Calluses/Irritation on Outter-Back of Heel

For the last few months I've been making an effort to walk and run totally barefoot more often. The first few times were difficult in general, but I got relatively used to it and can go a mile or more without any serious irritation now. However, one recurring problem I have is irritation (once blisters, now calluses) along the outside back of my heels, along where it comes in contact with the ground. After running, the area is usually sore.

Does anyone have ideas as to what might cause this? I don't notice that the area gets rubbed much while running, at least not more than anywhere else. I've tried moving my legs slightly outward - it doesn't seem to help.


  • Try for a more mid-foot or fore-foot strike when you run - you shouldn't be hitting heel first.  (If you are, you have tough feet!)
  • a mid-foot strike should take the weight off your heels; the only other thing i can think of as a cause is if you are twisting your feet outwards when you push off, which would stretch the skin on the heel causing irritation/blisters.
  • I’m going to go along with what has already been written and then add to it. You should be running with a fore foot landing (AKA ball of the foot). Most runners usually do have a short and brief heel touch down, but it is not pronounced. You should not be pushing off with your feet. If in proper form all you should be doing is pulling your foot from the ground and changing support from one leg to the other and allowing gravity to drop your foot softly back to the ground. Do not paw at the ground with your foot or over stride. Your foot should be landing under your general center of mass. Your body should be upright with only a slight lean forward at the hips and the knees should always be bent some. The guys over at the Pose Tech forum can help you out more if any of this is unclear.

    Rgs, Jeepman
  • Are your heels hitting the ground first when you run?
  • I am extremely forefoot. My heels only shortly touch the ground, right in the middle of a step. It could have to do with twisting, though. My feet tend to point outward at about 30 degrees when I stand (don't know about running). I can try to keep my feet as straight as possible next time.

    I'll try some of Jeepman's suggestions next time I get a chance.
  • I have several foot issues (bunions, hammertoe, pronation, and neuroma) and it is hard to find a shoe that I can walk in all day. Well, finally I did! I have Orthofeet's grey and red pair and they look and feel terrific and have great arch support. Will definitely look in to purchasing another pair.
  • I have a few foot issues (bunions, hammertoe, pronation, and neuroma) and it is elusive a shoe that I can stroll in throughout the day. All things considered, at long last I did! I have Orthofeet's dark and red combine and they look and feel spectacular and have extraordinary curve bolster. Will look in to obtaining another combine.
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