Now you know why you get them, let’s turn to how you can stop them from forming. If you’ve been wondering how to prevent hiking blisters, then the following suggestions are guaranteed to help.
Choose Boots That Suit Your Feet
Not all hiking shoes and boots are made equal. Rule number one of preventing blisters on a hike is to wear a pair that’s well-suited to your specific feet. Make sure they fit perfectly (i.e. no scrunched toes or excess room at the top) and offer equal parts comfort and support.
Lace Your Boots Up Properly
Some people are surprised to learn that the way you lace your boots makes a difference as well. Stomping your feet to get the heel as far back inside as possible and tying what’s called a surgeon’s knot will help. Here’s a video showing you how to do it.
Wear Your Boots In
Never hit the trail for any length of time wearing a brand new, never-before-worn pair of boots. Always break them in by wearing them around the house, yard, or local area first.
Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks
The socks you wear on a hike are crucial too. Make sure they’re moisture-wicking and quick-drying if you want to avoid excessive rubbing.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of merino wool socks, which do both by virtue of the material. Find some with extra padding around the heel and you’re onto a winner.
Change Your Socks
Even the best socks in the world won’t prevent hiking blisters if you never change them though. Try putting on a new pair every time the ones you’re wearing become too damp.
Air Everything Out
If damp feet are a recipe for trouble, then dry feet are the opposite. That’s why it’s important to air out your boots, socks, and shoes at every opportunity.
Whether that’s as you stop for lunch or when you arrive at the campsite, giving everything a chance to cool down and dry off is always a good idea. Applying talcum powder to your feet can help for the same reason.
Apply Tape/Plasters to Hotspots
Putting a blister plaster or blister tape over areas that are prone to blisters, such as your heels, will help protect the skin from rubbing too. But don’t wait for problems to arise before applying them: the best approach is to cover these parts of your feet at the very start of any hike.