Why I Never Get Blisters – Footcare For Thru Hiking
If you’re hiking upwards of 2,000 miles in a single push knowing how to care of your feet during a thru hike is a super essential skill to have. Your feet are what will take you the distance, an unhappy foot can mean an unhappy hiker, but foot pain or blisters can also mean the end of your trip. Something so small like a little blister can even lead to much more serious injuries as well, so it’s very important to be proactive about footcare!
I personally don’t often get blisters, but I used to get a ton of them! I think it is the preventative things I do with my gear and how I hike that has been the big change. A blister to me means that something is wrong, and if you get a blister it is for a reason that can likely be changed to avoid them in the future! Remember that it is much better to try and stop the blister from ever forming than it is to try and deal with later!
Mentioned in the video:
Darn Tough Socks –
Grip6 Socks –
Injinji Socks –
Farm to Feet Socks –
Shoe advice video –
0:00 – Intro
1:15 – Shoes
3:27 – Socks
4:45 – Pace
5:32 – Pre-emptive Care
6:25 – Clean Feet & Socks
8:00 – Gaiters
8:44 – Air Out & Elevate
9:12 – Hotspots & Leukotape
10:22 – Blister Care
1. Find a good shoe. The problem is if you have a shoe that is either too tight or too loose. You don’t want your foot and toes squished tightly into your shoe, and you don’t want your foot sliding around in too loose a shoe! Try many brands and sizes out, and find the right one. During a hike like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail your feet will grow, and you will need to size up. Check out this video I made about shoes!
2. Adjust the shoe, and try different lacing techniques. I often skip the bottom most lace giving my toes more room to breath, preventing blisters between them. People with high arches will skip the middle most lace on their shoes to give more space. There are even ways to tie your shoes to stop your heel from rubbing and lock it in place.
3. Socks are almost as important as shoe! Finding the right size and fit, as well as a comfortable amount of cushion in socks is very similar to the shoe. You don’t want them too tight, or too loose! Some like very little cushion, while others like a lot of cushion.
4. Pace yourself, slow & easy means less blisters. If you are walking at an uncomfortably fast pace, that will cause problems. I recommend walking at a smooth and easy pace *for you* regardless of what others are doing. If you keep it light, smooth, and easy the miles will come.
5. Tape the spot before your trip even begins. If you know you are prone to getting blisters on your heel, tape it! Then when you do start hiking, the tape is already in place to protect you.
6. Keep your feet clean! I try to wash my feet with water once a day if I can. It keeps the dirt, and dust from combining with my sweat which would otherwise create more friction and abrasion causing blisters!
7. Keep your socks clean. I carry two pairs of socks, but three is also great! I swap my socks for the other pair everyday, and will wash the pair I am not currently wearing. Squeezing out whatever grime is in them, and then hanging them from my pack while I hike during the day to let them dry.
8. Wear gaiters. A company like Dirty Girl Gaiters makes a great product that will definitely make your feet happy. Gaiters are used to keep sand and pebbles from getting in your shoe, so that you don’t have to clean them out as often! I highly recommend these.
9. Take time to take off your shoes. Any time you are taking a break longer than 5 minutes, take off your shoes.
10. Be quick with hot spots, as soon as you feel them don’t wait, tape them. Leukotape is best as it sticks well while other brands will fall off or bunch up inside your sock.
– Sock liners, I have personally only had terrible experiences with these causing more blisters than I would have had I not worn them at all. But some like them
Problem! Now you got a blister
– If it is small, don’t pop it but try to protect it. If it is large, pop it with a clean needle + thread. Leave the thread in the blister to keep it from resealing, and then protect it. Change plans & slow down.
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