I love retiring a pair of hiking boots because it means I’ve fully worn out my boots with adventure. The only problem? New boots can bring fresh blisters. Each time I embark on an adventure with new pair of boots, the trip ultimately ends with me tearfully taking my boots off and later soaking them in ice water. One of the worst sets of blisters I have gotten to date was this past June after a week of backpacking in Washington. I’ll spare you gory the details but the blisters were bad and the wounds forced me to get creative with solutions to prevent and treat the sores. Here are a few solutions I’ve found to treating (and preventing) hiking blisters!
1. Dear Moleskin, I love you.
Moleskin is usually one of my first go-tos after a treacherous hike. The self sticking padding for feet is perfect for preventing blisters or healing blisters. The flesh colored bandage is hardly noticeable when wearing sandals, simply acting as an extra layer of skin!
2. Vaseline could be your new best friend.
This can be messy, but it’s a perfect solution to stopping blisters before they even start! I usually get blisters in the same areas every time so when I get a new pair of boots I have a pretty good idea of where the blisters will form. I just take a bit of Vaseline and apply it to the areas that are blister prone before I put my socks on! I’ve only tried this technique a handful of times, but so far its proved to be an effective solution in preventing blisters.
3. Double up on socks!
I started doubling up on socks about a year ago when I started getting back into running. I was breaking in some new running shoes and the socks I had were wearing thin leading me to double up on short running socks. After getting some gruesome blisters hiking I thought, why not double up on hiking socks? I’ve tried wool socks over running socks, and wool socks over another pair of wool socks and both have prevented blisters and sores when hiking. It really depends on how you prefer your boots to breathe but doubling up on socks when hiking can be an easy way to prevent wounds.
4. Band-Aid Friction Block Stick has my heart.
Saving the best for last, the Band-Aid Friction Block Stick might just be the best invention since sliced bread. Resembling a sunscreen stick, this clear solution works best when applied to trouble spots before hiking. After applying the Block Stick slide on your socks and boots and voila! Blisters don’t stand a chance.