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Only one week to go and my new shoes gave me big blisters

Discussion in 'Medical issues on the pilgrimage' started by Mediana, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    I'm starting to panic now. I bought a new pair of shoes from Ecco. Lightweight with mesh and wore them for the first time yesterday. I walked 10 minutes to the subway and quickly felt a hot spot on my left foot, right inside the heel. It wasn't that bad and I thought, isn't this why you should go in your shoes? Later on the day I felt the same thing happening on the exact same place on my right foot. It started to get difficult to walk. I went to school and work and didn't come home before 1AM. When I came home and took my socks off I had a 1 inch blister torn opened on my left foot. I didn't do anything about it, just let it be and covered it up with the skin part. During the night it started to hurt and this morning I put a plaster on it.

    Went to school today and put my favorite sneakers on and Oh My I couldn't walk. I don't know what to do. I haven't had blisters on my feet in years, don't remember what to do about it. When I came home today the blister had broken on my right foot too.

    I have a lot of shoes from Ecco, including my favorite sneakers and never had a problem before. This was not supposed to happen. What do I do now? I guess my feet will heal in a week but what about shoes. I'm only gonna walk a small part so that is why I didn't buy regular walking boots. Do I buy new ones? In that case I need to buy them tomorrow since easter is coming up and all the shops will be closed until tuesday.

    The shoes I bought are a bit to big for me. Could that be the problem?

    Any suggestions are most welcome
     
    : blisters

  2. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    It's excellent that this happened NOW and not on the WAY.

    Have you discovered WHY you got the blister?

    Are the shoes too tight?
    Too loose?

    You need shoes with width in the toe, and they should be about 1.5 to 2 sizes larger than you normally wear. Are yours that large? Did you double up on socks?

    Tell us more :) and we'll give you 100 opinions!

    If I were you I would put COMPEED on right away then I'd change out my shoes.
    If you got blisters walking a few miles, your feet will not be happy walking 25 k

  3. MichaelB10398

    MichaelB10398 Member

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    Though I might be very hesitant to take the current shoes on Camino, there are alternatives if you choose to keep the shoes.

    You indicated that they are a size larger. If you did not wear two pair of socks, then that is a immediate correction. In addition, rub your feet with vaseline or comparable product to lubricate your feet and make them easier to prevent blisters from forming.

    If you choose to buy new shoes, it is not necessary to buy boots unless you are walking some of the more difficult trails. If you are walking the Frances hiking shoes would be more than adequate. Brands are different and each will find more comfort with some rather than others. I don't care for Eccos; I prefer Keens.

    If you are going to buy another pair, you need to do it immediately so that you can get some degree of wear with them. Some of the newer shoes/boots don't need a lot of breaking in, but you need to become familiar with them and how best to wear socks, etc.

    It is as Annie says, a good thing to discover this now rather than on Camino. Use this time wisely to heal and prepare for a blister-free Camino.

  4. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Active Member Donating Member

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    No need to feel impending doom as long as you take our advice :wink:

    If your shoes are slipping on your feet, you will get blisters. Guaranteed. If you add an extra pair of socks they might be OK. I don't know about that.

    I do not have a good feeling about shoes that give you blisters after 10 minutes. Why should you have to fiddle around with them to make them right?

    On the other hand, take the advice already offered and see how that works. As I've said before, when it gets too much trouble to make your shoes or boots comfortable and not causing blisters, chuck them out. Try new ones. You have a long way to walk and you don't want to be in the condition you are now.

    Best of luck kiddo.

    lynne

  5. irisbs

    irisbs New Member

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    You could also replace the inserts with better thicker
    ones which you purchase seperately, I like "Superfeet"
    with extra arch support.That'll take up some extra room.
    Your shoes have too much extra space in the footbed, that's
    the number one cause of blisters. I had a little extra room
    in the toe box (area at top of shoe where toes are) and I
    even put an extra little shoe pad beneath the insole just in that area.
    I got thicker socks and tied the laces a bit snugger. I have lambswool
    just a bit in case I need to fill in anything along the way. The other
    tip regarding Vaseline is excellent and try adding acsilk fitted sock liner!

  6. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I have a lot of space in the toe box. They are about 1 size to big, but I didn't use two pair of socks. God, I had nightmares about the camino last night.

    I'll go to the outdoor store today and see what they have to say. I live in Sweden so labels and shoes are limited.

  7. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    Whatever you do, don't let them talk you into boots. Just get comfortable walking shoes.

    If you have a pair that are already broken in and comfortable, wear those!

    I also feel concerned about shoes that are giving you blisters after 10 minutes and I promise you that you will dump them the first day on the Camino. Save yourself some sorrow and just wear what you have that is broken in and comfortable.

    I personally love those New Balance shoes because they never need breaking in. But if your resources are limited, wear what you have.

  8. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    Well, I came home with a pair of boots. Bought a pair of Hanwag Andaluz http://www.hanwag.de/schuh-detail.php?shoe_id=39

    I'll walk around with them at work tomorrow and see how they fit. I bought a pair of smartwoll socks to go along.

    To the shop I took my Ecco again. I think the problem was that I forgot to pull the drawstrings, so they became to loose. Anyway .. I think I'll be able to use these shoes, if not now at least later on.

    I'm going to Santiago next sunday and with the weather they been having. Can you even where a pair of mesh shoes?

  9. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Active Member Donating Member

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    Don't feel anxious about having chosen boots. Many of us prefer and wear boots, many prefer and wear shoes. These are just OUR preferences and you get to choose YOUR OWN. Just use the many criteria for fit that other members have recommended. Let us know how they are.

    lynne

  10. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    So far the boots feel fine. I've just walked around a bit at work. Since i still have blisters on my heels, I can't really walk fast. At least they don't hurt anywhere else. They are warm and comfy and I don't want to take them off :)

  11. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo

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    Mediana - hopefully these boots will be fine for you. Give some time for your blisters to heal. There is a lot of advice on this forum on the different ways people avoid blisters. Have a look. Try things out. Find what's best for you. Some people wear a liner pair of thin socks plus good quality outer socks - the important thning is to wick the moisture away from your feet. Others (me included) wear two pairs of socks but first apply vaseline and do that again during a long walking day especially if it is hot and sweaty. Just experiment. Above all let your feet get used to the boots. When your blisters heal go for increasingly long walks is my advice.

    Good luck

    John

  12. Tia Valeria

    Tia Valeria Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. The boots look very much like ours and I wonder how I ever walked in anything else, or rather now I know why I used to struggle to walk far. Dry warm comfy feet and boots that help me take the next step. Also use 1pr cushion sole socks, 1pr middle weight socks and very thin wicking inner socks rather than vaseline etc. If it does get hot I think I'll wear 2 prs of the wicking socks and 1 of the other pairs as it seems that the middle pair of socks takes all the friction.
    Buen Camino
    Tia Valeria

  13. annakappa

    annakappa Active Member Donating Member

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    I have two suggestions: I also had blisters on both my heels during our first (short 8 days) Camino from Roncevalles to Nájera. When I got home, I bought a pair of gel heel cups. Now I always use them, even on my daily walk. (Don't buy the rubber ones, they give blisters immediately).
    Second, last year I had one small blister, due entirely to my own fault, because the innersole was not put straight into the boot. At the albergue in Valverde de la Virgen, owner Pilar (who is also a florist) treated my foot, first by popping the blister in the usual manner and then medicating it with the gel from the leaf of fresh cut aloha from her garden (sábila in Spanish). I left the heel open overnight and put a protective dressing on it for the next day's walk. Repeated the fresh aloha treatment with the piece of aloha leaf that she gave me the next afternnoon, but in any case the blister had more or less disappeared! Anne

  14. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    Still not sure about the boots. They were fine when I wrote my last post :) but about 15 min later it started to press on my upperfoot. They are a bit more narrow there. I took them off and wore my Eccos again. Yesterday I bought a pair of coolmax liners from Bridgedales. And today I wore the liners + socks in my Eccos to work. Really comfy I have to say. Its warm but not sweaty like when I only wore smartwool sock. The Eccos were a bit big before but with two pair of socks they fit perfect.

    As for the boots. With two pair of socks they fit tighly at the heel + over the foot. I know the shoe will give in a bit but I'm wondering if I set myself up for failure. Perhaps I should choose another pair of boots that fit good with two pair of socks from the beginning?

  15. +@^^

    +@^^ Member

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    i can relate
    having bought trail shoes they started pressing my feet at different points when i wore them on different days
    i consulted an experienced Comrades Marathon gold medal runner (90 kays in 5 and a bit hours) and he advised not to panic but to try 3 things:
    1. take out your new shoe insert and insert your old worn in comfortable pair
    2. buy some "bubble laces" and experiment with diferent lacing - tighter at the toe-cap, looser over the arch, and tighter at the top - what ever suits you. The bubble allows the lace to stay put and not slide about
    3. use the double lace-holes at the back of your lace track to tie your foot back into the heel of the shoe, so it doesnt slide backwards and forwards

    maybe this helps?

    take it easy

  16. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    I'm thinking of skipping boots all togheter now. As I wrote before, the Hagwags I bought got a bit tight with two socks. Today I exchange the boots for half a size bigger and they are suddenly too big. I can wiggle my toes and they glap at the heels. Why is this shoe buisness so hard ??

  17. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Well-Known Member Donating Member

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    New Balance Trail Shoes with the wide toe shoe last. :roll:

  18. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    I've looked for those, but I'm not sure which one you're referring too. Is there a model nr or something? I could look at Foot Locker and see if they have them.

  19. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Active Member Donating Member

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    And if you can't find the New Balance, I have worn these shoes for several years for hiking trails at home and they have never given me a minute's problem. (I have quite misshapen feet and have had surgery on both). (These aren't boots - they are low hiking shoes)

    The site is:

    http://www.vasque.com (There is a retailer in Nacka)

    The model I have is Breeze Low VST | 7081

    Best of luck!

    lynne

  20. Mountainman

    Mountainman El Croco loco

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    and hopefully many more yet unplanned
    Looking through the answers, I want to add the tip of taking a footbath every day after the walk(before and on the Camino), ice-cold water with salt and vinager. If you have any blisters, pop them before the footbath. Not nice for the first seconds, but will do wonders for you the next day on the road.

    Most albergues have salt and vinager for this, even if they dont have a kitchen.

    Buen Camino!
    Martin

  21. cecelia

    cecelia several caminos- '03-'13

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    Hi Mediana,
    Unfortunately there is no magic solution since we all have different feet. I have worn both boots and runners on the camino and haven't yet had a blister although have had to work hard to find what works best for my feet. What works best for me is a leather insole and one pair of very fine cotton socks. I wear my socks inside out to lessen the rubbing from any seams. Cotton is generally not recommended but I've tried all the wicking, high tech socks double and single and my feet hate all of that. I found my first cotton socks in Burgos and what a relief after the ones I had from the hiking stores.

    But what works for me won't necessarily work for you. Try fine cotton, try silk or a mixture of silk and cotton or anything else you can get your hands on until you find what feels comfortable for you. But the other things still stand, no slipping around in your shoes, extra clean socks and make sure the soap is completely rinsed out.

    I like to take my boots off a few times a day and when I do I put some cream on my feet that has arnica and lavendar and I trade back and forth between two pairs of socks. Put a bandaid, moleskin or something on any hot spot before it is a blister. Pamper your feet but don't get a pedicure before you go or at least don't get the skin scraped off the bottoms of your feet as I understand they sometimes do. Good luck with all of this.
    Cecelia

  22. sus-anna

    sus-anna New Member

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    I think it's a good idea to have a pair of sandals with you, not just boots. Whenever I could, I walked in my sandals (Teva) and I walked in March. Even if it was raining, a bit muddy, rocky terrain etc, my sandals did a good job. Anything is better than walking with blisters in a pair of wet boots. :wink:

  23. Mediana

    Mediana New Member

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    Thought I should tell you all how it went

    Thank you all for your help. I've been back for a while and thought I should update you on how things went :D

    In the end I went with my Ecco shoes. Even though I tried hard, I wasn't able to find a good pair of boots in time. Since this was only gonna be short walk. (I went from Santiago to Finisterre) I thought I could make it work with the ones I got.

    So, I chose the Ecco shoes with two pair of socks. One pair of cool max and one pair of medium cushioned smartwool. The first day I walked 23km and my feet felt fine. I stopped about 10 km in and put a small compeed pad on the side of my feet where I thought I felt something .. hmm.. better to be safe than sorry, right? :)
    Second day was somewhat OK. I stopped about 10KM in to air and wiggle my feet, since I started to feel something on my right little toe. Just to make sure I put on a compeed pad. Over all it was OK and I only walked 16KM. The third day however, was when things went bad. I changed the compeed pad on my toe and put another one on the other side. There was a lot of pressure on my little toes. The walk was on rocky path and long downhill walking. The last bit really hurt but I stumbled on. When I stopped for the day after 29KMI had huge blisters on both toes and one on the side of my feet. Didn't matter that I had put compeed on since they had loosen. I punctured the blisters but that didn't help. The next morning they were back and just as big. I punctured them again, put compeed on and wrapped them with surgeon tape. I know compeed doesn't work once you already have blisters but I needed something to take the pressure off. I put my socks on and my feet in my shoes but realized right away that it wasn't gonna work. I couldn't even walk 10 meter in them. So I decided to take them off and walk in my flip flops. I had brought my beloved pair of crocs flip flops and they were great. Not the best thing to walk long distance in and in the end my feet hurt underneath, but they put me thru the last 18KM. Once I came back to Santiago I visited the small medical center that is situated right by the Pilgrims office. He injected disinfection solution into all three blisters. I was very grateful for their help.

    So what did I learn from all this? Mediana, You need to do everything you can to avoid blisters! Cause once you have them you're doomed. I really don't know how other people keep on walking.

    I think my biggest problem is that my feet swell up. I knew from the start that they would, its normal and whenever I spend time in warm climate my whole body swells up like a ballon. I just didn't know that they would swell up THAT much, specially since it wasn't warm outside.

    So what can I do to avoid this in the future? I have no idea. I know I need to buy a new pair of shoes and I know now, that I need something with a thicker outer sole. I'm gonna walk again next year so I have some time, but where can find a pair that fits my very wide feet that swell 2 sizes when I walk? Someone recommended NB. I'm going to Seattle in August so hopefully I'll be able to try on a lot of shoes that aren't available here. I'll let you know how things go. :D

  24. lynnejohn

    lynnejohn Active Member Donating Member

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    Congratulations on completing your walk! Even though you did end up contending with blisters, you persevered. And you're right - the trick is not to get the blisters in the first place. The only other observation I have for you is because the pressure was on your little toes, you need to get a wider pair of shoes/boots - doesn't matter what the brand or style is - it has to fit perfectly. You should not rely on "breaking in". And for sure there should be no pressure from the get-go.

    Live and learn, right?

    Rest up now, you deserve it!

    lynne

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