Keeping Blisters at Bay
You're hiking along and having a wonderful time. Not a care in the world because it's just you and the great outdoors today! Then, a warm sensation on the bottom of your foot quickly breaks your bliss. It can't be... it's an oncoming blister. You don't even want to think about the sight you're going to be faced with when you rip off your shoe post-hike let alone the days of discomfort to follow.
It doesn't have to be this way. If you’ve found yourself to be blister prone, here are a few easy tricks for prevention!
Choose Your Footwear Wisely
It’s not you; it’s the shoes. Seriously, it may be that the hiking shoes you’ve been wearing just aren’t compatible with your foot shape. A simple solution... Try some different shoe styles and pay attention to where they rub on your feet. There are so many options to explore!
Wear Non-Cotton Socks
Cotton socks absorb the sweat from your feet (EEK!) while synthetic socks are designed to wick the moisture away. Wrapping your feet in sweaty socks adds fuel to the fire by softening your skin. This leaves your feet vulnerable to the friction of your shoes while hiking. Brands like Darn Tough and Smartwool make socks with outdoor recreation in mind, so you know they're good!
Soft feet? Keep hiking to build up some protective calluses. This one takes some time to achieve and comes naturally after many miles. Say goodbye to dainty polished feet and painful blisters at the same time ladies!
Pre-Cover Blister Prone Areas
If you're reading this article, I bet you've had your fair share of blisters. By now, you know exactly where you get them. For me, it's on the outside of my big toes, UGH! Before you head out for your next hike, try covering up those problem areas to protect them from blister causing friction. Bandages, tape, or moleskin can all work!
Keep Your Feet Dry
I know it's really fun to puddle stomp and wade through ankle-high streams, but let's resist such activities for the sake of dry feet. If wet or sweaty feet are absolutely unavoidable, consider traveling with an extra pair of socks in your pack. If it means no blisters at the end of the day, I'd say it's worth the extra ounce of weight.
What are your tricks for preventing blisters? Share your wisdom in the comments!
Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor lifestyle writer for hire. Samples of her published work can be found at emilylorenwriting.com.