Blisters from hiking boots and walking are the most common that we see.
Like other sports and leisure activities blisters tend to present on the feet when you start to participate in these activities without prior conditioning or planning. Walking can be done anytime and anywhere and because of that reason, forethought and preparation sadly can be lost. It is easy to assume that because these activities are part of our everyday life we will just be able to do them, however a 25+ mile event is not a walk in the park!
For a successful outcome of any event, preparation and conditioning is key, increasing the distance achieved over a gradual period of time is important for the feet to be able to adapt to the different stresses put onto them.
Walking shoes to prevent blisters.
There isn’t a good or bad pair of walking shoes and boots, they just have to be right for you. However the fit of the shoe is very important, try shoes or boots on at the end of the day when your feet have been on the move and maybe a little warmer and therefore the shoe fitting at this point will be more accurate to when you will be active.
Walk away if they don’t feel right, shoes will wear you in before you wear them in! Always make sure there is a thumbs width from the longest toe to the end of the shoe, which will allow the extra room needed at the front of the shoe, especially when you walk downhill when the foot can move forward in the shoe. If you think you have a problem with the way you walk or you are struggling with repetitive injuries then arrange to see a MSK (Biomechanics) Podiatrist who can help ascertain what the problem may be and prescribe exercises or an orthotic.
Best blister prevention socks for hiking
It is really important to wear the correct socks , blisters can be caused if moisture is not wicked away from the skin, so socks that hold the moisture created by sweating will inevitably cause the skin to blister over a period of time. Wicking socks are the only one to use when walking, if one sock is not enough to prevent the blisters forming then use two socks and then the friction created will be taken up between the socks and not the foot and the sock. Injinji socks with their five toe formula help prevent blisters forming between the toes, by removing the friction of skin on skin.
Reduce friction to prevent blisters
Engo patches– placed in the shoe, reduce the friction from the shoe onto a hotspot area of the foot and are worth using as a preventative measure for blisters
Gel products from gel digi caps, epitact gel ovals and gel heel sleeves they all help to prevent blisters as they absorb the shear enabling the skin to remain blister free.
Poron insoles– are wonderful at absorbing shear from underneath the feet resulting from ground reactive forces, there are a range of insoles that have different properties and functions depending on what suits your blister type
2toms Blistershield powder can work really well by itself on the skin as a prevention measure or after the blister prevention tape has been applied, reducing the friction applied to that area.
Alpaca wool to weave in between the toes if blisters are forming there, the friction is taken up within the fibres of the wool and not within the skin.
Lace locking is essential for retaining the foot in the shoe and preventing it moving around too much in the shoe