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  1. #1
    Sunshine Saffirre8's Avatar
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    Default feet hurting while hiking

    So i am sure many of you have had this issue. So what do you do to help your feet while you are on a long hike. My feet are fine for about the 1st 10 miles or so. They they start hurting and i can feel blisters starting to form. I put powder in my socks and i have a real nice pair of hiking boots. So what else can i do to prevent blisters and or sore feet?? HELP

  2. #2
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Do a "boot-off" break every couple of hours, taking off your boots and socks and letting your feet air-dry. If your feet are sore, then gently massage the skin to get the circulation going. If you're feeling some hot spots, then you might also look to dunk your feet into a cold stream for a few minutes -- does wonders.

    For many years, the soles of my feet would become very sore after about 12 miles, regardless of terrain. I found that a thicker orthotic insole helped in this regard.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  3. #3
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    Besides properly fitted shoes/boots, the two things that helped my feet on this years thru hike were soaking them in a strong solution of tea and using Body Glide. 2 weeks prior to the hike I soaked my feet in a strong solution of tea (cheap dollar store brand) for 30 minutes twice a day. The tannins in the tea toughen up your skin. It really worked. Then during the hike I rubbed Body Glide on my feet paying particular attention to the trouble spots like heels and toes. I used less and less the further NOBO I went since my feet had calloused up sufficiently with time.

    These two methods allowed me to remain blister free the entire hike!

    Good luck.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saffirre8 View Post
    So what do you do to help your feet while you are on a long hike.

    So what else can i do to prevent blisters and or sore feet?? HELP
    Other than staying aware of hot spots, I try to ignore my aching feet. I address any hot spots immediately, however I rarely seem to have blister problems w/ my boots. Other than that, I realize hiking long distances = aching feet. I just try to concentrate on other things. My feet seem to hurt the most when I'm concentrating on how bad they hurt.

    What else can you do to prevent blisters... other than using a shoe/boot that fits well,,, use sock liners along w/ your regular hiking socks, use body glide or something like that. It also does feet good to let em air out periodically throughout the day. Take off your shoes/boots & socks during long breaks/lunch. The pups will be happy you did.

  5. #5
    Formerly "Totem"
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    Put superglue on hotspots as they form.
    up over the hills, theres nothing to fear
    theres a pub across the way with whisky and beer
    its a lengthy journey on the way up to the top
    but it ain't so bad if you have a great big bottle o'scotch

  6. #6
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Default Feet Hurt

    If you don't do a lot of hiking your feet will probably hurt after 10 miles.
    Try a good aftermarket innersole like Superfeet. Spend as much time as you can walking barefoot before you hike.
    Grampie-N->2001

  7. #7
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    Default Let's get Scientific, Shall We?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dawg View Post
    ,,, use sock liners along w/ your regular hiking socks....
    Big Dawg makes some good points about blister prevention. There's much more hikers should be aware of instead of relying on the typical sock manufacturer hype.

    The military has done extensive research on friction blisters and found that sock density along with a sock liner proved most effective in reducing the incidence of blisters.

    Another study found "The probability of blister formation appears to be influenced by a number of factors, including the magnitude of the frictional force, number of shear cycles, external loading, moisture, skin characteristics, cigarette smoking, ethnicity, and foot type".

    Lastly, studies found that socks made with acrylic fibers produced less friction blisters.

    Fascinating stuff!

    For more info see here:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8570998

    http://www.oandp.org/publications/jop/2008/2008-19.pdf

    http://www.ipfh.org/research/docs/friction_blisters.pdf

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Besides properly fitted shoes/boots, the two things that helped my feet on this years thru hike were soaking them in a strong solution of tea and using Body Glide. 2 weeks prior to the hike I soaked my feet in a strong solution of tea (cheap dollar store brand) for 30 minutes twice a day. The tannins in the tea toughen up your skin. It really worked. Then during the hike I rubbed Body Glide on my feet paying particular attention to the trouble spots like heels and toes. I used less and less the further NOBO I went since my feet had calloused up sufficiently with time.

    These two methods allowed me to remain blister free the entire hike!

    Good luck.
    Spokes, I bought a lot of cheap black tea bags for this- at first I was just going to do it twice a day, every day, three weeks before my thru. But I tried it once, and I liked it so much (relaxing!) that I've begun soaking my feet in tea once every couple days. I know it won't do much like that, but it feels so good!
    2010 GA-PA, no. ME
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    Also, just accidentally deleted a whole bunch of unread messages I didn't know existed, if I ever didn't reply to you, I'm sorry! Promise it wasn't on purpose.

  9. #9
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Switch to good trail runners helps (dont' skimp on footwear. Get checked out by a running shop, etc). Use duct tape when you feel hot spots. And air your feet out as often as you can.

    Also use good insoles.

    Your feet have to acclimate like the rest of you to the physical conditions.



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  10. #10

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    Get rid of the boots, get some trail runners, and don't tie them too tight.

  11. #11
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    Change socks in the middle of the day, when you take your "foot break."

    Tea helps.

    "Whatcha havin for lunch?"

    Bagels, cheese and tea.

    "Thought you hated tea?"

    I do. It's for my feet.

    I walk the line.

  12. #12
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    hang your socks on your hiking poles as you walk this will air dry them evey time you stop change your socks ( do not try this in the rain )

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appalachian Tater View Post
    Get rid of the boots, get some trail runners, and don't tie them too tight.
    Agree with this 100%

    Also - on any day you are going over 10 miles you are taking a lot of steps and they add up over time. Avoid as much as possible walking directly on top of rocks with the balls of your feet. I'm sure you're just like I am in that when you see a rocky section you want to get past it as fast as possible. I used to build up horrible pressure in the balls of my feet but since I went to regular cross trainer shoes (lightly tied) and go over the rocks as slowly as possible with my entire foot my foot pain has largely gone away and does not occur until I start doing 25 mile days.

    If you stick with the boots I find that shock blocker insoles are better than superfeet although superfeet may help with the blistering problem.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

  14. #14
    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    Trail runners. Getting them broke in before long hikes and the right socks, I use two thin pair and while hiking if they start hurting, I rest, change socks or re-tie the shoes.

  15. #15
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    Default Take a deep breath, Hold it, Exhale, Relax...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShelterLeopard View Post
    Spokes, I bought a lot of cheap black tea bags for this- at first I was just going to do it twice a day, every day, three weeks before my thru. But I tried it once, and I liked it so much (relaxing!) that I've begun soaking my feet in tea once every couple days. I know it won't do much like that, but it feels so good!
    Glad you enjoyed it!

  16. #16
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    Find a place where you can lie down and prop your feet up for 20 minutes or do. This does wonders for them. They will love you for it, and you will have a much funner time.--Kinnickinic
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  17. #17
    Sunshine Saffirre8's Avatar
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    i want to thank everyone for the great advise, i will check out the body glides and see if they make a difference. I will also give the trail runners a try and see if they help any. Thanks for your help and support, while i am new to doing sections of the AT

  18. #18
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    Where are the blisters?
    Between toes= shoes are not wide enough.
    Tips of the toes =shoes are to short.
    Edges of heels =soles of boots may be to stiff for your stride.
    Balls of feet =try a higher arch support.

    Trail runners get another vote here.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Appalachian Tater View Post
    Get rid of the boots, get some trail runners, and don't tie them too tight.
    not necessarily.

    I used hiking boots for years,, never had blister problems. Switched to trail runners a few years ago & immediately had problems. Went back to hiking boots, & no problems since. This is my experience.

    I know plenty use trail runners & never had problems. I'm just saying,,, switching from boots to trail runners is not always the solution. Each person has to find was works for them.

  20. #20
    Sunshine Saffirre8's Avatar
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    Thanks "Compass". My blisters usually form on the "sides" of my feet a little below my big toes. i will try several of your suggustions and see what works best for me. you guys are awesome!!

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