2Toms Blister Shield Powder Review: An Ultra Toe Sausage Test
By stephaniechivis on August 13, 2014
When people call you 'one of those crazy ultra runners' do you consider it one of your most favorite compliments? Do you have a smell wafting from the insoles of your shoes similar to that of old shortening? Do you buy a trunk full of baby powder and enormously large vats of Vaseline at Costco because you cannot fathom living your entire life without the convenience of white powder to shake at your disposal and 48 mini buckets of petroleum jelly shrink wrapped together? Or are you still chafing in your own sweat and obsessively, compulsively trying anything to halt the toe rubbing, cutting and general uncomfortable feet markings of a long run?
By the way, I don't really use Vaseline myself because it reminds me of lard. Which in turn, reminds me of a guy I saw on TLC who was killing himself with food. He weighed about a thousand pounds and just laid around with a sheet over his business while sucking back buttered biscuits with buckets of lard and whole ducks.
Which seems pretty doable the more I think about it. I have a sheet, I can make my own biscuits pretty much any time I want to pop open a can and there are a whole bunch of raw ducks at the park.
I could do that. I could totally do that.
That has nothing to do with this review, but I thought it might give you some insight into my fragile mental state when I've suffered from severe toe chafing. And even though Vaseline feels and looks like a cross between lard and lemon JELL-O on a dining tray at a mental institution, I thought they looked so pretty, all 144 mini tubs of it, wrapped in cellophane and displayed in that giant container at the wholesale store. I had to own them.
So If you've also ever bought petroleum jelly in bulk and/or answered ‘yes’ to the stinky old shortening question, 2Toms can cure your sweat-infused, constantly chafing foot ailment or any chafing problem. But who the heck is this 2Toms, you ask? And why does the name conjure up images of a Milli Vanilli male stripper duo?
I blame this on the rain.
And the decreased barometric pressure which causes one to lose all rational mental capacity and photoshop late 80s pop stars into male escorts modeling 70s running shorts and hydration gear. You do these kind of things when you're bored too.
Grrrl, you know it's true.
Make-believe singing male escorts that stuff their spandex shorts with tube socks, they are not. However, 2Toms are two guys each named "Tom" who specialize in the sexy and often entertaining business of endurance sports solutions. This area of expertise alone shows these cats have classy coming out the wahzoo.
the real 2Toms
Tom Lewis and Tom Judd are making a fist full of dollars these days with their New Hampshire-originated company and its anti-blistering/anti-chafing product line.
So while attempting to keep it classy around my own wahzoo and in avoidance of chafing myself raw so as to appear to be cradling bloody pork chops down in my Hoka’s for crazed dogs conspiring to eat my feet in the run park, I tried a few of the 2Toms products and enjoyed a particular one so much that I'm offering a personal overview of their Blister Shield, along with my experience from the toes test.
MSRP $12.99 (8 oz. powder or 10 x single packets)
Blister Shield is 2Toms’ feature product for keeping your feet dry and blister-free. From first look, it appears to be the same consistency of baby powder which I love and can never allow myself to run out of because I think it makes me smell like Reese Witherspoon. She hops out of the shower after a hard day of perpetrating random acts of Reeseness like naming her kids Ava, Deacon and Tennessee or messaging Matthew McConaughey hilarious jokes about ways to get out of drunk and disorderly conduct charges, and I know in my heart she smells like exotic baby butt Lavender powder, new car, and a hint of down home country recipe mac & cheese.
But while Blister Shield may appear similar to my beloved baby butt powder that smells like Reese Witherspoon – it is completely different. It is actually divine powder made from God to look like pretty, little fairies so that people would be happy when the packet that contains it (when opened) subsequently throws up all over their feet and socks. Nobody really minds a little fairy vomit so this is a perfectly acceptable thing. It's also filled with sequins and fairy dust and is probably a lot like a four leaf clover...so it's lucky.
And this particular fairy dust powder is the luckiest ever because it contains PTFE (Teflon) and PE wax as its main ingredients. BlisterShield uses these ingredients to form a near bodily fluid resistant and frictionless surface on feet, which reduces heat buildup and ensuing blisters. Also, it is highly water resistant to keep feet dry through extended mileage.
As you can see, the container lid allows you to either sprinkle the product wherever you want, or use a spoon for a measured amount. 2Toms recommends about 1 teaspoon per sock for regular people and more for werewolf footed people like me. Just measure it out, pour it in, and shake this fairy dust around in the toe area of the sock.
Also, while baby powder is rather fine-grain, Blister Shield tends to create little ‘snowballs' out of its fairy dust. Not the wet, nasty slushy ball types that’ve been driven over by too many cars so that they turn black from the exhaust. It’s the pure white snow flurries on which only Lexus SUV’s and horse drawn sleighs carrying romantic men and their insanely skinny wives are allowed to travel.
Once you spread the lil flurry balls around on your foot (or hand, or whatever), the product really becomes a slick film of perfect snowflakes cut out by angels who drop them from Heaven. And while these 'snowball' flurries may look similar to chalk board dust in bad lighting, it is definitely not the same thing. Chalk is typically made from magnesium carbonate, limestone, or dolomite. Chalk serves to keep substances dry, but not reduce friction. Blister Shield, on the other hand, is intended to keep your feet dry, yet really slippery.
I would show you the slippery application process here but my feet are awful. Truly awful. If you saw my feet right now in a line up you would think they belonged to a farmer who was too poor for a plow and just dug up 100 acres with his bare feet. I long for the 50's when decent women wore white closed toed shoes. Maybe that's what I should do anyway. I could be the crazy writing ultra runner who brought closed toed sandals back to casual footwear.
But back to the slippery, snowball stuff: does it really work? I found that yes, it does really work. Put it in your socks, shake it like you always do in the overwhelming absence of polite society, and go run. I think it’s a fine product for long runs and ultras when your socks and shoes consistently smell like a gym where only dead people work out. Apply Blister Shield to the inside of your socks to eliminate sweaty corpse odor and simply pre-apply it to the inside of your spare socks, put a rubber band around the top of the sock, and stash them in your drop bag. If you’re extra blister-prone, you could even put several pairs of fresh socks with more Blister Shield in your bag for quick changing on the go.
The only concern with BlisterShield is the question of whether or not you like your feet super 'lubricated' once you commence to sweating. And this is the last time I'll bring that 'lubrication' subject up because listen kids, I don't care who you are there are certain words you should never say over and over. Ever. Not to your partner, not to your spouse, not to your pretty blog reader person. You know why? Because they are so clinical they sound utterly dirty, plus once you hear someone say those words, they are stuck in your head like a theme song on Nick Jr. And the next time that creepy blue man on Lazy-Town follows that little girl with my namesake around singing, "Adventure's just a moment away" I'm going to call the authorities and have him registered if you know what I mean.
Using the word 'Lubricated' too many times can lead to suspicion of borderline pedophilia when watching your kids' shows.
I would also like the record to reflect that as an adult female runner just having reached the 40 year mark, I was unaware there were so many doctor type words for personal products to cure gross runner's problems and that I would have to learn some of them from my pharmacist. Thank you public East Texas schools.
So with the chance of feet becoming the extra 'L' word upon sweat mixing with the powder, there is potential that your foot will slide around inside your shoe with BlisterShield. Mind you, your chance of getting blisters goes down by using the product, but some may find the ‘slip and slide' feeling to be strange and really naughty like I do.
I also personally prefer shoes that are a little more on the roomy side, so I don't see myself using BlisterShield as an everyday training aid. I'm saving it for an upcoming 50 miler and 12 hour adventure trail race. It's only when racing and when my shoes are laced tighter that I seem to be much more prone to blood blisters and foot odor similar to that of monkey butt. My feet's appearance is also such that if they actually looked like a monkey's butt it would be a step up. So I plan to continue my mission to find the best blister and bunion-buster product for people with ugly monkey butt feet. Someone at the Rosaryville 50K in Maryland told me he was sweet on Trail Toes cream and suggested I try a free sample from their website. If that stuff works like he says it does I'll be so forever grateful to him that I might propose he and I do the Billy Bob and Angelina thing. Put some of his toe blister blood in a vial and I'll wear it around my neck and I'll send him a vial of mine. He may be surprised to see that my toe blood looks remarkably like cherry ginger ale and vodka, but seriously...it's my blood.
But until that sample of Trail Toes reaches my mailbox, I'm sticking with 2Toms. Despite the gross lubed-up feel of the product between the toes after 10 or so miles, I give it 9 out of 10 fat toe sausages up.
And yes, my toe sausages are so obese that Disneyland won't even let them ride Space Mountain.
PS: Vaseline contest coming soon. There will be 144 first prizes. You're welcome.