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Blister prevention

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Blister prevention

Postby sjverhaeghe08 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:29 am

I hiked Elbert two weeks ago in shoes that I've had for almost five years. I've never had a problem with them, but at the end of this past trip, I had a substantial blister on my left heel. It's mostly cleared up now but I'm doing Missouri tomorrow and was wondering if anyone had any tips for preventing that blister from flaring up again? In my experience, bandaids on my heels never hold up while I'm hiking (too much motion/sweat, I guess). I was thinking of putting duct tape/medical tape over a bandaid to keep it on, but does anyone else have any other ideas?

Thanks so much!
"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."
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Re: Blister prevention

Postby djkest » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:32 am

Lots of ways to get it done. If you have new skin or liquid bandage you can put that on. A bandage or moleskin held on with Medical tape works well. Some people just use medical tape. Just make sure to get it really secure, or it will come off when you hike. I had to deal with this for a month or so this year.
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Re: Blister prevention

Postby SolarAlex » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:33 am

i had a serious blister on my right heel about 6 weeks ago...it was right on the crease on my heel, so it kept cracking open on me any time i would do anything. I eventually figured out how to beat it...liquid skin (its like a nail polish type thing they sell at walgreens), a bandaid and then moleskin over that.

moleskin is the best thing ive used to prevent blisters. I put it on my heels and on my big toes, the 2 places i am prone to get blisters. works like a charm. i hiked 15 miles the other day and not one blister.

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Re: Blister prevention

Postby tmathews » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:39 am

sjverhaeghe08 wrote:I hiked Elbert two weeks ago in shoes that I've had for almost five years. I've never had a problem with them, but at the end of this past trip, I had a substantial blister on my left heel. It's mostly cleared up now but I'm doing Missouri tomorrow and was wondering if anyone had any tips for preventing that blister from flaring up again? In my experience, bandaids on my heels never hold up while I'm hiking (too much motion/sweat, I guess). I was thinking of putting duct tape/medical tape over a bandaid to keep it on, but does anyone else have any other ideas?

Thanks so much!


Blisters can be caused by several things, but there are a couple of things I've done to prevent them. First, hot spots and blisters can result from friction between your foot and your shoes. Wearing thin, skin-tight liner socks (like merino wool) under your normal hiking socks will help reduce this friction. If you already know which spots on your foot tend to blister, you can apply moleskin or even some duct tape to help protect those areas. Also -- Google "heel lock lacing" and you'll find a number of ways to lace your shoes. A heel lock will also help to prevent your foot from sliding around inside your shoe -- especially after your feet start sweating. When you've reached your destination and if you have time, take your shoes off and let your feet air and dry out. Some people like to take an extra pair of socks and change them at the summit. Lastly, if you can, you might consider taking an anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofin) at the summit. Since your feet swell during hiking, it might help with creating less friction areas.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Blister prevention

Postby sjverhaeghe08 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:42 am

This might be a really, really stupid question, but...how do you put the moleskin on? With the soft part on the skin and the sticky part sticking to the medical tape? This could explain why I've never felt I use moleskin correctly...
"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."
Edward Whymper

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Re: Blister prevention

Postby Dukietown » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:43 am

Duct tape or Leukotape work well. I've been using this for a little while and have had good results. http://www.pharmapacks.com/products.php?product=Dr.-Scholl's-Blister-Defense-Anti%252dFriction-Stick-0.30-oz&gclid=CLGWwb7A3bECFQVvTAodywEAyw
It's the same as Glide or any other anti-friction stick but it comes in a smaller package which is nice. Found it at my local Safeway.
"If there is such a thing as spiritual materialism it is displayed in the urge to possess the mountains rather than to unravel and accept their mysteries."

Re: Blister prevention

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:52 am

Hands down, this is the best product on the market to prevent, heal and protect blisters. Blows moleskin away.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/band-aid-advanced-healing-blister-cushions/ID=prod392263-product
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Re: Blister prevention

Postby lordhelmut » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:53 am

I get really bad blisters when wearing high top, backpacking boots (think Scarpa Kailash or Asolo Fugitives). But when I wear my lower top shoes (5.10 approach shoes, Ahnu's, New Balances), I never have a problem with blisters. I think the solution is pretty clear, as my heel moves more fluently with the low tops, only downside is I don't have much support. I try to remedy this with ankle braces, and extra cautious about stream and mud crossings.

I can apply all the medical tape, moleskin, etc to the affected area with the high tops, and they rip right through regardless, so the low top solution is the way I go for now. Mid tops is the perfect medium I imagine.

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Re: Blister prevention

Postby gdthomas » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:07 am

its_not_a_tuba wrote:Hands down, this is the best product on the market to prevent, heal and protect blisters. Blows moleskin away.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/band-aid-advanced-healing-blister-cushions/ID=prod392263-product


Do they come in a size that will cover an entire heel? And when it says "multi-day use" how many days did it stay on in your experience? I'm going to be doing a remote, 17-day trek in October but duct tape (my blister prevention method of choice) only stays on for a couple of days. I want to avoid generating a bunch of garbage.

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Re: Blister prevention

Postby djkest » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:25 am

its_not_a_tuba wrote:Hands down, this is the best product on the market to prevent, heal and protect blisters. Blows moleskin away.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/band-aid-advanced-healing-blister-cushions/ID=prod392263-product


Had those. Came off after about 2 miles of hiking. Slides all over the place. OK if you aren't walking at all. Totally not worth the exorbitant cost, imo.
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Re: Blister prevention

Postby Dukietown » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:38 am

djkest wrote:
its_not_a_tuba wrote:Hands down, this is the best product on the market to prevent, heal and protect blisters. Blows moleskin away.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/band-aid-advanced-healing-blister-cushions/ID=prod392263-product


Had those. Came off after about 2 miles of hiking. Slides all over the place. OK if you aren't walking at all. Totally not worth the exorbitant cost, imo.


I loved having these after getting really bad blisters. They provide the best cushion/protection for blisters that are healing IMO. The off/store-brand hydrocolloid bandages work just as well whlie being a few bucks cheaper. I wouldn't use them as blister prevention though.
"If there is such a thing as spiritual materialism it is displayed in the urge to possess the mountains rather than to unravel and accept their mysteries."

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Re: Blister prevention

Postby RoanMtnMan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:44 am

I'm still waiting to find something that is a better value and works better than duct tape.
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