Running Shoes Rubbing Back of Ankle – Top Best Ways to Stop It

Running Shoes Rubbing Back of Ankle

You had picked up a new pair of running shoes, and you believe that they fit properly. You started to wear them and take runs. After a while, you found your heels blistered and sore. You keep asking yourself: why are my running shoes rubbing back of ankle?

Do you have running shoes rubbing the back of your heel? This is causing continued pain through the back of the heel. It usually hurts the area of 2-6 cm above the back of the heel.

When your running shoes have rigid backs, they aren’t often comfy. That section of the shoes might not be functional enough to support your motion. So, as your feet and ankles move, they rub against the footwear. That movement can result in several foot issues.

Blisters are tiny watery bubbles between the layers of the skin that usually appear on the feet as an aftermath of foot rubbing with the shoes. Blisters can also contain blood as a result of damaging the small vessels in the foot. Continued friction or pressure on a specific area of ​​the foot and narrow or ill-fitting shoes that a person wears for long periods irritate the foot’s toes and heel.

Consequently, irritation causes slight damage to the skin and the tissues underneath and accumulates fluid under the outer layers of the skin. In this article, we will provide runners with various tips by which you can eliminate this problem.

Actually, there are a lot causes why trainers hurt and rub your Achilles. The reasons could be the manufacturer’s fault, or maybe you were too excited to get that shoe and get a smaller size. The reasons may include some biological functions that you have no control over.

Running Shoes Rubbing Back Of Ankle – Methods to Stop it

Here are some techniques for stopping your running shoes from rubbing the back of your ankle. Keep in mind that you may have to use a different way with different pairs of running shoes.

Pick a Shoe that Fits

If your shoe is extremely tight and causes you to feel uncomfortable, chances are you will be more prone to suffer from blisters. Moreover, when the shoe is too snug, this causes you to have difficulties in your movements, which creates hollows in your heels. However, having a wobbly shoe is similarly problematic since it will cause your foot to waggle and roll inwards, which wreaks havoc on your balance and traction with the ground. Therefore, to avoid irritation and concurrently maintain safety, consider adding insoles to your shoe to keep your feet fixed snugly without strain or pain.

Eliminating the friction with the terrain is also helpful for healing sore foot that has previously suffered from bristles. That is why shoe producers always try to yield a variety of insoles to cater to the different sizes of the feet. To add extra cushioning to the back of the heels, it is recommended that runners add a comfortable pair of heel pads. Heel pads can be found in a wide range of colors and can make you feel you are walking on clouds instead of abrasive material.

If you don’t know how to choose the fitting shoe ideally, try consulting a specialist to measure the exact size of your feet and give you the shoe that will make you comfortable.

Double-check the Shoe Material

Choose a shoe that is made with a natural material rather than synthetic mesh or abrasive fabric. The following materials are known for being durable and comfortable and are suggested by a myriad of running experts.

Suede: Suede is a leather type that balances between being loose and being rough. It has a napped finish, and its surface is designed to be moderately rough, making the shoe befit the foot perfectly. Suede is taken from animals’ undersides.

Canvas: Canvas is a woven fabric that is composed of cotton and linen, which gives the material a robust nature. Sometimes canvas can be waterproof if composed of cotton and synthetic materials. Canvas is recommended for runners who want to experience a satisfying in-shoe experience since the canvas is known for being adjustable and comfy. However, consider that canvas is a rubbing material, so make sure your feet are comfortable in it before buying.

Leather: Leather is a sturdy material that can live with you for prolonged periods without losing its robustness. However, sometimes leather can disappoint you when it comes to versatility, so try wearing the shoe around your home before using it for running and cleaning your shoe from time to time.

Rubber: Rubber is recommended for its moisture-wicking capacity since moisture is one of the most harmful materials that account for sore feet. Make sure to team your rubber shoe with a paddled pair of socks and check the shoe’s lining to make sure it is seamless enough.

Break In Your Running Shoes

If your shoes are rubbing the back of your ankle, you can do a few things to break them in and prevent the issue from happening again in the future. Breaking in new running shoes can be a difficult and painful process, but you can do a few things to make it easier.

  • Wear the shoes around the house for short periods to get used to their feel.
  • Try wearing thicker socks or moleskin on your ankle’s back to prevent rubbing.
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you wear the shoes and the distance you run in them.

Also, If you’re having trouble with shoes rubbing the back of your ankle, try using heat. Heat can help to loosen up the fabric of the shoe and make it more pliable. You can use a hair dryer on a low setting, or a heat gun if you have one. Hold the heat source about six inches away from the shoe and move it around until the fabric is warm.

Use Cotton Balls

Another good way to stop running shoes rubbing the back of the ankle is to use cotton wool. put two or three cotton balls between your feet and shoe and make sure to properly fix it in place. It will make a barrier between your feet and ankle.

Use Cotton Balls to Make a Layer Between your Ankle and the Running Shoe

If you’re too concerned about the look, insert cotton pads. As they are thinner in shape, you can layer them.

Use a Lubricant Balm

Balms reduce friction and prevent the shoe from rubbing against your feet. You can buy and apply many balms and sticks on your heels to create a cushy barrier between your feet and the shoe. However, it is better to use a balm that has been designed for shoes rather than other balms, especially if you feel your shoe is stiff on your feet.

Read more: how much room should your running shoe have

Heel Bandages

Heel bandages help increase the shoes’ responsiveness to shocks and make the heels cushier and more flexible. Band-Aid is one of the most renowned companies producing this heel bandage that loosens stiff shoes and is resistant to water.

Heel Bandages Can Prevent Running Shoes from Rubbing your Ankle

Proper Insoles

Bad insoles make your feet unsupported, causing your entire body balance to be affected due to the space it leaves within the shoe. Meanwhile, if you choose a decent pair of insoles, you will be less prone to experiencing blisters. Therefore, make sure that your insoles are true-to-size and snug to prevent wobbling and abrasion.

Good Socks

It is necessary to avoid choosing over-loose and itchy socks to prevent rubbing and injuries. Instead, it is preferable to socks made of soft natural fibers such as wool, cashmere, and cotton, making sure that the socks are not too tight to affect the foot’s blood circulation negatively, for the lack of blood flow may also lead to injuries.

Twofold Socks

The denser your socks are, the less likely you are to suffer from blisters. Therefore, runners are recommended to wear double socks to increase cushioning and experience optimum comfort and grip. As mentioned earlier, cotton and wool socks are the best, whereas polyester socks are not quite reliable.

Wipe Out Sweat

Sweat makes your feet slippery and increases rubbing, which leads runners to experience blisters. In addition, if you keep your feet wet the whole day, chances are your skin is going to get weaker, causing you to suffer from a wide range of skin problems. Therefore, it is required that you apply the moisture-wicking talcum powder to your shoes before hitting the road.

Employ Duct Tapes

Using duct tape to improve the position of your heels and shoes eliminates rubbing and abrasion and can be greatly helpful on long rides. However, those who suffer from blisters are not advised to use duct tape to increase pressure and make their feet sore.

Use Duct Tape on Your Heels

Make use of Moleskin

Moleskin is a slim, effective fabric made of cotton. This soft, adhesive material can be added to the heel of your shoe after removing any dust or debris. Another way to use moleskin is to apply it on the skin of your heels itself after cleaning it with a towel. Then, wear a thin pair of socks that will keep the moleskin layer fixed in its place.

Open the Heels of the Shoes

Even if your shoes can fit the size of your feet snugly, they might cause you to suffer from blisters. If your shoes are built in suede or leather, they will be moistened easily by applying leather conditioners that promote the leather’s oil. There are some tips that running experts recommend for those who want to soften their shoes and make them more adaptive to their feet.

  • Bring some newspaper sheers and put them underwater.
  • Bunch the wet sheets together into one bulk.
  • Put them inside your shoes after balling them up.
  • Let them dry inside your shoes for 24 hours till they stretch out.
  • Use petroleum jelly or leather conditioner to soften the heels.
  • Allow the leather conditioner to penetrate inside the entire body of your shoe and soften it by amending it with your fingers. Don’t apply too much of the conditioner to prevent the color of your shoes from being worn out. Soap is also one of the most used materials to soften leather, which can be rubbed inside the heels.

Consult a Cobbler

You can bring your shoes to a cobbler to search for the reason why your shoes are still harming your Achilles. First, try wearing the shoe many times for 10 minutes each to allow the shoe to mold to your feet size. Then, you can wear the shoe while you are around your house to make them more flexible.

What are the Things that you Should Not Do?

Some tips can worsen the situation, such as applying alcohol to the shoes. Alcohol will stifle your shoes and make them tighter. Moreover, it will remove the color of the shoe and make it look old and pale. Avoid squeezing your shoes too much, such as by using a hammer or any tough means to soften them. Asking for a friend’s help to make your shoe more flexible by wearing it is also not recommended.

What Happens When your Shoes Rub Against Your Achilles or Heel?

Running shoes that rub against the ankle can cause numerous problems to your feet, such as

Bursitis: A kind of inflammation filled with fluid that occurs to the internal parts, causing pain and soreness.

Friction Bristles: These are types of bristles that form due to friction against your ankles, causing your skin to get larger as it becomes filled with fluid.

Achilles Tendonitis: Achilles Tendonitis refers to a complete tendon rupture or a two-part tendon rupture, which negatively affects runners’ mobility. Tendonitis might result in destroying your tissues if not cured properly.

Related article: 40 signs to buy new running shoes


How to Deal with Heel Blisters?

In most cases, the best way to treat a foot blister is to allow it to heal on its own. However, there are some suggestions to make your foot blisters heal within a few days. So, here is what you can do to speed up the healing process:

  • Do not expose the area to any pressure or abrasive surfaces
  • Clean the area around the blisters carefully with soap and water
  • Cover the area with a clean, dry, and breathable bandage.
  • Put a cold source on the area.
  • Elevate the affected foot on a chair or pillow to reduce the blood flow to the affected area.
  • Do not wear the same shoes or socks that caused the bristles in the first place.

What Are Socks/Shoe Materials Recommended for Avoiding Blisters?

Crossers must double up their socks to increase cushioning and prevent their feet from rubbing against their shoes. WrightSocks is a highly recommended brand offering a no-blister guarantee. The running shoe should provide ample cushioning and be true to size. Also, make sure that your shoe isn’t too constricting or tight.

What is the Most Effective Way to Prevent Heel Blisters?

There is no one specific method for avoiding and healing blisters; runners need to employ all the aforementioned tips to ensure a blister-free ride. This includes wearing well-cushioned socks, true-to-size feet, and moisture-wicking insoles.


When your running shoes rub against the back of your ankle, they bring about friction. Although our skin can carefully deal with some rubbing without pain, when our footwear brings friction and tension with every step, it will lead to injury and pain.

This problem can contribute to breaks in the skin and blisters Based on the height of your shoes around your ankle, continual rubbing might also lead to bursitis and irritate your Achilles tendon, among other issues.

To help, we have come up with some of the top tips for preventing your running shoes from rubbing against the back of your ankle.

Suffering from blisters is a severe problem that can be detrimental to your running performance and skin health. Therefore, make sure to apply the above recommendations for a safe run devoid of pain and injuries.

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