walkers walked 60 miles over three days – in an effort to raise money for breast cancer research. The experience was great.
I always go to these events with my foot care box, a yellow toolbox loaded with all my ‘tools.’ The rest of the medical team loved that I had extra tools that they didn’t have: files, tweezers, HypaFix tape, Kinesio Tex tape, and more. And I used these – a lot. I even had pink Kinesio Tex tape in honor of the breast cancer pink ribbon color. But they had something I didn’t have – moleskin!
In Fixing Your Feet (FYF) I talk about moleskin because it has been around for so long. For years it was the standard hot spot and blister patching tool. In the next edition of FYF, I will make reference to moleskin as a product, which has seen better days. Here are three reasons why:
- Moleskin doesn’t stick
- Moleskin doesn’t conform to the curves of the foot
- Moleskin is too thick
First, moleskin doesn’t stick. Regardless of where you buy it, or who makes it, it simply does not have the stickiness necessary to hold it on the foot during a running, walking, or hiking experience. Which means it migrates or moves from one area to another. This presents a whole separate batch of problems.
Secondly, moleskin doesn’t conform to the curves of the foot. When I see a hunk applied to someone’s heel, I cringe because the moleskin sticks out, puckers, or wants to fold where it cannot conform to the shape of the foot. This inability to conform makes it less likely to stick. You can see this in the picture above.
Thirdly, moleskin is too thick. By thick, I also mean bulky. Some may think thick means cushioning, and maybe it does. But thick also tends to change the way the foot feels inside the shoe, often changing one’s gait. In the second photo, you can see the bulk that is added to the foot.
I subscribe to the less is better philosophy. If I can drain a blister, apply a dab of ointment to the blister’s roof, and then apply a piece of tape over the top, I have added a minimal amount of material to the foot. The fit of the foot inside the shoe will not be changed. The gait will not be changed, at least not by the patch.
You will never find moleskin on my foot care box. Sorry, guys, I don’t believe in the stuff.
Products to use instead of moleskin include: Spenco Sports Blister Pads, Spenco Skin Knit, one of a variety of tapes, Engo Blister Prevention Patches, or any of the other blister pads. Notice I did not say Spenco 2nd Skin and Band-Aids. We’ll talk about those two items next time.