They are painful, annoying and unwanted. And we all fear them a little bit because we know that they can put an end to a beautiful hike.
The itchy blisters form when the skin is damaged by friction, cold, heat or moisture. And the blisters do occur very easily if you don’t take the correct precautions before you go hiking.
We don’t want that to happen.
So I’ve put together a list of tips to help you protect your feet during your outdoor adventure:
1. Choose Your Shoes Thoroughly
Your hiking boots must fit your foot shape, not be too loose or too tight and have enough room in the toe box for your toes. In addition, I recommend that you buy your shoes at least 1/2 to 1 full size larger that your normal size. Your feet will swell during the hiking and thus require additional room for the toes. In this way you avoid friction.
2. Use Merino Wool Socks
When you go hiking, your feet will sweat al lot. And since moisture is bad news for your feet you need socks that can help you keep your feet dry.
Merino wool socks have many good features that protect your feet during long hikes.
Firstly, the Merino wool absorbs and transports sweat away as a vapor and thus prevents wet feet. Secondly, the fabric regulates the temperature, i.e. keeps your feet cold in warm weather and warm in cold weather. These benefits of wool ensure a good climate for your feet in the boots.
3. Follow the Two Socks Principle
If you got very sweaty feet, it may be a good idea to follow the two socks principle.
Every time I go hiking, I pack nylon socks alongside my Merino wool socks. During my hikes, I wear the nylon socks underneath my Merino wool socks since they help transport the moisture away from my feet.
If you follow the two socks principle, remember to turn the nylon socks inside out to prevent irritation from the seams.
4. Use Moleskin and Blister Bandage
Many people have areas on their feet specifically prone to blistering even though they wear high quality boots, Merino wool socks and follow the two socks principle.
My heels are extremely sensitive. So I use moleskin to protect the heel areas, where blisters form very easily. A moleskin is an extra skin you may add to the sensitive areas on your feet you wish to protect.
Sometimes you may get blisters despite of all the precautions you have taken. In this case you need to cover the damaged areas with blister bandage that provide cushioning and shields from further friction.
5. Cut Your Nails
The final tip concerns your nails.
Long toenails can create major problems for your feet during your outdoor adventure. Nails are sharp and may cut into the adjacent skin and cause blisters or even bleeding wounds.
So it’s important that your remember to cut your nails before you go.
Care for Your Feet is Care for Your Hike
A successful hike requires optimum preparations including care for your feet.
Your feet must carry you and your backpack a long way and perhaps for many days. Therefore, it’s important that you give them the right conditions so they can carry out their job without causing pain.
5 tips will help you prevent blisters and wounds and thus enable you to go farther and enjoy your outdoor adventure without the painful bastards in your shoes.
Happy hiking 🙂