A new way to prevent blisters (and slipping) in loafers and boat shoes

Ugh, the dreaded loafer blisters!

For most people, each new pair of slip-ons comes with a rite of passage: breaking in those shoes until they stop blistering our heels.

But for some of us, loafers and Sperrys never seem to "break in", and they slip and/or rub blisters onto our heels every single time we wear them.

Either our feet don't develop thick enough calluses to protect our skin, or the shoes simply aren't able to conform to our feet.

It's enough that some of us completely give up on buying or wearing slip-ons.

The reason for our blisters: our unique foot geometry

For the pained souls (get it? ha) among us for which slip-on shoes never seem to fit without rubbing or slipping off our heels—even after wearing them for a while—it's usually because our heels are a bit narrow.

When heels are either narrower than most, or else they're joined with feet whose toe boxes are wider than usual (creating more of a triangle shape in the foot), they simply can't make good pressured contact with the heel collar and counter.

The result: an air gap between the skin of the heel and the leather (or other material) in the heel of the shoe. This gap can prevent your heel from securely pressing into the shoe, leading to rubbing, blistering, slipping, and ultimately your heel even popping out of your shoe.

Photo of heel popping out of loafers

If this sounds familiar, you might be fortunate to find that shoes with laces fit a bit better, because tying the shoes up can reduce some air gaps. This sometimes isn't enough even for laced shoes, but it's even worse with loafers and boat shoes, because the lacing is unsubstantial or nonexistent.

Hacks to ease heel blisters in slip-ons

Most solutions to prevent heel slipping and heel blistering in loafers or Sperrys involve hacking the shoes with pads or insoles.

Some people try using "moleskin" or band-aids or other artificial skin coverings that invariably come off with sweat.

For our founder, none of these slip-on blister hacks ever worked, and he set out to solve the problem another way: with Skinnys orthotic-grade padded shoe liners, specially padded in just the right places to cocoon narrow heels while maintaining an invisible ultra-low-cut contour.

Illustration of sock highlighting extra-thick heel cup and wrap-around silicone grip (also: stay-put elastic band, super invisible cut, and comfort-padded sole)

He spent 16 months with footwear consultants and designers, producing a dozen prototypes to finally find a solution to prevent heel rubbing in slip-on shoes, and this is the result:

  • 3x-thick heel cups, extra-padded with terry cloth (thickness compared to other no-show socks)
  • GripWrap™, a custom-molded 2x-thick silicone gel grip that wraps all the way around the side walls of the heel counter to ensure a snug fit every time (compared to other brands that only use a thin layer of gel directly behind the heel, with nothing on the sides)
  • Super-low cut to stay hidden in most slip-on shoes.

With Skinnys, we don't have to hack our shoes, and we don't have to apply adhesive bandages.

The perfect loafer solution

Unlike conventional no-show socks, Skinnys are extra-padded exactly where we need them to be. Skinnys stay on your feet, and they keep your feet in your shoe, without rubbing or blistering, guaranteed.

Best of all, you can't even tell they're there, because they've been designed to hide underneath even the lowest-cut loafer, unlike most so-called "thick" low-cut socks.

Photo of mens feet wearing Skinnys socks
Photo of mens feet wearing loafers with Skinnys inside

Time to try Skinnys?

We'd love to have you try a pair of Skinnys. (Or, even a 3-pack.) We think they'll work for you, because they worked for us. And because 25% of our business is repeat customers, we're pretty sure they're becoming the best new tool in the arsenal to tighten people's step.

If you have any questions, please contact us. We're quick to respond, and we love talking to customers!

Photo at top illustrating blisters is licensed using the Creative Commons 2.0 license from Gunnar Aastrand Grimnes via Flickr.