Blisters are an annoying and oftentimes painful after effect of rigorous or repeated physical activity. They can leave you in pain for several days and are always at risk for developing infection, making them utterly unpleasant! Here are some proven tricks on how to blister proof your feet for hiking so you can avoid getting those pesky bumps!
Blisters occur when there is consistent friction against your skin. Layers of skin separate, allowing fluid to build up, resulting in a blister. These are typically quite painful, and can leave you out of commission from other physical activities until they heal or pop. Friction that causes blisters happens for a number of reasons, but when it comes to hiking, this typically includes dry skin, damp skin, ill fitting shoes, and improper socks. Here are some tips and tricks to help prevent these conditions!
Wear Proper Shoes
If you regularly develop blisters in the same spot, the first step you should take to prevent them from forming is ensuring that you are wearing the right shoes. For hiking, you’ll want to make sure to wear a good, sturdy pair of hiking boots or shoes, not tennis shoes or casual shoes. Ensuring that you wear shoes that are designed for the activity you are partaking in can make a huge difference!
It is also important to make sure that you are wearing the proper size of shoe, as this can have a noticeable impact! Shoes that don’t fit correctly can lead to increased friction, resulting in those unwanted blisters! Head to your local specialty shoe store and an expert can help determine whether your shoe fit is right and help you fix it if it isn’t! Also, always be sure to correctly lace your shoes to further prevent friction!
Up Your Sock Game
Socks are another important part of blister prevention! They provide a layer between your skin and your shoe, which can drastically reduce your chances of developing a blister. For anyone who has ever gotten a blister, they can tell you that sometimes regular socks just don’t cut it! Try to avoid cotton socks, as they will absorb moisture and sweat, leading to more friction. Find moisture-wicking socks, which prevent sweat from absorbing into the material, keeping your feet drier and less susceptible to friction.
It can also be very effective to wear two pairs of socks when hiking! Wearing two pairs provides an added layer of protection between your shoe and your foot, with friction taking place between layers of socks instead of your foot!
Stay Properly Hydrated
Making sure that you are properly hydrated is important to blister prevention as well! Hydration is a double-edged sword, as both dehydration and overhydration can cause swelling in your feet, which puts less room between your shoe and foot, and causes your toes to rub together. Just be sure to drink the right amount of fluids!
Using an antiperspirant on your problem areas before setting off for a hike can help to reduce friction by preventing excess moisture from forming! It is important, however, to make sure you use an antiperspirant and not just a deodorant, as it won’t yield the same results!
Cover Problem Areas
If you know you have certain areas where blisters consistently form, you can take preventative measures by covering your problem areas with adhesives. There are many different adhesive products out there specifically designed for blister prevention, with moisture-resistant material that will adhere to skin and won’t fall off! Some runners even swear by everyday tapes for this purpose, like duct tape. Finding a tape that works for you can be a trial-and-error process, and some people find that different types of tapes on different parts of the foot are necessary for optimal blister prevention!
Now that you know all the tricks on how to blister proof your feet for hiking, you can set out and enjoy the scenery without having to worry about irritating blisters forming! Have any other tried-and-true methods of blister prevention? Comment to share them with us!