As much as you love hiking, it is doubtful you love the resulting blisters. If you cannot seem to win the blister war no matter how broken-in your hiking boots are, don’t fret. Use the following tips to enjoy blister-free hikes that have you talking about the beautiful views, not the wounds on your heels.
Change Your Socks
Keep your socks dry to reduce, if not eliminate, friction. Wearing broken-in boots with dry socks are two of the best things you can do to keep blisters to a minimum. The minute you feel your socks getting wet, change them.
Prevent Moisture Buildup
Prevent moisture buildup by sprinkling feet with corn starch or foot powder before putting on your socks and boots. You may also wish to place petroleum jelly on your heels or any other hotspots. If you feel a hotspot coming on, apply tape or moleskin to stop it from becoming a full-blown blister. Moleskin is a type of artificial skin that is cut into various shapes and sizes.
Wear Two Pairs of Socks
Wear two pairs of socks to move the friction site. The outer socks should be a thicker material, with the inner sock serving as a liner to soak up moisture.
Air your Feet
Air those pups out when taking a hiking break. Remove your boots and socks to allow your feet to breathe. Soak them in a stream or river if you like, but make certain they are completely dry before you continue with the hike.
Wear comfortable, supportive insoles to enjoy better boot fit and reduce peak pressure. Insoles made of neoprene are considered the best, as they provide the right amount of cushioning.
If you do sustain blisters despite your best efforts, disinfect and bandage them if they are broken. If the blisters remain unbroken, leave them alone.
What are your best blister prevention tips? Share them in the comments section!
Kent Page McGroarty is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in AZ Central Healthy Living, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, SF Gate Home and Garden, LIVESTRONG, Moblized.com, I Do Take Two.com, and many other online publications. Twitter: @KentsStuff.