Moleskin is a heavy cotton fabric that is as soft as it is durable. It’s used to make some clothing due to how tough it can be, particularly clothes historically worn by outdoor workers and the military.
Outside of fashion, moleskin also has medical uses. Patches of moleskin fabric can be coated with adhesive on one side and then used to treat friction injuries. If you’re hiking or doing other outdoorsman activities, they’re most commonly used to treat blisters and other friction injuries in the feet.
If you suffer from shoes that rub against your feet, applying moleskin patches can be just what you need. Here we have detailed how you can apply moleskin directly to blisters to treat them. For prevention, you can also apply moleskin directly to shoes so that they never cause friction, and we have detailed how you do that below.
For runners and hikers, moleskin is used to treat blisters and other friction injuries. Boxes of moleskin patches/sheets are available at sports and camping stores, and you can order them online too as part of your next shop. Once you have the moleskin, you should follow these steps.
Treat Your Blister
If you’ve got a full blister that is ballooning, you’ll need to treat it before you break out the moleskin. If you’ve never had to treat a blister before, you need to get a sterilized needle and some tissue paper, and then gently pierce the skin on the blister. It’ll feel painful for a moment, naturally, but it’ll provide relief in the long run.
Once pierced, gently apply pressure until no more liquid comes out of the blister. Don’t damage the skin on top of the blister, you don’t want the painful, raw skin beneath to get exposed.
Use antiseptic on the blister and the skin around it. Try to get fast-drying ointment that will clear in a few seconds. Along with the adhesive of the moleskin, applying a sterilization agent will clean the area and act as a glue for the patch.
Cut The Moleskin
Moleskin comes in patches or sheets. If you’ve got a sheet, it’s probably not the perfect size for your blister. There’s also a special way to apply moleskin to most blisters that involve cutting the material a little.
You cut moleskin properly by folding it and drawing a semicircle/oval that will cover your blister and the area around it. Then you need to cut that semicircle out. When that is done, you should be able to unfold it to have a symmetrical circle, where the fold of the moleskin runs down through the middle.
Moleskin patches are typically made to be the right size for your ankle, a common problem area for blisters. If that’s the case, you still need to cut the patch if you’re applying it to a bad blister. Fold it in half and draw a semicircle, this time centered along the fold and only slightly larger than the blister itself. Cut the hole out, so your moleskin has a hole in the middle when you unfold it.
Apply The Moleskin
You’re now ready to start applying the moleskin. Peel the back off to reveal the adhesive side and then place it carefully, so that the blister is peeping out of the hole you removed. It should feel comfortable on your foot and not cause any disruptions when you move.
Some blisters will be particularly thick. If your blister is still protruding beyond that first layer of moleskin, you should apply a second layer. You want the blister to be protected from further irritation by being surrounded by the moleskin.
Cover The Blister
Some prefer to leave the blister to breathe but, if the blister is very painful and you want to maximize protection, you can then place a small moleskin cap onto the irritated area. The quickest way to do this is to remove the backing of that piece you cut from the original moleskin patch. It should be the perfect shape to fit over the blister, though you should leave some breathing room along the sides.
Congratulations, your blister should now be protected by the moleskin. It should prevent further irritation and keep the area safe from contamination.
For Other Blisters
Sometimes your blisters are in a place where you can’t easily patch them. In those cases, line some duct tape with moleskin and then wrap it around the area. This can be a single toe or across the entire balls of your feet, the point is that it won’t peel off during movement thanks to the tape. Then you should be able to continue about your day with some relief.
You don’t need to wait for a problem before treating it. Moleskin can be applied to your favorite shoes, so they never rub against you in the first place. To treat your shoes, follow the steps below.
Identify The Problem Areas
Figure out which areas are going to cause problems for you. In most shoes, these are the side of the toes, the heel, or beneath the straps on sneakers. You should be able to tell where the shoes are uncomfortable after wearing them for a brief period.
Figure Out How Much Moleskin You Need
Measure out how much moleskin you need. Do that by holding the moleskin up to the shoes and eyeballing how much you’ll need for the problem area. Trace with a pencil and then cut the required amount.
Apply The Moleskin
Lastly, expose a small section of the adhesive, preferably at a hard-to-reach spot. Then line the moleskin up and press it firmly onto the problem area. Unpeel the rest of the adhesive and press it back, so it secures properly. It should be consistent with the walls of your shoe so that it stays in place.
Now you know everything there is about how to use moleskin, why not give it a try yourself. There are a plethora of uses for it and, with this guide, you’re guaranteed to find something to add this luxurious material to!