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Blister Prevention and Care

2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
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Time of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
1. Make sure your boots fit and are broken in properly

Of all the various blister prevention tips published in this article and elsewhere, I think this one (substituting "shoes" for "boots" where appropriate) is by far the most important and helpful.

I was fortunate enough to walk the entire way from SJPP to Fisterra this past May and June with only one blister - and that was a pinch blister that formed on the side of my heel after I tried swapping out the inserts I had started walking in for a (different) backup pair I had bought along with me.

Otherwise, breaking in my shoes well in advance of starting out and staying with a simple tried-and-true foot wardrobe/regimen (= lightweight Darn Tough socks with neither petroleum jelly, foot powder, nor liners) served me well. Meanwhile, nearly early everyone I talked to who was suffering through blisters were wearing shoes and/or socks they had bought shortly before starting their walk or had not trail-tested/broken in sufficiently.

I'm sure there are plenty of cases of folks coming down with blisters even with footwear that hadn't caused problems in the past. But for the most part, I still think it's one of those things where an ounce of prevention (or in this case, several weeks/months of pre-Camino walking) really is worth a pound of cure.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I wear my boots about a month before leaving, but always wear nylons under my socks on the Camino. Have yet to get a blister and have walked 4 times. I use this same sock combination at home with my new boots as I do walk for a living as a tour guide. Certainly saves weight in my pack and my feet say thank you too.
 

StuartM

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
Of all the various blister prevention tips published in this article and elsewhere, I think this one (substituting "shoes" for "boots" where appropriate) is by far the most important and helpful.
Absolutely. Don't walk long distances in boots you've never walked long distances in.

The other thing I think is critical is keep your feet as dry as possible and that's usually going to be sweat. Even in hot weather I like thick socks because they act as a sink for sweat. Thin socks get saturated faster than it can evaporate. Thick socks are going to make your feet warmer but there's some meat there to soak it up and have a chance to evaporate slowly.

I quite like to stagger my sock changes. Rather than a clean pair in the morning, do it at midday. Gives you half a day of wear, all night to dry out, another half a day and change at midday next day. Damp socks are killers for foot health.
 

Rodney Kent

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you for the article. It’s always useful to read more information. The best explanation about blisters and how to prevent and treat them is from Rebecca Rushton, a podiatrist in Australia. She has been mentioned in a post on the Forum before. My podiatrist here in New Zealand recommended her. I got a really clear understanding of blisters from her information.
 
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Rodney Kent

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Absolutely. Don't walk long distances in boots you've never walked long distances in.

The other thing I think is critical is keep your feet as dry as possible and that's usually going to be sweat. Even in hot weather I like thick socks because they act as a sink for sweat. Thin socks get saturated faster than it can evaporate. Thick socks are going to make your feet warmer but there's some meat there to soak it up and have a chance to evaporate slowly.

I quite like to stagger my sock changes. Rather than a clean pair in the morning, do it at midday. Gives you half a day of wear, all night to dry out, another half a day and change at midday next day. Damp socks are killers for foot health.
Staggering the sock changes is a good idea. I’ll try this next time. Thanks.
 

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