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Blister Prevention and Foot Care

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D

Deleted member 3000

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Top 7 Blister Preventing Lubricants
By Wendy Bumgardner, About.com Guide
Updated July 31, 2009

Blisters are caused by abrasion against the skin. Lubricating the skin can keep that abrasion from causing blisters. The lubricant you use should be one that will last for the length of your walk. Apply any lubricant liberally to your feet in any area that is prone to blistering.

1. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
It's cheap and it works. I put great gobs of petroleum jelly on my feet before I put on my Cool-Max socks. No blisters, not even on a marathon - and I used to get big heel blisters every time at 10 miles. No, my feet don't slide around in my shoes - the socks prevent that. No, it doesn't feel slimy once you put on your socks. It doesn't wash out well but who cares - these are walking socks! Use the plain petroleum jelly, not any of the fancy cream versions.

2. BodyGlide
A no-petroleum stick that goes on like a deodorant stick. It won't stain your clothing. It comes in regular and a version that includes sunscreen. Good for preventing blisters on your feet. I use this by itself for 6-10 miles walks and put it on first, before the petroleum jelly, for longer distances.

3. SportShield and BlisterShield
2Toms produces two kinds of silicone-based blister prevention lubricants. One is a SportShield, a silicone-based roll-on or towelette that provides long lasting lubrication to prevent blisters and chafing. It is odorless, non-greasy. The second variety is BlisterShield powdered silicone to put into your socks to help prevent blisters.

4. SportSlick
Think of it as high-tech petroleum jelly. It combines silicone, polymers, and petroleum jelly for long-lasting waterproof lubrication. Includes aloe, antioxidant vitamins E and C, natural plant extracts, Tolnaftate antifungal agent and Triclosan antibacterial agent.

5. Hydropel
Endorsed by ultra-distance athletes and triathletes, this high-tech lubricant can keep you from getting rubbed the wrong way.

6. Squeaky Cheeks Performance Powder
For chafing and for foot blister prevention, Squeaky Cheeks is a cornstarch and essential oils solution for those who don't want to mess with greasy preparations.

7. Band-Aid Blister Block Stick
This convenient stick uses vegetable oil as its lubricant. Just rub on your feet and go.

More advice:
http://www.thewalkingsite.com/blisters.html
 

Hedwig

Member
Goodmorning Falcon,

These are really great tips! Thank you! I myself get blisters after about 25km. Bought new shoes, so should be good now.

Greetings from Holland.
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
I started to get a blister on my heel from my new boots.
Put in better quality insoles and everything is fine.

An addition to the previous list of blister prevention substances,
I've used Gold Bond foot powder with some success.

I met a pilgrim that was using cream containing urea that is available at the pharmacy.
She was really funny about it. "Feel my feet. You won't believe it. Go ahead, touch my skin."
It was true... soft skin on blister free feet.

Rock on, children of Sant Iago.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Mixing a powder and lubricant probably is not a good practice. Foot powder is nice in the evening for drying feet, though I prefer using isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. It dries, cleans, and sanitizes. In my opinion, it is the silicone that makes the difference in preventing blisters. It lubricates and repels moisture. An early afternoon re-application is useful. It can compensate for poorly fitting boots in ways that socks and foot powder cannot.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We have said this on other threads about footwear/blisters, but will repeat it here.
We wear 3 pairs of socks, 1thin light weight wicking pair; 1 medium weight (mohair) pair; 1 cushion sole (mohair) pair. No vaseline or other lubricant. Powder boots at night to help keep them dry.
Suppliers - 'inner and hot' from Rohan; mohair from Corrymoor.
No blisters so far for me training, and none for Terry when he walked the Primitivo last year - apart from a small one on his toe on the day he left off the thin inner layer.
We don't carry Compeed just ordinary sticking plasters 'just in case' and a piece of sheep's wool in case of hotspots. Never needed so far!
Walk well and safely,
Tio Tel and Tia Valeria
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Pilgrims have walked in cotton socks, street shoes, old canvas tennis shoes, and all manner of wet footwear, and have not gotten blisters. My cautionary note is to ignore the "exceptions to the rule." You may not be one of them. Good luck is not always preferable to good planning. Indisputable evidence and research has shown that moisture and shoe fit cause the friction that creates blisters. Reduce both, and you reduce the chances of blisters. Plenty of witch doctors will toss the chicken bones for you in a vain hope to prevent blisters, but I suggest that you ignore the advice that does not contribute to eliminating friction. Dry powders control moisture for just minutes because they absorb moisture as they turn to a damp paste. Lubricants work for a few hours (so reapply), and continue to lubricate even inside wet socks/boots because they repel moisture instead of combining with it. Duct tape and moleskin curl at the edges, so need to be replaced frequently or they create hot spots of their own. Socks that make your boots too tight create hot spots that may appear only if your feet swell, so too much sock is not better than too little sock. I have hundreds of hours of backpacking with teenagers who would not accept good advice if they found it on Facebook, but they have avoided blisters to a person by heeding good advice on blister prevention -- boot fit, silicone ointment, and changing socks when they are damp (sock liner and wool or blend socks that are used when originally fitting the boot are likely to be the best choice, but a single sock is quite adequate if it makes the boot fit properly).
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We powder the boots, not our feet. It helps to keep the boots dry.
As for the sock system verus vaseline, sorry we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Talc, the main ingredient in common foot powders, is a lubricant and is insoluble in water. Homeopathic blister preventatives that use corn starch are not lubricants, and are much better for making Chinese cuisine sauces than blister prevention. Since it is friction on the skin that creates a blister, talc applied to the foot is more likely to prevent blisters than if it is applied inside a boot. The talc inside the boot will not be absorbing water, but will act as a lubricant. We do not have to agree to disagree, because I don't think we disagree. Silicone in a petrolatum base lubricates and repels water because both ingredients do both. Talc will lubricate if applied to the skin. Users choose which seems most likely to help them.

"Several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung cancer, skin cancer and ovarian cancer.This is a major concern considering talc's widespread commercial and household use. In 1993, a US National Toxicology Program report found that cosmetic grade talc caused tumours in rats (animal testing) forced to inhale talc for 6 hours a day, five days a week over at least 113 weeks, even though it contained no asbestos-like fibres. Scientists have been aware of the toxicity of talc since the late 1960s, and in 1971 researchers found particles of talc embedded in 75% of the ovarian tumors studied. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers non-asbestiform talc, that is, talc which does not contain potentially carcinogenic asbestiform amphibole fibers, to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in cosmetics."
 

quietwun

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April 2014)
I've also known of people using antiperspirant on their feet. A few swipes in any number of places can keep them drier and reduce problems associated with moisture.

Haven't tried it, but will add it to the possibilities....
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Foot Blister Prevention
VOLUME: 15 PUBLICATION DATE: Apr 01 2002
Issue Number: 4
Author(s): By Mark A. Caselli, DPM, and Jean Chen-Vitulli, DPM

Foot blisters are among the most common injuries for athletes. According to research from the Scholl, over 5.2 million people suffer blisters every year. In a study of lower extremity injuries that occurred at the New York City Marathon, the most common foot problems reported were acute shear and stress injuries resulting in blister formation. Aside from being painful, blisters can alter an athlete’s running form and lead to even more serious injuries of the leg and hip due to irregular gait biomechanics. Blisters result from frictional forces that mechanically separate epidermal cells at the level of the stratum spinosum. Hydrostatic pressure causes the area of the separation to fill with lymph-like fluid. The magnitude of the frictional forces and the number of times an object cycles across the skin determine the probability of blister development. The higher the frictional forces, the fewer cycles are necessary to produce a blister. Moist skin increases frictional forces, leading to blister formation, while very dry or very wet skin decreases frictional forces, preventing blisters.

Other risk factors for foot blister formation include ethnicity (African-Americans are at lower risk than others), flat feet and feet with structural prominences, such as bunions, hammertoes and Haglund’s deformity.

Tips About Shoes, Insoles And Socks You Can Pass On To Patients

In order to prevent blisters, we need to minimize friction. This begins with shoe selection. Emphasize to patients that their shoes should fit comfortably, with about a thumb’s width (3/8-inch to 1/2-inch) between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Narrow shoes can cause blisters on the hallux and fifth toe. A shallow toe box can lead to blisters on the tops of the toes, while loose shoes often create blisters on the tips of the toes. Shoes should be sport specific. When trying on shoes, athletes should wear the same sock, insoles or orthotic inserts they wear when playing or working out. Encourage them to get shoes fitted in the afternoon or evening, since feet tend to swell during the day. Athletes should wear their shoes around the house for one to two hours to identify any areas of discomfort. It often helps to break in shoes by wearing them for one to two hours on the first day of sports activity and gradually increase use each day.

However, even if shoes fit well, the insoles (or sock liners) could cause problems if they have worn out or flattened down. Remind athletes to check the condition of the insoles periodically and replace them if necessary. A new OTC insole (such as those manufactured by Spenco Medical Corporation) can keep friction to a minimum. Also encourage runners to examine the inside of footwear for seams or rough areas that often correspond to the sites of blisters.

Emphasizing the proper socks also can decrease friction and prevent blister formation. Socks made from synthetic blends are best. Socks made from polypropylene or other new synthetic materials can wick moisture away from the skin more effectively than wool or cotton, further decreasing the likelihood of blisters. Layering socks or special double-layered socks can further minimize shearing forces. If your athletes wear socks with large toe seams, tell them that wearing the socks inside out can help prevent blisters on the tops of their toes. It is also a good idea for athletes to carry an extra pair of socks to change into if their socks become too damp.

A Review Of Helpful Lubricants And Drying Agents

When athletes have areas of the feet that are prone to blistering, applying lubricants (like petroleum jelly, bag balm or even dry soap flakes) before they put on socks helps reduce friction. Athletes should reapply large amounts of petroleum jelly every 10 miles during long walks or running events. Instead of petroleum jelly, some athletes prefer applying non-petroleum anti-chafing lubricants, such as BodyGlide (W. Sternoff, LLC) or Runner’s Lube (Mueller Sports Medicine, Inc.), prior to a long distance walk to prevent blisters. These products are waterproof, perspiration-proof, non-greasy, and wash off with soap and water. It’s better than petroleum jelly since it doesn’t create heat when friction occurs. It is also a good barrier for water in case it rains during the event. Minimizing moisture on the feet by using drying agents is another way to reduce blister formation. In a double-blind study conducted at the U.S. Military Academy, cadets who used the prescription antiperspirant Drysol (Person & Covey, Inc.) for at least three nights before a 21km hike had a 21 percent incidence of foot blisters, as compared to 48 percent for the placebo group.

Drying foot powders, such as Zeasorb (Stiefel Laboratories, Inc.), and antiperspirant sprays (that contain aluminum chlorhydrate or aluminum chloride) are inexpensive ways to decrease moisture. Other Preventive Approaches Toughening the skin is another method of avoiding blister formation. Conditioning the skin by gradually increasing activity tends to lead to the formation of protective calluses rather than blisters. Applying multiple coats of tincture of benzoin to sensitive areas or soaking feet in strongly brewed tea (tannic acid) are commonly used skin toughening procedures. Protecting or “shielding” areas of the foot with a high potential for blister formation is an excellent preventive approach. Some of these susceptible areas include bony prominences such as: The dorsum of hammertoes; medial prominence areas of bunions and tailor’s bunions; the posterior heel; and the middle of the arch, especially when the athlete is using orthoses.

Products such as Band-Aid Blister Block (Johnson & Johnson, Skillman, N.J.) and Dr. Scholl’s Cushion Blister Treatment (Schering-Plough Healthcare Products) are self-adhesive, silicone-like pads that act as an extra layer of skin to absorb friction. They are available in various sizes. If athletes apply them properly, these pads can stay on the skin for several days, even through showers. Cut slightly larger than areas of intense friction or sensitive skin, moleskin provides another inexpensive method of preventing blister formation. Liquid adhesives, such as Mastisol (Ferndale Laboratories, Inc.), promote adherence of moleskin to the foot. Alternatives to moleskin are the “liquid” bandages such as New Skin (Medtech Laboratories, Inc.), which dries to form a tough protective covering on the skin.

Athletes may also consider using lambswool, commonly used by dancers, between the toes in order to prevent and/or soothe blisters.

Pertinent Treatment Tips

Since it’s not always possible to prevent blisters, it is important to relieve pain, prevent enlargement or infection, and promote a speedy recovery when they do occur. Small, intact blisters that don’t cause discomfort usually don’t need treatment. The best protection against infection is a blister’s own skin or roof. To protect the roof, you can cover this type of blister with a small adhesive bandage or blister guard. However, you should drain larger or painful blisters that are intact without removing the roof. Proceed to apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it with a bandage. Remind runners to change their dressings daily. If you’re dealing with blisters that have large tears, you should “unroof” them and cleanse the base thoroughly with soap and water or an antibacterial cleanser. Then cover it with an antibiotic ointment and bandage. Additional padding may be necessary for continuing sports activity. Ring-shaped pads made of felt will protect small blisters. Larger blisters may require dressings such as DuoDerm (ConvaTec), Spenco 2nd Skin (Spenco Medical Corporation), Vigilon (CR Bard, Inc.), or Opsite (Smith & Nephew United). Doughnut-shaped paddings may be used in conjunction with these dressings.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
You can also use maxipads (yes, *those* maxipads) as liners on your boot inserts. They provide a bit of padding, wick away moisture, and fit quite solidly on the insert with the wings and stickum. Change them every couple of days, and you'll be good to go.

Plus they are light, cheap, and easily replenishable at any supermercado along the Way...and when you get back home and have to buy them for your significant other, you'll have a macho excuse at the checkout stand... :wink:

VT

PS - learned this one from the wonderful woman who runs the albergue right outside of Pamplona (at Cizur Menor, I believe)...she told me "we need to have cheap and easy solutions on the Camino" Amen!
 

Mountainman

El Croco loco
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances
(StJ-Santiago) 2007, 2009
(StJ-Fisterra) 2011, 2012
Future:
Camino del Salvador 8/2014
Camino Primitivo 8/2014?
Camino del Norte 9/2014,
and hopefully many more yet unplanned
Sadly, being an expert on the subject due to personal experience (about 30 blisters for the majority of my first camino and virtually none on my second one), here's my 2 cents worth of wisdom :mrgreen: :

1. good insoles; I have bought a pair of "super feet" inlays replacing the normal ones. They take getting used to, so steadily increase your mileage on them, and after a while you won't want anything other in any shoe you walk or play sports on. In Holland, they are available at Bever Zwerfsport shops.

2. after every walking day (and I even heard from people who started to do this every day 6 weeks prior to starting the Camino), take an (ice) cold foot-bath with salt and vinegar. It is not for nothing that nearly every albergue has salt and vinegar ready for you even though they have no kitchen.

3. I read this before, but maxipads! Besides having fun with your elderly fellow gentleman pilgrims who had no idea what they where when they got them from an angel hospitalero (sorry Anto :mrgreen: ), they do not only cushion the blows of walking on rocky surface, but also absorb lots of transpiration. Reading back, yes Vinotinto, this too was in Cizur Menor...

4 Nivea. You can use whatever you want, but for me, regular nivea in the round blue box works perfect. Give your feet a healthy layer before putting your socks on in the morning, as well as during your lunch break.

5. Though this is the most arbitrary one, I use two layers of socks, the first one being as high a % on cotton as possible. Don't ask me why, but it works.

6. As soon as you feel something, stop and take care of it before it gets worse!!! (though this speaks for itself)

Feel free to use this to your advantage, I only pass it on as it was passed on to me. And if you want to show your gratitude, there is a wonderful hospitalero in Cizur Menor you can give a nice donativo to :D
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Have my Lowas for a couple of months and they are well broken in, had no blisters or irritation at all. Now I have some orthopedic insoles ( my left leg is half a centimetre shorter than other with some secondary backaches as result) for my " normal " shoes and since they were due to be renewed I asked the technician to make me new ones that I could also use in my Lowas. So today I removed the regular Lowa soles for my slightly thicker new ones and went on a 15 kilometer walk. After an hour I felt some irritation on my heel and on one of my right toes.

Question : do some of you have orthopedic insoles and do you wear them? If not did you experience secondary aches because of not wearing them?
For me it is a question of using the orthopedic soles and experiencing friction or not using them and possible backaches.
Or maybe I should give it a go again tomorrow since the technician said the soles will naturally wear a bit off and get thinner without losing their functionality.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Oooh, this is a complex issue. I do have orthotics for pronation and other foot conditions which lead to knee and back problems. I wear them day to day in my shoes and sneakers, but not all the time, but never wore them on my first few caminos. For some reason I can't remember, I wore them last year in my boots on the camino. I trained in them and thought they'd be OK (ignoring the fact that my boots felt distinctly more snug). Once I was walking ~25 km per day for several days during the first week, I got blisters on my toes. Clearly my feet were too crowded with the orthotic in. Coincidentally, I was at a cafe with a fellow from Germany who had exactly the same thing happen. He said he threw his orthotics into the bottom of his pack and bought gel insoles. I did the same thing, and never had another problem with feet, knees or back. I told my physiotherapist when I returned home and he basically said "whatevever works."

Now, if you have serious problems for which it is utterly necessary to wear your orthotics, my advice (and my physio's) is that you have to shop for other footwear - shoes or boots - with a bigger toe box and perhaps 1/2 size bigger in order to allow room for your orthotics. I don't know any other way around it.

So that's my rambling advice - if you're getting blisters/irritation with your orthotics in those boots, I say don't combine them. It will only be worse on the camino. Hoping it will get better with time and wear might well be true, but why take that gamble?

Maybe visit your physiotherapist and get her/his advice?

Best of luck

lynne
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Thanks Lynne, will make a visit to my physio. Think if it doesn't clear up I'll opt for using my regular Lowa soles again. My backaches are rather secondary so I'll take the risk ( also in summer I never wear the orthopedic half soles in my Birkenstocks or sandals ).
Cheers again!!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Whoa - hard core foot nuts! It's like stumbling into a podiatrist seminar... incredibly helpful stuff, but sadly most of us don't think about foot care until too late. We'd tramped for years with no problems at all, until the Camino. Don't know if it's the heat, the rock, or the constant pounding. Well 40+ kms a day probably doesn't help.

On the Camino Frances, within a day on the Camino the tell tale signs appeared and within a week our feet were shredding and toes peeling like grapes. Two weeks in and Hel had to be medical evacuated to have her feet operated on (post of pic below). A few days of rest, a bag of medical supplies, painkillers and a tube of foot cream later she was back on the trail. While the Camino is supposed to involve suffering (penitent pilgrims), an indication of the scale of the problem is that it two years for the hole in Hel's heel to recover - the hole was the size of the shell tattoo that now acts a permanent reminder.

Since then we've always used lube (yes the kids may snicker). Several long walks behind us, including Via de la Plata we've never looked back.
 

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scikowski

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 Camino Portugues 2016
Great discussion. I have an odd question which I have not seen addressed. On two separate times on the Camino, I developed blisters under two toenails. The blisters actually raised the nail completely off. I am conscientious about foot care and my socks and shoes fit well and I do not feel pressure on the toes at all. Does anyone know what I can do to prevent this in the future? The blisters don't really slow me down or cause much pain, but it's annoying to have to grow the nails back each time.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
We're a sad lot, yes I lost my big toe nail too and was fasinated to note that rather then grow back up from the moon, actually the skin under the nail slowly hardened and became a nail. Bit creepy really and I felt like a lizard. Only other time I've seen this happen is when people drop heavy objects on their toes, or from steel capped boots putting pressure on them. So I assume it does have something to do with the shoe fit. Since adopting the foot greasing and moving to walking shoes (Merrell') rather then boots we've not had this problem.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Interesting the podetrist said boots were also the cause of Scott's shin splints as they are too stiff to wear day after day and start to cause problems.
 
S

susiew

Guest
Thanks for all the good advice.....
But how to put a plaster or moleskin on a hotspot once it has vaseline on it???

Susiew :?:
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
You need to take the vaseline off with alcohol. Take a small bottle with you or the small individual foil-wrapped alcohol wipes. Make sure to wipe off your fingers as well before handling the dressing.

lynne
 
S

susiew

Guest
lynnejohn said:
You need to take the vaseline off with alcohol. Take a small bottle with you or the small individual foil-wrapped alcohol wipes. Make sure to wipe off your fingers as well before handling the dressing.

lynne

I thought so...just checking if there was any other suggestion.
Thank you for your reply.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
My first Camino, I used Compeed on any hotspots and managed to avoid blisters.
I also bought gel tubes at the Farmacia for issues related to toes rubbing together.

My second Camino, I found a tube of a Dr. Scholl's product which was written in German, so I can't remember it... but it had a petroleum jelly base. I remembered the advice on here about petroleum jelly so I used it, and it worked GREAT!

My next Camino, I'll take a small tube of petroleum jelly, because I found it really did work!

I also wore thin liners with SmartWool socks that were cushioned on the bottoms and New Balance trail shoes, which I continue to advise... wear them out of the store and onto the trail... no breaking in! Worth their weight in gold! (which is rising again today) :D
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Well what worked for me were well fitting boots, thin wicking socks with a tight fit. Smallest sign of blister, needle and thread through it, iodine on it, press with gauze, leave thread in, put plaster on, walk on, blister gone by evening. Nothing else. At the end of the day, everyone needs to find what works for them, but this was a great solution for me, Gitti
 

zammy

Active Member
nobody mentioned one of the main ways to prevent blisters

Train your feet, train for weeks before departing, train with the shoes and socks you plan to wear to the Camino, train with the pack and weight you plan to carry, walk uphills and downhills with the pack. This will enable you confronting problems before departing and not on the Camino, training will toughen your feet and skin.
i myself use, even now that I'm trained, liner socks and thick hiking socks, all syntetics of course, when ever stopping to a rest for more then 10 minutes I take off my shoes and socks and air them and air my feet. If you feel a hotspot STOP right there on the trail, take your shoes off and check, if you think a blister might appear put a strong adhesive tape along the feet to protect the sensitive area, change socks if needed. Found a blister? treat it right there, don't walk on.
Shoes- one to one a half size bigger then usuall, to the camino you don't need rigid shoes, neither high shoes, short shoes with Vibram sole will do fine, you don't carry weight heavy enough to need a more rigid shoes.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Just another angle, I wear the nike dry sock, which is quite thin, but very good in terms of wicking. Just the sock, no liners. I have worn these with a variety of shoes/boots since my first Camino, where I did get some blisters in week 3 strangely wearing thicker socks and my walk in Austria again wearing thicker socks, where I got a blister on my little toe. Then I switched to thin socks. With the thin socks I have not had a single blister. I do not use any creams or products on my feet at all other than a pumice stone every few days. I love the thin socks, less bulk and weight in pack and they dry super fast too.
Gitti
 

+@^^

Active Member
thanks zammy
how exectly do you apply the duct tape
on a training walk over the weekend, I got my first ever blister in my new double thin sox setup
i immediately stopped and put on a plaster
it soon got rubbed off the spot and started causing its own problems
so, how do you apply it?
tamtamplin
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi Tamtamplin,

What I use is regular sports tape and run 2 strips around the back of my ankles. Last week-end while walking I started to feel a hot spot on one heel. When I look my shoes and socks off I saw that I had a small blister. Put the tape right on top and didn't feel a thing - worked great!

I also only wear 1 layer of socks and no vaseline. Tried it but don't like the feel/mess. Head off tomorrow for SJPP so will be putting my combination to the test!

Cheers,
LT
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Hi Tamtamplin
tamtamplin said:
thanks zammy
how exectly do you apply the duct tape
on a training walk over the weekend, I got my first ever blister in my new double thin sox setup
i immediately stopped and put on a plaster
it soon got rubbed off the spot and started causing its own problems
so, how do you apply it?
tamtamplin
Can we suggest that you check what actually works best for you by putting some of it round a finger before showering.
If he has a cut finger etc - Terry cannot keep waterproof plasters on, they roll off. So does Compeed.
He uses cloth tape and it stays on even in the shower.
I use waterproof plasters at home so carry some of them as I don't like Compeed. I used to use them regularly, on my heels, when I bought new shoes.
Our Hi-Tec boots and sock combination worked so well we didn't need anything either training or on the Camino. Gracias a Díos.
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
A tip that I was told about by Pilar owner of La Casa del Peregrino in Valverde de la Virgen, is to do the usual draining of the blister, then apply aloa gel (fresh if possible, otherwise you can buy a cream version) and then cover the area with a gauze and an elastic binding called Omnifix, described as Non-woven retention tape, which being elastic accommodates the strip to rounded areas, heels for example. You can buy a roll of Omnifex in any pharmacy and you just cut it to size. It comes in 2 m x 10 cm rolls, so there is plenty to spare. It really stays on the skin (after having removed any grease such as vaseline) until the next shower. Aloa is called Sábila in Spanish. Anne
 

jameswberk

New Member
I have two tips on this topic, one preventative, the other blister treatment.

On my second Camino a pèlerine in France introduced me to NOK CREME ANTI-FROTTEMENTS (or NOK anti-friction creme. This was very, very effective against a thigh rubbing issue I was having but it is also fantastic in the prevention of blisters. I applied it in the morning sometimes to the sole of my feet and on days when I didn't I would apply to any area where a hotspot developed and it would prevent any further development of a blister. This product is available in almost every pharmacy in France, though probably not Spain, so it would be a very good idea in my opinion to pick up at least one tube in St. Jean if you start there.
They also seem to have a long distance walking spray which seems to be pretty interesting, but I can't vouch for that. You can see the products here: http://www.asepta.com/pages/fr/aki_sport.htm
The NOK cream is honestly one of the essentials for walking for me now.

As for treatment, I too would highly recommend the thread and needle remedy to blisters, as gittiharre mentioned above. The essential part of this process is to NOT take the thread out and let it stay in the developing blister, as the drainage of fluid is what makes this treatment so effective. If the wound closes that is when the pain returns as the pressure of the fluid is what causes the discomfort. I learned about this method from a kindly hospitilario in Ventosa, when I was desperate for some relief. I have since mentioned this to a number of pilgrims with similar problems along the route and was greeted with a great deal of skepticism. Afterwards, I saw many of them walk in tremendous pain if they decided on other remedies (DO NOT CUT AWAY THE TOP LAYER WHATEVER YOU DO!!!).
Honestly, as wince inducing as the thread & needle method may sound to some, this really is a miracle solution. As long as you keep the wound clean (iodine etc), the best option is to keep the thread in and let the blister drain constantly until it dries up and heals by itself.

I hope this helps someone.

Buen Camino,
James
 

Jeff Stys

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (03, 04), VdlP (05, 06), Norte (07,08), Primativo (09), Frances (12)
Let me put a word in for the needle and thread solution.

I had several small blisters on my small toes and when I mentioned this to a Scandanavian nurse, she immediately decided it was time to operate.

She stressed the need to put on lots of iodine, get out all the water and leave the thread in overnight. I did as she said, removed the thread in the morning and dresses the area before starting out for the day. Problem solved. Never bothered me again.

I will be sure to bring my own needle and thread on my next Camino and will be ready to 'operate' on any needy pilgrams.

Jeff
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
Jeff glad the needle and thread worked for you but I assure you that I will never let anyone near my feet to do that to me! I'll live with other remedies. :shock:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I note that she used very sanitary methods, and did not suggest walking with the thread still in. The technique has worked very well for countless walkers, and is far superior to letting blisters burst randomly inside your boots. Even with Compeed, the blister is less painful if drained and cleaned before the Compeed is applied. Like the thread, the Compeed needs to be used properly, particularly in its propensity to remove skin when removed, and that is both dead skin and live skin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
falcon, there is NO doubt that the needle and thread works. Just mark me down as Whimp :D
 

rwlh1950

Roger
I did all the pre training, walking miles for months before I flew to Bilbaeo. I said to people, my feet will be fine. But... at the end of day one, I had blisters. I place the blame on cheap socks. When I found a sports shop I bought a pair of hiking sock, pierced the blisters and washed them in alcohol and I was a lot better. They still hurt first thing in the morning, then the pain would disappear.
My advice would be, don't skimp on the socks.
A Spanish walker advised me to cover my feet in Vic vapour rub. I didn't know what she was suggesting until she showed me the Vic bottle. Several other people have also suggested Vic. It should help your feet breath ( no, that's not for real). I have not tried this myself.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Vaporub
Active Ingredients (Purpose)
Regular:
Camphor 4.8% (Cough suppressant and topical analgesic)
Eucalyptus oil 1.2% (Cough suppressant)
Menthol 2.6% (Cough suppressant and topical analgesic)
Lemon:
Camphor 4.7% (Cough suppressant and topical analgesic)
Eucalyptus oil 1.2% (Cough suppressant)
Menthol 2.6% (Cough suppressant and topical analgesic)

Inactive Ingredients
Regular: Cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil
Lemon: Cedarleaf oil, lemon fragrance, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil
The oils and special petrolatum will repel moisture; the rest, not so useful!
 

musicagl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part 1 - May 2011
Part 2 - May 2012
Part 3 - June 2014
Finisterre (for mom) Fall 2016
Thank you! I only did 100 miles last spring (2011) and will pick up where I left off this spring (2012). My "learning" was the multiple, painful, blisters. I'd love to avoid them this year.
 

Labtails

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
I am not a podiatrist/expert, but losing one's toenails sounds like shoes/boots that are too short and putting too much pressure on the front of the toes. I'd go with a 1/2 size larger boot for length. Then be sure to tie them in a manner that holds the foot back into the heel. There is an entire discussion of the technique of shoe/boot lacing.
 
I have a question for all of you. I have less than a month to go before my first Camino and every weekend during my training I've been getting blisters underneath my pinky toes where they tuck slightly under the other toe. I must just have odd pinky toes but has anyone else had this and is there anything I can do to either prevent it? It's more of a pressure blister than a friction blister.

I had considered getting little sleeves that they sell at the pharmacy to slip around toes that have bunions to maybe keep them separated. Thoughts?

Joan
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
meisterbalogna said:
I had considered getting little sleeves that they sell at the pharmacy to slip around toes that have bunions to maybe keep them separated. Thoughts?
Definately - do get them. You can find them in any pharmacy in Spain. It's a tube, inside is a gel, covered with netting and is very flexible and can be cut to length, so a length of tubing goes a long way. They come in different widths. This stops the toes from rubbing one against the other, therefore avoids blistering. Anne
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I always carry those little gel sleeves. They can be trimmed to size. They can also be washed and reused. You can get them at Walgreens and other pharmacies in the USA too, usually where the Scholl's Foot "stuff" is. You also might consider a tiny gel spacer for between that pinky toe and the one next to it, to keep it up.
 

julie

Active Member
Hi Joan, I hope you're normal because my pinkies tuck under as well :D I don't like the feel of the tubes but know lots of people who use them so give them a go. I usually put some cotton wool between my last two toes. That's enough to keep the pinky from creeping under.
 

unadara

Active Member
The boys in the Camino Ambulance patrol the Way and offer assistance. They advise that no one uses Compeed at all. If used incorrectly it causes huge holes or wounds as it can peel off new skin. The trick is to leave it on, but they say this is very hard, due to sweat, moisture, rubbing etc, and if it comes off it can hurt. They believe in syringe, gauze, betidine, and stretchy cover over area. If it is a hot spot, change socks, air, rest, massage-
Some people never get blisters, but if you haven't walked much, got new shoes, get too hot, you will get them..
I hope I don't need my blister kit this time on the Norte!
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Decathlon sell a continuous strip of self-adhesive anti-blister tape, which you apply to your feet BEFORE you get blisters. You put it where blisters might form. I used it last year on the Camino Portuguese .... no blisters. I shall use it next month on the Via de la Plata.
They say that using 'double fabric' socks [e.g. Wright socks] also helps. I haven't found that, but each to his own!
Buen camino!
Stephen
http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
I have never developed a blister on either of my two Caminos. My "secrets?"

1) well fitted and broken-in hiking boots.
2) Body-Glide
3) Injinji liner socks under my hiking socks

As the saying goes... "it works for me!"
 

SCL

New Member
Planning on walking the Camino in September and have been going on as many long distances walks and hikes as I can. I chose the Montrail Masochist II Outdry shoe which is fantastic. Fitted heel, roomy toebox,waterproof, lightweight, and flexible. A hiking show, not a boot. Tested them out for the first time with a 4 hour hike in pouring rain with Wright double layer Coolmesh Socks. Bone dry and blister free. Not even a hint of a hot spot. Did similar hikes for the next several days in sand,mud, and more rain. Perfection.

No Vaseline or other lubricant, no powder. I use a Moleskin type product called adhesive knit which looks a bit ventilated and stays put as long as it is applied to dry feet. Used it when I felt a hot spot develop within 15minutes of wearing new Teva lightweight flip flops. I have super sensitive skin on my feet. I used to wear the adhesive knit when I ran marathons. I never peel it off, but let it common naturally within a few days.

Update: never posted the above post, but used the same shoes and socks on a 10 mile paved road walk (5 miles uphill, 5 miles down) in the wet and rainy tropics. No blisters.
 

sharinsc

New Member
Just finished. No blisters. What worked for me: each morning I applied moleskin to areas I knew had potential to start feeling hot after many miles. Followed this with a gob of Vaseline all over my feet. Sock liners and Smartwool mid weight socks. I have never had a blister before and had never hiked in anything but one pair of Smartwool socks. I took the other items just in case after reading this forum and was very glad. If you find you need something on the Camino the phamacias have what you need. Just hobble in and show them your feet lol.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
because we have had success with a method does not mean it will continue to work
Way too pessimistic in my opinion; it sounds like there is no hope for finding a way to prevent blisters! :D

Always start with the treatment that has worked in the past. If you detect changes in stride, pressure points, tightness in boots, etc., then be prepared to change what you are doing. In that sense, past success does not guarantee current success. For example, if you develop a sore knee, your walking mechanics will change in automatic response to the pain, and new friction spots can develop. A place that has been fine for a hundred kilometers may suddenly become a hot spot. Don't keep going just because you have developed confidence that you have found a way to prevent blisters. Remain calm, analyze the situation, and take appropriate action. It may mean cleaning the Vaseline off of a spot, putting on moleskin or a Compeed, then regreasing your foot. You may need to remove a layer of sock, or switch to a thinner sock. You may need to call it a day short of your planned destination.

You can prevent blisters, but sometimes it takes some flexibility. The Camino provides if you pick the right option and make good decisions!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
COMPEED® Anti-blister stick works, but its active ingredient is hydrogenated vegetable oil, Crisco! Vaseline may be as good as you can get.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
I thought I was being silly and just succumbing to the advertising, but I bought a pair of socks that promised a 100% refund if you get a blister within 1000 miles. I thought that should be enough for the 1000km of the VdlP. They cost about £12.

It's probably tempting providence, but I'm at Merida with no blisters, whereas last time I got some nasty ones from just after Monesterio.

The socks have an inner layer of some synthetic stuff, and an outer of merino wool. They need washing much more often than the icebreakers I used before, and take a lot of drying, but that's not the end of the world.

It may not be the socks that did it, it could be that I've been walking slightly shorter days than 2 years ago - 8 days to Merida rather than 7 last time, etc. I also bought a pair of shoes a size bigger than last time. And it's a bit cooler than 2 years ago, when I left at the end of October rather than the middle of November.

Or it could be a combination of the socks and everything else.

Whatever it is, I'm just so glad not to have blisters (so far, touch wood), as they really do not add to the joy of the camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francès (SJPDP - Santiago) - Summer 2012 / Camino Aragones (Lourdes to Finisterre) - Fall 2013
I had just one little blister on my whole camino from SJPDP to Santiago; my boyfriend had none.

What we did:
- We each took 3 different sets and brands of hikingsocks: this prevents your feet from getting the same pressure every day. We switched socks every day, but I hear some people prefer to switch their socks halfway during the walk.
- We used Vaseline in large amounts on our whole feet, not only the pressure-points.
- We tried to listen to our body and feet: we took our time and never went too far on a day. This prevents blisters but also makes your Camino much more enjoyable.
- After the walk, take good care of your feet. Let them relax, stick 'em up in the air and treat them with some nice footcream. Make sure they feel comfy before you start walking again.
 

gapowell

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2011 - from SJPP) (2012 - from Geneva) (2015 - from SJPP) (2016 - from Cologne)
I agree with NoorvanderVeen. I walked the Camino Frances in 2011, and then again from Geneva the following year. In 2011, I had one or two blisters in the first week - until I realised what everyone was putting on first thing in the morning... VASELINE! In 2012, I made the almost 2000km walk from Geneva without a single blister - and that involved walking across France, a much tougher and challenging proposition than Spain. I averaged 24.5 km every day. Don't push it! Relax, and enjoy the most wonderful experience... And don't forget... VASELINE!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
And it's available in the farmacia as well. Vaselina.
 

Alexster66

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April/May 2014
I've been wandering, if my feet usually sweat a lot will vaseline or similar make the sweating worse.
I'm prepared to change socks during the day on the camino. My shoes I wear everyday to work, on all my hikes and are well broken in
but my feet sweat, should I be using something like that or bodyglide.
Thanks Alex
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
One thing I'm curious about - wearing two, if not three pairs of socks, do you people get a heat rash on the backs of your legs?
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
One thing I'm curious about - wearing two, if not three pairs of socks, do you people get a heat rash on the backs of your legs?
Usually, with two pairs the first will only be "liner" socks (I've used Bridgedale "coolmax" liners) which are quite thin. I've had no rash problems (nor blister problems, but I always put Vaseline on first).
Buen Camino
Colin
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The conceptual purpose of two pairs of socks is to move some of the friction to the gap between the socks. The liner sock adheres to some extent to the foot. A layer of lubricant like petrolatum aids in holding the liner to the foot. The outer sock adheres to some extent to the shoe. Some of the friction is then sock on sock. While adding additional socks may be useful in adjusting shoe fit, keep in mind that they increase the opportunities for bunching and creating friction spots. A better technique for using socks to adjust boot fit, or add cushioning, is to use heavier socks. My feet generally do not swell daily from walking, but I can detect some general foot size changes during a camino, probably from hydration, so I take one pair of lighter outer socks and two pair of medium.
 
S

simply B

Guest
I followed your advice, Falcon, when I walked the CF in 2012. Liner sock, heavier walking sock over feet treated with BodyGlide.

Not a SINGLE blister!

I was regarded as a minor marvel.;)

Once I explained the procedure, the typical response was "Well, that is just so obvious!":rolleyes:

Thanks for all your tutelage on this great thread,

B
 
S

simply B

Guest
About proper fit - - True!

And though that is also "obvious", I gained an appreciation on the Camino for the difficulties faced by folks with less than "standard" foot size and configurations.

Sometimes being "average" is a true blessing...

B
 

ladnermag

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I'm starting my camino May 2015 and have been doing lots of reading on the Forum. Blisters, I think, are my main concern. I've read all the things to do and am trying to narrow down my focus on this. One post mentioned a product called Ezefit blister protection garments but I've been unable to find any real reviews on them -- just advertising. There seem to be two types -- one around ankle and one fitting the toe part of the foot. The advertising really seemed geared towards runners vs walkers. Anyone ever used this product and would like to comment.
 

MichaelSG

Retired member
Camino(s) past & future
Not enough
I've never heard of that product either. I swear by silk liners and mid-weight wool socks and proper fitting shoes / boots with light lubricant (like Body Glide) around the toes. I've not had blisters on two Caminoes and various mountain hikes with that combination but I get them every time I do something different. I tried some super compression rubberized sock liners that were mentioned elsewhere on this site. I think they probably worked slightly better than silk in prevention but I didn't like the squeeze so I ditched them.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Hy , when you have blisters you can use silicone-coated lancets to prick the blisters , and after you did this you have to tape the the pricked blister. ( the lancets we have are from bayer ) You can google
for lancets and than you can dicide for your self .
 

Camino Addict

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (2013), Caminho Costa (2013), Frances (2014, 18) Mozarabe (2017), Portugues (2019)
Hi Ladnermag,

Being a former medic in the USAF and future medical officer in the US Air National Guard, the best info out there to treat a blister is to treat it before it happens. As soon as you feel a "hot spot" (friction point) stop and put something on that hot spot to reduce that friction. It does not matter if its Compeed, Ezefit, or duct tape, put anything on to stop the friction! I used simple, cheap, one dollar a box, generic Band-Aid style adhesive bandages on my last Camino, and I did not get one blister. In fact, I got everyone hooked on them as soon as they ran out of their expensive products. Which was very quickly for some, I may add.

You will here people mention liner socks and other clothing products/advice, training by taking long walks before the Camino, keeping your weight down on your pack, all this is great, but none of it guarantees you will not get blisters. Case in point, I've treated people on the Camino that have gotten blisters wearing liner socks and other blister preventing clothing, but I have also known people that have walked the Appalachian Trail barefoot that did not get one blister on their trek. Exercising and training before your Camino is helpful for many reasons, but due to differences in climate and humidity, coupled by elevation gain/loss and differences in terrain, you may be prepared for long distances walking in environments near your home, but if your home is not Spain, well then, it's not like walking in Spain. Keeping your pack weight down is excellent advice for the Camino for many reasons, but I have done 50 mile marches with 100+ pounds of weight on me, and have not gotten blisters, but the last time I got any serious blisters was when I was on a 90 minute walking tour in Rome and got four of them!

I could go on and on, but the main point is to stop and treat the hot spot before it becomes a blister.

In the end, don't let the idea of getting blisters deter you from the Camino. One last thing I do want to mention is that maybe getting a blister or two is not too bad, because sometimes they can add a few new stories and experiences on your Camino. Case is point, since I did not get a blister on my last Camino, at the end of the day, I could not sit with my fellow pilgrims and show them my "battle scars" as they shared to me and the other pilgrims as they spoke about how and where they got them. Hey, for some, that is part of the adventure.

Buen Camino
 

bystander

Veteran Member
ladnermag, I bought these some time ago (ezeefitsports.com) but have not had a chance to try them out yet as I have been unwell.

I am going to be slightly experimental on the footwear gear set-up in that I will be using these in combination with the usual two sock system but I am going to interchange, depending on conditions/terrain, between Altra Olympus shoes and Teva Terra FI 3 sandals.

Training starts in earnest with the New Year!
Will report back how it goes.
 
W

Walter1407

Guest
Blisters are a main concern for some (including me), but not for all. I had some pretty bad blisters during my first Camino. But I use better boots now (especially wide Meindl) and double-layered hiking socks (I will get a new make in January and will test them asap).
But the main lesson I learnt the hard way was that I had bought my shoes too small. When I hike for several days in a row, my feet swell, and if it's hot as well, they swell even more. If the boots are too small, blisters will result, no matter what. I bought my new boots one size bigger than I seemed to need when I tried them on. I will start my pilgrimage when it's cold and will put on an additional pair of thick socks at the beginning.
Other than that, I can only second what Camino Addict says re. the treatment of blisters: If your skin gets sore anywhere, protect it immediately.
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
I never heard of it but I actually used surgical tape (Leukotype) to cover friction areas on my feet (covered with a strip of tape the area above the heel, placed a strip of tape underneath my feet. I then layered the remaining open areas with vaseline and then used Injinji socks. I stopped once in a while and took my boots off . Not one blister; alleluya!! :)
 

nomadpeah

Have passport, will travel
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CF 2018, Primitivo 2019
I think there are videos on YouTube for how to apply the Leukotype - for marathon training, but I want to give it a try.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
I think there are videos on YouTube for how to apply the Leukotype - for marathon training, but I want to give it a try.

Yes, Leukopore tape works well to protect hotspots. However the most important thing to prevent blisters (and other trouble) is to stay well hydrated.
Another overlooked issue is to invest in really good insoles. 99% of original ones is a crap.
 

Simonvw

New Member
My brother is an adventure guide. His suggestion was to stop the instant you feel a hot spot and tape over it. Use a really stick tape. You'll find Leukotype or similar work. You might end up with a lot of tape and it looks terrible but it works. Avoiding blisters is the best plan
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Hi

The most amazing stuff I have found is Hikers Wool. A little bit goes a long way.
Its best used on hot spots. I do not recommend using it on formed blisters.
(...)

Basically its carded wool and you can buy it online.

You can also look out for sheep wool caught in fences or bushes when out on your training walks .
 

Xandrae

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lake Tahoe Railroad (2016)
Placerville (2019)
Very well said advice, and I will apply your advice this coming weekend for a hiking. :)
 

Tatiana B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting Camino Frances June 2015
Really good information. I have a question: Lotsof people are talking about plasters... what are those? Thanks
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
Blisters seem to be one of the most common health related topics on the forum, often related to the shoe and sock debates. I found an article that may be of some help to folks here.

LINK to full article => http://walking.about.com/cs/blister...tm_campaign=list_walking&utm_content=20150723

There are 7 pages to this article, each tries to discuss 1 topic in reasonable depth, often offering multiple suggestions & solutions.


Blister on Heel. Gajus Images / Depositphotos.com

Blisters are one of our biggest complaints as walkers. But are blisters inevitable? Can you make it through a marathon without painful blisters? Can you survive a multi-day event with intact skin?
Yes, there are ways to toughen your feet and to prevent most blisters.

We'll review the top ways to prevent blisters both before and during your walk.

Tip 1: The Right Shoes to Prevent Blisters

A common source of blisters are your shoes themselves.

Everybody has feet of different shapes and sizes, and there is no single shoe will be right for everyone. Getting the right size and shape of shoe can help prevent blisters.

Cause: New Shoes: If you take new shoes out for a long walk, you may get a blister. Any pair of shoes may give you a blister in its first few wearings, before your feet and the shoe have grown accustomed to each other.
Solution: Take it slow and only go on short walks with new pairs of shoes, even the if they are same brand and model you have been wearing. Build up your mileage and speed in each pair of shoes.

Cause: Cramped Shoes: With a cramped toe box, toes rub against sides or end of shoes. This can even lead to blackened toenails or losing the toenails after a long walk.
Solution: Your walking shoes should have a finger's width of length between the end of your toe and the end of your shoes to allow your feet to expand while walking. Select shoes of the proper width for your foot so that toes have enough room. Do you need bigger shoes?

Cause: Feet Sliding Around in Shoes: If your shoes have a sloppy fit and your feet slide forward and back within the shoe with each step, you are adding extra blister-causing friction. You may also get a black toenail.
Solution: You want your feet to have enough room to expand when you walk, but not enough to slide around. Wear a thicker sock to take up some of the extra space. Learn how to lace your shoes to keep your heel in the heel cup with each step rather than sliding forward. If you still seem to have too much space, buy shoes that fit better.

See our Walking Shoe Guide for tips on getting properly fitted for your walking shoes.

Cause: Rough Edges: The seams and the edge of the insole can rub against your foot or toes.
Solution:You can change styles of shoes or insoles. Some shoes are designed to be seamless inside. But generally the solution will be to lubricate or cover the area that is getting rubbed.

Next page: Tip 2: Toughen Your Feet to Prevent Blisters

  • PLEASE follow the links to the full article.
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
In 800 kms I only got one tiny blister. I thought it was just Achilles Tendon pain and didn't notice it till Burgos. ;)

I followed all the great advice on this Forum. Which meant a) The blister was fixed overnight. and b) I never got any more....

Summarised here. Plus a bit of information about Hikers Wool. Great product! http://robscamino.com/foot-care/

The other common challenge is Tendonitis. ( I walked 800 kms with it. Yes, I brought it with me) Some tips here. http://robscamino.com/tips-on-tendonitis/


I met some people who had terrible problems with blisters, that seriously impacted their Camino. Extra days off. Trips to the Doctor and having to skip huge sections....

Often they were missing just one component of the generally accepted 'avoidance' techniques shared here by previous Pilgrims. No lubricant. Only one pair of socks. Not changing socks and airing feet through the day..... I adopted every part of the process, every day. It soon became a habit.

And for those whom I met along the way, I was stopping all the time for feet airing, ice for my heels, a change of socks. Not just another coffee and slice of Tortilla :)

Talking of Tortilla, I cooked some for breakfast yesterday. 2 potatoes, 5 eggs, whole onion......

My wife Pat remarked that a) It didn't look very tasty and b) I was 'wasting' too many eggs.

There was nothing left an hour later :rolleyes: Though I think I am a Kg heavier this morning :(
 

ShellsG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept/Oct. 2015)
Swear by using the proper socks. I get blisters every time on my right heel ... every darn time no matter what shoes I wear, until I started trying double layered socks that I got 2 weeks ago for the Camino. Today, 18 km, not a hot spot, not a blister not a nada. Amazing.
 

Biff

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - Tui to Santiago (2014, I think)
French - St Jean to Santiago to Finester (2018)
Lao-Tau reportedly said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

"...... and ends with a thousand blisters!!" added Mrs Biff. Not that we suffered from them (this time).

Proper fitting boots or shoes, and good socks. Don't skimp on price!! If you feel a hot-spot or sore-spot developing on your feet while walking, slap a Compeed (other blister plasters are available) on.

I've tried double-layed socks - they were rubbish. Always were a pair of thin liner socks under thicker walking socks. Usually works.

Biff
 

AZgirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012 , via de la Plata 2014
Madrid/frances Sept/Oct 2017
Next : mozarabe 2021
Thanks for the article. I am curious about the tea soaking for the feet. Has anyone tried this?

Also liked the video. I too have fallen victim to "it's only a few more miles, it takes to long to stop."
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug. 2015 Camino Frances
OK I know this must sound like a very stupid question AND I know that there are many 'recipes' to try to deal with BLISTERS but...I really wouldn't mind getting your input for that miraculous one that works fast. I have been dealing with the ones I get during my practice walks as follows: prick, drain, antibiotic ointment, bandaid/tape. I stop every 2 hours or so to change socks and air my feet, etc. But aside from putting up with the pain of walking with a blister, I don't seem to get much success in getting rid of the damned things unless I stop walking for a few days. Any miraculous tip from a seasoned perigrino out there???
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
OK I know this must sound like a very stupid question AND I know that there are many 'recipes' to try to deal with BLISTERS but...I really wouldn't mind getting your input for that miraculous one that works fast. I have been dealing with the ones I get during my practice walks as follows: prick, drain, antibiotic ointment, bandaid/tape. I stop every 2 hours or so to change socks and air my feet, etc. But aside from putting up with the pain of walking with a blister, I don't seem to get much success in getting rid of the damned things unless I stop walking for a few days. Any miraculous tip from a seasoned perigrino out there???

Hi Helene, I am not a seasoned walker but did the Camino Frances in 33 days. I had blisters firstly for failing to wear two pairs of socks - as advised by numerous forum members, and secondly from walking boots that turned out not to be waterproof, as their description (and price) had indicated. What worked for me was a good quality tee tree oil rubbed into my toes. not only did it dry the blisters, but it also toughened the skin.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
It doesn't seem right that you are getting blisters on your practice walks. The trick is to not get them in the first place and, certainly, if you feel a 'hot spot,' that is, a blister about to develop, you deal with it immediately. How long have you had your boots/shoes? If they are giving you blisters already you need to have a good, hard look at them. Years ago I had a pair of hiking boots that gave me terrible blisters on the side of my heels so, before I even put my boots on I would paste on a generous square of mole foam on the problem area - that's mole foam, not mole skin, but I haven't been able to find mole foam for several years. Fortunately, my current boots don't give me any trouble.

There are no end of techniques for preventing blisters and you will get many suggestions. Personally, I slather Vaseline on my feet and wear just one pair of socks, with no liners. On my Camino I got just one blister three weeks on, and that was because I didn't recognize the hot spot when it occurred.

Way back when I used to get blisters a fellow hiker gave me something called Second Skin, which was miraculous - if it weren't for that I would not have got off the mountain! People speak of using Compeed now.

If you search 'blisters' on this Forum I'm sure you will get heaps of ideas. Good luck.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug. 2015 Camino Frances
I am wearing Lowa boots - been wearing them for two years without blisters or any other ailments. I seem to have been getting blisters only this summer which has been very hot. My feet sweat a lot. Will be trying the double socks technique next...
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Agree that there must be a problem with your footwear as blisters on training walks are not a good sign. Is there an outdoor store near you with someone that you can take your current footwear and talk to? If you can't change your footwear for any reason, Engo patches or even duct tape on the FOOTWEAR not the foot can help with friction. This is a great site run by a physiotherapist and has lots of information on blister prevention: http://www.blisterprevention.com.au/where-can-i-find-engo/. Hope it helps.

PS you don't say where your blisters are on your feet
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
OK I know this must sound like a very stupid question AND I know that there are many 'recipes' to try to deal with BLISTERS but...I really wouldn't mind getting your input for that miraculous one that works fast. I have been dealing with the ones I get during my practice walks as follows: prick, drain, antibiotic ointment, bandaid/tape. I stop every 2 hours or so to change socks and air my feet, etc. But aside from putting up with the pain of walking with a blister, I don't seem to get much success in getting rid of the damned things unless I stop walking for a few days. Any miraculous tip from a seasoned perigrino out there???

If you are having blisters while training, I'd get rid of those shoes and buy some different ones NOW.

Also, I treat "hot spots" BEFORE blisters form by slapping on Compeed and then NEVER TAKING IT OFF.
It must fall off on its own or you will tear your skin off.

What shoes are you wearing?
 

Arminius

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances may 2016
Hi Helene,
1) Footcream (Gehwohl) . It forms a film layer on the skin, causing blistering or other injuries can be prevented. Also very effective against excessive sweating, callus formation, smet walk and abrasions at backpack carriers. By stimulation of the blood circulation in the feet be condition for great performance and at the same time, the healing process of wounds and blisters. This rich and can therefore also be used preventively.
2) Footbalm (Gehwohl). At a burning sensation of (strong) loaded feet. With natural peppermint oil and menthol.
I know these useful information of a veteran; different times walked the camino, with a good result.

Icacos is right: "The trick is to not get them in the first place and, certainly, if you feel a 'hot spot,' that is, a blister about to develop, you deal with it immediately."
Buen Camino Helene!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
If you have a new problem with old boots, have you changed the socks you use? There is no universal solution, so you should experiment with all the different sock combinations you read about. I wear a single pair of medium- thin ones, either merino or coolmax. With thicker ones I used to get blisters on the bottom of my feet,
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
I've been on the camino four times and never had a blister at all. Before I ever started I listened very carefully to what falcon269 had to say. If falcon269 says it, do it . . . . you won't be sorry.
 

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