Spot Approved: These P89 Heel Protectors Saved Me From Having to Break in My New Sneakers

Say goodbye to blisters on the back of your foot!

heel protectors
PHOTO BY xxinstore / Lazada ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Imagine you just bought yourself new sneakers. So far, so good: You've got a fresh new pair of shoes to wear with your clothes along with the instant mood-boost that comes with any new purchase. But there's just one problem: Many sneaker styles—particularly when they're fresh out of the store—hurt. Like really hurt. You put them on, you walk for a few minutes, and suddenly you feel the burning pain of raw skin against rough canvas. Even the most popular shoe brands can leave you with blisters.

blister foot
If this happens to you when wearing a new pair of sneakers, we found a handy fix.
PHOTO BY Shutterstock
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Now, rarely does this pain last forever. After a few wears, your shoes should be properly "broken in," meaning they've softened on the area against your heel, become a little more flexible on your feet, and are overall more comfortable so you can finally wear them with ease. But isn't the breaking-in period just the worst? The pain you have to suffer. The bandages you'll waste. The awkward walk you have to do in public to stop the chafing. It's a real tragedy. Well, this writer recently discovered something that could do away with all of that completely: Say hello to heel protectors. Yes, they exist and yes, they work.

How Heel Protectors Saved Me From Having to Break in My New Sneakers

Where can you buy heel protectors?

heel protectors
Silicone Heel Protectors (P89)
PHOTO BY xxinstore / Lazada

I purchased a pair of heel protectors from a Lazada store called Xxinstore due to the fact that my brand new Vans sneakers were leaving blisters on the backs of my feet. No hate to Vans here—I've got two pairs, I've already broken one in, and I would still buy another despite the initial discomfort. I simply searched "heel protectors" on the e-commerce site and added the first variant I saw to my online shopping cart. It should be noted that the pair I got isn't from some fancy specialty brand, so that same search on other merchants' pages or even other sites like Shopee, Carousell, or Facebook Marketplace should lead you to similar versions. The pair I bought was officially priced at P89, but I was able to get them for P54 due to marked down price and as of writing, they are still only P54.

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How do heel protectors work?

heel protectors
PHOTO BY xxinstore / Lazada

Basically, heel protectors—at least the kind I purchased—are a silicone material shaped like the back of a sock. They wrap around the back of your foot with majority of the material focused on your heel. The silicone puts a soft, protective barrier on your heel, blocking your skin from rubbing against the back of your sneaker and preventing chafing in the process.

All you have to do is put the protectors on your feet—yes, you'll get two pieces with each purchase—before you put on your socks. They can technically also be worn over the socks, but I'd suggest wearing the heel protectors first to prevent the silicone material from getting dirty. From there, wear your sneakers as usual and you're good to go.

I was skeptical about these when I first tried them on as I thought they might slip off the heel the way foot socks sometimes do. However, I was pleased to find that even after hours of walking, both silicone protectors stayed still—thanks largely to the material that sits on the front of the foot—and I forgot I was wearing them pretty much instantly. They'll feel no different than a regular pair of socks.

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After arriving home following a day full of nonstop walking, I was pleased to find that I felt no discomfort and the heel protectors had worked without fail. I've since worn them a few more times with different sneakers and I've gotten similar results each time.

How do they look with sneakers on?

heel protectors
The silicone heel protectors when worn with low-cut sneakers
PHOTO BY Ashley Martelino

Now, it should be noted that for more low-cut sneakers, the heel protectors do have a tendency to peek through the top. There are three workarounds for this dilemma: One, they actually kind of just look like nude-toned socks so passersby will just assume you've got ankle socks on and you can accept that. Two, you can opt for long pants that extend past the ankle (which are on-trend these days anyway!) and cover the upper part of your sneakers. And three, go four high-top sneakers that cover your ankle and the protectors won't be seen at all. Either way, the silicone peeking through the top is not much of an issue if you ask me. And the fact that none of my new sneakers leave me with blisters anymore has been a blessing I didn't know I needed.

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The silicone heel protectors are available on Lazada.

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