Blisters are the curse of walkers. You can prevent blisters and you can treat them properly when they develop to prevent further damage. Here are my proven techniques and products to keep your feet intact or to help them heal and quench the pain.
Blisters develop where rubbing from shoes and socks tears the skin. By lubricating your feet you can reduce the friction and prevent blisters. Simple lubricants include petroleum jelly, liquid silicone or powdered silicone.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Wet skin is easier to tear, leading to blister. Wicking away sweat and keeping your feet dry are a key to preventing blisters. Use cornstarch in your socks or even use antiperspirant on your feet to keep them dry. Socks made of moisture-wicking fabric, not cotton, are important to get the moisture away from your skin.
If an area is already developing a hot spot or blister, or you know it is an area that will, then covering it with a blister pad is the best way to go. There are many products that do this well and provide moist protection and healing before or after a blister develops.
Be prepared. Before you head out on a long walk, take along a blister kit to be ready to cover up any hot spots or treat any blisters. Here are good choices for compact kits with just what you need, easy to carry along.
How to Treat a Blister
First, stop and put on a cover-up at the first sign of a hot spot on your feet. But if you go too far or it pops out all at once, here are the simple steps to properly treat your blister on the trail.
Still Blistering? Maybe It's Your Shoes
Your shoes can be rubbing you wrong. Your toes need room to expand into as your feet will swell a full shoe size on a walk. You need to be fit correctly for walking shoes. Find out how and where to get that done with our Walking Shoe Guide.
Maybe It's Your Insoles
If you haven't changed shoes, but changed to a new insole or arch support, that could be the culprit in causing blisters. Investigate walking with and without the insert, insole, or arch support. Insoles can reduce the space in your shoe for your foot and toes, leading to blisters.