Monday, April 28, 2008

New Hiking Boots and Blisters in the Sun

N recently picked up new hiking boots and they look great, but she was commenting that she can already feel sore spots forming in some places. While the boots are brand new, they're not new enough that she can return them easily. They've been worn out on the trail and moderately broken in, and only now is this becoming a problem.

I went online and there's plenty of information about breaking in boots, and using moleskin, and so on, but there's not a lot of information about how to repair a boot that's causing blisters. Can anyone direct me to something like that?

In the meantime, here are the best three links about hiking and and blisters that I found while surfing around:
All three are excellent reads, and since it's that time of year where the boots might be a little stiffer and the feet could be a little more fragile, it might not be a bad time to review those blister basics.


SkyNymph said...

Namaste' girl, I wish I knew about a place to point you towards, hiking booots are a FUNNY creature in and of themselves I swear. I am looking at a new pair meself right now, we alway shop at MEC (are members) and I am humming and hawing so carefully cause I have had happen to me what happened to N. And then I have had some in the past that have never done this. It seems to not have anything to do with pricing either! thanks for the extra links too, if I come across anything that can help you, I'll send it your way. I subscribed again to this blog so hopefully I dont miss any posts here.


Michelle said...

It really is a mystery. My current boots have probably one more year in them, and they are ok, no real problems. But I don't *love* them like my last pair. Like you said, it's a tough process because you often don't know until it is too late.

Glad you resubbed. I don't know what would have happened there....

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

My daughter is going through the same problem. My husband suggested looking for special socks that would help relieve the rubbing and blister problem. I hope a solution is found for this. Perhaps breaking them in more around the home?


Michelle said...

Hi JJ,

You know, that's probably not a bad idea, at least if it develops into something that going to cause a problem, you're right at home and can find a way to prevent it.

I'll definitely post if we find something that works. Thanks for the suggestion!

zhakee said...

I've never heard of being able to "fix" boots that cause blisters. Friction is the culprit, and if somehow one can pad the foot with the right socks of the right thickness and material, perhaps future blisters can be eliminated. I find wearing 2 pairs of socks to be a big help, a very thin liner sock that hugs the foot and wicks moisture and then a slightly thicker sock on top of that that pads the foot and fills the boot. For backpacking, moleskin is essential, applied as soon as any tender spots begin, and left on the entire trip.

Soft boots help, as does a cushy insole that soaks up the bumps along the trail.

It helps to take the insole along when trying on boots, along with both pairs of trail socks so you can buy boots to fit the required thickness. And buy soft boots, not stiff ones. If you buy all leather, you can wet them, then wear them until dry so they dry to the proper shape and fit around the foot. Leather does stretch a tiny bit. I have insoles I buy at the store, and I like this particular brand so much I stick the same insole in all my boots so my arch gets to have the same cushion no matter which boots I wear. Consistency in the insole helps my feet a lot when it comes to fatigue and comfort.

Building up calluses is the foot's way of dealing with blisters. My husband wears boots all the time in his line of work, and he has huge, permanent calluses on his feet from friction in the boots. He likes his calluses as they keep the blisters away.

Michelle said...

Thanks Zhakee for some really good points. I guess I was hoping for some sort of "magic bullet". I've been reading about the two pairs of socks strategy a lot and with summer here I especially think getting the "wicking" socks is the way to go.

And the callus thing makes sense too.... as a guitar player I should have made that connection! ;-)

Thanks again.