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Compeed vs hikers wool or both?

Past OR future Camino
Future
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi! Hiker’s wool is great when you feel you are getting a ‘hot spot’… Well before you get a blister. You put it between your foot and your sock, it usually does the trick. (It always has in my case, IF I spot it early enough.).
Only use it as prevention, no way if there is already a blister or even worse, broken skin.

Compeed is for blisters but I don’t use it any more. Nasty stuff.
I’ll let others say their bit 🙂 They may (will!) differ.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Never use Compeed. It encloses moist and makes your blisters worse. Air and antiseptic cream is the best healer.
 
Past OR future Camino
Future
Walked 4 Camino's blister free. Used Leukotape P (ordered on amazon ) to tape all my toes, my heels and any other sensitive spots preventative. Then some good socks. (I wear Thorlo medium padded socks ) Works like magic. TAPE before you start walking every day. It helped me. best wishes
That’s new info - thank you - I’ll look into it
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Possibly the best advice is to wear the shoes and socks that you will wear on Camino on multiple 10klm+ walks well before your Camino so that any potential issues are sorted before you go.

Then, when on Camino, walk at your own pace rather than someone else's pace and listen to your feet and the rest of your body.
 
Past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022
Thank you. I don’t even know how campeed works, but two of you already made me cautious of this stuff so there must be a reason for that
Absolutely not something I would choose. My daughter lost half the skin of her pinky toe with compeed. it was partially her fault by taking it off too early....but still...a NO for me .
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
OK… so there is a compeed STICK… not the bandages that so many loathe…
I use both the stick and the wool. The stick goes on very much like a solid stick deodorant and that’s all you have to do — it it where things rub your feet/toes, heel ridge, etc. I wrap my baby toes in the wool on any hike exceeding 15K.

If I can find a photo of my wrapped toes I will post it.

You can also find body glide stick, or LIfe brand stick —- most are made to prevent diabetic blister formation, but work a charm for hikers too.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
I havent needed to use hikers Wool, I make sure my shoes are loose enough not to cause toe rubbing. But I know people who swear by it, wrapping it around susceptible toes to prevent chafing. I think the shape and length of your toes makes you more prone to blisters or not.
I sometimes pretape the side of my foot that sometimes develops a hot spot - if I know there are hills. I use physio kinesio tape. It comes off when you shower so you dont have to pull on tender skin.
After a shower I wear flip flops (some people wear sandals but my feet are great with flop flops.) Air is great to help heal blisters.
I would never use Compeed, I've seen some terrible messes caused by that.
 
Past OR future Camino
Future
A lubricant or foot glide applied liberally on your feet and toes before you put on your socks will also help prevent blisters.
Didn’t think of it… just put “glide” into my backpack (I use it for running so the bra doesn’t rub against my skin) … thank you
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Colloidal dressings like Compeed should only be used to treat de-roofed blisters. They can do more damage than good on intact blisters, as previous posters have suggested. Have a look at Rebecca Rushton's website https://www.blister-prevention.com/ for a better explanation than I can give here, including a pretty forthright explanation of the limitations of this type of dressing.

She also addresses some of the issues with common blister prevention techniques like powders and potions such as Glide and vaseline.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I use Compeed and can cut it into any shape I need. I only use it on hot spots and have always had good results. I leave it on for three days and it sticks well while showering. I do not get blisters. I've had good luck with duct tape too, but prefer the soft cushioning of compeed.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused…

Nothing like a good 'avoid blister' debate.
There will be as many approaches to it as picking footwear or packs :rolleyes:

for me.....
3 Caminos, 2,000 kms, not one single blister.
I'm sticking with this approach. That's not to say of course that others don't work.

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Colloidal dressings like Compeed should only be used to treat de-roofed blisters. They can do more damage than good on intact blisters, as previous posters have suggested. Have a look at Rebecca Rushton's website https://www.blister-prevention.com/ for a better explanation than I can give here, including a pretty forthright explanation of the limitations of this type of dressing.

She also addresses some of the issues with common blister prevention techniques like powders and potions such as Glide and vaseline.
I agree. And it's too expensive to use as a preventative when simple tape works. As I mentioned above, I like Omnifix or the similar Hypafix (both widely available in farmacias in Spain) because it's a thin, slightly stretchy tape that conforms to the contours of your foot. It adheres well, but removes easily - especially in the shower. I like the 4" wide version because it fits well across the ball of my foot (my trouble spot), and can be cut to fit any place that you need it.

The key to using tape is to not put anything under it. The idea is that any friction that occurs happens on the tape - not on your skin. If you put gauze, wool, or anything else between your skin and the tape it can still rub on your skin.

KT tape also works well, but is more expensive, and heavier to carry.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Katharine
Evidently it was Benjamin Franklin who said ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Military/Business types will tell you that you can’t have too much preparation.
Actually on the camino there’s a risk that you can read too many forum posts before you depart for the first time. Blister treatment is a classic example where everyone has a story and advice - but you’ve no real way of knowing whether it applies to you.
Some common-sense preventative action is good, but beyond that our limbs each respond in different ways - and you’ll have to actually start walking to find out how yours do.
I’d say that I see about a third of fellow pilgrims treating their feet/blisters in the evening and morning - which means that generally there are about two thirds that don’t. But also it means you’ll find plenty of people to offer advice and assist when you are ‘in situ’ - if needed.
What you need to know is that there are farmacias in all small towns and some villages. So these are accessible every few days on the Primitivo, should you need to source vaseline, compeed/equivalents, medical tape or whatever.

It’s lovely for us forum regulars to have a polite and interested newbie to unload on, but we will give you more than you actually need to be optimally primed for your journey. I’d just like to reference Jenny@zen’s post on your primitivo thread, which I think is the most useful take-away from all of this:

One general comment I’d make about researching and planning your Camino. Reading or hearing about others wonderful experiences fills us with so many possibilities - it can make it difficult to choose. As in other aspects of life, you can get a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) - I’ve experienced it. A voice that says - if go this way, I won’t see that. If I stay in this town, in this albergue - where I’d like to stop - I’ll miss that one 8 kms on that someone said was the best they’ve stayed in etc. etc. But whatever choices you make, I can almost guarantee you’ll have wonderful experiences, stay in memorable places and meet interesting people.

Take the path that calls you the most. 🙏

I’d just add:
The camino is like a book, with each stage-day a fresh chapter. You read it but you also write it.
The challenge is to be brave and go with just a few lines written - and allow the camino itself to help you create the rest.
 
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Sirage

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
For any Camino there are only 3 things to get right:
1 Shoes
2 Socks
3 Omnifix (many brand equivalents) with scissors and a little practice in how to stretch and mould it around toes and feet as required.

Everything else is optional.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Needle and thread!
Some alcohol or other disinfectants. Only if you tend to get blisters.

After the night tape the blister with sports tape and you are good to go.

In the Albergue in Villafranca Montes de Oca I met a belgian paramedic, who treated all blisters of all pilgrims that way. She knew what she was doing.
 

Pilgrim9

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
Immediately* after first sensing a hot spot, I take off my boot and sock, let my foot air dry for several minutes, and then apply any type of slippery tape** to the full bottom of my foot (behind the toes) and around the heel curve and about 10 cm up the heel to just under the top of my sock, so that it remains invisible to sniggering bystanders. When applying the tape, I bend my foot upwards as far as possible to stretch the skin at the heel. This ensures that the tape will not be under tension at the heel. After the foot un-flexes, the tape wrinkles a bit at the heel but that does not matter as long as the tape is firmly adhered to the dry skin.

*In my experience, one must take action immediately after sensing a hot spot. Walking e.g. 5 additional paces in the forlorn hope that the hot spot will go away on its own is not advisable: the hot spot indicates immediately-impending skin de-lamination and blister formation. Stop walking right away.

** The purpose of the tape is to facilitate sliding movement between the sock and the tape, and to prevent shear forces from arising between the layers of skin.

After applying the tape, I never attempt to remove it until it peels off by itself in the shower. Of course I carefully wash my feet with hot soapy every time I shower, and dry them carefully, but I do not interfere with the tape. No testing to see if it is ready to come off.

It can take several days of hiking for the spontaneous-self-removal-in-shower of the tape to occur. The tape is a bit tattered and grubby by then. Disgusting? Maybe, but my feet have not complained.

When the tape does fall off in the shower, of course I carefully wash and dry the newly-exposed skin. There are usually a few stripes of adhesive left on the skin. I just leave them alone. The newly-exposed skin always looks healthy and glowing after its few days of vacation from friction.

I have tried all sorts of tapes including moleskin, surgical paper tape, duct tape, clear polyester cardboard-box-sealing tape, etc. My practical field experiments have convinced me that:

- my feet cannot read the brand names or prices marked on the rolls of tape; they are down-to-earth fellows and do not care about marketing hype; and,

- the tape adhesive must be sufficiently sticky to reliably prevent any movement between the tape and the skin; and,

- the outer surface of the tape must be slippery so that there is no friction between tape and sock. This reduces the shear stress between tape and foot, and helps to prevent de-lamination between skin layers.

I have had great success with both 3M clear polyester cardboard-box-sealing tape, and with duct tape. Polyester cardboard-box-sealing-tape is more slippery on the outside and I would prefer it except that it is difficult to find and grasp the end of the tape on the roll, and difficult to tear off a length without using some sharp tool. In my experience, duct tape is easier to unwrap from its roll in the field, and easier to tear off from its roll.

I keep a supply of my favourite tape rolled up on each walking stick, just under the hand grips where it is out of the way, but can be accessed immediately after sensing a hot spot, without needing to fuss about with my pack.

Of course one need not wait for a hot spot: just apply the tape on the first morning before starting to walk.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Needle and thread!
Some alcohol or other disinfectants. Only if you tend to get blisters.
I'm sorry, but this method can cause infection of the blister. There is no way that you can completely disinfect the thread that goes into the blister, and it becomes a superhighway for bacteria to enter the wound.

 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Immediately* after first sensing a hot spot, I take off my boot and sock, let my foot air dry for several minutes, and then apply any type of slippery tape** to the full bottom of my foot (behind the toes) and around the heel curve and about 10 cm up the heel to just under the top of my sock, so that it remains invisible to sniggering bystanders. When applying the tape, I bend my foot upwards as far as possible to stretch the skin at the heel. This ensures that the tape will not be under tension at the heel. After the foot un-flexes, the tape wrinkles a bit at the heel but that does not matter as long as the tape is firmly adhered to the dry skin.

*In my experience, one must take action immediately after sensing a hot spot. Walking e.g. 5 additional paces in the forlorn hope that the hot spot will go away on its own is not advisable: the hot spot indicates immediately-impending skin de-lamination and blister formation. Stop walking right away.

** The purpose of the tape is to facilitate sliding movement between the sock and the tape, and to prevent shear forces from arising between the layers of skin.

After applying the tape, I never attempt to remove it until it peels off by itself in the shower. Of course I carefully wash my feet with hot soapy every time I shower, and dry them carefully, but I do not interfere with the tape. No testing to see if it is ready to come off.

It can take several days of hiking for the spontaneous-self-removal-in-shower of the tape to occur. The tape is a bit tattered and grubby by then. Disgusting? Maybe, but my feet have not complained.

When the tape does fall off in the shower, of course I carefully wash and dry the newly-exposed skin. There are usually a few stripes of adhesive left on the skin. I just leave them alone. The newly-exposed skin always looks healthy and glowing after its few days of vacation from friction.

I have tried all sorts of tapes including moleskin, surgical paper tape, duct tape, clear polyester cardboard-box-sealing tape, etc. My practical field experiments have convinced me that:

- my feet cannot read the brand names or prices marked on the rolls of tape; they are down-to-earth fellows and do not care about marketing hype; and,

- the tape adhesive must be sufficiently sticky to reliably prevent any movement between the tape and the skin; and,

- the outer surface of the tape must be slippery so that there is no friction between tape and sock. This reduces the shear stress between tape and foot, and helps to prevent de-lamination between skin layers.

I have had great success with both 3M clear polyester cardboard-box-sealing tape, and with duct tape. Polyester cardboard-box-sealing-tape is more slippery on the outside and I would prefer it except that it is difficult to find and grasp the end of the tape on the roll, and difficult to tear off a length without using some sharp tool. In my experience, duct tape is easier to unwrap from its roll in the field, and easier to tear off from its roll.

I keep a supply of my favourite tape rolled up on each walking stick, just under the hand grips where it is out of the way, but can be accessed immediately after sensing a hot spot, without needing to fuss about with my pack.

Of course one need not wait for a hot spot: just apply the tape on the first morning before starting to walk.
Excellent post, @Pilgrim9!
I agree that duct tape works well. I wrap it around an empty plastic pen case in my pack instead of my poles. I would think the clear wide packing tape would not have quite the same flexibility as the duct tape, and I agree it takes "forever" to find the end.
 
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greengirl

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Katharine
Evidently it was Benjamin Franklin who said ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Military/Business types will tell you that you can’t have too much preparation.
Actually on the camino there’s a risk that you can read too many forum posts before you depart for the first time. Blister treatment is a classic example where everyone has a story and advice - but you’ve no real way of knowing whether it applies to you.
Some common-sense preventative action is good, but beyond that our limbs each respond in different ways - and you’ll have to actually start walking to find out how yours do.
I’d say that I see about a third of fellow pilgrims treating their feet/blisters in the evening and morning - which means that generally there are about two thirds that don’t. But also it means you’ll find plenty of people to offer advice and assist when you are ‘in situ’ - if needed.
What you need to know is that there are farmacias in all small towns and some villages. So these are accessible every few days on the Primitivo, should you do need to source vaseline, compeed/equivalents, medical tape or whatever.

It’s lovely for us forum regulars to have a polite and interested newbie to unload on, but we will give you more than you actually need to be optimally primed for your journey. I’d just like to reference Jenny@zen’s post on your primitivo thread, which I think is the most useful take-away from all of this:



I’d just add:
The camino is like a book, with each stage-day a fresh chapter. You read it but you also write it.
The challenge is to be brave and go with just a few lines written - and allow the camino itself to help you create the rest.
Thank you Tom. I like that idea so much.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Compeed/mole skin gets a bad rap from many here, but if you keep it OFF your blisters(I've had none) it's been a great product from my experience.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Compeed/mole skin gets a bad rap from many here, but if you keep it OFF your blisters it's been a great product from my experience.
Absolutely. And Compeed makes so much more than the bandaids. I really love their anti-chafing product — it’s much nicer than my mum’s diabetic foot stick from Life Brand…. And much nicer than Body Glide — which is to say: I just really like the smell of the Compeed Stick. It makes me think of getting ready each morning on a camino. Body glide foot stick has no scent (So others may prefer that, and it does the job just great).
I think I’m not really blister prone…. Except for one toe. I used to cover it in a Compeed bandaid. And I would still do that… they are just really expensive. So now I use the wool and the Compeed stick for prevention.
 

Un Chon K

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Campeed is NOT for blister prevention. It is to help to heal a blister that has lost its crown. If you use Campeed on a blister that still has a crown, Campeed will take the crown off and make the situation worse.
 
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Robi Diaz De Vivar

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
I have been very lucky with my feet on my Caminos. The one time that I had a blister then I found that compeed was a great help. To avoid any foot problems I have 2 bits of advice. 1. Your shoes....have at least a months worth of use in them while training. 2. Socks. I do not have enough experience of other types to advise you but the two most expensive pairs of walking socks from Decathlon have never let me down. The day that I had a blister was when I used a pair of my wife's walking socks (also Decathlon but the really cheap option). The other completely useless observation that I have is that there is no logic for who has foot trouble and who doesn't. Good luck.
 

HikingGeo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
Walked 4 Camino's blister free. Used Leukotape P (ordered on amazon ) to tape all my toes, my heels and any other sensitive spots preventative. Then some good socks. (I wear Thorlo medium padded socks ) Works like magic. TAPE before you start walking every day. It helped me. best wishes
I agree with Leukotape. Great stuff as a preventative! Also using a lubricant such as Glide along with good socks and sock liners has worked well for me. I realize some folks do not like sock liners.
 

Cleigh

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Thank you. I don’t even know how campeed works, but two of you already made me cautious of this stuff so there must be a reason for that
We have walked three caminos and I am a huge fan of compeed before a blister occurs. Off at night so akin doesn’t stay moist. I have literally never had a blister. Just stop and inspect if hot spots are even a possibility.
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Past OR future Camino
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Hi Katherine,
I know it might seem that this is the most important prep before your Camino. But it needn't be so!
The best prep is practice - so you get to know (and even reject some of) your kit, your preferred pace and prepare your mind and body for the rigours ahead. Hike yourself into an expert before you travel to Spain!
If you have practised by hiking, with your pack, two consecutive days of 20km or 13 miles (or less if you intend to walk less each day on your camino), wearing the socks and footwear you intend to wear, you'll know if you're prone to blisters forming.
If you have blisters already, start following some of the advice recommended in this thread. If no blisters appear, pack your Body Glide and a small pack of Compeed (just in case!) and worry no more.

At least half of Camino walkers experience zero blisters or very minor ones. I fall into that category.
I wear either two pairs of thin socks or twin-layer seamless hiking socks (wool/synthetic blend). I massage my feet with Vick vapourub just before I climb into my sleeping bag each night - it smells nicer than Vaseline! And when I stop for a short rest each morning, lunch and afternoon, I slip my hiking shoes off, to let any moisture evaporate from my socks.
Does all that work? It does for me, but it could be that I'm not prone to blisters anyway!
The only times I have got blisters have been when my feet have sweated through being too hot (and I have forgotten to air them as above).

Blisters are a common conversation topic on the forum, and occasionally on the Camino itself (Q: What's the collective term for a group of walking pilgrims? A: A blister!). But they won't seem so important once you are underway.


Buen Camino
Graham
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I suggest you make friends with your feet and treat them kindly: find the sock/shoe combo that works for you while carrying your expected Camino weight.
I can develop blisters between my pinkie and next toe even on a very short walk. I use Injinji toe liner socks inside light merino hiking socks. I air my feet when I take a break and I change into fresh socks about 75% along the way. Do that whatever your favoured socks. Apart from blister prevention clean socks are a great boost as you are getting tired! I start the next day with those socks having aired them overnight. (Injinji do make toe merino socks but I find them less comfortable.) Good luck and Buen Camino
toe liner socks.jpg
 
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stinmd

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
Ideas on how to prevent blisters are like navels - everybody has got one :)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm sorry, but this method can cause infection of the blister. There is no way that you can completely disinfect the thread that goes into the blister, and it becomes a superhighway for bacteria to enter the wound.
Totally agree with this, though I do know many Spaniards in particular who swear by the thread method and have never gotten an infection.

Leaving the blister in tact, though, is like an open invitation for it to grow, so I do what others have mentioned here. When it is very small, cut a chunk of the top skin off. That way it will not re-form. Wash and dry the now open wound thoroughly and add either betadine or anti-bacterial ointment. Then cover with gauze and omnifix. Change and wash daily or more often depending on schedule.

Many Dutch pilgrims I know just carefully cut the whole top skin off, but I find that may make it more painful.

Actually I am speaking from my remote memory now, because since I read @davebugg’s posts on trail runners and switched to them about 5 years ago, I have not had a blister!



Nothing like a good blister debate to re-energize the forum!
 

JRO

Member
Past OR future Camino
santiago to muxia
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
I have never used Compeed, but the Hiker's Lambswool helped with shoe hotspots, places that rubbed from my pack straps, and I shared some with others as well. I liked it because you could use a lot, or a little, and mold it into the type of padding that you needed at the time. I definitely will carry it again.....along with duct tape and on most of my travels.
 

JohanT

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Compeet is working fine if you have a blister and want to continue walking. Just keep in mind, Do Not take of the Compeet at the end of the day. Leave it on for a few days and remove it when your blister is no longer bothering you. Yes, this can indeed take a few days.
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
All feet are different, I personally preferred the old school Moleskin brand that I brought from Canada over Compeed. But the best protection for my feet was when I switched to Injini toe socks with a light smartwool sock over top.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Nobody will win this discussion 🤣🤣🤣. Ever! Keep it coming!

PS: IMHO: Compeed is one of the Devil's masterpieces ;). DS.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I have never used Compeed, but the Hiker's Lambswool helped with shoe hotspots, places that rubbed from my pack straps, and I shared some with others as well. I liked it because you could use a lot, or a little, and mold it into the type of padding that you needed at the time. I definitely will carry it again.....along with duct tape and on most of my travels.
OH... I'v never used the wool for pack straps! How do you avoid losing it?
I had horrifying chain on my first camino on my clavicle bones and on my iliac crest. Strangely the identical pack on 2 subsequent walks did not produce the same result, but I still carry thin pieces of foam (from smart-phone boxes!) to give to others who might experience the same problem that I did initially.
I do wonder if I will face it again if I ever get out there again, as I have regained weight on COV that I hadn't seen since 2014...
In other words: I think there might be more of me to rub against parts of my pack...
Sitting at my desk, wishing to have the opportunity to test my theory!!
 

Jilly123

New Member
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
It's true...there is always another experience. I have had amazing results and protection from Compeed and never travel without it. The trick is to let it come off by itself. Do not take it off forcibly. Love the stuff.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016 SJPP>Santiago
This won't really address the issue of Compeed vs. hikers wool. But I'll offer how I avoided blisters as an inexperienced, but much researched hiker (thank you forum members!) on my CF. I'll preface it by admitting my 65 yr. old feet were in pretty good shape prior to the hike as I hiked, biked and played volleyball regularly before my CF.

I used a very light coating of petroleum jelly on my feet each morning, followed by poly sock liners, and either poly socks or summer weight wool Darn Tough socks. My shoes were broken in and fit very well. As such, I no blisters for the entire trip while carrying my 20# pack all but 3 days. As others have mentioned, start with good well-fitted shoes that are broken in - not tight and not loose. Remember that your feet will swell some during the day.

Discussion for the brand/model/style of shoe can be seen on many other threads.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Nobody will win this discussion 🤣🤣🤣. Ever! Keep it coming!

PS: IMHO: Compeed is one of the Devil's masterpieces ;). DS.
Alex, I doubt there is nothing left to "keep it coming" after the 43 replies already given. It seems we have "crossed every T and dotted every I". 😅
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Alex, I doubt there is nothing left to "keep it coming" after the 43 replies already given. It seems we have "crossed every T and dotted every I". 😅
Yes, and when reading about all the obscure substances (Vaseline, Compeed, iodine, and even some outlandish ones) people are smearing on their feet, my personal sleeping bag will always travel with me: No more albergue linen/blankets for me, thank you! Blisters need desinfection and air. At least mine (few) ones...:D
 

Dinnie

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
Walked 4 Camino's blister free. Used Leukotape P (ordered on amazon ) to tape all my toes, my heels and any other sensitive spots preventative. Then some good socks. (I wear Thorlo medium padded socks ) Works like magic. TAPE before you start walking every day. It helped me. best wishes
I have used Leukotape as well when I am going for long walks in summer. I find it helps. I also agree with a good pair of socks. I am a newbie and looking forward to do my first CF, hopefully in 2023.
Specials Thanks to all the people in this forum who have provided a very insightful comments/advice/words. I am enjoying reading and learning from all of you as I prepare for this journey.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
I have successfully used compeed - it stayed on 3 weeks and finally fell off with new skin underneath it. I still carry some but now vaseline my feet every morning, wear merino injinji toe socks, then another pair of wool socks, and use fleece from my own shetland sheep to stuff down my sock if i feel some friction starting, or wrap it round a toe. I wash the fleece lightly so that it still retains some lanolin which i think helps. It felts down and i keep the pieces and use them again every day until i am sure the danger is over.. fleece is very light to carry. Also taking boots and socks off to air feet midday helps a lot. You will find your own way, dont worry about it, but DO do something the minute you feel there is friction, dont ignore it, stop and check.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances (2013)
Camino portugues (2017)
Camino primitivo, del norte, coastal (future)
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
I walked 2 Caminos (30 days + 10 days) with a single blister on my first, after a lot of rain. The key is prevention! Moisture + friction = blister.

1. 3 weeks before the Camino, I started putting Nok cream on my feet every day before practice walks. It helped prepare my skin. I also put Nok cream daily during the Camino.
2. Quality merino wool socks (Icebreaker or Smartwool), dry, change every 2 hours (hang on bag to dry and switch with other pair). They dry really quickly and this prevents moisture buildup.
3. When feeling a hot spot, apply some kind of layer (second skin, leukotape, bandaid...).
4. Thoroughly wash, dry and moisturize feet every night!
I hope this helps!
 
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pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
If you are not walking enough in training to get a blister, then you are not training hard enough!

You can then practice taking care of you blister that you acquired during training. Training also allows you to experiment with various ways to avoid blisters. Socks? lubricant? others? Find what works best for you.

Don't wait until Spain to acquire this knowledge. Why spend all your time in Spain worrying about blisters?


-Paul
 

basquelady

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (2013), CF Pamplona to V del Bierzo (2014), Baztanés, then CF (2016), CF Sahagun to SDC (2017)
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Know your feet before you walk. That's my best advice. I am now 74 and have walked whole and part Caminos since 2013. My feet keep changing! See what works for you. Lots of good advice here on the forum do just make sure you leave yourself time to see what works for you. Enjoy.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
If you are not walking enough in training to get a blister, then you are not training hard enough!

You can then practice taking care of you blister that you acquired during training. Training also allows you to experiment with various ways to avoid blisters. Socks? lubricant? others? Find what works best for you.

Don't wait until Spain to acquire this knowledge. Why spend all your time in Spain worrying about blisters?


-Paul
So basically, one should train enough to get blisters in order to avoid blisters?

Interesting angle. ;)
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Wow! Amazing replies, so many answers!

You put MOLESKIN on a hotspot, to stop a blister forming.

If a blister has started you put COMPEED on it. And you LEAVE it on.

The compeed works by soaking up all the blister fluid.

It will eventually come off by itself, once it has done its job, so don’t try and pull it off until then.

Works for me.
 

Cees

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Walking the Camino from Haarlem, NL starting August 2016
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
As far as my experience goes and I swear by my solution. Do not use any stuff which could stick to a potential blister or blister spot. Except for Hansa plast Sport Tape. No blister yet or afraid for potential blister spot, than protect that spot with the above and do not remove it at all until it falls of by it self after walking or after having a shower. It will protect that spot from getting a blister because the skin does not rub against a sock or shoe. As far as I am concerned, when you are to late with your protective action and you have a blister do NOT open up the blister but protect the blister with the (hansa plast) sport tape and NEVER remove the tape until it falls of. Then attach a new piece of tape. Your blister will be protected and eventually dry out and the skin will be ok. Also continue to use the tape for protective measure until you arrive in Santiago. :) My experience was and still worth a lot; I walked from the north of the Netherlands to Santiago in 128days so Buen Camino Pelgrim
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
If you are not walking enough in training to get a blister, then you are not training hard enough!

You can then practice taking care of you blister that you acquired during training. Training also allows you to experiment with various ways to avoid blisters. Socks? lubricant? others? Find what works best for you.

Don't wait until Spain to acquire this knowledge. Why spend all your time in Spain worrying about blisters?


-Paul
Err…. You can train all you like at home and not get a blister… It’s different though when you walk EVERY DAY all day. Day after day. In heat or rain…
I know, I’ve been there 😎😁😉
 

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Hikers wool will protect against getting a blister. If you can get some fleece from a sheep, that also works. Compeed should not be used on intact skin as a prevention. It is great for blisters which have already have the "roof" off but it causes healthy skin to become soggy and then prone to breaking down.
 

taigirl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Hikers wool will protect against getting a blister. If you can get some fleece from a sheep, that also works. Compeed should not be used on intact skin as a prevention. It is great for blisters which have already have the "roof" off but it causes healthy skin to become soggy and then prone to breaking down.
 
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Tiger 48

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2014 Frances. 2017 to be Norte
Possibly the best advice is to wear the shoes and socks that you will wear on Camino on multiple 10klm+ walks well before your Camino so that any potential issues are sorted before you go.

Then, when on Camino, walk at your own pace rather than someone else's pace and listen to your feet and the rest of your body.
Magnificent advice Doughnut. Have a bit of compeed and wool in the bag. But these things are found at a lot of places along the way, so don't carry too much. Buen Camino!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hikers wool will protect against getting a blister. If you can get some fleece from a sheep, that also works. Compeed should not be used on intact skin as a prevention. It is great for blisters which have already have the "roof" off but it causes healthy skin to become soggy and then prone to breaking down.
Hikers wool is just that 😁 I picked wool from sheep (from fences) before my first caminos as I had no idea it could be bought😁
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hikers wool will protect against getting a blister. If you can get some fleece from a sheep, that also works. Compeed should not be used on intact skin as a prevention. It is great for blisters which have already have the "roof" off but it causes healthy skin to become soggy and then prone to breaking down.
Exactly. Hiker's wool or sometimes less expensive dancer's wool are for prevention, as are tape and things like Vaseline, Body Glide. Compeed is a blister treatment, and while some people like @Camino Chrissy use it for prevention, in my opinion, it's not any more effective than tape or moleskin for prevention, and a lot more expensive.

Hopefully, even if you bring Compeed on the Camino you will not need to use it because you have prevented blister in the first place!

On one of my Caminos after about 4 days another peregrina was complaining of blisters, and I told her about using Omnifix to prevent them. She said "oh, I brought some with me." Unfortunately, she did not use it to prevent the blisters! She was also surprised that she had blisters as she was used to doing long day hikes on weekends at home. But it's often the cumulative effects of the friction on your feet from walking long distances day after day that causes blisters. That's why I always recommend that people do 3-4 consecutive days of long distance walking in their chosen footwear before they leave for the Camino, to determine how their feet fare under the stress.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Nobody will win this discussion 🤣🤣🤣. Ever! Keep it coming!

PS: IMHO: Compeed is one of the Devil's masterpieces ;). DS.
I agree with you.
I was walking with a friend who got a blister and put on a Compeed plaster. After walking for a while, It started to curl a bit at the edges and stick to her socks, which then started to pull the Compeed off.
So then we stopped and she put another plaster over that to stop the sock pulling on the Compeed.
Which was fine until she tried to take that plaster off, then it had stuck to the Compeed as well.
So she tried to stick it down again, but it wouldn't stick to her foot any more. So she trimmed up the plaster where it wasn't stuck to theCompeed, and put yet another plaster over the top.
At this point she had three layers.
I have no idea what happened after that.
 
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jayree

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Past OR future Camino
2018 Camino Frances, The Way SJ
next trip 2023/24
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Hi Katherine, I was very fortunate I had no problems with my feet at all. I visited a podiatrist to check my feet & took along my hiking shoes. They were excellent. Informed me not to have a pedicure within month of leaving therefore allowing my feet to be hardened. My Keen shoes were a perfect fit with room from toe to tip of shoe to move and my feet were relaxed & comfortable in shoes. Keens are a wider fit than many others. I also wore very good socks. I carried 2 spare pairs in backpack & each day washed my socks when finished my walk. I then wore therapy thongs and most nights as getting into bed I placed vaseline on the soles of my feet.
I imagine you will hear from many people with different ideas. I wish you the very best and enjoy your journey.
 
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tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Smear your feet with Vick, vaseline or umguentum de peregrino every morning. Combined with good socks, you should be blister free. I prefer Vick because I can get it in any farmacia. I found vaseline to be uncommon and the specialist umguentum was expensive. I will throw in an unsubstantiated rumour about vick. Apparently it repels bedbugs but I have no evidence to support this. Just a rumour that other pilgrims have repeated. If you are European based, Lidl sell really good hiking socks. Every time they have them in stock, I buy a few pairs
 

mwextine

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
I have walked enough that I know most of my feet's sensitive areas. I use "MeFix" ("Hypafix" is similar) tape as a preventative on one or two areas. It can easily be removed at the end of the day in the shower. I also use "HikeGoo" between my big toe and adjacent areas. Also a smear of that on a few areas that tend to form calluses. I also use a sandpaper-like "file" to smooth out callused areas on my feet as that's where I tend to get blisters.

I have been advised to use "mefix" ("hypafix" is similar) on blisters as well -- but after draining them. Again, the tape can be carefully removed in warm water while showering.

Having feet dry and bare at night is a big healer and using wool or compeeds causes other problems.

Trying out all of this well in advance of walking your camino is important!
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Err…. You can train all you like at home and not get a blister… It’s different though when you walk EVERY DAY all day. Day after day. In heat or rain…
I know, I’ve been there 😎😁😉

I train up to walking 70 KM on a weekend, plus 10 KM during the week carrying a full pack. One 3-day weekend, I did a full 100K. Rain allows me to test out my rain gear. Yes, I did get blisters, but learned how to care for them and how to minimize them. I experimented with multiple methods, but found that that wearing double socks works best for me to avoid blisters.

You have to make training a priority!

It all paid off in Spain and made my Camino much more physically enjoyable and spiritual fulfilling.


-Paul
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
Unfortunately I believe that quite often people come to this forum for advice on shoes, socks etc (anything foot related) with the hopes that someone will tell them about the end all be all of Camino footwear, yet they have no intention of testing anything on their feet out prior to walking the Camino. Testing in the form of several 5-10 km's (minimum) walks in the footwear. That is the only way one can know if what is on their feet will work on an 800 km walk. It is pointless to ask otherwise.
I do know that upon walking the Camino one sees all manner of footwear on pilgrims, some of which the gear gurus would say will never work, and you see the pilgrims arriving in Santiago.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Never use Compeed. It encloses moist and makes your blisters worse. Air and antiseptic cream is the best healer.
Compeed is NOT for putting on blisters!! It is for preventing blisters! If you put it on a blister, when you try to pull it off, your skin will come with it, leaving what remains of the blister to get infected! I don't know how many pilgrims we bandaged up because someone had told them to get comped for their blisters without explaining this fact.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Compeed is NOT for putting on blisters!! It is for preventing blisters! If you put it on a blister, when you try to pull it off, your skin will come with it, leaving what remains of the blister to get infected! I don't know how many pilgrims we bandaged up because someone had told them to get comped for their blisters without explaining this fact.
Exactly! I have done many damage control jobs on pilgrims who thought Compeed was a good idea on blisters. Some of them were so bad I suppress the sights...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Exactly! I have done many damage control jobs on pilgrims who thought Compeed was a good idea on blisters. Some of them were so bad I suppress the sights...
Alex, sounds like you are @David's little helper with first aid.😊
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Alex, sounds like you are @David's little helper with first aid.😊
He, he; I actually have had a few good conversations with him on the subject. We have met on a couple of occations. A good man.
 

JRO

Member
Past OR future Camino
santiago to muxia
OH... I'v never used the wool for pack straps! How do you avoid losing it?
I had horrifying chain on my first camino on my clavicle bones and on my iliac crest. Strangely the identical pack on 2 subsequent walks did not produce the same result, but I still carry thin pieces of foam (from smart-phone boxes!) to give to others who might experience the same problem that I did initially.
I do wonder if I will face it again if I ever get out there again, as I have regained weight on COV that I hadn't seen since 2014...
In other words: I think there might be more of me to rub against parts of my pack...
Sitting at my desk, wishing to have the opportunity to test my theory!!
The duct tape helps with that, or if you are female, you can tuck it under a bra strap under your shirt if the pressure point is in the right spot. I have sensitive ankle bones that stick out on the inside of my foot, and my higher topped OBOZ rubbed on those unless I had exactly the correct sock combo (didn't realize this ahead of time). The lambswool padded that spot as well. It can also be used for a metatarsal or ball of the foot extra pad.
 

Christopher Hegan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugese Camino (March 2014)
Never use Compeed. It encloses moist and makes your blisters worse. Air and antiseptic cream is the best healer.
Why do people perennially trot out this 'natural' and entirely wrong piece of advice? As anyone with an understanding of human biology, and every doctor, knows, healing is a cellular process. Your body marshals a highly sophisticated response to damage, bringing leukocytes (white blood cells) to fight infection and other resources to repair damage. This can only happen in the presence of moisture. Compeeds work, and as a five-time pilgrim I have experienced on more than one occasion that they do, by creating a moist, sealed environment around the wound. As a doctor once explained, giving a wound air is a good way to get a scar. I honestly think the anti-Compeed crowd are like a subset of anti-vaxxers.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
The duct tape helps with that, or if you are female, you can tuck it under a bra strap under your shirt if the pressure point is in the right spot. I have sensitive ankle bones that stick out on the inside of my foot, and my higher topped OBOZ rubbed on those unless I had exactly the correct sock combo (didn't realize this ahead of time). The lambswool padded that spot as well. It can also be used for a metatarsal or ball of the foot extra pad.
Beware though if you are sensitive to adhesives. Some I can handle, and things like duct tape, or regular ECG stickers, the tape they put over the cotton ball after a shot… all give me hives.

Interesting: I CAN use compeed, and I had forgotten but see from photos that I put the largest compeed bandage over my clavicles on my last CF. The problem was obviated on my CP because it was November and I wore wool under a down puffer.

So… in addition to “watch out for adhesives” I’d also say: those heading out in colder weather are unlikely to have to worry about this anyway.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Compeed is NOT for putting on blisters!!

Wikipedia begs to differ:


Hydrocolloidal plaster contains croscarmellose sodium (an internally cross-linked sodium carboxymethylcellulose,[30] water-soluble polymer), and tackifier resins.[31] The top level of the plaster is made of elastomer (that ensures that the plaster stays on skin even while moving) and polyurethane film.[32]

When applied to the blister, it starts to absorb body liquids turning into a soft mass that cushions the blister. It seals the blister forming so-called "second skin". The plaster doesn't heal the wound. It prevents the blister from developing and helps new skin to grow underneath the plaster.

Cushioned zone created by the plaster relieves pain and protects the wound from rubbing. The plaster repels water, and stops dirt and germs from entering the wound, thus preventing infection.

At first the plaster absorbs all the moisture from the blister but over time it becomes more permeable so the wound dries out.[30] Unlike ordinary dressings hydrocolloidal plaster stays on the wound for several days and it stays on even in the shower.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I can recall seeing pilgrims with terrible, painful blisters on their feet yet they continued to wear the same shoe/sock combo. Quite obvious based on the actual physical injury it caused, that combo does not work. Something has to change. Perhaps both have to be changed.
When I was developing blisters on my outer small toes where they made contact with my Merrell Moabs I simply cut a small vertical slit on that spot of the shoes and problem was remedied. Instant relief. No blisters occurred.
Diagnose the problem and come up with a solution.
 
Past OR future Camino
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 love both and I use both.
I use hiker's wool between my toes when I feel they're rubbing to much.
I buy variety packs of Compeed and use it if I DO get a blister (which I have rarely done). It protects the spot and pulls the moisture out of it. Two things about Compeed; 1) You should NEVER pull it off. Let it fall off naturally and 2) It can and will ruin socks so when I'm using it I buy inexpensive cotton socks in a China store and just don't worry about it.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I can recall seeing pilgrims with terrible, painful blisters on their feet yet they continued to wear the same shoe/sock combo. Quite obvious based on the actual physical injury it caused, that combo does not work. Something has to change. Perhaps both have to be changed.
On one of my Caminos a young woman that I was occasionally walking with was putting on her boots in the morning after bandaging up multiple blisters. I spotted some hiking sandals in her backpack and urged her to wear them instead of the boots until her blisters healed.

We didn't see each other for several days, and when we did meet up in Santiago she was still using the sandals, though her blisters had healed. She told me that switching to sandals saved her Camino.

As far as Compeed goes, I know that many people don't like it because it has an adhesive that sticks to, and can tear off the skin. @davebugg has suggested 2nd Skin from Spenco to use as a dressing on blisters, since it doesn't have an adhesive component.

Here's his post: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/blister-treatment-strategies.70193/#post-924989
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Another thing about compeed, read the instuctions, and apply it to clean dry skin, and press it down firmly, all around the edges. Firmly affixed on clean, dry skin it will not budge until it decides to come off by itself, as it has become part of the blister.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Compeed is NOT for putting on blisters!! It is for preventing blisters! If you put it on a blister, when you try to pull it off, your skin will come with it, leaving what remains of the blister to get infected! I don't know how many pilgrims we bandaged up because someone had told them to get comped for their blisters without explaining this fact.
Compeed as a prophylactic blister treatment - you must be made of money. There are many more effective preventative treatments, most of them already discussed in this thread. More, the very fact that someone tries to remove a Compeed patch, in spite of the clear instructions to leave it on until it comes away by itself, indicates that it isn't been used properly, and one might expect the very result that the patch removes the material underneath it.

Colloidal dressings are for open wounds - in this case we are talking about de-roofed blisters, not blisters with the roof intact, although I accept that it seems common to use Compeed and the like on those with intact roofs. If you do, don't try and remove the dressing. Why? Because the dressing will have adhered to the skin, which is the way that it is designed to work, and will remove the roof exposing the flesh underneath. Any treatment time has been wasted.

I earlier suggested going to Rebecca Rushton's site. Amongst other things, she recommends using a secondary dressing to keep a Compeed patch in place when used on blisters to prevent the edges lifting prematurely. She recommends Fixomull, but any of the stretchable, conforming tapes will do the same job of keeping the Compeed patch in place. That will also have the other beneficial effect of preventing the Compeed sticking to one's socks.

If you have had to help repair the damage done when Compeed is used incorrectly by a pilgrim who hasn't followed the directions for its use, please, please stop blaming the Compeed. It is not the fault of the product that it works!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I use Compeed and can cut it into any shape I need. I only use it on hot spots and have always had good results. I leave it on for three days and it sticks well while showering. I do not get blisters.
I see no harm in using Compeed as you describe - as padding on blister-free skin, especially since you leave it on until it comes off by itself. But as @dougfitz points out, it is a rather expensive method of prevention.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I see no harm in using Compeed as you describe - as padding on blister-free skin, especially since you leave it on until it comes off by itself. But as @dougfitz points out, it is a rather expensive method of prevention.
I've never had more than two hotspots on any Camino so for me Compeed has not been expensive at all. The same small piece sticks for the three days and I'm done. I don't use it for the "what if" day after day on good skin.
Duct tape works well, too, but I prefer the other.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Litoral and Variant October 2021
Past OR future Camino
2016
Possibly the best advice is to wear the shoes and socks that you will wear on Camino on multiple 10klm+ walks well before your Camino so that any potential issues are sorted before you go.

Then, when on Camino, walk at your own pace rather than someone else's pace and listen to your feet and the rest of your body.
If you live in flat area say sea level it is difficult to train the mountains and hills build up your endurance with the shoes and socks you will wear . Learning to lace and tie your shoes can make a difference blisters or no blisters. I have over the years used a silk sock liner and smartwool socks and had no issues with blisters. I am walking the Portugese Camino right now wearing running shoes and Injinji toe socks and have had no issues with l blisters. My wife gets blisters regularly. Ask at the albergue for vinegar and salt needle and thread the blister and soak it will dry up the blister. A hospitalero in Gronon taught us this when we were walking a winter camino.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ask at the albergue for vinegar and salt needle and thread the blister and soak it will dry up the blister. A hospitalero in Gronon taught us this when we were walking a winter camino.
Interesting piece of advice. I have not seen vinegar and salt mentioned on the forum before (to my memory).
 
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Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Thanks for asking the question; I look forward to learning from the answers you get!
 

Aloha From Kauai

A Lifetime of Journeys
Past OR future Camino
April 3rd - June 3rd, 2022
Colloidal dressings like Compeed should only be used to treat de-roofed blisters. They can do more damage than good on intact blisters, as previous posters have suggested. Have a look at Rebecca Rushton's website https://www.blister-prevention.com/ for a better explanation than I can give here, including a pretty forthright explanation of the limitations of this type of dressing.

She also addresses some of the issues with common blister prevention techniques like powders and potions such as Glide and vaseline.
Thank you for sharing this link!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Ask at the albergue for vinegar and salt needle and thread the blister and soak it will dry up the blister.
Please, please, please don't do this. Vinegar and salt is even worse than trying to sterilize with alcohol or a flame.

 

Hez

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (2016)
Iniji Toe Socks FTW. Haven't had a single blister since I started wearing them.
 
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Icetea

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Hello I read many things how compeed is bad , in my case it helped me to through two Caminos without it no idea . So it did not get stuck at all , and you put it the minute you feel a little burning spot before blister is visible much , sometimes blister continues growing too but compeed still helped me with friction . I never open my blisters ,I let them go back naturally . Another tip always use fat foot cream or Vaseline everyday , if you have to clean a bit where is compeed I used desifective wet vipes. I also know by now where my blisters grow this time I even put compeed to prevent it , it still happened but it was more under control. If. You really really have multiples blisters always good idea to rest one day , situation gets much better after.
Rockey socks a danish brand was amazing the best socks I ever had good support 2 pairs is enough , light ,breathable if you tend to blister , no wool involved if you dislike that like me . Also get some fine lining socks that helps too. I wear them after Camino still:)
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Based on advice in this forum, I tried putting a panty liner in each boot. The theory was to absorb moisture from sweat and prevent blisters. It did nothing for me except leave a sticky mess in my boot.

I'm glad I tried it out on a training walk. I would be silly for me to carry a backpack full of panty liners on the Camino!


-Paul
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
Hi @U20C_Katherine I just saw this thread. I think you may have just started your Camino Primitivo now - or are about to. What a wonderful path

I’m not going to add my two cents to the above. I have my preferences and routine to prevent blisters and that’s worked well for me. But as this thread shows - and as is usually the case - there is no one right answer, irrespective of how ‘enthusiastically’ one pilgrim prefers X over Y.

Hopefully, with all of this input and your own experience, you will have a variety of bits and bobs in your personal ‘pharmacia’.

Best wishes to you and your feet! Buen Camino.
 

Icetea

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Until coming to these forums, I had no idea what compeed or hikers wool are… now I do, but I’m still confused… I don’t know if they address the same problem or different problems… should get either or … or both? If both - when to use which? Anything else I should know about foot care? At the end of the day - this seems to be the most important aspect of preparation… please advise.
Just remembered another simple tip, always take off your shoes when you are resting , this way your feet swelling goes down a little also shoe and socks dry out :)
 
Past OR future Camino
please see signature
Anything else I should know about foot care?

Acknowledging both @peregrino_tom at post #20 (too much info and this is post #100!) and others who say we are all different.

A bit like @Robo, I've done about 8,000 km around Europe, here at home and in training. And I only had problems in the first few weeks of training, now 10 years ago.

The solution for me included
1) running shoes that are at least 2 sizes larger than my day wear and have an open weave top; and
2) two sock regime: travel socks up to the knee and knee high polypropylene soccer socks
If the travel socks cover the toes, I cut a slit across the front (or seam). This ensure the toes can breathe.

@U20C_Katherine, I say to you kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)
 
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