Foot Care for Hiking and Backpacking


Ever found yourself hobbling on a blister when out on a hike? Well that’s not okay! In this video we jump into a discussion about how to look after your feet when on the trail in order to allow you a smooth trip with minimal injuries to your precious feet.

Physio tape:

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24 comments

  • gaffer tape ( ie duck/gorilla) do heels toes b4 start. won't sweat off . cheap.

  • My kids and I haven't had any blisters since we switched our structured hiking boots for Altra trail runners. Also, thumbs up for sizing up … that's made all the difference too. We wear Gortex hiking boots in the winter, still–we hike the We(s)t Coast of BC–and have to be extra mindful of hot spots then, especially with big elevation gains/losses. As for hot spots, Injini toe socks work for us.

  • Hi Abbie, you've inspired me to attempt a long distance trail, starting with the CW. I have a question regarding the foot cream before going to bed. Do you wear the socks all night or just while the cream soaks in?
    Blisters terrify me šŸ˜‚

  • Kinesiology Tape is super useful for blisters! Also, put baby powder in your socks, helps a lot to keep your feet dry.

  • I use a running sock inside a hiking sock . Seems to work

  • Thank you… I will do WHW end of August this year. Always, Alwaayysss had problems with my feet I will do before the WHW 400 miles in my coutry, I think half of my first aid kit (or more) will be with foot care ……………… Even now I have blisters ….. hahahah

  • Very useful. Thank you (prepping for my first long distance walk : )

  • I use the Bridgedale system. Lycra inner/liner and the Trekker. Itā€™s an awesome system. Not a single blister on the WHW or the Great Glen Way

  • Vicks VapoRub (in the pot version) works better than vaseline! Kills athletes foot and nail infections too.

  • I have to wear compression stockings as I suffer with excess water retention. This acts like a liner sock for me. No choice in the matter, I have to wear them. I also wear a medium-thick walking sock when out on the trail. This works for me as I dont get many hot spots anymore. If I do get one, then I immediately stop and put a compeed plaster on, (good excuse to stop for a break to). Looking forward to getting back out there this year – once this national lockdown ends. Keep up the excellent work Abbie

  • With the amount of different products you have their you may be better off making your own with all full natural ingredients maybe even add some cbd oil so it soothes more.

  • Always useful to hear a modern days version of ideas and products. Thanks to you, I am being sent a whole package of KT Products to test out. I have previously only used MOLESKIN on hot spots. Old Soldiers have been known to try and harden the skin on their feet using Methylated Spirits and all sorts of Witches concoctions. I personally prefer massaging my pre-nights kip feet with VICKS or the Chemist's version, not the Tourist Trap version of Tiger Balm. I am of the opinion that the Talc was just away of trying to keep your feet dry, but with the modern Gortex boots, the breathable waterproof socks, it is probably only pertinent for those of us with very sweaty feet. You have to find what does the job for you best. Very useful video all of the same, thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Hi I tend to get blisters and big ones on the ball of my foot down from my toes underneath what can I do to help this thanks love your videos getting me inspired to get moving šŸ˜Š

  • Hikers wool is an excellent natural product to look after your feet

  • I worked as a boot fitter for a well known national chain of outdoor shops, our mantra is mosture + movement = blisters, minimise both these and you will have happy feet. The more damands you ask of your feet in terms of distance walked, weight through body, temperature and terrain all increase the risk of blistering. Mosture managment especially in hot conditions, recommend swapping socks over when on a break. If you can take your boots and socks off will allow your feet and boots to cool then dry, then put a fresh pair of clean socks. I recommend a liner socks as they are excellent at wicking sweat away from the skin (Brigdale for example). Great socks to consider are those that have a high merino wool content like smartwool. Merino is much finer than normal wool and offers a combination of great wicking and cusioning.

    The best way to help reduce movement (apart from good lacing technique) is superfeet althotics. These insoles stablize your feet and reducing movement inside the boot as the foot moves through its normal walking gate cycle. The insoles will also reduce wear and stress on your lower lumbar regions such as knees, hips etc by keeping your legs alligned through your centre of gravity. Need to fitted by a good outdoor retailer as everyones feet are different. great vids, Hope this helps. PS Sry I missed you on your hikes ( I live on the cotswold way!)

  • A great video which answers many of the questions which most people end up learning, sometimes painfully, from experience. I think another good video subject is how to choose the right boots. I have a fair idea that like myself you also live in the South West, from many the walks you have posted which look like day walks from your home.
    The only pair of boots of the several pairs which lie cluttering up my hall which really do the job 100% are Zamberlans. I bought these at Tiso's in Perth and their well-trained staff gave me first rate advice and plenty of time to be sure I had made the right choice. They are really designed for 3 season mountain walking in Scotland and total overkill for walks in the South West, but they are miles better than the ageing Brasher boots I use for walks nearer home. The heel of the Brashers is too narrow and the sole (not Vibram) is hard and can be slippery on wet rock. But where to replace them anywhere near where I live? The last boots I bought round here ended up in the bin within six months, despite having a well-known brand name on the boot (and another on the sole). I would rate them as one-walk-wonders, designed for youngsters to do their DofEs but not suitable for wearing regularly for several seasons rain and shine.
    Oh and there is another reason why I think you live in the South West. You don't talk Zummerzet like that – as most of my neighbours and other people round me do. But I am sure I remember you saying 'buiwding' without the voiced 'l' as in building. Keep walking!

  • 4 unlikes,,, What is there to unlike? šŸ˜‚
    Thank you for sharing, your time and information is much appreciate šŸ‘

  • How well presented was that! Great job!

  • The draining the blister with a needle tip is actually what I was taught on my outdoor first aid course. The instructors on that were members of the Police mountain rescue team . One was also an ex medic on the SBS. Thier knowledge was amazing. What I was taught was put a hole either side of the blister with your needle and gently squeeze the fluid out with a piece of gauze to help absorb the fluid. I struggled on day 3 of my WHW due to a bad night sleep. My party had gotten away ahead of me so detoured into the Tyndrum inn for a beer or few . I found a couple of lads in there suffering badly with foot problems so offered to treat them in the bar. I ended up with a few others walking the WHW asking advice on their blisters. The lads had decided to get a taxi to Bridge of Orchy so took the offer of a lift. result was I had my tent up and sitting in the bar before my group arrived. I found the lads in Fort William 2 days later having completed the route and they reported they had no more feet problems after the visit to Tyndrum inn.

  • Great advice.Ā I've been walking in the mountain 50yrs now. and with experienceĀ I foundĀ the 1000miles socks brill. I've been using these now for over 25yrs in all weathers, and in all that time never had a blister. they are 2 socks in one. AĀ thin liner and outer sock. Also Ā I found that Ā hot spots usuallyĀ start where the materialĀ in yourĀ sock was becoming hard and compressĀ at that point. A change of cleanĀ socks helps. Also just swapping socks on your feet is like putting on a fresh pair.

  • I love arnica ointment. Good for the feet and the legs or any part of the body that hurts. It smells very natural, if not grandma-like, but it helps so very well.

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