You’re midway through an 8-mile hike and your heel starts off and evolved to hurt. With each step you take, you can feel your trekking boot rubbing in opposition to your foot in just the wrong way. You know what’s next: the inevitable painful blister. Or is it?
Many hikers and backpackers say that blisters surely come with the territory—that there’s no way to walk 5 or eight or 10 miles/day besides some serious foot pain. But the truth is, blisters are often preventable. The first thing to recognize is that blisters are caused with the aid of friction, and—with friction management—you don’t have to get blisters. Then you can observe these simple steps to tackle trekking and backpacking blisters once and for all.
1. Ensure Proper Boot Fit
If you’ll be going on long hikes over uneven trails—or even on city streets—a good fitting boot is essential. This is not a vicinity to skimp. Go to a clothes shop or outside shop and get outfitted with the aid of an expert. Explain when and the place you’ll wear your boots and any problems you’ve had with improperly fitting shoes in the past. Try on more than one boots and wear them around the safe until you find the boots that are proper for you.
2. Break in Your Boots
Make certain the first time you put on your new boots is on a short hike. Go on a few shorter hikes (less than 5 miles) before committing to long hikes in new boots. Identify any trouble areas (e.g. rubbing or discomfort) and test with solutions. Be sure your boots are at ease and suit well earlier than you go on a big hike.
3. Lace Up Just Right
A key aspect of blister prevention is trekking boots that are laced up neither too unfastened nor too tight. If your boots are slipping, tighten your laces a bit. If they’re pinching your ankles or cutting off circulation, loosen up.
Before snuggling up the laces, make sure that your foot is placed all the way back into the heel counter of the boot. The vamp (the upper, the front of the boot where the laces are located) then can be laced to hold the foot in region properly. If the foot is pushed forwards into the boot, as most human beings do when inserting on the boot, then laced, the boot will actually be too free once you commence taking steps. Holding your foot again into the boot assures reduction of unwanted movement in the boot as you walk, higher boot feature for manipulation and in shape. And maintains toes from banging into the stop of the shoe.
4. Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks
When you’re backpacking for weeks or months at a time, your feet will inevitably get hot and sweaty. Cotton socks can entice moisture against your skin, which will make your toes inclined to blisters. Invest in enough pairs of exceptional wool or other moisture-wicking socks to get you through a few days of hiking.
5. Air Out Your Feet
When your feet are getting hot, the worst thing you can do is power through and ignore it. If your toes begin to get hot or wet, take a moment to recharge, air out your feet, and change your socks. Eat a snack, take in the scenery. Take a smash when you want it. Your toes will thank you.
6. Keep Dirt Away
It would possibly seem not possible to keep dirt, grit, and sand out of your trekking boots and away from your feet. And how much damage ought to a little dirt do, anyway? A lot, it turns out. Tiny specks of filth can reason huge, painful blisters, if left unchecked. If your socks are gritty, trade them. If your boots are crammed with dirt, easy them out as nicely as you can. If there’s grime sticking to your sweaty feet, dry your toes off as well as you can and brush off the dirt. Even a small speck of grime can cause irritation—and blisters—on your feet.
7. Navigate Uneven Terrain with Care
You may have seen that your feet are extra-possible to get blisters on trails that have uneven or continuously changing terrain. If you can, range your hikes between flatter trails and uneven ones. If that’s not an option, pay more shut interest to your ft on uneven trails and make sure you rest extra often.
8. Nip Blisters in the Bud
When you’re on a lengthy hike, it’s tempting to keep going until you reach your destination, even if you’re in pain. Don’t. Listen to your feet—and the relaxation of your body—and if you experience a blister beginning to form, cease and observe an ENGO blister patch to your shoe where it rubs against the affected area. (Learn how to practice ENGO patches.)
Blisters are painful, annoying, and particularly common, however they don’t have to be an inevitable phase of hiking and backpacking. Don’t let blisters spoil your adventure. Use these tips, as properly as ENGO blister patches, to tackle blister-causing friction at its source. Happy hiking!