Heel Rubbing

Hi Emily,

I have had a problem for several years whereby my rugby boots rub intensely on the back of my heel, around an inch up from the sole of my foot. This rubs the skin completely off the heel and is incredibly painful as a result.

I have been able to prevent any damage from occuring using Tubi-Grip (elasticated bandage) to cover the whole area underneath my rugby socks, but I am now having a similar problem with a new pair of walking boots. The new boots are very expensive and I went through a professional fitting process, so it’s not due to them being cheap or anything like that.

I haven’t yet tested out the Tubi-Grip when using the new boots to see if it has the same effect, but primarily I was hoping that you may be able to suggest what the problem I’m experiencing is, from a medical perspective.

Thank you,

2 Responses

  1. Foot-com

    Thnak you Emily.

    I’ve been reading a bit about heel counters and unfortunately, I think pretty much all of my shoes have them! It’s very unlikely I would find walking boots / rugby boots without them, it would seem. I may just have “gut it out” as they say. I did have some success in using the elasticated bandage I mentioned previously with my walking boots, although 8 – 10 hours of use in a day is far from ideal.

    I have looked at pictures of a Haglund’s Deformity on google and I can confirm that I don’t have any of the swellings I can see on there, so I think I’m safe from that for the time being.

    I use insoles, etc in shoes anyway, but they haven’t given me much relief, I’m afraid. Thank you for your thoughts; I think I shall keep experimenting with elasticated bandage and see how it goes.


  2. Foot-com

    Hello and thank you for your question.

    Sounds like your foot type in combination with the footwear is causing the blisters and rubbing.

    A few things you can try is to

    1. make sure that your shoes do not have a heel counter. A heel counter is the stiff back of the shoe which is designed to support your foot.

    2. make sure you do not have what is called a Haglund’s Deformity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haglund%27s_deformity).

    If you do have this you can use dispersion pads to offload the Haglund’s Deformity in addition to avoiding shoes with heel counters.

    You can sometimes also use a slight heel lift in the shoe (put it in both shoes) to lift the foot a little off of the heel counter or back of the shoe.

    I hope this helps!

    Dr. Emily Splichal
    Please be advised: we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    By law, we cannot give specific medical advice over the Internet.

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