How to Prevent Blisters on Feet When Hiking

By: Clinton Maxwell

A blister will ruin an enjoyable hike into misery. Instead of enjoying the views and taking in the mountain air, your mind will focus on the pain of the blister. 

How to Prevent Blisters on Feet When Hiking

  • Choose the right Hiking Shoes.
    Use the right hiking shoe. They should be neither too tight nor too loose. Blisters result from the friction between your skin, sock and the inside wall of your boot. Your selection of a proper, quality hiking boot will contribute to minimizing friction and, ultimately, blisters.

    Dont wear brand new hiking shoes. While many stiff hiking boots will loosen somewhat as you wear them, it really is important to find a boot that fits right and is comfortable right away. 

    If you decide to remove your boots during the hike and slip them into a cold creek, be sure to dry your feet off completely before re-booting. Make sure there are no ridges on your sock and gravel inside the boot. 
  • Choose the right socks
    Though cotton, silk and wool are some of the more common materials, hikers today have a variety of choices. When combined with traditional materials, Lycra, nylon or moisture-wicking socks can do a good job as well. If wearing one pair of socks doesn't help, try wearing two pairs to protect your skin. 
  • Use comfortable and supportive insoles.

How do I get rid of a blister on the bottom of my feet?

  • Use a loose bandage to protect it
    Avoid the activity that caused the blister. If a small blister is on a weight-bearing area like the bottom of the foot, protect it with a doughnut-shaped moleskin pad. Leave the area over the blister open.
  • If you still feel a blister forming,
    Remove your boot and use some water to rinse off the area. Disinfect the area with anti-bacterial cream or alcohol if you have it. Then, puncture it horizontally by using a clean, disinfected needle and squeeze out the fluid inside. Do not tear off or remove the skin, but rather place a bandage over the area to serve as an 'artificial skin' until it heals. 

Once at home, treat the area better with Benzoin or another anti-bacterial cream. You may need to cut away the flap of skin but only if a good portion of the skin has become loose. Otherwise, it will fall off or decay on its own.

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