I havent seen any product that really works but many who claim to. Blisters are bascially a sign that your shoes arent fitting your feet or your skin is too tender. The tender skin issue usually can be solved with using lightweight liner socks under good wool socks. Walking around barefoot will definitely toughen the skin and I have seen some references to soaking feet in tea to harden them up. Generally a hot spot is either a sign of the foot moving around inside the shoe (or boot) or a spot where the foot needs more space. Duct tape or moleskin can sometimes act in place of a liner sock, but inevitably the adhesive will start to loosen up and the duct tape or moleskin will move. Even with tough feet, if the shoe doesnt fit, even liner socks rarely compensate for a rubbing area.
When I switched from boots to trailrunners 95% of my blister issues went away. I do get them on occasion in the late fall when I grudgingly switch back to boots. I expect them when I wear my winter boots as I have wide feet and no company seems to make a insulated winter boot that fits me. Liner socks and superfeet inserts can help but there is no subsitute for width in a boot.
One thing to note is that pedicures are the antithesis to having tough skin. All the hard work someone puts into getting callusses established will be wiped out after a pedicure (not that it applies to me)
I think the products you are talking about though are like "Sportshield" and "Blistershield" which are specifically designed for preventing blisters and chafing. I have no experience with them though. Hope this helps!
Vaseline, Triple Antibiotic Ointment, BodyGlide, etc. all work for small areas where skin rubs on skin, like toes. For areas where skin rubs on fabric, peakbagger is right on the money - softer shoes. My wife and I switched to trail runners maybe 12-14 years ago; no more blisters. The only time I am at risk for blisters now is between the toes on mega long hikes (20+ miles, lots of vertical) and vaseline on the toes prevents that completely. But if you are wearing big stiff boots, and getting those big half-dollar sized blisters on your heels, no cream type product is going to prevent that.
I'm old fashioned, I like big leather hiking boots, plus I bought a pair of Limmers last year that I love. I get some friction on the outside of my big toe on both feet. Sometimes I get a blister & other times it is just uncomfortable. Doesn't help that I have very wide feet. I'm going to give Sportshield a try if I can find it. Thanks for the input.
I use flexible medical tape wrap around the balls of my feet, large bandages and flex tape for my heels/achilles area, spray Blistop over that, merino wool socks that wick away moisture and that stick to the Blistop for no movement/friction and voila, no blisters. I do get the occasional blister between the toes on the longer runs, usually just stop and bandage them. Bodyglide for me is for the inner thighs and below the armpits.
From what I understand, tincture of benzoin is supposed to be helpful for blister prevention by toughening up the skin. The suggested course is to apply it daily for two to three weeks prior to needing it effects. (It's also used to help adhere tape to skin, for example, by rock climbers who tape their fingers.) Two cautions, it's apparently very sticky and very smelly.