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Foot Care

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camino?camiYES

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019-October-Flying to Bilbao on the 11th Oct -travelling to St Jean on the 12th and walking 13th on
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Toughening up your skin really won't help you prevent blisters. People can and do get blisters under calluses or other tough skin, and they can be much harder to treat. What does work is properly fitted footwear and attending to "hot spots" on your feet the moment you feel them.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
regular application of surgical spirit (I think it's known as rubbing alcohol in North America...). That should dry and toughen the skin.
Drying out the skin with alcohol is the least thing what one may consider for the blister prevention. It will cause irritation and skin will get prone to develop cracks ..
 

pennyjwright

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016, 2019) Le Puy (2017)
Drying out the skin with alcohol is the least thing what one may consider for the blister prevention. It will cause irritation and skin will get prone to develop cracks ..
that's true for some people, I think it depends on whether you have naturally dry skin or another skin type on your feet. For me the use of surgical spirit helps to reduce the friction of my skin against socks which is one of the blister prevention strategies described here https://www.blister-prevention.com/what-causes-blisters-on-feet/
 
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koknesis

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
that's true for some people, I think it depends on whether you have naturally dry skin or another skin type on your feet. For me the use of surgical spirit helps to reduce the friction of my skin against socks which is one of the blister prevention strategies described here https://www.blister-prevention.com/what-causes-blisters-on-feet/
If you take a closer look at the composition of the stuff referred as surgical spirit, then it contains significant amount of castor oil, which will reduce friction indeed. Why not simply treat the feet with it or even better with a proper feet cream? Burning skin with an alcohol in hope of toughening is not the best idea after all.
From Wikipedia:
In Ireland and the UK, the comparable preparation is surgical spirit B.P., which the British Pharmacopoeia defines as 95% methylated spirit, 2.5% castor oil, 2% diethyl phthalate, and 0.5% methyl salicylate.[6]

R
 

dbier

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
The foot care debate....CamiYes, what you haven't said is what happened to you in 2019, and what were you doing at the time?

If your feet normally sweat a lot (like me), then using more lubrication on them probably won't work well. You'll probably be looking for more than one layer of thin noncontton socks, and maybe wearing good sandals as opposed to waterproof shoes. And the shoes/sandles should fit your swelling feet.

If, on the other hand, your feet are normally dry, then lubrication may be what you need. I'd personally stay away from the cotton socks still, but you may want to look at hikers wool. Or Body Glide, if you're not allergic to sulfites. Or Vaseline....some walkers swear by it.

If, on a third hand ;), your toes create cuts and blisters against each other (me again) then either toe socks, well-applied tape, or gel sleeves may help ... if your shoes are big enough for them.

Or, if you're unlucky like a good friend of mine, your skin is just gonna blister, because it doesn't handle shear stresses well.

Since you've done this before, you probably know what happened then. Test out your preferred remedies before your return.

Buen Camino!
 

cbacino

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
Wear sandals whenever you can.
 

Entrenous

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances
I’ve just completed the Camino Frances. SJPP to Santiago. I did not get one blister, not one! I did however take care of my feet.

Trail runners: Altra Lone Peak 6. Wide toe box which meant my toes were not squashed. They are not waterproof but this did mean they dried out quickly and I never put on wet shoes. They were / are so comfy.

To start with each morning I covered my feet and inbetween each toe with vasaline. When that ran out I upgraded in a hiking shop on route to a white cream, silver tube, can’t remember the name but it worked and when I ran out of that, back to vasaline.

Base layer sock - Injinji toe socks - get these!!
Second layer: Darn Tough socks from Canada

I took everything off the moment I stopped walking and put my Teva sandals on so they could breathe.

Good luck. I saw many people really suffering. Blisters are the worst.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!

Well you might not get blisters at all on your second camino. It is like your body has tried it before and reacts differently. Hopefully.

Best thing you can do is wearing sandals when it is hot or your feet gets hot.

If you do not want to wear sandals, use merino socks. SmartWool I experienced generates less heat than other merino socks I've tried, but I always end up using Darn Tough because they last longer.

When you arrive wash your feet in water only and add iodine to your blisters. It dries them out. And wear sandals to let you feet breathe.

In the morning add a good layer of vaseline to your feet and put on your merino socks and shoes.

Best
Andy
 
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JesperK

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2013-2016x2-2018 CP:2014 CF:(2022)
I’ve just completed the Camino Frances. SJPP to Santiago. I did not get one blister, not one! I did however take care of my feet.

Trail runners: Altra Lone Peak 6. Wide toe box which meant my toes were not squashed. They are not waterproof but this did mean they dried out quickly and I never put on wet shoes. They were / are so comfy.

To start with each morning I covered my feet and inbetween each toe with vasaline. When that ran out I upgraded in a hiking shop on route to a white cream, silver tube, can’t remember the name but it worked and when I ran out of that, back to vasaline.

Base layer sock - Injinji toe socks - get these!!
Second layer: Darn Tough socks from Canada

I took everything off the moment I stopped walking and put my Teva sandals on so they could breathe.

Good luck. I saw many people really suffering. Blisters are the worst.
I also just completed Camino frances, in Santiago right now, and I too got through it without a single foot issue - blister & whatever. You're right about the wide toe-box. Everyday I've seen people with shoes/boots they obviously don't wear on a regular basis at home. My shoes were/is incredibly comfortable Ecco biom shoes. I'm on my third pair - so it was the natural thing to wear them on the camino - and to repeat: not a single issue.
 
Past OR future Camino
LePuy07, CF 08, Arles17, Via Regia '18,
I’ve just completed the Camino Frances. SJPP to Santiago. I did not get one blister, not one! I did however take care of my feet.

Trail runners: Altra Lone Peak 6. Wide toe box which meant my toes were not squashed. They are not waterproof but this did mean they dried out quickly and I never put on wet shoes. They were / are so comfy.

To start with each morning I covered my feet and inbetween each toe with vasaline. When that ran out I upgraded in a hiking shop on route to a white cream, silver tube, can’t remember the name but it worked and when I ran out of that, back to vasaline.

Base layer sock - Injinji toe socks - get these!!
Second layer: Darn Tough socks from Canada

I took everything off the moment I stopped walking and put my Teva sandals on so they could breathe.

Good luck. I saw many people really suffering. Blisters are the worst.
My wife and I each got one blister the first day of our first long cross country hike many years ago; rain soaked shoes, and inadequate socks, not enough training on rocky uneven ground contributed. I also thought my shoes fit so well that I shaved down a callous, thinking it wasn’t needed. It was. That’s where I got a blister. That was the only time I used a liner sock. Thousands of miles later, neither of us have had trouble with blisters. Key basic ingredients, thoroughly described in forums; lots of miles on uneven ground, in well fitting, well ventilating shoes, trimmed toenails and good clean socks. My favorite sock has been defeet merino wool (with some nylon) socks. They cushion without being abrasive even when wet. As suggested above, taking shoes and socks off to dry during short breaks during the day helps. That’s it. No ointments. While acknowledging large individual variation, our feet do make and regulate moisture and oils.
 
Past OR future Camino
May14-24 (2018)
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
Hello! To prevent blisters, I use medical tape to place gel squares in danger spots. We’ve walked from Porto to Padrón so far with NO blisters:)
 

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Past OR future Camino
Frances but starting iin Somport
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
I’ve tried soaking my feet in Epsom Salt solution but I’m not sure it helps. I know where my trouble spots are and Compeed them before I start.

I was walking with a friend whose feet got into a very bad way so I took him to a clinic in a small town. The doctor said you must Compeed before you get blisters so that’s what I do now. Plus a generous coating of Vicks Vapor Rub helps.
 

winemakerfw51

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Sept-Oct 2018)
Hello! To prevent blisters, I use medical tape to place gel squares in danger spots. We’ve walked from Porto to Padrón so far with NO blisters:)
I agree with the use of surgical tape where your feet may be rubbing, so your shoes are rubbing on the tape, not your skin. I always taped my heals. Also, I wore trail runners that were 1.5 sizes larger with sufficient toe room. I walked the CP without any foot problems.
 
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Duffman

DuffMan
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2018) with my son.
I made it from SJPP to Astorga without issues then developed some painful blisters between my toes from having too narrow a toe box. I've since switched to Altra Lone Peaks and haven't had issues since, though I haven't had a really long multi-day walk since the Camino.

Also, as a way to mitigate the blister pain I was having between my toes, I placed foam earplugs between the problem toes before putting my socks on. This actually worked very well!
 

howardd5

Active Member
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
A pre Camino salt water soak each day seems to toughen my feet. I did it every day for two weeks before starting out. Towel the n air dry & some vasoline to lube . I made a foot cream from 1/2 beeswax and lanolin melted together and stores in a small container
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
X
All feet are different and what works for some will not for others. As with anything in your rucksack; the time to really try out your footwear is at home - whilst carrying a load.

Trail runners are preferred by many; but I virtually live in lightweight leather boots so they’re what I’ve used on every Camino.

Frequent changes of clean socks and getting your shoes or boots off at any decent rest stop is my personal routine. Also stop and manage any sensation of a ‘hotspot’ as soon as you’re aware of one.

Buy shoes in the afternoon when your feet have spread a little.
 
Past OR future Camino
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
Lubrication, toe space, wool socks, immediate attention to any "warm spots".
I've averaged over 3000 miles a year since 2017. ONE small blister on heal during Meseta when I ran out of lubricant in 2018. I use an herbal salve made by my daughter, but have found Aloe cream works good if I run out of salve. Liberal application across the toes, a dab on ball and heal. ALL my miles are in trail runners (Altra). I said "warm spots" because waiting until its "hot spot" is too late! If it's not comfortable,,, fix it NOW! Not at the next town.

Buen Camino
 
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Past OR future Camino
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
And I will add, learn your feet!
I met a couple 700 miles into the Appalachian Trail, her carrying 45 pounds, him carrying 60 pounds and they both had on Crocs with bare feet. Just to say there is no answer for everyone, but learn your feet by training 😉
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Portuguese, Finisterre, Muxia
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
In addition to walking regularly (with backpack for added weight) in order to get calluses on your feet PRIOR to actually setting out on the Camino, I recommend wearing TWO pairs of socks - one should be a thin sock liner (even a thin dress sock would suffice) while a heavier sock should be worn over the sock liner. And always be sure that you properly break in a good pair of hiking/walking shoes. Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugués (from Oporto to SdC), July 2022
Hi all, I learned one very important thing doing the first half of my Camino back in 2019, and that is that I have the soft feet of a delicate princess (43,M).
Does anyone have any tricks or treatments that I can use to toughen up my plates before I proceed in September?
All advice greatfully recieved!
Before setting off, a generous application of petroleum jelly and then wear sock liner and wool socks. Stop if you get hot spots on your feet (sign of blister developing); rest, air, massage, change socks before moving on.
 

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