I don't have a lot of problem with sore fingers from knitting, but I also find it easier to control the stitches if I do push (gently) on the tips. That seems quicker that grabbing the work in my palm and pushing them down.
When I was an active hand quilter, I had callouses on my fingers to the point that I don't think I had an actual fingerprint on those fingers. After a while you toughen up the tips. As long as I didn't actually bleed on my quilting I figured it was just part of the dues I had to pay to get good at something I really wanted to learn to do.
Secretly, I was proud to have a callous or two--my fellow quilters thought it was cool that I did enough quilting to get them, and I just didn't bother to tell non-quilters they came from sewing instead of rebuilding diesel engines or some other manly task.