View Full Version : Shoes/ Boots
I have a question for those who have never had a blister free hike? I have tried many different combinations for my doggies but have never found a blister free one yet? The funny thing is my job requires a lot of walking so you would think my feet would be accustomed to miles of trails. But then here comes a hike that I have fervently waited for and the first day here come the blisters. I know that pain is part of pleasure but come on, how do I make my feet happy? If there is anyone out there that has figured out the happy side of life for their feet let me know how you did it? :(
have not had a foot blister in years.....but...
i take off my running shoes almost every hour during the day for about 10 minutes. if there is a creek or pond i soak until cool. i wear only thin wicking socks and change into clean ones about twice daily. i apply duct tape on any spots that feel warm or look red . i seldom walk more than 15 to 20 miles in a day and never pack more than 25 to 30 pounds. it works great for me but i doubt if most people would want to care for their feet this much.
I think that a big part of blister prevention is not about breaking in boots, or right socks. Based on my own experience, I think that your feet need to be conditioned to your boots.
My story, on my first thru-hike, I replaced my boots in Gorham. I hiked from there all the way through Maine with out foot problems and with boots straight out of the box. But then I put them in the closet for the winter and didn't wear them until I started at Springer the following April. That's when I got the blisters. Why? I suspect that my feet were no longer accustomed to the boot because I hadn't worn it in about 6 months.
Blisters are often a result of excess moisture. I had really bad heel blisters early during my thru-hike. A doctor suggested I lose the sock liners. Worked like a charm! Sometimes hikers who are new to backpacking carry a certain piece of gear because they come to believe that they absolutely need to have it. Everyone's needs are different however. If you find your feet soaked with sweat, and your developing blisters, try losing the liners, or go to a lighter sock, or try 100% wool socks.
I have to agree with TNJED. I wore sock liners until day hike I decided to hike with just my socks and not liners like some have suggested. I can tell you that it was a world of difference for me and I will not go back to liners. YMMV but for me it was one of the most comfortable my feet have felt. I have Asolo GTX95 boots and I love them, Took them out of the box and hiked 10 miles with no break in and did not get one blister or hot spot.
road walks use to kill me untill i started wearing wool socks. I use a heavy wool with a liner on most hikes now and rarely have problems on any terrain. I do keep an extra pair of both and change them if any discomfort is noticed. I also hang them to dry overnight and have no qualms about rinsing them when I can.
clean dry feet and socks will do more to prevent blisters then anything else.
I have to echo tnjed about the sock liners as well. The only times I got blisters is when I wore liners or doubled up on socks (for winter hikes.) With just one pair of socks I never have a problem with either my winter hiking boots or my regular hiking boots.
i actually have to give the other side to what tnjed said- i hiked the grand canyon and had to apply moleskin. i figured since i was only in the canyon three days i'd only use my pair of thorlos because otherwise my feet would sweat, right? well yeah they sweated, and they also rubbed. but then i put on the liners and they stopped rubbing, and the liners took the moisture away from my feet too. you know what? go hiking for a couple of days with the liners and without, that's pretty much the only way to know what your feet will prefer.
Thank you everyone for all the good insight. I will try all of these suggestions and let you know how it goes. Hope to have happy feet. :) WrongBridge
when I thru hiked in 97, I got some very sound advice about blisters. There are 3 factors that lead to most blisters. Any combination of these would give you hot spots. If you happen to have all 3, you better be carrying some extra duct tape.
too far, too fast, too heavy = too many blisters