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blisters!!!

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by jujuaway, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Pavels

    Pavels New Member

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    Peter, If you can walk in (Keen) sandals, why not do it everyday? That's what I did (using Teva sandals though)
     
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  2. Peter Aulbury

    Peter Aulbury Ozgrino

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    Camino Frances #1 by bike Pamplona to SdC May - June, 2014...(duration 14 days). CF # 2 May, 2015 SJPdp to SdC on foot (duration 40 days)...planning for #3.
    Thanks Pavels...did you wear socks as well? My Keens seem to rub a bit on the outside of the little toes. I thought maybe alternating between them and my Merrell Moab Mid boots (which I only just got)...wow they seem comfortable, but haven't done any long walks ...yet
     
  3. Jan_89

    Jan_89 Active Member

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    Camino Francés: SJPdP - Finisterre and Muxia (May/June 2017)
    I think the shoes are the most important thing.. I walked about 1000km and I had just ONE blister! For me the best choice was this kind of shoes: Mammut Tatlow GTX. High hiking boots are not good option! But sure, it depends of many things..
     
    Peter Aulbury likes this.
  4. Pavels

    Pavels New Member

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    I walked without socks. But I had to stick medical tape (https://www.google.az/search?q=medical tape&client=firefox-a&hs=pMO&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial&channel=fflb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=KDhaVNWzJquP7Aa6uYHwDw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1117&bih=683) under ball of each foot (like this http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CA2dmA3Npds/Swwn_vluNCI/AAAAAAAAAGM/YjaqdBkVWxU/s1600/IMG_7120.JPG ) , to prevent blisters forming there from abrasion caused by dust and a bit of sand collecting there. Shaking stones out couple of times a day is easy. Getting rid of blackish dust that collects there because it is the lowest point in the sole surface... not so easy. But medical tape acsts as a second skin. You can also wraps some around a little toe. That's what I did twice, when I felt some tension there.
     
  5. owms2323

    owms2323 Credential question

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  6. owms2323

    owms2323 Credential question

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    I walked the Camino Frances with only one blister on which I used the needle and thread method and was never bothered again. I walked in Trail running shoes and 1000 mile Fusion Socks.
     
  7. Jennyallan

    Jennyallan New Member

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    Hi Juju we didn't get any blisters not one single one and I swear this is because we trained on hard surfaces pavements ect done a lot of road walking in prep for our camino we only wear liners !!! That's it nothing else this works for us the other thing we do is take our boots of the minute they start feeling warm we actually prefer if our feet are a little cooler than snug also I don't like vibrant soled boots they are much harder to wear out but I find there's no give in them ,my boots that I wore for the camino September this yr were 18 mths old before I started the camino well worn in and I'm still wearing them !! Hope this helps don't let it deter you it's magical
     
  8. enerol

    enerol New Member Donating Member

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    81 yr old pilgrim 2013 , 2014 No blisters. Used Vaseline every am before putting on silk liners then wonderful Asolo boots. Change liners around noon each day. Buen Camino.
     
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  9. firefly57

    firefly57 Planning a May/June 2015 walk

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    I will share a foot preparation method that my brother, a "triple crown" hiker, swears by:

    A good way to toughen your feet and minimize blisters is to make a solution of alcohol and black tea. Put 6 single size tea bags in a pint of rubbing alcohol. Let it to set for a week, apply twice a day, be sure to apply between the toes and as high as your boots fit. Start two months prior to the hike.

    He also recommends going barefoot a lot before your hike to help toughen your feet.

    Buen Camino
     
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  10. grayland

    grayland Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for sharing that. I am one of the lucky ones that seldom get blisters...but others are plagued by them.
    Your suggestion will certainly not cause any harm or inconvenience so I would hope that others would give it a try.
    I do use Body Glide every day and wear thin liners under Smart Wool socks.

    I have walked a couple of thousand miles here in Seattle last year (according to GPS log) between caminos. I also walked the Camino del Norte in August/September...all without blisters.
     
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  11. JamesL

    JamesL New Member

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    Everyone has their own solution. I have heard and read a lot of them. They all boil down to this: Pay attention to your own experience. When the "feeling" starts, look to the area and adjust. I can give you my experience, and you can judge for yourself. When I noticed even a POSSIBLE problem, I adjusted . Try on boots/shoes. Don't let someone TELL you what feels right for you. Do not SETTLE for something . Do not punish yourself because "it ought to work". Long ago, in my Boy Scout days, I learned to take care of my feet. When I was on the Camino in June '13, My partner and I (both old Scouts) marveled at the punishment some folks put themselves thru because the "had to" or (believe it or not) "deserved it"(yes we met some folks doing "penance", God help them).
    Here is what I did: 1) shopped for new boots ,ALOT. found some that fit really well, KNEW these were the right ones. Gortex vented, mostly light leather and a treaded sole that had slanted (?) treads that did not hold mud but shed it. Straight block tread hold mud, but might be better for mountain climbing. I wasn't going to do that. 3/4 over ankles. Room up front, your foot SPREADS when you put your weight on it. Ladies: Forget the SIZE number! Wear the shoe that fits! 2) Relaced them so the tongue did not slide around to the side. Put the straight across string UNDER the sides rather than over them (but OVER the tongue, don't get me wrong here) Yes, the lacing pattern can make a difference. 3) 100% HEAVY wool socks, "Ragg". Only ONE pair on. Make sure they fit, but not baggy. Note that they will shrink if dried in a drier, only air dry! Hot water wash (by hand!) is worth the effort. ( I have heard of some who will buy REALLY big wool socks and purposely shrink them to make them thicker . Your choice, I did not.) 4) Hiked and hiked and hiked. Everyday, some. AT LEAST 15 or more KM on weekends. Carry the pack on the weekends. What do I really need? started planning in Feb. , started Camino 8 May . 5) Read the guidebook. Talk to people (like here?). 6) Tie boots so foot is snug back in the heel, and over the instep, loose over toes. Wriggle room. Walking does loosen up the laces etc., notice that. 7) Study your walking style/technique. Pigeon toed? Duck? Drag heel? Hard hit heel? Big toe first? Roll around the foot edge? Toes clench or flat? All can affect your blistering, how you slide, or glide.....8)Consider (I did not) adding an extra insole or heel pad to change slant of foot, recommended by a podiatrist friend. 9) My Vasque pair got me thru 6 weeks of 700 km Camino with no blisters (Scout's honor) . My partner the same , but last 100 km he had a blister one big toe pad. He used silk liners and Thorlos, and "old boots", well worn in before we left.
    10) 97.5% of everyone is hiking WEST, right? so make sure you buy west facing boots, don't let'm talk you into east shoes... ;-) eh,eh,eh,
    Buen Camino and may the wind be ever at your back!
     
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  12. JamesL

    JamesL New Member

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    Man, what you said! I just answered a blister question down below, and thought I was wordy, but all of your writ is worth while. I vouch for Wool socks, and well fitting boots. How do you decide they fit? wear them! Walk around, up stairs, ""PAY ATTENTION"" to how they feel. Ladies: Ignore the size number! Your tootsies must spread out when you walk! Throw away the stilletos while you prepare (by walking! A lot!) for the Camino, or Hadrians, or the Pacific or the AT....
    Walking is how we were designed, go for it!
     
    KatefromOz likes this.
  13. Mr.Bill

    Mr.Bill New Member

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    Wow! What a plethara of information on blisters..Lets make this easy, efficient, yet cheap. I walk a lot-double digit kilometers-I put Vasaline on the front bottom of my foot and big toe, slide on a cotton sock, place another sock over it
    (wool in winter for warmth/cotton in summer) and never have blisters that develop. At night I apply lotion after bathing and ready to go the next day. Prevention is the key.
     
  14. pmacegan

    pmacegan New Member

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    No one has mentioned moleskin yet. I love moleskin. Cut a small piece to fit the blister and stick it on. (It is self-adhesive.) In addition to all the other good advice given here, the moleskin will allow you to finish your day in comfort.
     
  15. Annie G

    Annie G Active Member

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    I would stay away from the fence wool. I spin and if you have ever cleaned a sheep's raw fleece you would NEVER think of putting it near your irritated skin! Sheep lay down in fields of poo after all. Rather, just go to a fiber store and purchase clean, carded roving, preferably merino. It's cheap.
     
  16. tpmchugh

    tpmchugh Active Member

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    On my first trip, Pamplona to Castrojeriz, taking two weeks, no blisters. Good well fitting hiking boots (Scarpa) good hiking socks designed for left and right (Lidl, Regatta) and vaseline type ointment and not pushing myself to do more than I should faster than I could chasing some time goal. Never more than 25km per day. On my second trip, Burgos to Santiago taking just over three weeks I got a small blister the day after I started but that was down to a small tear in the footbed. Bought new ones and no more blisters. I dont really know how to explain it but I did use a lot of vaseline type ointment. One in particular was a tub of foot balm sold specifically for pilgrims. Cant remember name but the word peregrinos was in it and it had a drawing of an old style pilgrim on the lid. A bit heavy but weight diminished each day and cost 12€ but well worth it.I put it on almost every morning and then again after a couple of hours particularly if it was really hot and walking on paved roads. Finally, never double socked. Hope that helps. By the way, September is a lovely time to walk except that every morning is darker than the one before so a lot of scenery in the early morning is missed but then you get to see some beautiful sunrises that put sunsets in second place. But the temperatures are good with only the odd day really hitting the heights and when it occasionally rains, boy does it rain
     
  17. tpmchugh

    tpmchugh Active Member

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    On the one blister I had, I used this method but please remember to sterilise your hands, needle and thread before doing it. I carried a small hip flask of whiskey which I used to sterilise a cut on my hand that went septic and to soak the thread in. A little nip now and then was also good for the soul :). Medicinal purposes only you understand
     
  18. Aliotmail.co

    Aliotmail.co New Member

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    2012=2 weeks; 2013= 10 days; 2014= 10 days; will do the whole thing at some point in one go.

    I have done 4 weeks worth and have never had a blister even though I bought some Miendl boots 4 days before I left as I developed a knee problem just before I left which I walked off over 5 days. I tried them on different surfaces in the shop ( it had a bit of fake cobbling in there ). They are not too tight and I think I could walk with them undone they are so good but I am obsessive about taking off my boots and socks every time I stop as I realized that when people did the 100 kilometre Gurkha walk ( in 27 hours )( my husband included )the ones who changed socks, shoes every 10 K did the best. I also have decent walking socks which don't make my feet sore or smelly even when they are wet. I think it helps to take it easy speed-wise at the beginning until you get used to it. One member of our group had the bottom of his foot like one big blister and I wanted him to go to hospital ( as an ex- nurse ) but he refused and had to get the bus a few days but he wore shoes that were too small and walking way too fast; lots of people forget that the whole thing is about the journey not the destination and see it like a race......they find out the hard way and don't even realize what they have missed.
     
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  19. Edith Frost

    Edith Frost Member

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    Any of y'all ever heard of these things, Ezeefit ankle booties? I turn around and suddenly all the skaters are wearing them for blister prevention. One derby girl told me she doesn't even put socks over them. If you've skated you'll know how the vibration will cause wicked blisters, especially on your heels. I just ordered a pair to try em out (skating) and I don't see why they wouldn't work for hikers. Me, I've always used the liner-sock method plus BodyGlide all over heels & big toes, SmartWool trekking socks. Had a few hot spots but never a blister.
     

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  20. Donna Sch

    Donna Sch Active Member Donating Member

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    Future Caminos? Zamora-Astorga-Camino Invierno - SDC (Feb 2019); CF (Summer 2020)
    http://www.fixingyourfeet.com/ and the e-book by Jon Vonhof are godsends. This guy works with ultramarathoners and there is a ton of useful information on the site. He also recommends BlisterPrevention.com.au which is podiatrist Rebecca Rushton's website. I swear by Injinji toe socks which is just one strategy Vonhof mentions.
    Just be aware there are some really ugly photos of blistered and macerated feet.
     
  21. PeregrinoRoberto

    PeregrinoRoberto New Member

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    Taking care of your feet is job #1 on the Camino. I am 67 and walked the Camino last September/October with NO blisters! Here's what I did and what I suggest...

    1.) Get good hiking boots or shoes. Don't skimp on money here. Your shoes/boots are the most important items you will purchase for the Camino. I bought Vasque high-top boots and they were great. But, you need to go to a good store (REI, etc.) and try on several different styles and brands to see what works best for your feet. The salespeople are usually very helpful if you go to a good store. I saw people walking in all sorts of questionable shoes and they were paying the price big time.
    2.) Take time to break the shoes/boots in prior to going to Spain. Even if you only wear them around the house for a few weeks it will help. But, try taking them on a few day-long hikes if you can. There's nothing worse than trying to break in a pair of boots while you are just starting the Camino! You will be guaranteed to get blisters.
    3.) First thing in the morning and later in the day, if needed, I used a dollop of petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) for each foot. Just smear it on over your entire foot and rub it in well. It sounds a little weird, but it didn't get everything greasy and it WORKED!
    4.) I wore two pairs of socks. First I put on thin liner socks (available at REI and other similar places) - get good ones. Then I put on Merino wool hiking socks - also, get good ones. Then I put on the boots.
    5.) Do not let your feet get wet if you can at all help it. When you've been walking for hours in the heat and you cross over a lovely running stream, at all costs avoid the temptation to soak your feet in the nice, cold water. Your feet will absorb the moisture and damp feet will become blistered faster than you can blink. As tempting as it looks - DON'T DO IT!
    6.) As you are walking, pay close attention to anything that starts to feel like a "hot spot" on your feet. As soon as practical after sensing a potential hot spot stop and check it out. I didn't have this problem much, but found that Compeed worked well for me on the few occasions when I wanted to take some extra caution. You can get Compeed in ANY pharmacia on the Camino. Some people don't like it, but I thought it was great. Just stick a piece of Compeed over the hot spot and forget about it. It will come off on its own in a few days.
    7.) Take time to rest your feet once or twice during the day. Find a nice shady spot, take off your pack, sit down and then take off your shoes and socks and let everything rest and cool off for 15- 20 minutes, This is time well spent. Your feet and your body will thank you for it!

    Anyway, that's my regimen for foot care. Your mileage may vary, but it worked for an old guy like me. NO blisters - not even one - from St. Jean Pied de Port all the way to Finisterre!!

    Buen Camino!
     
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  22. Viranani

    Viranani Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Last Camino...infected blisters, wicked pain every step. This time, nada.
    As many have said everyone has their own best solution. For me it was paper tape every morning on potential trouble spots (especially around toes), and a roll of Omnifix that I got at a pharmacy in Leon. A total godsend, it worked for blister prevention as well as to protect pressure ulcers that I'd gotten from my pack's hip belt.
    I started out also applying glide and wrapping trouble toes with lambswool...but gave these up as extra. For me the tape was enough.
     
  23. Alacoque

    Alacoque New Member

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    Hey I'm late to this thread but I guess it's one that will get visited often.
    I first did the last section of the camino from Saria to Santiago with my mother in 2011. I set us a regime of 'Minding our feet' she brought along double layered 'Anti Blister socks' (I was sceptical) and I brought along a few foot creams/ointments and a positive outlook! each morning.. would be creams and ointment then socks... without fail on landing to accommodations it would be shoes socks off... and bathe.. if no bath.. in a bucket of water (I often sat up and put my feet in the sink) but to give them a true break.... once done.. ointment, more creme and into the sandals for the rest of the day... key thing here and this NEVER changed... even if folks that you were getting on with wanted you to go for the well deserved beer at the end of the walk... meet them later.. treat feet FIRST. That hour spent sat with the days 25k worth of sweat and friction on the foot might be enough to do your skin in and develop the heat and friction burn set in...... Feet first..always, treat them as your best bud for the whole trip.

    I would not be so confident in this post if 3 years later I did not go back and do the full thing. Same regime every day for 40 days.. Not one blister. I know that i'm a total minority, and I know after doing the full thing realise that the first day over the mountain can cause the initial blister that stays with folks for so long thus causing the others.. (If on that trail)
    but if these comments help I'm happy to give them.. and I do hope they resonate. I guess the key thing outside of the socks and ointments was prioritising feet over all.. morning and evening..

    Re. boots/shoes.. I'm not the biggest sporting type (even though I've done the full thing) the first time I had a pair of trainers that were none remarkable... 2nd time for the full thing.. I had a unbroken in hiking boot. So.. I really do probably have a conflicting message on that stuff. I'd rather anyone reading this to only look at the regime/sock element - I don't feel qualified to talk trainers/boots.

    That is all.

    Onwards and good luck
    X
     
  24. Deeppockets

    Deeppockets New Member

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    Hi & Buon Camino.


    I walked 1,200 km of the Camino in 2012 and did not get any blisters.

    I did do a lot of walking in the Adelaide hills as preparation for the Camino.


    Blister prevention has three main components.

    1. Keeping your feet dry

    2. Minimizing friction in your boots or walking shoes.

    3. Having good quality and well- fitting boots or walking shoes.


    The best way to keep your feet dry is to use silicon cream liberally all over your feet.

    I found that doing this at the start of each day’s walk was usually adequate but I occasionally needed a second application if it was a very long section of the track.


    To minimize friction I used a three part strategy.


    After applying the silicon, put on a pair of ankle length nylon stockings.

    These have excellent friction reducing properties and are used by the SAS when on long treks.

    I learnt this trick from an SAS paratrooper walking the Camino.

    I then put on a pair of good quality thin Coolmax socks.

    Finally, I put on a pair of Bridgedale medium-weight Coolmax socks.

    Having tried dozens of different brands and types of walking socks I am convinced that Bridgedales are the “Rolls-Royce” of walking socks.


    Regards

    Peter (Deeppockets)
     
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  25. Devon Mike

    Devon Mike Active Member

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    Hi Peter,

    I use pretty much the same approach.

    I do lots of walking so the skin on my feet is toughened up.

    I have tried lots of boots and socks over the years and know what works for me. Choice of socks is just as important as choice of boots.

    For winter walking I use goretex leather full height boots (Braisher now Berghaus Hillmaster GTX) with ankle length nylons and heavyweight smartwool socks.

    For spring/summer/autumn walking I use goretex fabric mid height boots (Merrel Moab GTX Mids) with ankle length nylons and medium weight smartwool socks.

    This year I gave away several pairs of the ankle length stockings so there were a few more guys walking the Camino in ladies' stockings. :rolleyes: They all agreed it worked very well for their feet in preventing abrasion and blisters.

    Buen Camino,

    Mike
     
  26. David Tallan

    David Tallan New Member

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    What season were you walking in? I will be walking the camino this summer with my son (who will turn 16 on St. James' Day). I'd prefer to walk in the spring or fall, but my wife is adamant that she doesn't want him missing school for this, so summer it is. I picture myself with three layers of socks in the Spanish summer and it seems to me that my feet are likely to be swimming the whole way.
     
  27. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Two layers of socks will be enough, especially if you change them during the day (just pin the wet/sweaty ones to your backpack to dry). Also considered to get shoes/boots that allow your feet to breath. You might have to compromise in waterproofness then ... Buen Camino, SY
     
  28. Donna Sch

    Donna Sch Active Member Donating Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Via De La Plata - Sanabres - Finisterre ( June/July 2015); OTWPerth 2016
    Future Caminos? Zamora-Astorga-Camino Invierno - SDC (Feb 2019); CF (Summer 2020)
    Consider Injinji Performance 2.0 toe socks. I used the Trail version http://www.functionalrunning.com.au/gear-review-injinji-performance-socks/ and I love them. I prefer the higher ones with a definite cuff as I flick up debris when I walk. It's worth looking at the Ultramarathon/long distance running websites as they are pretty up to date with any new brands that are out there.
     
  29. Gustavus

    Gustavus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2002, 2004, 2008
  30. Donna Sch

    Donna Sch Active Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    602
    Location:
    NT, Australia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Via De La Plata - Sanabres - Finisterre ( June/July 2015); OTWPerth 2016
    Future Caminos? Zamora-Astorga-Camino Invierno - SDC (Feb 2019); CF (Summer 2020)
    Rebecca Rushton the Australiana podiatrist also recommends using Friars Balsam aka tincture of benzoin. http://www.blisterprevention.com.au/the-advanced-guide-to-blister-prevention-chapter-6#.V9-yBBln7qA
     
  31. Steve_White

    Steve_White New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    UK
    Camino(s) past & future:
    SJPDP to Finistere April / May 2015

    (SJPDP to Finistere Sept / Oct 2017)
    Hi,

    I got a large blister on my heel about a week into my Camino. It was due to my tight fitting approach shoes.

    In the Spanish Pharmacy the lady sold me a Syringe and Iodine. She said to remove as much fluid as possible with the syringe and then inject back in a little iodine.

    The first time it stung quite a lot but I followed this method and the blister healed quite quickly. I used the same procedure with a couple of other blisters I got later on. I had no infections and although the blisters were sore they were very manageable.

    After the first blister, I started looking after my feet ! I taped any spots that felt like they might rub and rubbed my feet with Decathlon anti chaffing (anti-frottement) cream whenever I stopped. I'd really recommend this cream as its great for rubbing shoulder straps and other sensitive areas !

    https://www.decathlon.fr/creme-anti-frottement-100-ml-id_8335449.html

    I'll be taking Tape, Iodine and Syringe along and using Anti-Chaffing Cream and Approach Shoes 1 size bigger than normal on my next Camino in September ...

    Steve
     

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