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  1. #1

    Default On Trail Foot Care.

    Just like a car, you wouldn't take a 2,000 mile road trip with under inflated or worn out tread on your tires.

    I have been trying to treat my body better. I would like to learn what you do for your feet while on trail?

    I plan to start rolling out my arches at night and I am reading about multi use balms to soften skin. Ive seen some balm that also claim to relive pain (GoodGoo). I was thinking of before bed rubbing with Bag Balm and wearing socks.

    How do you care for your bodies wheels and tires ?

  2. #2
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    Two pairs of socks. Change at mid day. Rinse out the dirty ones so they have the afternoon to dry. Before putting the clean socks on, let your feet air out. Another trick I havenot tried myself, but I me a group of people who swore by it was to rub stick antiperspirant on your feet in the AM to cut down on sweating and moisture.

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    Garlic
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    The biggest issue for me over time has been shoe fit. It took five changes of shoes over 2000 miles on my first long hike to find the right fit. After that, things got immensely better.

    The only things I've needed for skin care have been tape and anti-fungal cream. I have a minor chronic case of athlete's foot that pops up a couple of times a year. I carry a roll of athletic tape for hot spots, before blisters form.

    Most foot injuries I've seen happen on a descent, often at the end of the day. My takeaway from that has been to rest, eat, and drink before descents, and during long ones, especially when you're in a hurry to get to town or a campsite.

    I take my shoes off at every break when weather permits. I bathe my feet and wash socks where possible, sometimes more than once a day. That gives me a good chance to inspect my feet, as well.

    I remember struggling with skin issues after days of mud on the AT in Vermont. I found out clean and wet is okay, dirty and wet is awful.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  4. #4
    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    ...I carry a roll of athletic tape for hot spots, before blisters form...
    This merits repeating. Treat hotspots before they turn to blisters, whatever technique you use. (I like moleskin and tincture of benzoin but have used duct tape as well)
    nous défions

    It's gonna be ok.

    Ditch Medicine: wash your hands and keep your booger-pickers off your face!

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    Another vote for the right shoes, I finally got the right pair about 800 miles in and it worked wonders, on day 2 with them I pulled my highest millage day 36, and was regularly going over 25.

  6. #6

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    After you wash those socks, hang them off the outside of your pack (if it's not raining). Have two safety pins on a strap for that purpose.
    There is also an almost encyclopedic book called "Fixing Your Feet". I admit to not reading it all. It covers ever imaginable foot issue. It is some feet issues caused by back packing, some by running, some by endurance sports, etc. Get ti and read the stuff that might apply.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  7. #7

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    Injio toe socks helped me a ton with blisters. Life changing.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by HankIV View Post
    Injio toe socks helped me a ton with blisters. Life changing.
    I just purchased two pair of Injinji socks. My toes are short and don't fill the toe pockets. What's the chance that the extra fabric will cause irritation and blisters? So far I've only worn them around the house and they feel really good.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    I just purchased two pair of Injinji socks. My toes are short and don't fill the toe pockets. What's the chance that the extra fabric will cause irritation and blisters? So far I've only worn them around the house and they feel really good.
    Did you get the right size? I just got a pair too; liner version. My piggies fill the fingers fine.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHiker View Post
    Did you get the right size? I just got a pair too; liner version. My piggies fill the fingers fine.
    Yep, size small. I bought the lightweight run and the mid-weight crew.

  11. #11
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    Yep, size small. I bought the lightweight run and the mid-weight crew.
    Do they sell kids sizes, maybe a large kids size? You could return for..... just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    I just purchased two pair of Injinji socks. My toes are short and don't fill the toe pockets. What's the chance that the extra fabric will cause irritation and blisters? So far I've only worn them around the house and they feel really good.
    I'm thinking/hoping the extra fabric would just provide cushion. I guess it depends on where the normal bearing points are for your feet. For me, it's the big toe, second toe, and little toe. The third and fourth toes don't have much pressure on them.

    I have several pair of Injinji socks. My least favorite are the thin liners, which don't cushion enough for me. As to toe length, it seems that the toes all look short, but have enough stretch to accommodate my toes. Perhaps they'll be short enough for you, without stretching.

  13. #13

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    I used the liners, with regular socks for the cushion.

  14. #14
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    All good advice. Add keep your toenails trimmed.

  15. #15

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    I fought blisters for years and figured it was part of hiking. I got custom Limmer boots and still got blisters on occasion. I switched to trail runners the year after New Balance came out with the 801 series around the year 2000 and have never looked back. Its very rare that I get blisters now except on very long hikes or when hiking with my heavier boots in winter or spring. I used to use moleskin but long ago switched to hydrocoloid pads. I think Johnson and Johnson still sells some specially shaped ones for blisters but I just go on Amazon and buy sheets of it as its used for medical procedures and is lot cheaper in bulk. It works much better than moleskin. I just cut a custom patch with my swiss army knife when I need it. I do use the runners gaiters for my trail runners, its keeps a lot of dirt out of the shoes. The stick on velcro patch for the heel doesnt last that long in the Whites so I just buy bulk velcro and glue it on with 3M super weatherstrip adhesive. I also throw away the inserts that come with my trail runners and use Montrail (now Columbia) heat moldable inserts. Throw them in an oven for a few minutes, put then in the shoes and wear them with hiking socks. They will mold to your feet. I also switched about 15 years ago to Darn Tuff wool socks after using smart wool for years. Dont go cheap on socks. BTW I have size 13 EEEE feet so I dont have a lot of options for trail runners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhjanes View Post
    After you wash those socks, hang them off the outside of your pack (if it's not raining). Have two safety pins on a strap for that purpose.
    Yes I have diaper pins for this. But I have found there is a 100%cl chance of rain when I hang my socks out.

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    My dad once told me that when he was in the army they would put their wet socks around their necks to dry. I've never tried that, though -- I think the smell would probably kill me.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  18. #18

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    Like many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    I will echo what others have said about finding the right sock and shoe combo for YOUR feet. Also, agree with the poster who said to remove your socks and shoes on breaks. Inspect your feet for rub/hot spots and clean them and let dry if possible during this time. Take care to apply moleskin or other to those beginning hot spots you found. Inspect your shoes also to see if maybe there is a seam or debris causing that rub. Also realize there are various ways to tie your shoes to help prevent slippage/rubbing/etc.

    Personally I wear a thick Darn Tough sock and the NB Minimus. This combo works well for me but I also only carry about 25lbs on the "high end" and can often be 20lbs or a bit less.

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  19. #19

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    Hailing back to Colin Fletcher, whenever taking a break, take your boots off until you are ready to leave.

  20. #20
    Registered User Tuxhiker's Avatar
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    TJ, I wear size small Injinji socks. The ones that run small enough for me are the no show, lightweight, running ones. For some reason the higher cut ones dont run small enough for me even in size small. It could be the low density of the lightweight, no shows allows them to shrink more after washing but they fit me a lot better. Thats just a guess.

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