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Swollen Feet = Blisters

Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
#1
I am proposing... Swollen Feet = Blisters

I believe the Camino can make people's feet swell.
Not puffy swollen.... just ½ a shoe size, or even a full shoe size worth of swollen.
Just enough to make your quality made , well broke-in shoes fit.... just a bit tight.

Imagine.... you have trained for your Camino. 5Km – three times a week.... Great
But now... your walking 25km/day, carrying a backpack over filled with lots of “just in case” items
or
You're on the Meseta. It's 32C. Your dehydrated. Your on the verge of Heat Stoke.
Or just...
You just arrived yesterday from a long, long flight, sitting a long time in low pressure.

There are many ways, but your feet are now swollen. Just enough, that some part of your foot is now rubbing where it didn't rub before.

Inside your shoe, the difference between tight and loose is... a very small amount.

I believe Pilgrims need to be advised, you have to loosen your laces, on your shoes, and re-tighten them, to your current foot size.


So..... Can anyone recommend a good video, that shows a person how to lace up their shoes, with the correct tension, for Camino walking?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#4
Surely the correct tension will depend on the idiosyncrasies of each person's feet, and the two feet might differ. You might need to loosen some parts and tighten others. Swelling of the feet typically results in wider or fatter feet, rather than longer ones, so the shape of the shoe (and the type of fit) might be more important than the size.

I usually get some blisters while on the camino, even though I haven't when I have been walking 70 km/week during training. The body (i.e. skin) continuously injures itself and heals. On the camino, walking day after day, the skin may not have time to heal from minor irritations, and blisters will develop.

If people will follow the common advice to remove shoes several times a day, and carefully lace them back up to the most comfortable tension, they will naturally accommodate the swelling. In addition, they need to be aware that any discomfort should be addressed immediately.

P.S. @Kanga and @trecile - You sandals fans are too smug! (Although I admit that I looked at the sandal shelf in a store yesterday.)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#7
Yes we are smug o_O. Although I can't claim that sandals stops blisters.

For those of you trying different lacing techniques - take care that you do not over-tighten across the front of the ankle. It can cause tendonitis which might be a show stopper.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#8
I found that the best ister prevention method for me is apply Omnifix or Hypafix tape to any blister prone spots every morning. They are thin stretchy tapes that mold to the contours of your feet. The tape takes the friction rather than your skin. And at the first sign of a hot spot stop and check your feet.

Since I have neuropathy in my feet I often get a burning sensation that can be confused with a hot spot. I feel much more confident with the tape as a "second skin".

And with my feet feeling freer in the sandals they feel a lot better at the end of the day.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#9
Lacing is important, yes.
But the shoes have to be big enough and wide enough as well (and not too heavy).

I read this many times before I bought my first camino shoes... and nevertheless my first camino shoes were not wide enough. Even on a one-day-25km-training-walk at home I felt that they were a little bit too narrow at the end of the day. I had no blister on the training walk, but I felt that this was not good.
So fortunately I bought wide enough shoes before starting my camino...
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#10
I am proposing... Swollen Feet = Blisters

I believe the Camino can make people's feet swell.
Not puffy swollen.... just ½ a shoe size, or even a full shoe size worth of swollen.
Just enough to make your quality made , well broke-in shoes fit.... just a bit tight.

Imagine.... you have trained for your Camino. 5Km – three times a week.... Great
But now... your walking 25km/day, carrying a backpack over filled with lots of “just in case” items
or
You're on the Meseta. It's 32C. Your dehydrated. Your on the verge of Heat Stoke.
Or just...
You just arrived yesterday from a long, long flight, sitting a long time in low pressure.

There are many ways, but your feet are now swollen. Just enough, that some part of your foot is now rubbing where it didn't rub before.

Inside your shoe, the difference between tight and loose is... a very small amount.

I believe Pilgrims need to be advised, you have to loosen your laces, on your shoes, and re-tighten them, to your current foot size.


So..... Can anyone recommend a good video, that shows a person how to lace up their shoes, with the correct tension, for Camino walking?
I either start out with sandals or change to sandals halfway into the day's walk. My feet feel heavenly after doing this mid-day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
#11
I find I get blisters on the top of my feet when wearing sandals due to sand and grit getting between the straps and the soft skin on my feet. Do people wear socks with sandals?
 
Camino(s) past & future
August 2015
#12
Surely the correct tension will depend on the idiosyncrasies of each person's feet, and the two feet might differ. You might need to loosen some parts and tighten others. Swelling of the feet typically results in wider or fatter feet, rather than longer ones, so the shape of the shoe (and the type of fit) might be more important than the size.

I usually get some blisters while on the camino, even though I haven't when I have been walking 70 km/week during training. The body (i.e. skin) continuously injures itself and heals. On the camino, walking day after day, the skin may not have time to heal from minor irritations, and blisters will develop.

If people will follow the common advice to remove shoes several times a day, and carefully lace them back up to the most comfortable tension, they will naturally accommodate the swelling. In addition, they need to be aware that any discomfort should be addressed immediately.

P.S. @Kanga and @trecile - You sandals fans are too smug! (Although I admit that I looked at the sandal shelf in a store yesterday.)
That happens to me, too. Despite all the long training miles I put in at home in preparation for the Camino (with not a single blister) and following every piece of advice , once I get out there I get blisters like crazy. After a couple of weeks they resolve. Of course, I’ll make some more adjustments and try again next time.😎
 
Camino(s) past & future
First camino beginning September 2018
#14
I fell just before Reconcesvalles (21st September 2018) and hurt my left wrist, (broken, but at the time was told by Pamplona hospital it was a bad sprain) so lacing shoes was out of the question as wrist extremely painful. I traded my shoes for hiking sandals(they are very light weight even though I bought a MAN'S SANDAL) which have velcro straps. It was such a pleasure to walk in them. YES, I did indeed use socks and maybe they did not look so fashionable. If the Camino was really rough(stoney, biggish pebbles etc) I'd use a thin pair of socks then pull on my thick hiking socks over those . These absorb a lot of the shock and if a small STONE somehow got in between sock and sandal I hardly felt it. In any event, removing a bit of gravel with my sandals was simple and fast as no laces to be bothered with. If the terrain was smoother, I used any pair of socks at hand. I walked in the sandals for thirty three days and so happy I'd brought them along. The velcro was truly a blessing. I could tie/loosen the sandals one handed. If I could afford to do the Camino again,
I'd pack just that one pair of sandals. Not a single blister, by the way! I did take the precaution of using generous amounts of Vaseline between my toes every morning before stepping out. Oh, it rained when I left Sarria that morning and my sandals did just fine. They didn't get soggy or anything like that. So, for me, sandals are the answer. A bonus? They don't smell! Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#16
One easy tip to reduce swelling after walking is to raise your feet above the level of your heart while you rest. It reduces swelling, improves circulation and lets the feet rest better. The longer the better, but at least 20 minutes.

Do that after every walking day and you should avoid at least some of the problems.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk around 2022
#17
I fell just before Reconcesvalles (21st September 2018) and hurt my left wrist, (broken, but at the time was told by Pamplona hospital it was a bad sprain) so lacing shoes was out of the question as wrist extremely painful.

For walking 33 days on Camino with a broken wrist, you have my utmost respect. I cannot imagine how you did that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#18
I am proposing... Swollen Feet = Blisters

I believe the Camino can make people's feet swell.
Not puffy swollen.... just ½ a shoe size, or even a full shoe size worth of swollen.
Just enough to make your quality made , well broke-in shoes fit.... just a bit tight.

Imagine.... you have trained for your Camino. 5Km – three times a week.... Great
But now... your walking 25km/day, carrying a backpack over filled with lots of “just in case” items
or
You're on the Meseta. It's 32C. Your dehydrated. Your on the verge of Heat Stoke.
Or just...
You just arrived yesterday from a long, long flight, sitting a long time in low pressure.

There are many ways, but your feet are now swollen. Just enough, that some part of your foot is now rubbing where it didn't rub before.

Inside your shoe, the difference between tight and loose is... a very small amount.

I believe Pilgrims need to be advised, you have to loosen your laces, on your shoes, and re-tighten them, to your current foot size.


So..... Can anyone recommend a good video, that shows a person how to lace up their shoes, with the correct tension, for Camino walking?
That's why I buy footwear a full size bigger than normal. (as recommended by many here)
3 Caminos so far, no blisters.

Of course other things help.
Staying hydrated
Airing the feet during the day
Double socks
Elevating the feet at rest breaks on a long day
Vaseline
Hikers wool.....

I only lace tight going down hill, to stop the feet sliding forward.
At other times loose.
Often missing out the top eyelets (I wear lightweight boots)

Next time though I might try trail runners.
Tried sandals. I need more support.
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#19
OK, @trecile and @Kanga - I'll give it a go. I want to be smug and light-footed and blister free too! I have given up on goretex type boots and shoes for longer walks because my feet overheat and blister easily, and just accept that my feet will be wet now and again, but that my shoes will dry quickly, so it's all good. BUT I get pressure blisters along the outside rim of my heels every time and they tend to turn into blood blisters if I'm not careful. These are deep blisters, hard to treat or drain, they take forever to dry out and are a right pain, literally. Anyone suffer the same sort of blisters who have switched to sandals? Could it make a difference? Any educated guesses welcome. A pressure blister free camino would be wonderful, fingers crossed. I have a pair of Teva Terra Fi 4 which might do the trick but I never take them because they are heavy for backups.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First camino beginning September 2018
#20
Was very painful I must admit. But I didn't want to make a fuss over a "sprain!" I just don't use medication as a matter of course, so soldiered/pilgrimed on. After Santiago I bussed into Portugal. When getting ready to come home, my Med Insurance insisted I see a doctor in Lisbon to be sure I was fit enough after the fall to travel. It was at Santa Maria Hospital it was discovered that I had broken the wrist (x-rays were taken) and that it had actually begun to heal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#21
Backpacker Magazine shows a few different ways to lace your boots to ease fitting problems.
http://www.backpacker.com/gear/footwear/hiking-boots/common-hiking-boot-lacing-techniques/

I try to tie my laces once or twice a year. I leave the laces tied as I unwrap them from the top loops after a hike and stretch the main loop over the hooks when going again. I don't recommend this but it's what I do and I only get blisters when breaking in a new pair of boots.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#22
Backpacker Magazine shows a few different ways to lace your boots to ease fitting problems.
http://www.backpacker.com/gear/footwear/hiking-boots/common-hiking-boot-lacing-techniques/

I try to tie my laces once or twice a year. I leave the laces tied as I unwrap them from the top loops after a hike and stretch the main loop over the hooks when going again. I don't recommend this but it's what I do and I only get blisters when breaking in a new pair of boots.
That's a great link! I use some of those techniques but there are some more in there I'll definitely try!

IMHO lacing techniques are an essential thing to understand and might be an area often overlooked by many 'new' Pilgrims I think.

It's so important to be aware of how your foot 'feels' in your footwear, if the foot is moving or slipping inside the footwear, if there are any tight spots. Much of this can be rectified with different lacing. We generally adjust lacing depending on the gradient.

For example. going uphill the 'uppers' or 'cuffs' of our boots might be made more secure. Going downhill the heel will be pulled back and down more to avoid slippage and toe bumping and on the flat the upper section of our boots may not be laced at all.........

I'm saving that link ;) Thanks.
 
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gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
#23
I like the Lydiard Lacing, sometimes called the Ladder Lacing technique. You'll find it online or via utube.
It lessens direct lace pressure on the top of the foot.
A simple measure to alleviate toe box pressure is simply to by-pass the lower set/s of eyelits and commencing lacing further up the footwear.
Regards
Gerard
 

Robi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2018
#24
Salewa ultra flex mid gore-tex, Dechatlon socks, airing the feet and elevating the feet at rest breaks. Thats all. Forget on blisters and Lacing technique.
 

Aysen Mustafa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#25
Any women reading this post and walked in sandals, which brand were they? Did they have a closed toe in case you hit a rock?

I took a pair of Teva Tirra with me but didn't walk in them because I didn't want to carry my Merrells. I have just bought Teva Universal Sandborn sandals but I don't think I could walk long distances in them because they don't have enough support but are very comfortable otherwise.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#26
Am a bit surprised that anyone only walked 5km 3 times a week and felt this was good enough preparation for the Camino. Whether for shoes or endurance, this distance is a nothing. You really should try and do 3 days in a row of about 15-20km to test your sock combination and your shoes/boots.

My recommendation are Meindl boots which are leather and goretex and half a size larger. Before all 3 Caminos have worn them for at least 400-1000km before going and tested all my sock combinations to find the best ones for my feet. Wearing knee high nylons under my wool socks means no blisters for me. No need to take off my boots or air out my feet during the day. Even after falling in a creek one day, having boots filled with water, dumped out the water and continued walking another 4 hours. No blisters.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#27
Any women reading this post and walked in sandals, which brand were they? Did they have a closed toe in case you hit a rock?
I wore Merrell Siren Strap sandals for the majority of the Camino del Norte. They don't have a closed toe, but I had no problem with rocks. Merrell also makes a closed toe version, the Siren Wrap. I have also purchased a pair of men's sandals that I might try on my next Camino, and I know that forum member @intrepidtraveler used on her last Camino, the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve water sandal. The sole of this sandal curves up a bit at the front for toe protection. Although I have fairly narrow feet, the adjustable straps fit me well.
 

Aysen Mustafa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking the Camino April 2018.
#28
I wore Merrell Siren Strap sandals for the majority of the Camino del Norte. They don't have a closed toe, but I had no problem with rocks. Merrell also makes a closed toe version, the Siren Wrap. I have also purchased a pair of men's sandals that I might try on my next Camino, and I know that forum member @intrepidtraveler used on her last Camino, the Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve water sandal. The sole of this sandal curves up a bit at the front for toe protection. Although I have fairly narrow feet, the adjustable straps fit me well.
I did see the Merrell Siren Strap in store but I purchased the Teva Sandborn because there were fewer straps that could rub my foot. I have wide feet. Other than that they appear to be similar. I will test my sandals on a one day walk in the next month or so.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#29
I did see the Merrell Siren Strap in store but I purchased the Teva Sandborn because there were fewer straps that could rub my foot. I have wide feet. Other than that they appear to be similar. I will test my sandals on a one day walk in the next month or so.
Yes, it's all about the straps and where they hit you on your foot! I tried several different sandals that all rubbed my feet wrong before I settled on the Merrells.
 

RumAndChupacabras

"Looking Forward To 6 Weeks in 2019"
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Aug 2019 Norte Apr. 2018: Oviedo, Santo Toribio, Covadonga, Garabandal May/Jun 2016: Portuguese
#30
One of my FAVORITE topics...we were just talking about this (AGAIN) today! Before my first Camino I tested too many shoes, blah, blah, blah. Long story short, took my 6 month old Teva Terra Fi 4's as backup. One and a half hours into Camino my heels were on fire so I ditched my new Merrell's and changed out to my Teva's. I walked the entire Camino, from Porto to SDC in them (2 other's from our group ended up buying Teva's in Tui). I had no toe stubs, a couple of minor baby toe blisters and no issues with all the mud and water. That said, I luv'd the versatility of quick and easy strap adjustment as well as, how quickly a pebble could be kicked out of a sandal. I always wore 2 pair of socks as well as an assortment of silicone gel products for feet and toes: toe caps, ball of foot protectors (which I could place on top of my foot if need be), Heel Protectors, injinji toe socks under WrightSocks (2 layer blister proofing socks). Silicone gel products are cheaply and readily available through eBay or Amazon.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...heel-savers-bunion-gout-relief-and-more.5450/

nidarosa
Aysen Mustafa
Telboyo
 
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