Top Tips For Preventing Blisters
Whether it’s in a casual pair of shoes on a day long trek, or hiking for hour upon hour with no alternative footwear, most of us have experienced the wincing step-after-step pain of a blister.
However, it’s important to note that blisters are not normal. Blisters occur due to poorly fitting footwear, or when feet are warm and damp and begin to rub against your boots. Your skin naturally reacts by forming a pocket of fluid under the damaged layer of skin, cushioning the tissue underneath. With the right fit and the right socks, you shouldn’t get them at all.
By following a few simple blister prevention steps in preparation for your trek and knowing how to stop and treat a blister mid-trek, you won’t have to let one ruin your adventures.
Finding The Right Fit
The first, and most important, step is to make sure that your footwear fits properly. Visit any of our stores for a free boot fitting service with one of our in-store experts, or check out our boot fitting guide. Once you have correctly fitting boots, make sure you tie your laces properly as this can often make the difference.
Choosing The Right Socks
Avoid cotton socks as these tend to hold moisture next to your skin, which combined with friction causes blisters. Instead, choose a moisture wicking pair of polyester or wool socks like Bridgedale or Smartwool. Alternatively, you could try a thin pair of merino wool or polyester liner socks, with a second pair of thicker socks over the top. Whether you wear one pair of socks or two is down to personal comfort. However, it’s important to consider the thickness of your socks in relation to the fit of your footwear, as they can change the volume of your foot. You should also consider the level of insulation the sock you choose offers.
Take A Spare Pair
Wool and synthetic socks do a great job at moving sweat away from your feet, but you can always take a spare pair of socks with you and swap them if your feet get wet.
When it comes to treating blisters, prevention is always better than cure. If you notice a spot which feels uncomfortable, stop and treat it before it spoils your day or tomorrow’s trek.
When using a blister plaster, get it up to body temperature before you apply it as it helps to make it more adhesive. You can do this by placing it inside your layers or under your armpit to warm it up while you take your boot off. Air your feet out and only apply the plaster once your feet are dry, as it won’t stick to damp skin.
If you're experiencing an ongoing problem with blisters, visit one of our stores. Our in-store experts will be able to check the fit of your boots and recommend comfort solutions.
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