The best way to prevent a blister from forming is to reduce friction on the skin. Wearing the right shoes and socks and keeping the skin as dry as possible can help reduce friction. Another blister prevention strategy is to increase your time and intensity of activity slowly over time to allow a callus to form in areas of friction, rather than blisters.
But even the best strategies can fail, and when they do, these blister prevention and treatment products can be a skin-saver.
A simple and inexpensive method I've used successfully to prevent blisters between my toes during short and mid-distance runs. It's messy, but it works. Just slather a good amount of Vaseline over, under and between your toes and they will easily slide around during your run rather than rubbing against each other. Like I said, it's messy, but that's the price you pay for preventing blisters the good ole fashioned way.
Anotehr simple, cheap and effective method for preventing blisters is a layer of duct tape. Apply duct tape to areas prone to blisters or put it on any "hot spot" as soon as you feel them come on. It can keeps the blister from developing because it reduces the friction that causes a blister. Duct tape, while not glamorous, is inexpensive, stays put, and provides a shiny, slippery surface that decreases friction and protects the skin. The key to using duct tape for blisters is to put it on before any blister develops. At the first sign of a hot spot or redness, get out the duct tape and you may prevent any serious blisters from forming.
Moleskin may be the first commercial blister treatment and prevention product I remember using. My dad always kept some moleskin in his pack and at the first complaint of any hot or sore feet, out it would come. The old pink Moleskin has come a long way and now some have extra cushioning, zinc oxide backings, and a variety of available colors.
Dr. Scholl's knows feet, and the Dr. Scholl's blister treatment patches work well to help protect and soothe blisters after it's too late for prevention.
I love these little toe socks. They keep my toes from rubbing against each other during exercise and help prevent blisters. They are made from moisture-wicking fabrics to help keep the feet dry. The combination works well for me to keep my feet happy during short- and mid-distance runs.
Band-Aid offers a blister treatment product that works after you have a nasty blister. Apply the pad and you can get some blister relief and protection while encouraging wound healing. It's sticky enough to stay in place and is meant for long-term use to allow healing. I've used these pads on blisters while cycling, but depending upon your blister size and location, it may be hard to run with the bulky pads in place.
BlisterShield is a powder that significantly reduces friction and repels moisture when applied to the hands and feet. It stays in place for a long time and comes off with soap and water. BlisterShield is designed to be used with socks, so you can also just sprinkle a bit of powder in your socks and off you go. What could be easier?
I haven't tried Blist-O-Ban yet, but the reports sound great and the design seems to hold up well. Each bandage has several layers of breathable fabric bonded together, except for the center, where a small bubble lets the layers glide across each other. One size fits all so you don't have to bother sizing or cutting the bandage and the sticky adhesive stays in place for days. It sounds ideal for backpacking and hiking.