How to Prevent Blisters
One blister can mar an otherwise wonderful hiking trip. The best way to ensure your feet keep you moving forward out on the trail is blister prevention. Before you head out, ensure that you have chosen moisture wicking socks, the right shoes or boots for your feet and have laced your footwear correctly.
Moisture Wicking Socks
When your skin is damp it's much more vulnerable to damaging friction. Keeping your feet dry is the first step to preventing blisters while you're out on the trail – this starts at choosing the right socks.
Moisture wicking socks are made from materials that absorb perspiration from your skin and move it through the sock's fibres for quick evaporation. Coolmax and Merino fabrics are both moisture wicking, making them a great hiking choice.
Breaking in Your Footwear for Blister Prevention
New hiking boots are an adventure waiting to happen. Unfortunately new boots can be a hindrance on the hiking trail if they are not properly broken in. Shoes that have not softened and adjusted to your feet may cause an area of your foot or toes to rub back and leading to painful blisters.
It is very useful to wear your new footwear at home before taking on the outdoors - this will reduce the chance of blisters later on. Break in your footwear while wearing walking socks, and make sure they are firmly laced up. A lot of simple, short walks will get the job done and prepare your feet and footwear for the things to come.
Out on the Trail
It is best to stop blisters before they begin to develop. As you go, pay attention to things like a stone in your shoe which may catch between your toes and rub painfully. Something as simple as a slipped sock can cause your heel to chafe against your shoe. This friction will lead to painful blisters on your heel. If you feel your shoe rubbing against your foot, try taping the area before a blister develops.
As an added precaution, it is always a good idea to bring along a blister kit to treat unexpected blisters on your feet.
Breaking in your new hiking boots before you head out on your hiking adventure and taking proactive blister prevention steps before they develop helps reduce the chance of blisters slowing your progress on the trail. Take care of your feet and they will take you where you want to go.