Blisters

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imike
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Blisters

Post by imike » Oct 19 2012 9:09 am

I could not find a topic heading specific to this issue...but I have to think it is one of the more impactful issues confronting most hikers.

There is no single, simple solution to resolve this problem, but I recently switched over to toe socks for longer treks and I was amazed to find I'd eliminated a major problem. Some years back I broke a toe.. and it healed slightly displaced. Since that point the area surrounding the toe has been subject to both excrutiating tenderness and outright blistering. It was a major issue on the longer mileage efforts I enjoy.

The toe socks solved the problem...

Another issue has been blisters on the balls of my feet. Liner socks tend to relieve that issue on longer hikes. Toe Socks worn as liner socks work to offset both problems.

On really longer days I switch the socks out, putting on fresh, dry replacements; it can make a huge difference over the course of 40-50 miles.

And... a major issue is simple lack of foot maintenance. The callused and dead skin needs to be constantly removed. Soaking and sanding... just sanding... can keep hot spots to a minimum. I neglect this aspect constantly... and pay for it with aggravating hot spots/blisters.

Obviously shoe fit is also a major contributor to a lack of or a plethora of blisters. On a hike this last week one of our fellow hikers had half dollar size blisters on both heals within the first few miles. His shoes were too small... he was not wearing liner socks to keep his feet dry.

I carry along sandals to switch over to on longer days, but your feet have to be conditioned to the particular pair, otherwise the straps will rub you raw... or the flat, unpadded bottoms will beat your feet up.

Solutions for addressing blisters: Spenco Second Skin... Bandages... Artificial fat... Super Glue...Duct Tape... all of it can work. Better to do those things to avoid the problem.

Try Toe Socks!
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joebartels
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Re: Blisters

Post by joebartels » Oct 19 2012 9:20 am

toe socks definitely worked for my misaligned toes too

due to these issues I stick with duct tape
- thin enough as an under layer is just too hot for desert and/or long hikes
- medium works but wear out too fast and not competitively priced to duct tape which works fine
- thicker versions feel unnatural IMO, probably due to my toe alignments
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sirena
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Re: Blisters

Post by sirena » Oct 19 2012 11:18 am

I have also made the switch to toe socks. I used to have to tape my toes, wear gel toe spacers, etc. Not anymore. I use the thinnest toe sock and over that cheapie microfiber dress socks so that the toe socks last longer.

A great book for dealing with blisters is Fixing Your Feet, here's the accompanying website: http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/
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oceanwithin
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Re: Blisters

Post by oceanwithin » Oct 19 2012 11:53 am

Leukotape is amazing stuff, even better that duct tape for blisters. I put it on my "hotspots" before I start hiking and never have any issues.

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imike
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Re: Blisters

Post by imike » Oct 19 2012 11:57 am

...and what is Leukotape... where do we get it?
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imike
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Re: Blisters

Post by imike » Oct 19 2012 12:09 pm

sirena wrote:I have also made the switch to toe socks. I used to have to tape my toes, wear gel toe spacers, etc. Not anymore. I use the thinnest toe sock and over that cheapie microfiber dress socks so that the toe socks last longer.

A great book for dealing with blisters is Fixing Your Feet, here's the accompanying website: http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/

Nice site... thanks!

I ordered a couple of roles of the tape on Amazon... $6 pr roll...free shipping.
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imike
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Re: Blisters

Post by imike » Oct 19 2012 12:11 pm

oceanwithin wrote:Leukotape is amazing stuff, even better that duct tape for blisters. I put it on my "hotspots" before I start hiking and never have any issues.
thanks... I've ordered a couple of rolls!
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MtnBart01
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Re: Blisters

Post by MtnBart01 » Oct 19 2012 5:29 pm

Merino wool toe socks under toe shoes (VFF). Haven't had a blister or hotspot since I started wearing the socks particularly after I put several hundred miles on a pair of shoes as the inner lining tends to wear faster without socks. I do however rarely have a full set of toenails. :sl: It's an acquired taste and tradeoff I guess. :M2C: I'm also partial to New Skin for cuts and skin replacement especially when you take and unexpected chunk out of something.
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oceanwithin
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Re: Blisters

Post by oceanwithin » Oct 20 2012 5:32 pm

imike wrote:
oceanwithin wrote:Leukotape is amazing stuff, even better that duct tape for blisters. I put it on my "hotspots" before I start hiking and never have any issues.
thanks... I've ordered a couple of rolls!
Cool, you'll have to do a follow-up post on how it works for you!

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garyc57
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Re: Blisters

Post by garyc57 » Oct 16 2014 6:55 am

I discovered something on my latest hike that worked for me.

I started out with two pairs of SmartWool brand hiking socks, and wrapped gauze pads and duct tape around my heel spurs.

After an hour of hiking, I switched to the dry pair (Pair B), and and hung Pair A on the back of my backpack with some diaper pins (yes, I'm old enough to have kids that wore cloth diapers!). The duct tape was pretty beat up by this point.

I hiked for another hour, and swapped the pairs of socks again. At this swapping, the duct tape came off completely. My feet were completely dry, and blister free, so I left the duct tape off.

Another hour, and another swap, Each time my feet were dry or almost so. A little fanning dried them off if needed.

I kept this up the entire day, and at the end of the day - NO BLISTERS! :y:

Now, what's your opinion? Was this a smart thing to do? Should I continue doing it on my future hikes? Are there unforeseen consequences that I might have missed? Do any of you hiking gurus have any suggestions?

Gary

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CannondaleKid
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Re: Blisters

Post by CannondaleKid » Oct 16 2014 12:16 pm

Years ago during my in-line skating days I learned to wear two layers of socks... a very thin inner sock and a thick outer sock. It took a bit of experimenting to find an inner sock that would not slip much against the skin and an outer sock that would slip somewhat between the two socks yet not so much between the sock and the boot.

This works whether the socks are dry or soaking wet, which I experienced on my last hike. Since the rubbing friction against the skin causes the blisters, by having the socks take the rubbing instead of the skin it prevents the blisters.

Yes, I make sure to bring both pairs of socks along when trying on new boots.

Oh yeah, If I were to diaper/clothes pin anything on the outside of my pack, I'm sure it would be gone by time I went to swap back... left hanging on a thorny bush somewhere behind.

For those sticking with one pair of socks, I'd recommend using either baby powder or a product that goes on like Chapstick on blister-prone areas. (Sorry I cannot remember the name and the only container I have left the name has been completely worn off)
If you go with the baby powder I used to dust my feet first, drop some into the sock before putting it on, and finally putting a dusting in the shoe as well.
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big_load
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Re: Blisters

Post by big_load » Oct 16 2014 6:12 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:or a product that goes on like Chapstick on blister-prone areas. (Sorry I cannot remember the name and the only container I have left the name has been completely worn off)
Body Glide? I don't carry on backpacking trips, but I used a bit of it in my road running days.

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garyc57
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Re: Blisters

Post by garyc57 » Oct 26 2014 8:57 pm

@big_load
Thanks for the recommendation. I used some for my Black Mesa Loop hike this past Saturday, and it worked great! No blisters, no red spots, nothing. :y:

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big_load
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Re: Blisters

Post by big_load » Oct 26 2014 9:11 pm

@garyc57 Great, I'm glad it helped!

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