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Daily foot care at day's end

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Colette Zaharie, Feb 19, 2017.

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  1. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    I would appreciate hearing from veterans about a concrete daily foot care plan once arriving at an Albergue at day's end (i.e., cold water/icing, massage, Voltaren cream, etc) that will minimize injury, blisters, etc.Thank you
     
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  2. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I have had several "foot meltdowns" on different caminos, and I think that the routine while walking is just as important as the post-walking routine.

    I think that a huge number of pilgrims get shin splints/tendonitis because of all the road walking. And as the Camino has gotten more and more popular, a lot more paved pedestrian paths have emerged. The identical repetetive foot strike is frequently a source of problems. So, I always make a point of looking obsessively for that little strip of dirt that frequently runs alongside the pavement, and am usually successful. Another important part of my day is taking off my boots and sometimes changing socks. All the better if there is a stream or other water nearby for a soak!

    As far as after walking, I frequently use ice. I carry a small plastic bag and have only once found a bar where ice was denied in connection with a drink order. Of course, that's much easier to do when you can sit outside in the sun.
     
  3. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Great post peregrina2000.

    When taking a break, I remove shoes. Elevate feet/legs. Air socks out. Remembering which sock was on R and on L foot.
    When putting socks back on switch them. Former R goes on L foot. Former L goes on R foot.

    I read in a back packing article that by airing feet, socks and change sides prevents blisters. Refreshes feet and socks.
    The compacting of material is changed by this switching.

    Or one could change into second pair of socks. Then air the used one out on pack.

    When finished airing feet and socks, I rub some anti chaffing (solid block one -- take some on finger and rub on certain pressure points and potential rubbing points. Then put socks on.

    Worked for me.

    I also rub Urea cream on feet daily. Helps lots! Hydrates and heals. Soothes feet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  4. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Hand-in-hand with foot care is what shoes/boots.

    I no longer wear boots. Here is a list of recommended Camino foot wear from below cited article:
    """Here is my list of recommended Camino Footwear:

    La Sportiva Akasha *Top Pick*- Great grip, cushion, and precision. A little warm in the summer.
    La Sportiva Ultra Raptor – Great grip, comfort, and breathability. A little narrow.
    La Sportiva Mutant – Great for muddy trails in the Fall or Spring. A little warm for summer.
    Nike Wildhorse 3 *Top Pick*- Great all around performer. Perfect for 3 season hiking.
    Altra Lone Peak 3.0 – Great for wide feet and those prone to blisters.
    Merrell All Out Peak – Another great all around performer in 3 seasons.
    Hoka One One Speed Instinct – Great cushion with dual density midsole.
    Salomon Wings Pro 2 *Top Pick*- Perfect stability and protection, with great grip and durability.
    Salomon Sense Pro 2 – For those looking for a less structured Wings Pro 2.
    Salomon XA Pro 3D *Top Pick*- A beast of a hiker. I wore these on the John Muir Trail and Tour du Mont Blanc.
    Salomon X Ultra 2 *Top Pick*- Another beast of a hiker. Similar to the XA Pro 3D, but a much more aggressive outsole.
    New Balance Leadville 3 – Only shoe on this list to come in widths. A great all around hiker.
    Saucony Peregrine 6 – A more lightweight and nimble options, but with great traction and protection.
    Brooks Cascadia 11 – An old faithful trail shoe. The Cascadia is legendary on the PCT, CDT, and AT."""


    You can find article at: https://trailtopeak.com/2014/04/02/10-most-important-gear-items-to-bring-on-camino-de-santiago/You

    The Salomon X Ultra 2 and the Salomon XA Pro 3D are great.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  5. MTtoCamino

    MTtoCamino Veteran Member

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    I change out my socks & hang used pair to dry on my pack every 3hrs.when it gets very hot every 2 hrs. Any minor uncomfort I stop & fix. At the end of the walk pull foot beds to dry, then inspect feet after shower. Fix any blister.Wash clothes. I never use gortex shoes unless hiking in winter snow. So when it rains for days & boots can't get dry I just swap to dry socks. Hiking in spring I carry 4 pair.
     
  6. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    Thank you
     
  7. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    Good recommendation especially the R/L sock switch, it does make sense re friction points
     
  8. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    Thanks I tried on many of the Salomón recommendation however I strongly believe it's foot specific, I have well broken in Salomón ultralight boot and am breaking in new Salomón Effect GTX hiking shoe ( I leave for the CF in 4 weeks), I'll decide near departure date which I'll take. My question is specifically foot care during and at end of day.
     
  9. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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  10. Ray Boneski

    Ray Boneski Ray B

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    Why do so many people recommend Vaseline? I understand the creams because they absorb but Vaseline just seems to stay there in a gunky way.
     
  11. Eve Alexandra

    Eve Alexandra Active Member

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    This is super helpful. Thanks everyone.
     
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  12. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Guess foot care pre, during and post walk is a individual preference....
    what works for one may now work for others

    A woman told me about using Urea cream Love it. Works great. And only takes very little for feet
     
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  13. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I suspect that what is most important is that you pay attention to your feet on a daily basis - clean them, look at them carefully, treat whatever injuries appear with some reasonable treatment, apply some cream/potion to sooth them and keep the skin supple, and give them a bit of massage. In other words, be aware of them and their condition, and respond to what you see.
     
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  14. MarieClaireN

    MarieClaireN New Member

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    I only had a very small amount of blisters by doing a number of things such as buying whool based socks before doing the Camino rather than cotton. I don't know why but I had read it somewhere and it was the best advice ever. Use breathable walking shoes also, I met someone that was getting A LOT of blisters in leather based walking boots. i also prevents blisters by drinking water little and often. At the end of each day I would massage my feet with Vaseline and put my bum towards the wall and rest my legs up against the wall, usually lying back on my bunk bed if it was against the wall. This is because you have been putting weight on these joints all day and they need a break and gravity helps take the fluid build up away from the feet. It felt so good to do at the end of each day and I used this time as a little rest up/meditation session. I would then rub my feet with Vaseline again before going to sleep at night and if there was a spare pillow I would sleep with my feet raised on it. When I did get blisters compede was my saviour, you cannot bring Enough compede!! I also wish that from the very first day I made sure to do a good 1/2 an hour warm up/stretch/cook down before and after walking as this prevents injuries which are going to make the next day miserable! I did a lot of damage to my hip on the first day by not warming up or cooling down and taking massive steps up the Pyrenees rather than shorter steps. Taking shorter steps is also better for preventing injury going down hill as well. Everyone finds their own little things/ tricks to do that suits them but I hope this helps!
     
  15. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    Thank you, I live in Slovakia currently and think this foot care product line is sold here.
     
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  16. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    some and then more.

    Of course what works for me does not automatically works for others.
     
  17. Eve Alexandra

    Eve Alexandra Active Member

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    Quite wise. Reminds me a lot of what I've read and learned when practicing yoga.
     
  18. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Jimmy, thanks!
     
  19. Bernie Bonar

    Bernie Bonar New Member

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    One thing that no one has mentioned... Keep your toe nails trimmed... After trimming with nail clippers, I use a file to "round" the edge of the nail so that there is no sharp edge to it. 955 miles/zero blisters last spring. :)
     
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  20. Eve Alexandra

    Eve Alexandra Active Member

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    Well that brings up a question I've wondered about...do you let your callouses grow thick on your feet in preparation for a lot of walking?
     
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  21. trecile

    trecile Veteran Member Donating Member

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    No! You can still get blisters on top of callouses, which are the worst kind of blisters.
     
  22. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    If you have significant callouses on your feet, you should probably get some professional advice. You will get a complete range of opinion on the forum, ranging from "your feet should be soft as a baby" to "soak them in acid to develop callouses."

    Some mild thickening/hardening of the skin seems inevitable and okay to me, but not big callouses that will create new problems.
     
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  23. jpflavin1

    jpflavin1 Veteran Member

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    Colette:

    I have walked six Camino's and only had one blister.

    I can tell you my routine but that does not necessarily mean it will work for you.

    Buy a good pair of shoes with vibram soles and break them in with approximately 50 miles of walking before leaving.

    Walk three consecutive days of at least 10 km's before departure to acclimate your feet to consecutive days of walking. This also will indicate improper shoe fit or problem areas.

    The day before I leave I cut my toe nails. If nails get too long it can create a problem on the downhills with your toe nails hitting the front of the shoe causing bruising or in some cases loss of toe nail.

    I rub Vaseline into my feet each morning and after my shower in the evening. I do not slather it on but rub it in.

    I wear two pairs of socks. A medium pair of Smartwool socks and a light pair.

    If I feel the slightest rub or friction, I stop and address the issue. The one blister I did get was walking through deep snow. It was unexpected, my feet got wet and there was no place to stop.

    This works for me.

    Ultreya,
    Joe
     
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  24. Eve Alexandra

    Eve Alexandra Active Member

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    Not significant at all. I was getting pedicures until I bought my plane tickets. Then it seemed wise to me to maybe not continue removing callouses, so I stopped. And then wondered, as I'm not an experienced hiker.
     
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  25. BShea

    BShea Active Member

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    A couple of things I learned... 1. At the end of the day when you take your shower, turn the hot water off and rinse your feet, ankles, shins in cold water. After several days of walking, your feet can get really swollen (mine looked like Fred Flintstone's feet). My hot showers felt great on my sore muscles, but it expanded the blood vessles in my feet. The cold water helped to reduce the swelling and my feet returned to almost normal size. 2. Spanish pharmacies sell a foot massage cream called Saltratos which I found very soothing. Now, if only there was someone willing to do the foot massage ;)
     
  26. tomnorth

    tomnorth Active Member

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    Here was my approach. I rubbed my feet down with petroleum jelly in the morning, including between all toes. I wore a liner pair and medium cushion pair of Smartwool socks. Every couple hours I would reapply petroleum jelly and change into dry socks. I would hang the socks I changed out of off the back of my pack with safety pins so they would dry out. After a couple more hours I would change back into those now dry socks and reapply petroleum jelly. I would make sure my feet were dry before applying petroleum jelly. The great thing about petroleum jelly is it works and it is readily available at any farmacia at low cost.

    My regimen at the beginning of the day and throughout the day was a lot more important than at the end of the day. At the end of the day I just rested my feet and got out of my boots. I did get a few small blisters early on before I settled in in my regimen. I learned to apply Compeeds in the evening before bed. I would drain the blister using a cleansed needle, clean the site with antiseptic, dry it and then apply the Compeed. By morning the Compeed became like a second skin.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
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  27. JillGat

    JillGat la tierra encantada Donating Member

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    But please don't clip them inside, leaving the clippings on the floor next to my bed like that French guy did when I was in Los Arcos.
     
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  28. Aussie Pair

    Aussie Pair New Member

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    Being Australian I am a big fan of tea tree oil. We used this before and after each days walk. It's also an antiseptic. Plus we had wool to put between our toes if needed. Neither of us got blisters. Best advice is to be aware of your whole body because an ache somewhere in your body can alter your gait and I think this might help cause blisters.
     
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  29. Aidan21

    Aidan21 Active Member Donating Member

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    For sure, there is no one size fits all. What works for one person may or may not work for another and it is up to each of us to find the way that works best for us. There are some excellent tips above some of which I will consider, however the approach I have used is as follows:

    - Get the right socks (in my case Bridgedale)
    - Get the right footware (Meindle the last time for me, but it must be absolutely right for you)
    - I use plasters as a precaution, i.e. I place plasters on my heels or other vulnerable parts before I start walking
    - If I get a hot spot I stop immediately and address it (plaster or compeed or whatever I think is necessary)
    - I rub vaseline into my feet every morning before I start

    With over a 1000 miles walking I have never had a blister. I am very fortunate in this regard but I did learn a lot from this forum re blisters and I spend time every day looking after my feet and a lot of time and preparation before I leave.
     
  30. linkster

    linkster Active Member

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    RICE (rest, ice compression , elevation) maybe part of your solution at the end of the day. Try to incorporate as many of these as possible or reasonable. A little rest, ice, and elevation should alleviate some of the inflammation.

    Stretching is always a good idea. Lots of videos on YouTube for stretching your feet, calves etc. Rolling a tennis ball under your arches and feet is not bad.

    Maybe something similar to Tiger Balm at the end of the day to rejuvenate the puppies.

    It is possible to get blisters under calluses and they may require medical attention to treat. Here is a hyperlink to a previous post by @Wokabaut_Meri on Blister Taping Tutorials. The Advanced Guide to Blister Prevention is definitely worth reading. There are also a series of YouTube videos by Rebecca. There are alternatives to Vaseline that you may want to consider like HikeGoo, BodyGlide, etc.
     
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  31. Margaret Butterworth

    Margaret Butterworth Active Member

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    Walk shorter distances, for example 18 to 20 Kms per day. Don't try to keep up with others who wish to walk further! Be selfish - look after yourself.
     
  32. Joziane

    Joziane Member

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    Big fan of Tea tree also. Did you apply it neat? or with water? if the latter, what was the ratio? also...what size of bottle did you bring for the whole camino? can't decide....thank you
     
  33. GreatDane

    GreatDane Veteran Member

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    Start your foot care months (or even a year before so you can match the season) your camino. Take time to test your sock and footwear combo on all sorts of terrain (pavement, farm roads, rocky junk, etc). And not just for walks to the corner grocery store. Take training walks that are 20km back to back to back over a couple of days. In the rain too. Learn to tie your boots for your particular feet and the conditions. Find out before you hit Spain that the combo was all wrong. Take care of your feet before you leave home. Prone to ingrown toenails? Get that taken care of and under control. Before your depearture day cut your toenails.

    Maribel at the Albergue Familia Roncal in Cizur Menor while tending to everyone's blisters also teaches you personally how to take care of your feet and tie your boots for the camino. Yes too late for most people but watch and learn.

    Me on my caminos - I put my socks and boots on in the morning, take them off when I get to my albergue. Wash feet with soap and water in the shower. Dry them completly. I carry sheeps wool with me but haven't had to use it. No blisters or hot spots.
     
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  34. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    Nice. you gotta love some people!
     
  35. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Or in the albergue kitchen for that matter! I immediately put the lid on the saucepan!
     
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  36. AllanHG

    AllanHG Member

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    One of the things that We found really helpful was using carded wool on sensitive spots on our feet. Using good lotion, keeping toenails short and wrapping carded wool on sensitive areas saved us from getting any blisters on the Camino Frances. We've already bought our supply for the Portuguese Camino this spring.
    Burn Camino!
     
  37. Stephen B

    Stephen B New Member

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    Hi Colette, first of all congratulations on taking up your first Camino. I did it in April 2014, and it was a transformative experience for me and I am looking to head out this spring for another Camino, possibly the Madrid Camino. I am sure it will be a wonderful experience for you too and wish you the very best. Everyone is different, but blisters can happen because of ill-fitting footwear and an imperfect gait (which almost everyone has by the time they are adults), compounded by carrying extra weight, and exacerbated by fatigue. My advice would be to make sure you have good boots in the first place, and to consider getting some customized orthotics. I learned this the hard way, having developed plantar fasciitis, which happens often enough on the Camino it seems. If you don't want to do that, my other advice would be to check out youtube for anything that strikes you as credible on how to treat/massage your feet for plantar fasciitis. It isn't complicated, it will explain how your feet work, and it might be a great daily preventive strategy, during breaks, at the beginning and end of the day, etc.. You may well be doing more walking in a month on the Camino than you do in a year, so it doesn't hurt to inform yourself about what your feet are going through. Otherwise three words come to mind. Compeed, compeed, compeed.
     
  38. Aussie Pair

    Aussie Pair New Member

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    200ml bottle 20% solution which you can use straight from the bottle. The concentrate would be lighter but you would have to dilute it with water. Tea tree oil is also a very good anti fungal treatment. Word of warning though some people might have a reaction to it so always test first. If you are in Australia they sell it at Aldi where it's cheaper.
     
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  39. november_moon

    november_moon Veteran Member

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    YES! Last summer I had a funny experience. I was walking along and I felt something in my shoe - like a pebble or something - so I stopped and took my shoes and socks off. I didn't find anything, but I shook my shoes and socks out well and put them back on. Another half mile or so, I feel a pebble again, same spot. So I stopped, found nothing, shook everything out, changed socks, started up again. I kept feeling this mysterious pebble but each time I stopped, I found nothing - nothing at all. About the 5th time I stopped to take off my darned shoes and socks to investigate, I found blood on my toes. What? How are my toes bleeding? Turns out, I had an untrimmed toenail that rubbing on the toe next to it - just something small, but it was enough to cause a little issue. So yeah, keep the nails trimmed :)
     
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  40. Issy T

    Issy T Member

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    I will be leaving Australia on the 26th May for Barcelona and will start the walk from Roncesvalles on the29th may.
    I was very lucky with my feet. I used Vaseline everyday and stopped every hour or so in the early days to take my boots and socks off and let my feet cool down. I did get 2 small blisters on my 3rd week when I changed my daily routine. A massage therapist recommended soaking my feet in cold water with salt and a dissolvable asprin which was soothing and helped them heal. Best wishes on your Camino
     
  41. Lolaisqueen

    Lolaisqueen New Member

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    Just a tiny amount will do the job without leaving your foot feeling greasy. I swear by it :)
     
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  42. Thing1_Thing2

    Thing1_Thing2 New Member

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    Any good towns to get a "hiker's pedicure" on the camino? Recommended places?
     
  43. gregorygwilliams

    gregorygwilliams New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    2017 Apr 11 St. Jean to May 13 Santiago
    I read Fixing Your Feet: Injury Prevention and Treatment for Athletes it is available on Kindle. It is loaded with practical information and I will bring the electronic copy of it with me in April on the CF. Another good reason to bring a smart phone.
     
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  44. MeganG22

    MeganG22 Active Member

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    (Oct3-Nov3 2012)
    Pamplona-->SdC
    (Oct1-Oct29 2014)
    Upcoming!
    Pamplona-->SdC
    May 1-? 2017
    My care was basic, but I won't do it any other way now after two Caminos. I do use a little bit of Glide on my feet in the morning- mostly under my toes (right where they meet the sole) maybe a bit between, and a bit around the back of my heels.
    Everytime I arrive at an albergue, after a refreshing shower, I lie down on my back on the ground or my bunk, scoot my butt to the wall, and put my legs straight up. It lets all the blood leave my feet and makes them feel so much better to me.
    I also religiously use a small cuticle tool and nail file. If I let my nails go, especially my big toe, they kind of start flaring out a teeny bit sideways and can dig into my skin. The file keeps my nails trim and the cuticle tool is good for kind of "digging" into those corners and making sure they're clean and the nail is away from the skin.
    This is aside from the very basics-- great shoes and socks!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  45. HedaP

    HedaP Active Member Donating Member

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    I was fortunate to not have a blister so my foot care was minimal ie. shower, dry between toes, keep toenails short.
    I did get the early morning camino hobble but elevating legs & feet at the end of the walking day helped with that. Have to admit the elevation didn't always happen (there are some very nice bars with good cerveza and even better company along the way). I like the advice from @BShea about cold water on feet at the end of a shower to reduce the swelling that is an inevitable result of walking long distances day after day. I'm going to try that next camino.
    I agree with much of the above especially the bits about getting the right shoes, having as light a pack as possible and walking reasonable distances at your own pace because I think those were why I didn't get blisters.
    It was my experience that the type of socks worn made very little difference. Sometimes I even walked in my thin silk evenings socks with no adverse consequences. I never either changed my socks or took my shoes off while walking regardless of the weather.
    My walking companions did get blisters. Their best advice about foot care is to buy a small bottle of betadine or the Spanish equivalent and use it copiously when treating blisters. Compeed did not work for them. Visiting a medical centre in Carrion de los Condes to get blisters treated combined with buying new shoes was what turned the corner.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  46. martyseville

    martyseville Active Member

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    lots of good interesting posts on here. Guess bottom line is finding what works for you.
     
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  47. kelleymac

    kelleymac Active Member Donating Member

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    At the end of the day, I'd take off the hiking shoes (Teva, mens with lots of toe room and cushy liner). I'd take off the wool socks and liner socks. I'd pull off the leukotape that I'd put on blister prone places in the morning upon waking up. I'd put on a fresh pair of socks and my tevas. Then I'd wash the liner socks and other socks. I've tried vaseline sometimes, but not regularly.
     
  48. Joziane

    Joziane Member

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    Also, never put on open/broken skin (thats what we are told here, Canada) if you know this to be different, please do say so. Found in drugstores and Superstore in Canada. Thank you Australia for making this magical liquid.....
     
  49. Tigger

    Tigger Guest

    I am no expert, but I have regularly used tea tree oil for precisely disinfecting broken skin, as it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and 'magic'! Yes it hurts, but so do other antiseptics and with tea tree oil there are so many benefits. Off topic, but it is also great for veterinary use. The usual applies to a small test patch against allergies, though I have never heard of any.
     
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  50. Joziane

    Joziane Member

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    Good to know. Regulations do vary from country to country...thank you.
     
  51. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    Slovakia Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017
    Thanks HedaP, I'm arriving SJPP March 18th mid day and heading out Sunday March 19th for Valcarlos (first day for me, taking it slow). Any chance we'll meet along the way? Ive got a magenta (fuschia) Millet backpack !
     
  52. JennyH94

    JennyH94 Pilgrim in progress Donating Member

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    I'm with you Tigger - I use undiluted tea tree oil as my preferred antiseptic - it's natural of course and I find that cuts etc heal very quickly when I use the oil.

    The directions on the bottle of oil advise applying the oil sparingly.

    The plus with using the oil is that it's clear, unlike Betadine which stains - those stains wash out but they do look a little unsightly.

    Tea tree oil.jpg


    The smallest bottle of tea tree oil you can buy is 10ml - tiny, and a perfect size to pop into a blister kit (excuse the pun!) on the Camino.

    Cheers - Jenny
     
  53. Tigger

    Tigger Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2017
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  54. Tigger

    Tigger Guest

    Yes, Jennie and if you have a cold ( like with the other great stuff eucalyptus oil) you can make an infusion with a couple of drops in boiling water and the smell and vapour clears your sinuses!
     
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  55. HedaP

    HedaP Active Member Donating Member

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    That would be nice but I'm leaving a few weeks after you.
    Buen camino
     
  56. Ray Boneski

    Ray Boneski Ray B

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    Thank you, Lolaisqueen. Your advice makes sense to me.
     
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  57. Inbar

    Inbar Member

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    You'll hear many different opinions about this.
    Personally, I only got one tiny blister about 4 weeks in, and that's it. It hardly caused any problems.
    It's important to have good shoes and good socks. They should be breathable and fit you well. Personally I stopped to change socks if they got sweaty, but that hardly ever happened. Many people swear by Merino wool socks, but being vegan I chose synthetic "coolmax" and they were superb. Didn't use any products on my feet at all, it's best your skin stays dry and rough. After a day's walk I'd air them out, change into sandals and wash the socks.
    For me it worked. I stopped doing pedicures months before the camino and haven't since. That dead skin protects your feet (or so I believe).
    If your feet swell, the best thing is probably to elevate them. Spend some time with your feet up. Luckily didn't happen to me on the way, but in other instances it worked well.
    But eventually it's all about finding what works best for you, we're not all the same. Start walking now and test your shoes and feet. :) Buen camino!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  58. pererin

    pererin New Member

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    Del Norte planned (August 2017 by bike)
    Hi

    I used to apply Gerlach's GEHWOL EXTRA foot cream every day after I had finished my walk. It became a nice daily routine, finish walk, shower etc and then tend to my feet with the cream, give them a "once over", make sure everything was ok. You can buy the cream from Amazon if like me you cannot get it locally.

    Cream smells nice, easily rubbed in and even that action I found good for my feet. It can be applied before a walk but in truth although I did try this, I usually didn't bother with that, but that was personal choice.

    There is lots of good advice on here already, keep clean dry socks accessible, try not to walk with wet feet if possible, take the chance to give your feet fresh air, in the evening raise your legs etc. In truth in the afternoons/early evenings you will find yourself sat in small groups/circles with other peregrinos chatting and looking after your feet. It's all part of the journey.

    Enjoy.

    This is the link for Amazon UK. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00BHMEXK8/?tag=camidesant-21
     
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  59. Thing1_Thing2

    Thing1_Thing2 New Member

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    That product is the bee's knees. I've found it in a Polish owned pharmacy in Brooklyn and all over in Europe.
     
  60. MooBro

    MooBro New Member

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    Thank you. This is very helpful as I have a triple E width and have looking for Brands.
     
  61. Sandra Curwin

    Sandra Curwin New Member

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    Walked the Camino in Set/Oct 2016, with no blisters (though walking companions had several). What worked for me:
    1. Started on foot care several weeks before leaving - removed tough skin with one of those 'foot sanders' (Amope pedi-something), moisturized regularly
    2. Dumped my Keen hiking boots and switched to Salomon trail shoes a few weeks before the walk (the former rubbed my Achilles tendon)
    3. Bought a pair of memory foam insoles for my shoes (reasoned this would cause footbed to adapt completely to foot, reducing friction)
    4. Took a large role of Hypafix with me - this is hypoallergenic 'paper' tape that can stay on for prolonged times, is very easy on skin, and prevents friction (we use it clinically all the time; Mefix is another brand). I did not really need it (though put on my Achilles tendon a couple of times, and another place that seemed to be a 'hot spot' for a couple of days). Used it lots for everyone else, though!
    5. Trying to avoid liquids and gels on the plane, bought a tin of Glycosmed to take with me. Put this on every morning before socks, and at night before bed. Feet felt like a baby's by the end of the walk! Not something I had used before, but very 'slippery' and worked great - be sure to rub between toes
    6. Took shoes & socks off at mid-day break, aired feet, sometimes reapplied Glycosmed, changed socks (I had an afternoon pair that were longer, to keep the sun off my legs below my walking pants)
    7. Took manicure scissors (to cut Hypafix) and emery board to use for all nails (hand & foot) as needed
    8. Walked slower than usual (to keep at my walking partner's speed) - I am sure this was the real secret!

    I took a couple of boxes of BandAid Advanced Healing Blister bandages (same as Compeed as far as I could see); did not use them, but gave lots away.

    Sandra Curwin
    Halifax, NS
     
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  62. JMB

    JMB Member

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    This topic is most useful. I'm concerned about weight of pack and if perhaps, as recommended on a previous blog, I can succeed with one pair of super comfortable SAS tripod sandals that I hike in now - just hiked 16 miles. I'm hoping to do the Camino Frances late August/all September and hoping terrain is moderate. Prefer my feet to breathe. Have Timberland shoes but leaning not to take them for they add weight. Any input for a 72-year-old novice that loves to move. Thank you, JMP
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2017
  63. Almarie jv Rensburg

    Almarie jv Rensburg New Member

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    Hi there, you have some good advice here!! I did 240km in 10 days....blisters from day 3 and it was not nice!!! Sort your foot routine before you start. What i will do next time (soon!! Even blisters did not steal the camino magic):
    •vaseline rub each morning and evening (friction was the cause of some of my blisters)
    •my feet were badly swollen and limited space inside my Nike air pegasus was limited, once i took the inner sole out there was relief, so next time i will walk with one size bigger shoes and elevation of feet during coffee breaks
    •take along thin tissue like plastering for when you feel something starting....
    Enjoy and buen camino!!! Sending you a blister free blessing from South Africa!!
     
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  64. JMB

    JMB Member

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    Thank you Almarie. I love your land, which I visited in 2011 for my godchild's wedding. I so want to take only my sandals, two pairs weight about the same as one pair of my Timberland shoes. Hoping not too too hot by September. Thank you.:)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2017
  65. Richard A Stead

    Richard A Stead Member

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    In my opinion this is the wrong way round. Footcare before you walk at the beginning of the day. Put a strip of surgical tape across the area behind your toes. Then apply a thin layer of Vaseline or similar on your foot. Very thin inner socks then walking socks. I did 800s and not one blister. Important to never shower in the morning as it softens your feet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  66. JMB

    JMB Member

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    Wow. Great to read this. What is this surgical tape called at a store?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2017
  67. Richard A Stead

    Richard A Stead Member

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    just go into any pharmacy and buy a roll of surgical tape. Low tack so peels off easily at night.
     
  68. Leigh Lorayne

    Leigh Lorayne New Member

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    I have walked two Caminos with no blisters. I echo the regular stopping to air feet and change socks, drying others outside pack. It was recommended by a Camino veteran the third day into my first Camino and I followed his advice.I did Vaseline my feet every the morning before putting on socks, massaging it in. I know there are differing opinions on that re gunking up socks, but I didn't have a problem. I also was very proactive with any ' hotspots', wrapping or covering with Hypafix tape - stretchy thin soft tape which can be purchased in pharmacies in Spain, especially any rubbing toes or irritated heels. Good luck!
     
  69. Michael Gray

    Michael Gray New Member

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    I agree with my fellow Aussie; hikers wool on and around any hot spots and tea tree oil on lesions and blisters. Not only is tea tree oil an excellent antiseptic, it dries out blisters quickly and effectively. I won't touch Compeed; the skin turns to mush under the dressing and is even more susceptible to injury. Compeed might be fine for town or day trip blisters but not when you are walking day after day after day. An anti-allergenic breathable fibre dressing over tea-tree-oil-treated spots is sufficient.
    But more important is breaking in your boots, socks, pack and (if you use them) poles, on terrain like that you will encounter on the Camino. This includes a lot of hard pavement, eg the way into and out of bigger cities like Pamplona, Burgos and Leon, but also loose rock, eg the descents into Roncesvalles and from Cruz de Ferro where unavoidably your feet slide around inside your boots. Find terrain like this to train on and test all your gear (including a full pack).
    On the Camino I found coolmax liner socks inside medium weight wool socks best. But I looked after my feet every couple of days: short toenails filed down smooth, callouses on heels and balls of feet filed down, balm on those areas at night, and start the day with dry smooth skin.
     
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  70. ShaLaw

    ShaLaw Member

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    My fiancé and I walked our first camino from Sept. 6th from St. Jean Pied de Port until Oct. 7, 2015, when we reached Santiago. We are still super stoked that we did it, and hope to do another one soon!! Camino Fever, much??!!
    I really can't add anything to what's already been said. I did a lot of what everyone else did, (i.e. take socks and boots off to air them out every two hours during the day, etc.) but one thing I would add is to make sure you don't shower in the mornings, because that makes your feet 'soft' before you start walking for the day which leaves you open to blisters. Also, there are some albergues that offer massages so be sure to take full advantage of that. One thing I did was to lay in my bunk for about 10-15 mins with my feet propped up and then switched into flip flops post-shower for walking around town which allowed them to air out. Also, if your boots get soaked during the day, you could stuff them with newspaper which will help to dry them out. Starting the day with soggy boots was horrible, and I even went as far as wearing plastic bags on my feet one day because I couldn't stand the feeling of water schloshing through my toes! They also sell ibuprofen in the form of a foot cream (different than Voltaren I think) and that also did wonders to sooth sore, tired feet. I also took 600gms of ibuprofen orally which helped keep inflammation at bay.

    I am soooo envious....buen Camino!
     
  71. Saranger

    Saranger New Member

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    Samos-Santiago (2016)
    Porto-Santiago (2017)
    Kumano Kodo (2018)
    When arriving at the end of a day's walk, I take off my shoes/boots and socks and put my feet up however possible (headboard, wall, etc) for 15-20 mins before showering and definitely before taking a rest. This is sage advice from an old French friend who'd do it every afternoon to keep her ankles from swelling as she aged. I figured it couldn't hurt to try it on Camino and it was the best post-Camino footcare routine. It also helps to do this after a day of standing around or walking in hot weather (like in a city, amusement park, golf course) to prevent vasculitis (heat rash) above your socks.
     
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  72. HedaP

    HedaP Active Member Donating Member

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    I started walking 15 Sept. Sandals will be fine. You will need socks towards the end especially in the mornings, you also need to reconcile yourself to having wet feet at times but thats all OK. If worried get yourself a pair of waterproof socks. I havent walked with these but have seen them recommended. IMO it is far more important to walk without blisters than it is to walk with dry feet. :)
     
  73. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hi @JMB , and welcome to the forum (I see that you have posted only a few times.) A suggestion - please turn off the Caps Lock key! You will notice that no one else uses all caps - it is considered to be shouting, and it is more difficult to read. You will get better response to your questions if you type with normal upper/lower case.
     
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  74. PeregrinoRoberto

    PeregrinoRoberto New Member

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    I posted my thoughts on Camino foot care on my blog. Take a look if you're interested at https://sandiegotosantiago.com/2015/05/05/camino-foot-care/
     
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  75. JohnnieWalker

    JohnnieWalker Nunca se camina solo Donating Member

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    Even after walking thousands of kms around the world I am still prone to getting blisters if I don't take care. I think every long distance walker works out the best footcare regime for them. Nowadays I always use surgical tape on the spots where I am blister prone and some vaseline - never a blister!
    As for the end of the day - boots off, feet up and a cold beer work best for me.
     
  76. Silvester

    Silvester Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino del Salvador (2014)
    Camino Primitivo (2014)
    Camino Muxia (2014)
    Camino Fisterra (2014)
    Your feet will swell in the heat with day after day of walking so having shoes/boots at least a half size bigger is essential. I chose my Salomons with two pairs of socks on - one merino inner (same weight as business socks) and one merino sports sock (which equated to aUK size and a half bigger). By the end of the first day there was clearly too much sock in the boot, so I swapped out to a tiny pair of Asics polyester liners plus one light merino layer - and carried two new pairs of sports socks all the way to Santiago. Feet also swell more if you are dehydrated and/or don't elevate them at all. Swollen feet create pressure points. If your feet have hot spots or anything hurts, it will save time in the long run to stop and attend to them and maybe even have a rest day with bare feet or do very short stages for a while. I did get blisters eventually by ignoring the signals and keeping on walking...
     
  77. Richard A Stead

    Richard A Stead Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    I
    I found Aquaphor foot ointment really good. Non sticky and didn't clog up socks. Used with very thin under socks it worked brilliantly. Not one blister in 800 ks. Totally agree with larger boots. I take uk 10 and wore uk 11 Gortex boots.
     
  78. tpmchugh

    tpmchugh Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances (2013)
    Camino Frances (2015)
    Not at days end, before you start each morning is when to treat your feet. I put Umguentum de Peregrino ointment on my feet each morning and coupled with good socks, got one blister on three caminos and that was because I stopped to put some on in Hornillos one morning, got distracted and left it behind me. Some people use vaseline but it does not contain campher to toughen the feet and aloe vera to help cure existing problems. The hospitalera in Cizur Menor recommends the use of Vick
     
  79. Sue L

    Sue L New Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    September/October 2015 Le Puy en Velay to Conques and Tui to Santiago de Compostela
    Australian Podiatrist has recommended NS-8 heel balm to rub on feet to moisturise. I've started preparations with it but note it was bloody expensive and wonder if vaseline would do the same job? She also recommended taping (especially areas where you're prone to problems). I will buy the Tee-tree oil having read great advice here. We are absolute devotees of the raised legs at end of day routine (having learnt this from sister-in-law who is a nurse and a Camino pilgrim) but also think we benefited last time on Le Puy to Conques by wearing long 2XU compression tights under shorts in our first week or so - especially good support for shins/quads.
     
  80. Honora

    Honora HikerNana

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    El camino de Santiago Compostela ....Camino Frances(2017)
    Thanks for the information! I noticed the Foot Cream is 4.4 oz which is too much for carry on for plane. I could not tell the weight of the Foot Scrub. Do you know what it is? Also, are these products available on the Camino?
    I will look into these products. Thanks again!
     
  81. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    some and then more.
    Tubes I have are 100 ml so ok for handluggage.
    Don't buy them in Spain but they seem to have it.
    http://caminabienprofesional.es/
     
  82. ChristineW67

    ChristineW67 Member

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    Hi Ray,
    It is all about avoiding friction for me. Vaseline seems to provide a barrier between my socks and my tissue-paper feet. I have terrible struggles with blisters, no matter how broke my boots - I always have. Last year I tried Vicks, a mentholated petroleum jelly. I liked the cool feeling and I used it for chaffing, bug bites, and just a touch under my nose when sleeping. Vicks is kind of strong, so its not for everybody.
     
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  83. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    Blisters - some of us get them and some of us don't. For me it is a matter of reducing skin shearing stresses. I can reduce some of that, for example on the balls of my feet, by using an Engo patch on my sandals. All I can do about the shearing stress between the tough soles of my feet and the more tender sides, around the heel, is to use rock tape.

    I'm tempted to try to walk barefoot, but I think that would take a lot of preparation. A year on a tropical island with no shoes sounds attractive....
     
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  84. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    So, John, how do you get the surgical tape to stay on if you use vaseline? I have used something like vaseline from time to time, but was thinking I would try using something like omnifix as a matter of course on the places where I frequently get blisters. But won't I have to stop with the vaseline if I do that?
     
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  85. Sophie O'Doom

    Sophie O'Doom Not all those who wander are lost

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    2015 (2017)
    Honestly, I have simplistic approach. Compeed is the Devil. That shit takes the skin off your blisters, whether they're broken or not. Vaseline does very little. The bet thing I found was that, the moment I felt a hotspot, a burny little Future Blister, I stopped, sat down, and covered it with a bandaid with a fabric top. It transfers the friction to between the sock and the bandaid whily the previously irritated skin stays safe. In terms of broken blisters, an iodine solution (quick-drying) and a fabric bandaid. Ice is excellent for muscle pain and pr-cursor shinsplints. And really, keep those buggers pre-cursor. The KT Tape website gives wicked tutorials for taping muscle stress, including shinsplints. I'm not paid to say this stuff... but two years ago kinetic tape kept me walking.

    That's about it, except just for God's sakes stop when you need to.
     
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  86. Ray Boneski

    Ray Boneski Ray B

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances from Bordeaux March-April 2017
    Thank you, ChristineW67. You make a lot of sense. But, honestly, Vicks. That is some powerful multipurpose stuff.
     
  87. Lars Wetterstrom

    Lars Wetterstrom New Member

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    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances 2 times, now plans to do the Primitivo
    I have walked the camino frances 2 times in various intervals. I have put on a Compeed as a profylactic protection when some part of the foot is turning red at the end of the day. After a few days the problem will be gone. About foot care I make regular stops in early afternoon to clean my socks and shoes from dust and sand. This also a profylactic measure.
     
  88. Lars Wetterstrom

    Lars Wetterstrom New Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances 2 times, now plans to do the Primitivo
    I feel the same about softening the feet with water or for that matter with other creams or liquids. It would increase the risk for blisters. I keep observing my feet and in case of a reddening of some part of the foot (but before the skin has come loose) I put on a Compeed for reduced wear and tear. Also I make at least one stop during the day to clean my feet, shoes and socks from dust and sand. And change socks too possibly. It is amazing how dust and sand manages to get in your boots and socks.
     
    ShaLaw likes this.
  89. Robert Long

    Robert Long New Member

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    Sept (2016)
    I just had to add post 91 to this string.
    I got my first blister on day 38. It was the size of a pencil eraser on my heel.
    I started my foot care two months prior to the Camino. I started using my wife's foot care products. My once calloused feet became smooth. Four months before the Camino I bought new boots and inserts. They were the greatest. I put about 300 miles on them to break them in. I am a two sock hiker. One heavy wool sock that I washed every other day. And liner wool socks that I changed daily. In the morning I used "foot goo" from REI. It is a very very heavy foot cream that kept my feet soft. Not sure if this is the answer for everyone but it worked. Frankly, I think it was the boots.
    Buen Camino
     
  90. Oravasaari

    Oravasaari Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), Sept 2017 VdlP?
    I have walked 2 caminos, SJPdP to Finisterre and Leon to Finisterre and have been blister free so far over those 1500?km.

    However, I always get blisters PRIOR to my caminos i.e. during my training sessions. So I get the damage done before leaving for Spain, and that suits me since I get a few days to recover in between training sessions that are not always possible on camino.

    On camino I use merino socks and change to dry socks as needed, use compeed glide stick on my heels, stopping for a 10min foot airing and hanging change out socks on pack to dry. I usually use 3 pairs every day. I never use any sort of moisturiser. I also carry thin surgical tape to tape my little toes (which sometimes get sore but not blistered).

    So my advice would be get you blisters in advance and take a pair of hardened feet on camino. And of course a pair of broken in boots etc...
     
  91. trecile

    trecile Veteran Member Donating Member

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    July - August (2017) - Camino Frances, Muxia and Finisterre
    Compeed will take the skin off if you don't read the directions and try to remove it too soon.
     
  92. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Astorga-SdC (Nov 2012). SJPP-Sahagun (Oct 2014). SJPP-SdC (Oct 2015). Leon-SdC (Mar 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017)
    A little, but important clarification is that "Compeed will take the skin off if you don't read the directions and if you do try to remove it to soon." :)
     
    trecile likes this.

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