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Hi everyone,
I've just come back from my second stint on the route from Arles. This time I started at Lunas and walked to beyond Revel. I only walked 10 days but I've had to give up earlier than planned because of blisters. I invite advice. I do appeciate that I need to cut down on the weight I was carrying - about 9kg before drink etc. - but want to know what else I should do as concerns prevention and care of blisters.
Barbara J
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I've been told by experienced hikers that there are two kinds of blisters, or better said, two ways to get blisters, from pressure and from friction. On my first Camino, I had horrible blisters, and with bigger boots on the next Camino, I did much better. To avoid the so-called friction blisters, I put Sportslick ointment on my feet every morning and wear a liner sock under a smartwool sock. I change the liners once during the day. And one last thing. I don't know whether it helps or not, but we have found that taking our boots and socks off for at least a half hour mid-day rest keeps our feet feeling much MUCH better. On the first Camino, we never took our boots off during the day, thinking that we would never be able to get them back on. Nothing could be farther from the truth -- taking them off and airing (or even soaking in cold water) the feet does wonders. They feel much better. I don't know if that contributed to the lack of blisters or not, but my feet felt much better.
ah blisters
how we pilgrims love to talk about our blisters
your shoes must fit properly
they should be snug enough in the ankles so they don't ride up and down
but loose enough in the toes so they don't rub
i buy men's shoes because they come in wider widths and are less tapered in the toes
i buy them a full size larger than my dress shoe size
wearing two socks will help a lot
i prefer to wear those old-fashioned white wool socks we used to wear for gym class long long ago when i was a gel
on top of very fine cotton socks-make sure that the toe seam is looped rather than sewn

i pay attention to my feet when i'm walking
as soon as i notice that my liner socks are getting damp or wrinkled
i take them off and put on a dry pair
i pin the wet ones to the back of my pack
so they'll be dry by the next time i need to change socks

when you get a blister
take a big needle like an upholstery needle and
heavy thread like upholstery thread or buttonhole twist
pull a doubled thread thru the dead skin and
loosely tie the ends together
this will function as a drain that will
wick the fluid out of the blister
leave the dead skin on the blister until it
falls off of its own accord

avoid compeeds-they only make things worse
The 9th edition the Lightfoot Guide will let you complete the journey your way.
One way to prevent blisters is to strap the parts of the feet that are susceptible to blisters with a thin, athletic strapping tape. I strap my heels and around the outside of the big toes and never get blisters anymore.
Another tip someone gave me is to rub DUBBIN on the feet! Works just the same as as it does on horse hide to prevent chaffing. (I haven't tried it so can't vouch for it!)
For what it is worth, I always wear purpose made walking socks, clean every day. Don't do long walks until my boots are worn in. Stop as soon as I feel a hot spot and tape it with micropore. Be prepared to stop regularly at the beginning of a walk to adjust the boots until they are comfortable (push the foot forward; then hard back and tie the laces).

I haven't had a blister for years, but then I haven't tried to walk for 30 days non stop. I begin at SJPdP on 15th May: wish me luck!

The 9th edition the Lightfoot Guide will let you complete the journey your way.

Wish you luck! I'm sure you will enjoy and don't need the luck!

Thank you to all of you for your advice. perhaps it is a case of slightly wider boots or thinner socks as the blisters always occur on my little toes.
If it becomes necessary to apply a plaster, should i remove the plaster every day when not actually walking and replace with a new one?
with out a doubt Sillydoll is absolutely right, strapping is the best way. Before I did my camino I used to practice karate in bare feet and the only way to cope with an 7 hour day practice was to strap your feet. This acts as a reinforcing to your skin and you do not get blisters.

Apparently current medical advice is not to burst them in any way as the skin is the most effective way of preventing infection, but i am not a doctor, so you would need advice on that one.

good luck

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