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How to Stop Shoes from Rubbing the Top of Your Foot

Monday, 16 August 2021  |  Admin

Your shoe rubbing on the top of the foot can hurt, it can be annoying, and it can make even little things like walking to the shops a struggle. Every time you lace up, you’re in pain. You don’t have to be though, not any more.

At Shoeinsoles.co.uk, we’re experts in all things foot health. Because upper-foot pain from a rubbing shoe is such a common problem, and so many people ask us for our advice on it, we've put together the following guide to help you put an end to the pain in your foot, once and for all.

How to Banish Top-of-the-Foot Pain from Rubbing Shoes

In our guide we’ll tell you:

  • One simple hiker’s trick to redirect friction from your foot to your sock, to stay blister-free
  • A magic blister-beater used by top runners, that could be used by anyone
  • How you can use your shoe’s tongue to eliminate both pressure and rubbing, at the same time
  • Why a skiing foot-sleeve might be just what you need for mid or upper-foot rubbing   

Why a Hiker's Trick Called 'Dual Layering' Could Help You

What is dual layering and why is it so effective? Essentially, dual layering is wearing a thin sock, known as a 'liner', under another sock. Now this might sound too simple to be effective, but it’s a trick most serious walkers already know and use. So how exactly does it work?

While a single sock rubs against your skin whenever you walk or run, with dual-layering, the socks instead rub against each other. This means the friction is on the socks, instead of on you, which means fewer blisters and shoe bites.

1000 Mile Original Anti-Blister Socks (Black)

As you can probably imagine, wearing two pairs of normal socks is going to be bulky, sweaty and uncomfortable. That’s where these liner socks come in. The 1000 Mile Original Anti-Blister Liner Socks are a thin, light pair specially designed to be worn under another pair of socks. They do exactly what they’re supposed to, serving as the inner ‘liner’ in your dual-layered sock set-up.

You won’t even notice you’ve got them on. Except for the fact that your feet are no longer rubbing and no longer blistering. 

If you think two pairs of socks would be too bulky, even with thin, specially-designed liner socks, you could try blister powder.

The Runner's Secret to Blister Prevention

A popular way to prevent your shoe from rubbing on the top of your foot, particularly for runners, is blister prevention powder. But how can a powder prevent blisters? Because blisters are caused by heat, friction, and moisture, a powder that reduces these factors will reduce blisters.

2Toms BlisterShield, the award-winning blister-prevention powder

In reality, most powders on the market contain plant and animal fats that help to reduce friction for only a short time.  After they soak up a little sweat, they can actually make things worse, giving you more blisters in the long run.

That's where 2Toms BlisterShield comes in. Winner of Runner’s World UK’s Gear of the Year award in 2018, this waterproof powder forms a frictionless barrier that prevents rubbing between your shoe and your foot, keeping you blister-free and pain-free, so you can run or walk for longer. 


But if you’re looking for a more targeted approach to the problem of upper-foot rubbing, you might want to try a tongue pad.

How a Tongue Pad Could Help You With Your Rubbing Shoe Problem

A tongue pad is a soft foam strip that sticks to the underside of the tongue in your shoe, providing great protection specifically in this area. 

Pedaga Supra Tongue Pads to Prevent Top of the Foot BlistersBecause tongue pads are cushioned, they can also help you by filling in space. This can be helpful when the top of your shoe is rubbing due to the kind of looseness you get in a shoe that’s slightly too big. By bulking out the shoe under the tongue, a tongue pad can sometimes by all you need to eliminate a rubbing shoe. 

The Pedag Supra Tongue Pads are made from memory foam with a soft suede outer-layer, giving them an extra-softness and smoothness that reduces both pressure and friction. This makes them perfect for preventing the tongue rubbing on the top of your foot, or if you’re dealing with pain from more than just the rubbing.


If you’re dealing with rubbing against the midfoot up to the ankle, a foot bridge sleeve could be what you need.

The Foot Sleeve for Skiers Could Help You 

A foot sleeve is designed to form to the contours of your foot, mainly protecting the bridge, otherwise known as the dorsum of the foot.

Silipos Gel Skate Bite Foot Bridge Protector SleeveThe Silipos Gel Skate Bite Foot Bridge Protector Sleeve is designed to protect the top of your foot against pressure, friction or rubbing from your shoe or the underside of your laces. And the gel pad inside the sleeve provides extra protection against the kind of pressure this part of the foot tends to receive.

Made for skates and ski-boots, the Silipos Foot Bridge Sleeve does this job brilliantly. Given the high demands skating and skiing place on the feet, a sleeve made to handle these kinds of activities easily handles running, walking, or the discomfort caused by a new shoe that you haven't yet broken in.

Did Our Guide Help?

Different types of pain and discomfort require different solutions. If you know what the source of the pain is, you can probably pick the right product for you from the ones listed above. If you’re still not sure about what would best help you, you can’t go far wrong with 2Tom’s Blister Shield anti-blister powder.

The reason for this is that running for mile after mile is extremely tough on the feet. If 2Tom’s award winning powder protects runners who are putting their feet through hell, regular walking and day-to-day shoe wear should be a piece of cake.

Are your shoes causing you pain from rubbing on the top of your foot? Let us know in our comment section below about your experiences. Did any of our suggested products help you?

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