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I have been reading alot about how good Compeed is for blisters but am unable to locate it in Melbourne Australia - does anyone know where to buy it in Melbourne or can I buy it easily when I arrive in Spain in Pamplona where i start the walk.

Thanks Glen
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I use to work at Peter Mac where we had comfeel-same as compeed-and managed to liberate a few sheets for last year but luckily didn't need it.It's basically a large square of padded/gel filled material. The bloke I walked with kept all the chemists on the vdlp in business-you could wait to you get there and need them before buying.
Never used it myself - whatever happened to using untreated lambswool? - but if it is so good why don't they make boots out of it?
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Hi Glen,

Compeed is now owned by Johnson and Johnson, the Bandaid people. In Australia it's sold as Bandaid Blister Block, and is available from chemists and supermarkets. Scholl also make a blister product, but it's for use once a blister has formed, whereas Compeed is really useful to prevent blisters. Apply it as soon as you feel a hot spot on the foot.

I could be wrong, but think there is only one size available here. In Spanish phamacies on the Camino, you will see a whole stand of Compeed in different shapes and sizes.

Thankyou for the feedback - I will check out the Bandaid product at the chemist on the weekend.

I almost have all my gear and want to finalise the small items so i can check my pack for space/weight and also do a few walks with it before i leave on my journey in early April 07.

Regards Glen
My take on Compeed is that it is less for blister prevention (proper socks, swap socks betwen feet and give feet fresh air every couple of hours, apply Vaseline at start and maybe middle of day are better) and more about allowing you to walk without pain once you have a blister - it comes in two main sizes: small for toes and larger for heels - It's possible but less good to keep it on too long (I mean days) as you really should aim to get fresh air to help the healing when you're not walking

Like lots of things - bring a pack or two to get you started but don't worry easily available at Spanish pharmacias along the way
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Compede is another item that you will be for or against in a violent way.

I used them in 2005 and had nothing but trouble. In 2006 I used a preventive cream and changed my socks frequently... never had the first illusion of a blister. Others will tell you differently, so use your judgement.
If you wear clean socks every day that should help with feet problems? How do you apply the vaseline? All over your foot and then put on a sock? Won't that be greasy and suffocating for the foot (I would think it would be like wearing cling wrap on your feet?). Having not done the camino before I am interested in what others found to be the most successful way to keep feet great. I really don't want to waste days in pain with blisters, tendonitis, bruised heels etc. Anyone with tips on how to avoid these would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
My simple but obvious strategy to avoid feet problems was to have a pair of good quality shoes that were well worn in and decent socks. However, the best thing I did was to do long walks in Melbourne before I went-sounds obvious but it does get the feet used to walking. I would guess that many of us who intend to walk the camino, in our normal everday lives, drive or take public transport and do not walk very much at all so it's a bit much to ask the body/feet to suddenly walk 20-40kms per day for 30 days without acclimatising first.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Ah, feet, what a topic of fascination for all pilgrims!

I had one blister on the first day, put a compeed on it and forgot it, it went away in a couple of days and never had another. I have a tendency to corns on my little toes, so wore a preventative compeed on each every day. Other than that I wore anklet length stocking sox with a thick layer of Vaseline on the skin, thought it would feel nasty but it just doesn't, it feels like nothing. I changed socks and re-vaselined in the middle of the day every day. No blisters, in fact no problems at all with my feet. (I had also worn my boots quite a lot before I went.)
I think it would be lovely in warm weather to bathe your feet in the middle of the day sock-changing ritual in the many streams you pass- not possible for us, they would have frozen and snapped off!

Ulysse is right. You must make your own decision. Having walked many miles (kilometres too!) on several Caminos I favour sheep's wool. I never leave home without it because I have not found it in pharmacies in Spain. Neither have I found it on barbed wire when needed! I buy it in Boots the Chemist in England among the chiropody products. But don't you have sheep in Australia Glen? My husband used Compeed when walking on the C.F. years ago with unfortunate results so I am prejudiced!
All the other advice about socks etc seem sensible to me. An excellent anti-blister foot cream was given to us by two Dutch pilgrims when we were on the Voie de Vezelay last year. It is Gerlachs GEHWOL Voetcreme and I have not yet found it in the U.K. My husband has (possibly) the worst feet in Christendom and has walked long distances in sandals with the help of St. James and the sheep.
If you have friends in Germany or Austria, ask them to send you a tube of Hirschtalg, a creme. You rub a small amount all over your feet and ankles before you begin to walk. It costs about €5. I believe it comes from the fat of deer. I have used it a good bit, and it prevents chafing and blisters. Also, in Spain, you can buy Unguento Tradicional, a creme with aloe vera, camphor, arnica, eucalyptus, and other nice things. You can put it on your feet before and after you walk. Many albergues sell it in small sachets, enough for one application. I bought a 100ml container in Los Arcos and was charged €19, (I won't name the shop), and in Belorado it was for sale for €10. Be sure to have a very thin pair of socks next to your skin, and a thicker pair over them. You should do this anyway, regardless of whether you use vaseline, compeed, Hirschtalg, Unguento, nothing at all, or anything else.
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Thank you Kevin,
We will be walking in Germany in May and marking the Jakobusweg between Nurmberg and Konstance so will try to find the cream you mention.

Thanks for all the great feedback - i have been doing lots of walks both with and without my pack over the last month and I am departing in a few weeks time. At this stage i am happy with my boots and socks however have noticed when walking after several hours that my feet sweat a fair amount - the other issue I have had in the past (which appears to be OK at the moment and has not resurfaced) is my heels have craked and split - hopefully this does not occur as it can be painful and requires banadages to stop my socks from rubbing furtherinto the cuts.

I am very happy with my preparations and now it is up to others as to how it all works out along the way - if i had more time I dont think I would do anything different however once I have started the walk I may have a differnet opinion.

Thanks Glen
cracked heels

For cracked heels, try gently using pumice stone when you wash your feet. This will smooth your heels and reduce the build-up of dry skin that causes the cracked heels. For best results, put lotion and socks on before sleeping.
Hope this helps.
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The main reason why I've opted in taking a cell phone during my next Caminos has been for medical reasons. By that I mean something sudden that could happen, for ex, a heart attack, & what not. Then there may be the possibility of an accident, a fall, a twisted ankle, etc. And of course, the dreaded one which I have not experienced, or I look forward to, being robbed, or something like that. It is a great moral support that I could call for assistance if reason there be, like the Italian pilgrim who credited his cell for guiding firemen to his rescue when he got lost, saving his life. Wishing everyone a safe Camino, xm 8)
As others have observed, questions about foot care always provoke strong opinions, and in the end, what works for you may be very different than what works for everyone else.

But I do have one simple suggestion that made a huge difference for my second Camino. Take your boots off and let your feet air and dry for 20-30 minutes, at least once on a 20-25 km walk. (Socks will dry as well if it's sunny, or some people change socks). On my first Camino, I had some blister problems and was afraid that taking off my shoes at midday would allow my feet to swell and make it more difficult to get my boots back on. On the second, I followed the example of some other pilgrims. To my surprise, feet do not swell when resting outside the boot, if anything they shrink (probably not the medical term I'm looking for) and they felt so good after the rest period that we sometimes even did it twice a day. I had much happier feet.
That's a great suggestion, I like to do that often, my feet really appreciate it :!: Buen Camino, xm 8)
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I have just returned after completing the Camino last week - I only had one blister and my wife didnt have any and I put this all down to making sure that we both rested our feet and removed our socks evey 1 1/2 hours - the blister i had only came on the one day that i didnt rest my feet (my wife did on this day) - i was grateful to not have to resort to using compeed due to not having anu major issues.

Regards Glen
Com pie
THe sock-changing idea is the best. Another drying technique sworn by by a certain Javier was talcum. It does keep 'em dry. What do you do with the sheep's wool? Just inside the socks? And a few people mentioned "decent" socks, but I had varying opinions last time. Some swore by cotton, others said "cotton no way" or something similar in Spanish.
Trudy said:
Hi Glen,

Compeed is now owned by Johnson and Johnson, the Bandaid people. In Australia it's sold as Bandaid Blister Block, and is available from chemists and supermarkets. Scholl also make a blister product, but it's for use once a blister has formed, whereas Compeed is really useful to prevent blisters. Apply it as soon as you feel a hot spot on the foot.

I could be wrong, but think there is only one size available here. In Spanish phamacies on the Camino, you will see a whole stand of Compeed in different shapes and sizes.


I live in Canada and took the Bandaid brand of compeed with me. I found it far superior to the stuff that is sold in Spain. Also, I paid almost double for compeed in Spain compared with what it costs in Canada.

The best preventive that worked for me is the stick made by compeed that you rub on your feet before you start walking. The only days that I got blisters where when I didn't use it. Also cost way more in Spain, so try and take it from home.

Contrary to most people, I didn't pop many blisters, I just put the compeed on them and they seemed to heal faster than the ones I did drain.

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Re: Compeed, omnifix, duct tape

the biggest problem I found was walking too far too fast - that's when I got blisters last time, but my accupuncturist/natural healer says to lay down with your rear against a wall & your feet straight up for at least 20 minutes at least once on a long day & more if you can - at lunch or when you need a rest but don't want to - he says that doing thiswill do wonders for your well being and circulation, not to mention takes you off your feet, gives you a really good short rest and makes your brain quit thinking.

re: feet, last time we used compeed and sometimes spenco second skin - this time i am bringing the johnson & johnson from home which is LOTS cheaper than the compeed, although we liked compeed better.

I also use hartmann's omnifix medical tape as a preventive I like to use it on areas that tend to get sore for me, like heels/balls of feet/ around a certain toe or any sore spot. I wear it right in the morning when starting out & never have problems when I do - it does not leave residue on your feet at the end of the day and is thin, stretchy and effective - you don't even notice you have it on.

Duct tape works too

Omnifix tape you can find it on Amazon.com - copy this into the amazon search:
Omnifix® Latex-Free Non-Woven Retention Tape
Compeed is great for red spots or hot spots to prevent blisters from forming. It is also good to protect small unbroken blisters, but remember, DO NOT use Compeed (or any similar generic product) on broken skin. I used it on two weepy blisters on my heels, after a couple of days walking the Compeed started to swell and disintergrated, sticking to my sock liners. When I tried to take the socks off, the skin came off one heel and almost tore the skin off the other leaving me with raw heels.


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This is another love or hate

Agree with Ulisse that Compeed is another item that you will be for or against in a violent way. I also had a similar yet not quite painful experience as Sil.

Because I had trained extensively before my departure and tamed my boots, I managed to avoid blisters for two full weeks by using liners and socks, removing boots and socks often during the day to dry feet off. Nothing else, no Vaseline or creams prior to walking.

On Day 14 of my April/May 2007 camino, I forgot to tighten my boots to come down the Alto de Mostelares and got hot spots on both heels which quickly developed into blisters. I also used Compeed but soon these were sticking to my liners and rubbing off, breaking part of the skin. While tending to my blisters In Hontanas, a German pilgrim gave me some plaster which quickly replaced the messy Compeed. But a warning notice to all: removing a compeed has to be done v-e-r-y carefully, or the skin will come off as Sil experienced.

An advantage to the plaster? It can be safely and painlessly removed daily to keep the blister drained.

Buen camino to all :arrow:
Sorrry, this is the term in incorrect German!

Also called moleskin padding: a soft cotton flannel padding that protects feet from painful shoe friction. Here's photo of the US version by Dr. Scholls. Here's a photo:.

Although the instructions for blisters or broken skin recommend to cut a piece to fit surrounding area, I covered the entire blister every morning before putting on my boots and removed it after showering and draining the blisters. At night, were uncovered or protected by a bandaid.

Each package contains 3 strips 4 5/8" x 3 3/8" that will last at least a week!

Regards, :arrow:


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Thanks everyone for the good foot advice. I had a terrible time on my last Camino with all sorts of foot problems. This time I have been walking more prior to the start date, plan to walk shorter distances, remove my shoes and air dry often, and I'm using smart wool socks on well broken in shoes! I hope to be a wiser pilgrim in 2008.

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