• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Ungüentos and vaseline

I've been trying to look for some sort of information about the use of vaseline, foot creams or "Ungüento del Peregrino" during the Camino. Has any of the above have been successfully proven to do your feet be blister-free during the trek? Would the performance of the SmartWool (or any other specialised sock) and its wicking capabilities hinder the feet to be comfortable during the hours of walking? I'll appreciate any advice on the matter!

¡Buen Camino!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
In my experience, having walked several caminos virtually blister-free, a liberal coating of vaseline and smartwool socks do the trick. Others have different "tried and true" combinations, so you'll just have to choose which one to go with!

Oh, and frequent rest stops with boots and socks off with your feet in the sun (depending on your time of year!)

Buen healthy intact feet camino.

lynne
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I have to face the fact that I will get blisters on my walks, but have learnt that feet airing and lubrication/relubrication with vaseline or the little foot lubrication stick made by Compeed (handy to carry) really helps to prevent and/or minimise the impact of blistering.
Personally there os nothing nicer than releasing your feet from hot socks and wriggling your toes in the fresh air on a regular basis!
Bonne route
Nell
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
I use vaseline on my feet and last year walked approx 620 kms with zero blisters. Also for the last couple of weeks before leaving, I soak my feet at home in a strong tea solution to strenghten the skin (a hint found in a Ballet Dancing forum and also on a Trekking site)! Anne
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Tests on Vaseline have not shown it to be effective in preventing blisters. U.S. Army tests on silicone in a petroleum base ointment have shown the silicone does work. It reduces friction and both the silicone and petroleum jelly (Vaseline) repel water. Sportslick http://www.sportslick.com/ and Hydropel http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... ropel.html (and the Compeed stick, active ingredient unknown http://www.physioroom.com/product/Compe ... 36386.html) have silicone (or simethecone) in them. They work. Use the Vaseline after walking to keep your feet soft.

I just found the ingredients in Compeed Anti-Blister stick, and it appears to be Crisco. You may want to use Sportslick or Hydropel!!
 
Vaseline is cheaper. And it works. And it keeps your skin soft in winter. I use it on my face (in very small quanitities) & all over my body in the winter time because my skin dries out horribly.

Kelly
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I used something called Pilgrims ointment-made in Australia. I never get blisters but I often used it at the end of the day,after a shower laying on the bed reading a book-felt good rubbing my bare feet together with this ointment soaking in. Small container so it takes up no room


http://raworganique.com.au/estoremulti/ ... ucts_id=42
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Jul-Aug 05, Frances, Jul-Aug 06, Portugues, Oct 2010
I use vaseline infused with aloe vera (sold in a green tin in the UK). It smells a lot nicer than ordinary vaseline, and the aloe's antiseptic qualities can't hurt either.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I think Vaseline might be a good thing. I picked up a tube of HIRSCH TALG Creme from Scholl in a free box and have been using it. So far it has worked great. It seems to work much like Vaseline.
 

janeburley

New Member
Whalleyranger said:
I use vaseline infused with aloe vera (sold in a green tin in the UK). It smells a lot nicer than ordinary vaseline, and the aloe's antiseptic qualities can't hurt either.

I know this is from last year but just wanted to say that I totally agree, I always use the aloe vera vaseline and it has worked for me just fine! :mrgreen:
 

Kialoa3

Active Member
If one goes the vaseline route, and does get a blister, then it seems you have got to be prepared for a bit of a clean up to get compeed or something similar to stick.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hopefully with vaseline and good foot care you won;t get any blisters! But if you do consider just cleaning the area and passing a sterilised threaded needle through the blister and leave in the thread - cover and all will be well. And pain free!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
And if you do need to apply compeed, alcohol wipes will remove all traces of the vaseline so that the compeed will stick.

lynne
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I used vaseline on my last Camino and by golly, it worked great! No blisters except for one tiny one where I cut my shoe insert a bit too small and left a space to pinch my heel.
 

Saint Francesco

New Member
I can only agree with Hirschtalg Extreme from School. I applied it every evening four weeks before my walk to prepare my foots and took it with me to the Camino in a light tube and used it every morning and night. No blisters, thanks God! And it is not so slippy like vaseline. And of course getting my shoes off every 2-3 hours just for 5-10 min. Nothing is better than fresh air... ;)
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Hirschtalg:

AQUA Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride · · ADEPS Cervidae DIISOSTEAROYL POLYGLYCERYL-3 DIMER DILINOLEATE CERA FLAVA · · · Glycerin · MAGNESIUM SULFATE CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA ALCOHOL EXTRACT · · · PHENOXYETHANOL Dehydroacetic Acid Benzoic Acid · · BARBADENSINS ALOE LEAF JUICE POWDER · Rosmarinus officinalis LEAF OIL · PERFUME BISABOLOL · · · LIMONENE LINALOOL.

Our stated here INCI declaration corresponds to our current state of production. As we are regularly incorporated into our formulation of new scientific findings, it is possible that there were previous product versions are available with different ingredient declarations in your dm-market part.

Coconut oil and some chemicals! It should reduce friction. The Compeed lubricating stick is Crisco, so coconut oil is not out of line.;)
 

edeanr

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino (May 2013)
Crisco! Who'd a thunk it?! lol!
A light coating of vaseline each morning before I put my socks on - one pair light-wt. liners with outer pair of smart wool - kept me blister free from SJPP to Santiago last April/May. I also aired out my feet frequently during the day.

¡Buen camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Crisco! Who'd a thunk it?! lol!
They both contain hydrogenated vegetable oils. The similarities end there. Falcon was just being a bit dramatic, perhaps to emphasise that there might be better options available :)
Compeed: Ingredients: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Octyldodecanol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum. Source: http://www.expresschemist.co.uk/product_8669_compeed-anti-blister-stick-10ml.html
Crisco: Ingredients: SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS). Source: http://www.crisco.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?groupID=17&prodID=315
 

Auddem

New Member
I wish I had know this last week. I got my first blister on day one after torrential rain all day and got a blister every day of my 6 days walking. I never got a blister when walking at home. I used 3 pack of Compeed over the 6 days. I cried with the pain of one on my heel on the second last day and have since lost a toe nail and have 4 others that are black and blue. Im a week finished walking now and yesterday was the first day I could wear shoes again. Last week I said never again but today I'm missing it and looking forward to doing it again.

PS: out of 4 of us walking I was the only one with blisters til the last day when 2 others got some.

Buen Camino.
 
Last edited:

DawnsJourney

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2014)
I wish I had know this last week. I got my first blister on day one after torrential rain all day and got a blister every day of my 6 days walking. I never got a blister when walking at home. I used 3 pack of Compeed over the 6 days. I cried with the pain of one on my heel on the second last day and have since lost a toe nail and have 4 others that are black and blue. Im a week finished walking now and yesterday was the first day I could wear shoes again. Last week I said never again but today I'm missing it and looking forward to doing it again.

PS: out of 4 of us walking I was the only one with blisters til the last day when 2 others got some.

Buen Camino.
Is losing toenails common?
 

DawnsJourney

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2014)
I had a blister under this toenail that lifted it out of the bed and I kept Compeed on it while walking and a few days after I came home the blister had burst and toe was very sore and then the nail fell off.
How does one get a blister under the toenail? Or rather, how does one avoid such a thing?
 

paul.ferris

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2013 Camino Frances
2015 To be decided
Yes to Vaseline and all the other good advice here. But nothing is a substitute to proper fitting boots - at least one size larger than usual, well broken in - so your feet toughen up, and quality (specialty) walking socks. Also, I think that walking style is a factor. Pushing yourself, or just walking stiffly is a recipe for blisters.
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
Is losing toenails common?


You can lose a toe nail if your footwear is small or your nails are too long. The toe nails hit against the front of your footwear thus they turn black and can fall off. Btw it´s very painful.:eek:

Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
So which is better?

Tests on Vaseline have not shown it to be effective in preventing blisters. U.S. Army tests on silicone in a petroleum base ointment have shown the silicone does work. It reduces friction and both the silicone and petroleum jelly (Vaseline) repel water. Sportslick http://www.sportslick.com/ and Hydropel http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... ropel.html (and the Compeed stick, active ingredient unknown http://www.physioroom.com/product/Compe ... 36386.html) have silicone (or simethecone) in them. They work. Use the Vaseline after walking to keep your feet soft.

I just found the ingredients in Compeed Anti-Blister stick, and it appears to be Crisco. You may want to use Sportslick or Hydropel!!
Either of the alternatives Falcon269 has listed seem to be good options. I don't know what is available (although most stuff is available online nowadays). I personally prefer using an anti-fungal foot powder to keep my feet dry and reduce the friction. I have used a sports lubricant elsewhere (groin, underarms) and it works, but so does petroleum jelly if all you are after is lubrication.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
How does one get a blister under the toenail? Or rather, how does one avoid such a thing?
You can lose a toe nail if your footwear is small or your nails are too long. The toe nails hit against the front of your footwear thus they turn black and can fall off. Btw it´s very painful.:eek:
Other than dropping something onto your toe, @MendiWalker is right. Long toenails and shoes that are too tight or too short would seem to be the major risk factors when on the camino.

How to avoid this? Before you go, get your footwear fitted properly. If in doubt about a shorter or longer boot/shoe - defer to the longer size - you can add padding to your foot within reason, but it really isn't possible to shorten them.

Once walking, make sure your toenails are trimmed regularly.

On the trail itself, there is at least one simple technique to reduce the risk of your toenails hitting the front of your footwear, and that is to stop at the top of steeper descents, and re-tighten your boots/shoes as tightly as you can. At the bottom, stop and re-adjust the lacing - you don't want to be walking in tight boots/shoes all the time.

If you are still finding problems, find thinner socks if you can. This may be enough to save having to go all the way and buying new boots/shoes that fit properly.

Regards,
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I am a firm believer in Vaseline. I put it on after my shower at night and in the morning before leaving. The key thing is to pay attention to your feet. If you get a hot spot, address it asap. In these cases, I use a Compeed.

Cutting your toe nails prior to walking is important. The problem, imo, is caused by toe nails hitting the front of your shoe (on downhill slopes) before your toe does. This causes the toe to bruise. It is quite uncomfortable and last a while.

Can you get a good Pedicure in SJPdP :)?

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Packinglight

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
July-August 2019, Pamplona-Santiago
Hirschtalg:



Coconut oil and some chemicals! It should reduce friction. The Compeed lubricating stick is Crisco, so coconut oil is not out of line.;)

Where do you see the coconut oil in the INCI?
If you are thinking of the capric et al., it is a fatty acid normally found in goats' & cow, and other animal milks & fats. It is also found in a few non-animal sources, one of which is indeed coconut oil. It COULD certainly be coconut oil, as it is common to use it in balms for emollients and stiffening, although high temperatures will cause the consistency of the balm to change, and inconsistent products are not ideal in the marketplace. But the body could be also provided by how much cera flava (beeswax) is in there, as it is an excellent barrier, and has a relatively high melting point (compared to coconut oil), not compared to, say, tungsten!)
When I read that list I see goats' milk, beeswax, aloe vera, rosemary, Epsom salts, chamomile...
 

Silvester

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Salvador (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2014)
Camino Muxia (2014)
Camino Fisterra (2014)
Is the Vaseline to which many refer the stiff jelly or the lotion with the consistency of sunblock? And if you mean the stiff jelly, does it gum up your socks?
I always clip my toenails before walking in my boots as it is pretty painful with the nails ramming back into the nailbeds. I also noticed that if I overdo the daily distance or daily weight my feet swell and that converts well loved boots into too tight boots.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Is the Vaseline to which many refer the stiff jelly or the lotion with the consistency of sunblock? And if you mean the stiff jelly, does it gum up your socks?
I always clip my toenails before walking in my boots as it is pretty painful with the nails ramming back into the nailbeds. I also noticed that if I overdo the daily distance or daily weight my feet swell and that converts well loved boots into too tight boots.
Vaseline is a company name, and they manufacture a variety of skin care products. One of the better known is petroleum jelly.
Petroleum jelly does not gum up. It does resist being washed out of clothing, and cannot be just rinsed out, but will respond to soapy warm water.
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
I've been trying to look for some sort of information about the use of vaseline, foot creams or "Ungüento del Peregrino" during the Camino. Has any of the above have been successfully proven to do your feet be blister-free during the trek? Would the performance of the SmartWool (or any other specialised sock) and its wicking capabilities hinder the feet to be comfortable during the hours of walking? I'll appreciate any advice on the matter!

¡Buen Camino!


Aah - a topic sure to gt many different opinions!! I have walked the camino in Spain and the Visa Francigena in Italy plus some shorter treks. Day 1 I had a blister, after that not a single blister in almost 2000 km of walking. The first day I did nothing, just put on a air of good socks and walked . After that first blister I was obsessive about doing this twice a day (in the morning and at lunchtime):
a layer of vaseline (it sounds gluggy but it isn't and your feet end up wonderfully soft at the end of the pilgrimage):
a liner (in my case i used a ladies ankle length stocking sock)
a clean pair of socks (I used Bridgdedale pure wool)
Voila! No blisters ever.
Good luck
Maggie Ramsay
The Italian Camino (Amazon)
 

Advertisement

Booking.com

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 56 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 200 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 329 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 96 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 381 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top