A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Blister tip .

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#1
For the very first time in my walking career I have developed blisters . A few hot days on the Camino Frances in gortex lined Merrells has done it .
I couldn't live with them let alone walk on them and had to puncture them . But I didn't want to risk infection by using a safety pin.
Pharmacies will sell you a ' Syringa ' or hypodermic needle for 25 cents . Sterile and with its own cover so that it can be soaked in alcohol for multiple uses. Very effective as they are very sharp and create a hole that stays open for a little while .
 
Last edited:

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
#2
Get rid of those waterproof shoes. They are parboiling your feet. My 2 cents. Ps I am a long distance hiker. My 6 year in spain. Buen camino.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#4
Get rid of those waterproof shoes.
Why??

I'm now walking with my fourth pair of
boots HANWAG banks GTX. Never had a blister but I use different kind off socks for different kind of weather.
And when I take a break I get my boots off and the insoles out .

Wish you well,Peter.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#5
I concur with Peter. IMHO, it is less about the shoe engineering than it is about the individual's feet.

In five Caminos, I have never had a blister. Yet, my feet are very problematic.

First, they are asymmetric. They are literally shaped differently. So each foot must have it's own care regimen.

Second, I have a persistent callous problem, worse on the right heel, that will see infected blood-filled callus pockets if I do not care for them every night. On my first Camino, in 2013, I required in-office surgery by a podiatrist at Burgos to treat them. So, as a result, I am very keen on the idea of caring for my feet.

This year, to combat the callouses, while passing through Porto, I even picked up a battery-operated "grinder" to remove the accumulated dead callous tissue on my feet. It weighs more than I would like, but it works wonders and is better than using a "cheese grater" rasp. The latter tended to rip off the good skin with the old, dead skin...yuk!

The issue of shoe / boot engineering is significant. For some people's feet, it can factor into retaining too much moisture in the shoe.

I am on my second pair of Keen Targhee II mid-height boots with Gore Tex lining. They are rated as waterproof and I DO stand in puddles to rinse off mud, so they must repel water penetration.

But moisture, and the friction it can cause, most often comes from sweaty feet. I have had days when I can almost wring perspiration from my socks. Yet, I get no blisters.

The point here is that everyone's feet are different. Even one person can have two "different" feet, as I do. Yes, they are the feet I was born with, and neither has suffered traumatic injury so as to reshape it, but each appears to have a mind of its own. Who ever said I was normal anyway?

The key here is HOW you manage your particular feet. What works for me is:

1. Boots that are a minimum of one to one and a half sizes larger than the Bannock device in the shop tells me that my bare feet are. This also requires checking with the footwear manufacturer to determine whether the particular style / model of boot or shoe runs larger or smaller than listed.

2. When evaluating boots to consider investing in:

A. I wear the EXACT socks I plan to wear on Camino.

B. I wear some backpack loaded with approximately 9-10 kg of something from the store, or I bring my pre-loaded Camino-ready rucksack to the shop if practical.

C. I shop at the end of the day, on a day when I have been on my feet a lot, to simulate waling-induced swelling.

This results in well fitted boots.

The next step is to determining how best to lace these boots to support my feet, and to avoid sliding that could cause blisters. Check You Tube for abundant videos on "How to lace hiking boots."

After that, I focus on socks. Over five Caminos I determined that what worked best for my odd, sweaty feet was two pair of socks.

The inner pair, closest to my feet is always a a thin, crew, microfiber sock. I choose black or navy because they do get grungy after a few weeks on Camino. This sock wicks moisture from the skin on my feet, keeping the foot relatively drier than it would be with only one pair of socks.

The outer pair of socks is always a merino wool blend Smartwool hiking sock. I have tried both medium and lightweight versions. This past April - May walking the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon, the Smartwool lightweight hiking socks worked great for me.

I am sold on this two-sock combination. It works for ME. Your results may vary.

Lastly, my nightly regimen consists of applying Vaseline / Vasenol petroleum jelly to my feet then a cotton sleep sock before I go to sleep to moisturize my feet while I sleep. In the morning, while booting up to walk, I apply more Vaseline / Vasenol to both feet before putting the liner socks on. I believe, and again, your results will vary, that this helps keep my feet moist enough to retard calluses, yet avoid blisters.

Finally, I learned of a book that I plan to buy. It was reviewed in the recent edition of La Concha, published by the American Pilgrims on Camino (APOC) of which I am a proud member. It is called: “Fixing Your Feet: Injury Prevention and Treatments for Athletes” – 6th Edition, by John Vonhof. The word Camino does not appear in the book, but it is a veritable bible of foot care.

I hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
#6
As long as we are doing foot problem tips, let me add one o my own. My problem in between the great toe (podiatrists never call it the, big toe, only the great toe, for some reason) and the second toe (not sure what that is called, probably not the 'pointer' toe). They rub together and I get a long slender callous on each of them. Hasn't turned into a blister but it is definitely painful. My podiatrist (Mr. Great Toe himself) gave me a rubber donut to place btwn the toes. Didn't work a if I placed it up far enough to prevent them rubbing against each other, it invariably fell out and became a nuisance in my sock. E-bay to the rescue. There are all sorts of foot cushions for sale and I tried several. The best are made of some form of thin silicone and fit over the toe like a...well I won't describe the 'equipment', but they do work. Been wearing them for several weeks now and they do work. Put some moisturizing cream on the toe before encasing it and the calluses are going away. Dirt cheap, too. There seems to be some silicone stuff for every foot ailment imaginable and some I would rather not think about. Take a look-see and you may find somethin' useful.
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#7
I tried the ' toe condom ' on one of my little toes cvixx it worked well but led to other complications. Any heat , or moisture from sweat will give you an almost terminal case of ' prune ' skin . So bad that it threatens to peel right off .
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#8
Here in the US, they sell something called a "finger cot" in most pharmacies. I have even seen them in the first aid section of supermarket toiletry and cosmetic aisles.

The "finger cot" is essentially a stubby latex (or not) mini-condom intended to cover a "digit" when you have a "boo-boo." The purpose is to protect the bandaged wound while avoiding contaminating things you come in contact with like food or other people, and to protect the wound from additional contamination.

"Finger cots" come in poly bags of maybe a dozen or more. They are inexpensive. I have used them on thumb injuries, so they might work on a great toe. But if the problem is your great toe rubbing against the adjacent to, use the cot on the adjacent toe if it fits better. IMHO, this achieves the same result - isolation and cushioning.

For example: https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-finger-cots-assorted/ID=prod3490318-product

I hope this helps.
 

Wazza

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
de Frances 2017. Finisterre 2017
#9
We're doing our first Camino in September following a steep trek on the Heaphy Track in NZ. We word ArmaSkin socks (black latex type "skins" that are guaranteed no blisters and an outer pair of Merino socks. That worked well for me. My wife had problems as her shoes were marginally small so we used "Hikers Wool" which is pure wool, washed off the sheep's back etc - we wrapped this around and between her toes and that really helped as pure wool stops friction and captures moisture. Both products are available online and they ship anywhere. We will both have Hikers Wool and wearing ArmaSkin inner socks on the Camino.
 

Kiwi girl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September 2015
Frances September 2017
Portuguese 2018
#11
We're doing our first Camino in September following a steep trek on the Heaphy Track in NZ. We word ArmaSkin socks (black latex type "skins" that are guaranteed no blisters and an outer pair of Merino socks. That worked well for me. My wife had problems as her shoes were marginally small so we used "Hikers Wool" which is pure wool, washed off the sheep's back etc - we wrapped this around and between her toes and that really helped as pure wool stops friction and captures moisture. Both products are available online and they ship anywhere. We will both have Hikers Wool and wearing ArmaSkin inner socks on the Camino.

Wazza. Did you buy those socks in NZ? I'm in the Bay of Plenty and leaving St Jean 1st Sept
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August/Sept 2016
Camino Frances Sept/October 2017
Le Puy to Conques May 2018
#14
Hey Wazza, when you say "they worked well for me".....does that mean no blisters at all for you? I did the CF last year and am off again to do it in Sept this year. I bought "1000 mile socks" that guaranteed no blisters but got them on 2 or 3 and kept getting them. But I was walking in very hot temperatures 38 /39 C for the first 10 days. So I'm very suspect of guarantees.
 

Wazza

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
de Frances 2017. Finisterre 2017
#15
Hey Wazza, when you say "they worked well for me".....does that mean no blisters at all for you? I did the CF last year and am off again to do it in Sept this year. I bought "1000 mile socks" that guaranteed no blisters but got them on 2 or 3 and kept getting them. But I was walking in very hot temperatures 38 /39 C for the first 10 days. So I'm very suspect of guarantees.
Yes, no blisters but we haven't done the FC. Difficult to claim on the guarantee when you are 300kms in on the CM! Actually the merino wool "Hikers Wool" was the saviour for my wife.
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#16
We bought a book this week that was reviewed in this month's American Pilgrims on the Camino newsletter called Fixing Your Feet. I hope it will help us when we do our next Camino this winter. The emphasis so far has been on prevention, but only have read the first two chapters.
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
#17
Get rid of those waterproof shoes. They are parboiling your feet. My 2 cents. Ps I am a long distance hiker. My 6 year in spain. Buen camino.
Pretty sure my gore-Tex Solomon's saved my feet from blisters coming over Pyrenees in a drenching rain on Wed. I'll be keeping 'em.
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
#18
I tried the ' toe condom ' on one of my little toes cvixx it worked well but led to other complications. Any heat , or moisture from sweat will give you an almost terminal case of ' prune ' skin . So bad that it threatens to peel right off .
Actually, I liked the 'prune skin' effect. It made it easier to remove the callous on my toes. After that I applied some foot powder to the toe and had no problem. YMMV, however.
 



A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 114 14.5%
  • May

    Votes: 192 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top