skip to Main Content

Is The Secret of Marathon Sore Nipples Solved?

The headline of this Reuters story seemed a bit misleading, Tokyo Marathon Runner Solves Mystery of Sore Nipples. While it is an amusing recap of one man’s struggle through the Tokyo marathon, the entire solution to the sore nipple problem is given in one sentence

…This year I bought some Vaseline. It worked, although I had nasty chafing elsewhere.

The rest of the story is about the pain of running a marathon and the embarrassment suffered by being passed by a grandmother and a backwards running runner. Imagine how he would’ve felt being passed byjoggling with chafed nipples a joggler.

Sore Nipple Solutions

For all new marathon runners & jogglers, it is likely you will experience nipple chafing. Actually, there are 9 spots in which you may experience chafing. And one of the best solutions is to use Body Glide.

However, that is not the only solution. Read on for more.

1. Vaseline, Body Glide, and others. While Vaseline will work, Body Glide is much better. It is silicone based instead of oil-based so it won’t stain your clothes as bad. It is also easier to get off if you accidentally get some on your hands. But from a functional standpoint, they all work. You can even use VO5 Hairdressing but it smells a bit bad. Skin moisturizing lotions won’t work too well. They just don’t have enough oils in them.

2. NipGuards or Circular Band-aids. For the low, low cost of $8.95 a pair you can get your very own NipGuards. They are little circular bandages that you put right over your nipple. They’re supposed to work like a charm. And I’ve tried them before as a give-away in a marathon packet. Frankly, they didn’t stick well enough for me. But the hair on my chest didn’t help so they might work for you if you don’t have that problem. Some say you can get the same effect by just putting a band-aid over your nipples.

3. Spandex or Under Armour. By far, the most effective method for me has been to stop wearing cotton shirts and get a synthetic fiber shirt like Under Armour or Spandex. I know John Kelly is not a fan of the Spandex but anyone would look sweet in these babies. (My birthday’s coming up soon.) Seriously, there aren’t many running or joggling mottoes I live by but here is one…

“Avoid wet cotton at all costs!”

4. Run Shorter Distances. If none of the things above strike your fancy, then just don’t run as far or long. The amount of chafing is directly related to the time your shirt spends rubbing against your nips. Less time = less nipple damage = happier you.

5. Just get used to it. This is my personal solution. When you joggle every day you get sick of putting on the glide, the nipguards, and worrying about what clothes you’re wearing. Eventually, your nipples become cauterized (or scarred over) and they just don’t hurt anymore. Granted, you’ll feel a little stinging the day after a really long run but it’s not too bad. And anyway, pain helps remind you that you are a runner and maybe even a world class joggler!

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. I only seem to have issues with chaffing when its cold and/or wet. Bodyglide has done the trick for me. I find my under armour shirts make me sweat, which causes chaffing, inspite of the shirt wicking it away.

  2. I’m with John Kelly on the spandex! And although Body Glide ROCKS, there’s nothing like just toughening up and getting used to it. I do like the burn!

  3. Yeah sorry Perry, but I will never understand Spandex. I guess it just one of the many things that is to each their own.

    I think that contraption would be the last thing on my Birthday list. There is no way it should come in XXL either. THat just scares me.

    One of the most painful things ever is very sore nipples and then jumping in the shower. Man can that hurt.


  4. I wouldn’t really want it but it cracks me up. Suspenders (especially Spandex ones) are funny.

    You are right about the hot shower stream on the chafed nipples….ouch!

    Wow Wes, I hadn’t experience chafing while wearing Under Armour.

  5. I normally use Body Glide out to about half-marathon distance and bandages for anything longer.

    I’ve tried a bunch of circular bandages (Elastoplast, Band-Aid brand, etc.) but most of them don’t stick worth a darn. However, a runner on some forum somewhere suggested CVS Pharmacy brand “Clear Spot” bandages and I’ve had good success with them. Dirt cheap too. Go to and search for product number 190042

    Now, looking for an equivalent product you can actually buy in Canada….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top