How to Prevent Blisters
So, you’ve hit this page in hopes of finding a magical cure to prevent blisters…I hate to burst your proverbial blister bubble, but there is no way to “prevent” them entirely. There are however, some ways to significantly reduce your chances of developing an activity-killing blister.
First, you must know that blisters develop due to friction on the skin. A warning sign that a blister is about to develop is redness and warmth on the skin called a “hot spot.” Most people get blisters on the heels or soles of the feet because they rub against shoes, socks or sporting equipment. This type of friction, especially in moist, warm conditions, is perfect for blister development.
- Minimize friction on the skin.
- Wear appropriate footwear that fits. Often new boots will need to be broken-in before long term use.
- Wear moisture-wicking socks made from synthetic blends. I will often wear two pair of socks…one really thin pair, then a thicker pair over.
- A lot of people will recommend moleskin…I personally don’t find it helps much—it generally comes off during strenuous activity.
- Many athlete use a small strip of duct tape on trouble spots. Duct tape stays in place for long runs and the shiny back is slick enough to slide on socks. This is good in a pinch, but the best solution is the last bullet.
- Another other option is to apply petroleum jelly or talcum power before exercise to reduce friction.
- The holy grail of blister prevention might just be a fairly new product called “Blister Stick or Blister Block (depending on the MFG)” [or at least the combination of Blister Block and a great pair of socks]. A Blister Stick is a deodorant type product that you simple rub on your problem areas, then don a good pair of moisture-wicking socks (I’ve had great luck with Dahlgren socks…read my review), and you should be good-to-go…BLISTER-FREE!
That’s it. Hopefully with these simple tips you’ll be off for some happy and blister-free hiking. If you have any additional tips, please leave a comment below.