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Vaseline on feet?

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Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
Hi, @Caligal !

On my first Camino, I used a 'stick' slicking agent to great effect. Next time out, it was not as effective and I moved to Vaseline....with the very same concerns that you express.

I found sock cleaning to be no greater chore than it was prior. And, no, I still do not understand why!

My practice is to tape problem areas, toes and such, with paper tape. Then, a light application of Vaseline over the entire foot.

Nary a blister so far...

B
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
Hi Caligal,
I have been been blister free like you, and have always used compeed or duct tape for a few days when needed for hot spots; both seem to work well. I have been curious about the use of vaseline and have the same concern and questions as you.
 

roamingpaddy

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
On reading about vasaline on another thread I decided to try it on my training hike this morning,I vasalined 1 foot and the other one was free of any treatment.I only used a light covering.
When walking A few kilometers I noticed vasaline foot was warmer.on completion in bare feet in home both felt the same and good.I am lucky that I never had foot trouble on my last caminos.but wondering should I use vasaline on my camino next week? I am thinking that the V might prevent the feet from breathing and sweating properly
 

Introibo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
I used vasaline initially. Then graduated onto Vic, which proved to be interesting.
However, during an impromptu survey in a chemists in Lyon, 5 out of 6 elderly
ladies recommended Pedi Relax. Specifically the Pedi Relax de melaleuca aux
huiles essentielles. It was excellent, forming a non greasy second skin. I tried others
but the one with the blue writing was by far the best.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved.
Compeed is really not for prevention, but for treating deroofed blisters, and in my opinion is quite expensive to use as a preventative.
My practice is to tape problem areas, toes and such, with paper tape.
I do the same, but I use Omnifix or Hypafix tape which is widely available at farmacias in Spain.

 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
The ideal is to reduce friction to the OUTSIDE of the sock, rather than on the inside next to the skin. Using a goop on the foot attempts to deal with a symptom that causes blistering, but it leaves the cause for the problem unsolved.

Primary prevention involves preventing the shear force friction, from socks rubbing on the skin, from causing blistering. This is done by:
  • Using a sock material which does not deform, becoming saggy and stretched. Socks like Smart Wool, Ice Breaker, Darn Tough, Coolmax, Wigwam, etc use synthetic content (even in those that are Merino Wool) to prevent sock deformation to good effect.
  • Proper sizing. Here, you want a fit that follows the opposite of what you want in footwear for hiking/walking. You want socks which are very snug on the feet, but not gangrene inducingly tight.
  • Wearing lightly padded socks. Heavier padding allows more movement of the sock against the skin.
  • Except on long and steep downhill grades, wear shoes on the loose side. This allows the sock to remain in place against the skin by allowing the sock to remain in place on the foot, but allowing the shoe to slightly slide around the sock. A tight shoe can force the sock to move against the skin.
An effective add on to the shoe is the application of the self-adhering Engo Anti-Blister patches. They are very effective at preventing shear force friction blistering by making it easy for the sock to move inside the shoe. Again, this keeps the shoe from forcing the sock to rub against the skin.

For those interested, I did a thorough review of the Engo Patches in an earlier Forum post.

For hotspot treatments, Leukotape P, Omnifix tape, Moleskin, sports tape (the white adhesive tape stuff) are better than Compeed for a few reasons.

An issue with using slippery substances on the feet, they will interfere with the application of hot spot treatments. Most treatments for the pre-blister hot-spot involves the application of barrier materials, like tapes or moleskin, etc, so it is vital for the adhesives to adhere securely to the skin. The adhesives will fail if applied to skin coated with lubricant. So care must be taken to use hand sanitizer or alcohol to clean the goop off of the skin.

If committed to using skin goops for blister prevention, use preparations that do not require more frequent application. Pure petrolatum-based goops, like vaseline, tend to rub off fairly quickly and get absorbed into to the skin as they are warmed up from body heat.

Ironically, the softening effect to the skin by the absorption of petrolatums can make one more prone to blistering.

So a goop that is more persistent and less absorbable will perform better. I would look for a more 'waxy' type of goop. Many times, beeswax is an ingredient for these types of foot or skin treatments for blister protection. BodyGlide, HikerGoo, ChafeX, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc all use this type of formulation. These products might include some petrolatum as a part of the formula, but it is the beeswax and paraffins and other waxy components which allow for a longer duration of the product on the skin.
 
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Dennis D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2014
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2016
Francés - 2017
Francés - 2018
Francés - 2019
(2020 - ?)
I use a lotion called "Gloves in a Bottle." I put a light coating on my feet focusing on the heels and toes. It seems to be a very effective non-greasy lubricant for me. Since I started using it four years ago, I have been blister free.


Beware, that at the end of the day, watch you step when you get into the shower. The floor will seem more slippery because of the lotion.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
On reading about vasaline on another thread I decided to try it on my training hike this morning,I vasalined 1 foot and the other one was free of any treatment.I only used a light covering.
When walking A few kilometers I noticed vasaline foot was warmer.on completion in bare feet in home both felt the same and good.I am lucky that I never had foot trouble on my last caminos.but wondering should I use vasaline on my camino next week? I am thinking that the V might prevent the feet from breathing and sweating properly
I am sure that foot which got the vaseline treatment heats up due to the pores of the skin being blocked in the proces.
Where I have used it was on problem areas only ,
OR I have resorted to prudent lacing:

If you perform surgeon´s knots on the first two rows of hooks just after the initial three or four rows of holes for the laces, , you will be able to get a firm grip of the shoe to the foot, so as IT won´t move...

THEN the upper lacedson the boot ( caus that´s what I use) and after the surgeon´s knots you can allow for looser lacing here.
In this way you can allow for a minimal slip at the heel as the sock will be able to slide ever so slightly...

It is my experience that if you lace steel tight all over, you MIGHT cause rubbing at the heels and ensuing blisters...
If too tight, the skin will then be rubbing againt the sock, which will not move, and then you have the problem, - this especiallly when breaking in newer boots...
 

nickpellatt

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2015 Portuguese 2018 Norte May 2019 Finesterre and Muxia April 2019
I'm not an avid vaseline user, but I had a small jar and didnt use it from time to time on areas that felt like they may rub, or places that were sore or had small cuts or abrasions.

It didnt bother my socks too much.

My feet dont blister too much anyway.
 

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
I just wear either liner socks or nylons with my wool socks. No blisters, no need to carry vaseline or tape. I do have some foot glide that I put on my one little toe that has a corn on it.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I use a lotion called "Gloves in a Bottle." I put a light coating on my feet focusing on the heels and toes. It seems to be a very effective non-greasy lubricant for me. Since I started using it four years ago, I have been blister free.


Beware, that at the end of the day, watch you step when you get into the shower. The floor will seem more slippery because of the lotion.
This is an interesting suggestion. Gloves in a Bottle uses a silicone type of ingredient called dimethicone. It is a product that I have never used myself, but could be effective in place of vaseline or BodyGlide. It should be a lot more persistent on the feet.
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
The ideal is to reduce friction to the OUTSIDE of the sock, rather than on the inside next to the skin. Using a goop on the foot attempts to deal with a symptom that causes blistering, but it leaves the cause for the problem unsolved.

Primary prevention involves preventing the shear force friction, from socks rubbing on the skin, from causing blistering. This is done by:
  • Using a sock material which does not deform, becoming saggy and stretched. Socks like Smart Wool, Ice Breaker, Darn Tough, Coolmax, Wigwam, etc use synthetic content (even in those that are Merino Wool) to prevent sock deformation to good effect.
  • Proper sizing. Here, you want a fit that follows the opposite of what you want in footwear for hiking/walking. You want socks which are very snug on the feet, but not gangrene inducingly tight.
  • Wearing lightly padded socks. Heavier padding allows more movement of the sock against the skin.
  • Except on long and steep downhill grades, wear shoes on the loose side. This allows the sock to remain in place against the skin by allowing the sock to remain in place on the foot, but allowing the shoe to slightly slide around the sock. A tight shoe can force the sock to move against the skin.
An effective add on to the shoe is the application of the self-adhering Engo Anti-Blister patches. They are very effective at preventing shear force friction blistering by making it easy for the sock to move inside the shoe. Again, this keeps the shoe from forcing the sock to rub against the skin.

For those interested, I did a thorough review of the Engo Patches in an earlier Forum post.

For hotspot treatments, Leukotape P, Omnifix tape, Moleskin, sports tape (the white adhesive tape stuff) are better than Compeed for a few reasons.

An issue with using slippery substances on the feet, they will interfere with the application of hot spot treatments. Most treatments for the pre-blister hot-spot involves the application of barrier materials, like tapes or moleskin, etc, so it is vital for the adhesives to adhere securely to the skin. The adhesives will fail if applied to skin coated with lubricant. So care must be taken to use hand sanitizer or alcohol to clean the goop off of the skin.

If committed to using skin goops for blister prevention, use preparations that do not require more frequent application. Pure petrolatum-based goops, like vaseline, tend to rub off fairly quickly and get absorbed into to the skin as they are warmed up from body heat.

Ironically, the softening effect to the skin by the absorption of petrolatums can make one more prone to blistering.

So a goop that is more persistent and less absorbable will perform better. I would look for a more 'waxy' type of goop. Many times, beeswax is an ingredient for these types of foot or skin treatments for blister protection. BodyGlide, HikerGoo, ChafeX, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc all use this type of formulation. These products might include some petrolatum as a part of the formula, but it is the beeswax and paraffins and other waxy components which allow for a longer duration of the product on the skin.
davebugg you are a wealth if knowledge, thank you for your thorough response. Dee
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I just wear either liner socks or nylons with my wool socks. No blisters, no need to carry vaseline or tape. I do have some foot glide that I put on my one little toe that has a corn on it.
I used liner socks for a long time when backpacking, and they can be effective.

It is interesting that the same mechanism which allows liner socks to work -if the proper methods of wearing them are observed - is the same mechanism of prevention that Engo Patches provide.

I remember during the testing of the Engo that the though suddenly popped into my mind that if someone uses liner sock/dual sock strategies for blister prevention that this can be an effective substitute. I included that observation in the Engo Patch Forum post write up, too. For those who wanted to move away from the dual sock approach, this could be an option.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
davebugg you are a wealth if knowledge, thank you for your thorough response. Dee
If I helped, I am glad to be of service. :) If you need more anti-blister guidelines OR blister treatment guidelines, just send me a PM.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
This is an interesting suggestion. Gloves in a Bottle uses a silicone type of ingredient called dimethicone. It is a product that I have never used myself, but could be effective in place of vaseline or BodyGlide. It should be a lot more persistent on the feet.
There have been posts in the past, most notably from @wayfarer recommending Gloves in a Bottle.

 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
There are products that last longer than Vaseline and don't mess up your socks so bad. One is RunGoo from www.footkinetics.com You can find other recommendations from ultra-marathoners on www.fixingyourfeet.com

Like DaveBugg, I highly recommend the Engo patches. I learned about the Engo patches from that FixingYourFeet site, too, after I wrote to the guy asking what I could use instead of having to re-tape my feet every day. The Engo patches stay in your shoes and were like magic in reducing friction. I gave some away to other pilgrims for whom they worked, too. Mine have been in my shoes for over two years.
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
One is RunGoo from www.footkinetics.com You can find other recommendations from ultra-marathoners on www.fixingyourfeet.com
😁 :D I swear, Footkinetics is an example of how manufacturers just put the same product into different packaging for the purpose of targeting a specific market(s). HikeGoo and RunGoo and WalkGoo are basically the same ingredients, slightly modified based on the types of waxes used.

These are great products, but I can't help but think that FootKinetics is marketing three distinct products without much difference :)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
They ARE marketing the same product for different uses. I was going to order samples and wrote and asked them and they basically admitted that. They said walkers/hikers kind of balked at buying a product made for runners. I think one is slightly thicker than another but I bet there is no difference in use.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
Merrell Moab Ventilators 2 + 2 pairs of merino hiking socks (light & Medium guage) + Gehwol footcream = 2,000 km and counting blister free.

I've never used vaseline on my feet, my impression would be that most of it rubs off or evaporates into the sock. The barrier cream I used moisturises the skin and provides a protective barrier against blister's. I've never had to remove it from socks so must go somewhere and bargain at little under £8 squid for 75ml tube, lasted me 1,000 km 🤠
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Compeed is really not for prevention, but for treating deroofed blisters, and in my opinion is quite expensive to use as a preventative.
@trecile, you beat me to the punch again. It seems that too many people don't know how to use compeed as the manufacturer intended. Of course they don't really care if you use it when you don't have to. It's money in the bank to them.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Compeed is the name of the company that makes a number of products, one of which is a silicon type liquid skin that can be applied to skin to create an outter layer to take the brunt of the friction. It isn't supposed to be used with open wounds or blisters. It is a preventative or for use on hot spots.

I have never seen this product in the pharmacies in Spain but I met many French people on the Le Puy using it.

There used to be a similar Aussie product called Blister Bomb, but it seems to have been discontinued. I used this every morning on high risk spots and reapplied it during longer breaks. Never had a blister.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Compeed is the name of the company that makes a number of products, one of which is a silicon type liquid skin that can be applied to skin to create an outter layer to take the brunt of the friction. It isn't supposed to be used with open wounds or blisters. It is a preventative or for use on hot spots.
This is true, they also make an antifriction stick, similar to Body/Foot Glide, but when people say that "I put a Compeed on it" 99% of the time they are talking about the Compeed blister plaster, not the antifriction stick or liquid.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
This is true, they also make an antifriction stick, similar to Body/Foot Glide, but when people say that "I put a Compeed on it" 99% of the time they are talking about the Compeed blister plaster, not the antifriction stick or liquid.
True. And usually when I see someone talking about compeed, I sit on my hands. :)
 

Cdancer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
On my first day of the Camino I met people who had walked multiple times on Frances They use A and D baby ointment which they gave me a spare tube. It worked great except you cannot get it in Spain. Being a pharmacist I understood that blister are caused by friction so here is what I found you can make a pretty close copy of A&D ointment by mixing the following
2 parts petroleum jelly ( vasoline ) one part mineral oil and one part lanolin. All of which you can get at Claire’s throughout Spain. You will find that this works much better than the Vaseline alone I also use a 12 percent urea cream at night before going to bed to soften and deep moisturize my feet. I used comped occasionally and had only one small blister on a day I did 25k. I wouldn’t have had that one if I would have re applied during that day of my longest walk. I also used saloman boots which were well broken in and the best merlon. Socks. Best money I ever spent after seeing all the people with foot problems. PS I am 70 and felt bad for all the tennis shoes kids with blisters
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
There are products that last longer than Vaseline and don't mess up your socks so bad. One is RunGoo from www.footkinetics.com You can find other recommendations from ultra-marathoners on www.fixingyourfeet.com

Like DaveBugg, I highly recommend the Engo patches. I learned about the Engo patches from that FixingYourFeet site, too, after I wrote to the guy asking what I could use instead of having to re-tape my feet every day. The Engo patches stay in your shoes and were like magic in reducing friction. I gave some away to other pilgrims for whom they worked, too. Mine have been in my shoes for over two years.
I also used the Engo patches and they are still on my orthotics a year later. Still going strong. Hugely successful in preventing rubbing!
 

Micah26

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
Last year I did my first and only Camino. I can tell you I worried more about blisters than most! I have very soft feet, I never walk barefoot and until last year never walked or hiked more than 5 mi. I spent 6 was on the Way during Sept-Oct. I wore merino wool socks and Teva Omnium Sandals. I did not have one blister or hot spot! I think the socks gave me a good cushion and the sandals allowed my feet to be aired reducing sweat. Luckily I did not have any rainy days... I did take a pair of New Balance sneakers for a second pair of shoes that I walked in 2x... I wore them at night. This is what worked for me. Try options before you go and I’m sure you will find options that work!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2006)Sarria-SDC,(2007)Leon-Sarria,(2008)Burgos-Leon,(2009)SJPP-Burgos,(2010)Sarria-SDC,(2013)SJPP-SDC.
On Wayfarer's recommendation a number of years ago I started to use Gloves in a Bottle, have been blister free ever since.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
The ideal is to reduce friction to the OUTSIDE of the sock, rather than on the inside next to the skin. Using a goop on the foot attempts to deal with a symptom that causes blistering, but it leaves the cause for the problem unsolved.

Primary prevention involves preventing the shear force friction, from socks rubbing on the skin, from causing blistering. This is done by:
  • Using a sock material which does not deform, becoming saggy and stretched. Socks like Smart Wool, Ice Breaker, Darn Tough, Coolmax, Wigwam, etc use synthetic content (even in those that are Merino Wool) to prevent sock deformation to good effect.
  • Proper sizing. Here, you want a fit that follows the opposite of what you want in footwear for hiking/walking. You want socks which are very snug on the feet, but not gangrene inducingly tight.
  • Wearing lightly padded socks. Heavier padding allows more movement of the sock against the skin.
  • Except on long and steep downhill grades, wear shoes on the loose side. This allows the sock to remain in place against the skin by allowing the sock to remain in place on the foot, but allowing the shoe to slightly slide around the sock. A tight shoe can force the sock to move against the skin.
An effective add on to the shoe is the application of the self-adhering Engo Anti-Blister patches. They are very effective at preventing shear force friction blistering by making it easy for the sock to move inside the shoe. Again, this keeps the shoe from forcing the sock to rub against the skin.

For those interested, I did a thorough review of the Engo Patches in an earlier Forum post.

For hotspot treatments, Leukotape P, Omnifix tape, Moleskin, sports tape (the white adhesive tape stuff) are better than Compeed for a few reasons.

An issue with using slippery substances on the feet, they will interfere with the application of hot spot treatments. Most treatments for the pre-blister hot-spot involves the application of barrier materials, like tapes or moleskin, etc, so it is vital for the adhesives to adhere securely to the skin. The adhesives will fail if applied to skin coated with lubricant. So care must be taken to use hand sanitizer or alcohol to clean the goop off of the skin.

If committed to using skin goops for blister prevention, use preparations that do not require more frequent application. Pure petrolatum-based goops, like vaseline, tend to rub off fairly quickly and get absorbed into to the skin as they are warmed up from body heat.

Ironically, the softening effect to the skin by the absorption of petrolatums can make one more prone to blistering.

So a goop that is more persistent and less absorbable will perform better. I would look for a more 'waxy' type of goop. Many times, beeswax is an ingredient for these types of foot or skin treatments for blister protection. BodyGlide, HikerGoo, ChafeX, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc all use this type of formulation. These products might include some petrolatum as a part of the formula, but it is the beeswax and paraffins and other waxy components which allow for a longer duration of the product on the skin.
I have great sensitivity to wool and have always used Wigwam socks and they have worked great for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada - Santiago (2013)
Porto to Santiago (2015)
Lugo to Finisterre (2017)
Porto Coastal (2019)
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
I used to use vaseline, but I was told it heats up. The last two Camino's I have used lanolin, with no blister issues. It is difficult to buy lanolin these days but found this company.
 

Aglass

Andrew
Camino(s) past & future
Walked el Camino Frances in 2003. Did the Primitivo in August 13 and Ruta lebaniega in July 14. Summer 2016 - Camino del Salvador.
One day: Ruta de la Plata into the Sanabres, maybe part of the Norte, and perhaps the Olvidado.
I usually put alcohol on my feet on the Camino. I must have heard it from someone back in 2003 - when I did my first one. It does seem to protect against blisters but not sure if it good for my feet!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I've seen on one official US military website (Marines?) that antiperspirant on the feet helps prevent blisters as it reduces moisture in the boot and wet skin is more prone to get blisters. But I've also read that this isn't something to do. You may want to experiment with this off camino.

Edit - I just thought that using antiperspirant on the feet might be effective for a couple of days of long marches but not so good for the feet over a month's walking.
 
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tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
That was my thoughts when I first heard of it. Having used a variant on five trips on the camino, I can assure you, it has no adverse affects on your socks, unlike compeed. If it comes off inside your socks, you are never getting it off. I dont use vaseline though. I originally used Umguentum de Peregrino at €12 a jar but when I ran out in Hospital de Orbigo, no one stocked it, in fact, no one even had vaseline. On my next camino, the hospitalera in Cizur Menor recommended the use of Vick. It is available everywhere at half the price of the Umguentum and it works a treat. As I said, five trips to the Camino and never had any blister problems and my socks are still in daily use (not the same pair every day 😂 ). As an aside, the hospitalera claimed Vick repels bedbugs but I can not vouch for that as I have never come across the critturs. To use, rub all over the foot and between the toes. Your feet will thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
TRied and tested method which has worked for numerous caministas for years.
No blisters!
 

c0484

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
Just remember that you have to wash it out of your socks. Personally, I opted for silk sock liners from REI. No blisters and no hot spots.
 

Holly West

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
I just put it on my heels and all the way up past the top of my socks. No blisters and my feet did really well. there are also some body glide types of sticks which we used also the same way. Good luck!
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 14, May 17, September 18
I swear by a product called NOK. On my last Camino, the tube fell out from my side pocket during my journey to Porto and I could not find anything on the trail that worked as well and ended up with a nasty blister on my heel. Had never had a problem before. It even makes your socks smell better - not perfumey, but kind of eucaliptic (is this a word!!??) Anyway, it works for me. I get it at our MEC store in Canada, but believe you can buy it online.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
That was my thoughts when I first heard of it. Having used a variant on five trips on the camino, I can assure you, it has no adverse affects on your socks, unlike compeed. If it comes off inside your socks, you are never getting it off. I dont use vaseline though. I originally used Umguentum de Peregrino at €12 a jar but when I ran out in Hospital de Orbigo, no one stocked it, in fact, no one even had vaseline. On my next camino, the hospitalera in Cizur Menor recommended the use of Vick. It is available everywhere at half the price of the Umguentum and it works a treat. As I said, five trips to the Camino and never had any blister problems and my socks are still in daily use (not the same pair every day 😂 ). As an aside, the hospitalera claimed Vick repels bedbugs but I can not vouch for that as I have never come across the critturs. To use, rub all over the foot and between the toes. Your feet will thank you
Doesn't Vicks have petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline) as its base?
 

bbates225

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July (2017) Camino Frances (couldn't finish)
June/July (2020) Camino Frances (will try again)
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
For my Camino is 2017 I had read about Vaseline and I did use it. However, I also used liner socks. Vaseline, liner sock, then hiking sock. Nary a blister. Was it the Vaseline, the liner socks or a combination there of... no idea. I just know it worked for me. Didn't help with the heel bursitis though. That's what halted my Camino before I finished. Perhaps Vaseline every day and the double sock routine actually caused the bursitis somehow. I wish I knew. I want to try again next year but the bursitis was fearsome. Don't know how to NOT have it happen again. Oh, and I never did feel that I got the liner socks completely Vaseline free when washing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
The English Way
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
My wife and I have used vasaline in training walks. It's been great. Plus it doesn't mess up your socks. Rub it in all over your feet in a thin film. Regards Bruce and Margaret.
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
I recommend Body Glide on the feet with Injinji liners. No blisters ever!
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Re alcohol
From my time in Scotland and hillwalking:
Never wash your feet in the morning but the night before,
Some of my mates rubbed some methylated spirits that I had for my Trangia on their heels to make the skin smooth and firm on the heel esp and to cause less friction w the socks, tried it too...

Alcohol per mouth:
Always go for single malt, Speyside for instance....
and never the methylated spirits.....
 
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makingtrax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
I used vicks every night for the 4 weeks on camino frances. Rubbed each foot just as I got into bed to sleep. So next morning any stickiness had gone. Was told the menthol relaxes the feet so makes sleep come easier and stopped blisters forming. Worked for me.
 

auburnfive

Active Member
FYI, there is a product called Goo Gone that got rid of the Compeed gunk that was left behind in my socks 2 years previously!
Gets gum out of carpet, too.
 

Jbirk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018)
Via Francigena Sept (2018)
Del Norte Aug (2019)
I also vote for Engo patches. I’ve got 1500 miles on them with no blisters.
 

GailGwyn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
part Camino Frances (2013). Part Camino Norte (2016} Camino Frances (2019) from SJPP
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
I walked the Camino Frances in May this year and used Vaseline every day on my feet. I rubbed it all over - top and bottom, and in between my toes. I wore a thin pair of merino socks and a pair of slightly thicker merino mix socks on top.

I didn't get a single blister and neither and neither did my husband, who followed the same method.

Planning on walking the Camino Portuguese next year and will definitely do the same again.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Doesn't Vicks have petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline) as its base?
It does indeed as does the Umguentum de Peregrino. Reason for not using vaseline is as I said, not available everywhere but Vick is. The Umguentum also contains Aloe Vera to help heal any existing problems. Lots of other useful ingredients but you can read the label yourself if you buy it. Only slightly dearer than Vick as it comes in a bigger jar. But no matter which choice, they all lubricate your feet and do no harm to your socks
 

lynnamiller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
You might not believe this, but as well as vasoline and two pairs of socks, a MaxiPad on top of the insole in your shoe wicks all the moisture away from your foot. After two blisters on my first Camino, a Portugeuse woman told me about MaxiPads and gave me some, and with them I have had no blisters since on the next three! And its fun watching men trying to figure out what size MaxiPad to buy, but the pharmacies along the Camino are used to men buying them. When I was a hospitalero in Camiino last year I gave away a package of them every week.
 

Loretta S

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
The ideal is to reduce friction to the OUTSIDE of the sock, rather than on the inside next to the skin. Using a goop on the foot attempts to deal with a symptom that causes blistering, but it leaves the cause for the problem unsolved.

Primary prevention involves preventing the shear force friction, from socks rubbing on the skin, from causing blistering. This is done by:
  • Using a sock material which does not deform, becoming saggy and stretched. Socks like Smart Wool, Ice Breaker, Darn Tough, Coolmax, Wigwam, etc use synthetic content (even in those that are Merino Wool) to prevent sock deformation to good effect.
  • Proper sizing. Here, you want a fit that follows the opposite of what you want in footwear for hiking/walking. You want socks which are very snug on the feet, but not gangrene inducingly tight.
  • Wearing lightly padded socks. Heavier padding allows more movement of the sock against the skin.
  • Except on long and steep downhill grades, wear shoes on the loose side. This allows the sock to remain in place against the skin by allowing the sock to remain in place on the foot, but allowing the shoe to slightly slide around the sock. A tight shoe can force the sock to move against the skin.
An effective add on to the shoe is the application of the self-adhering Engo Anti-Blister patches. They are very effective at preventing shear force friction blistering by making it easy for the sock to move inside the shoe. Again, this keeps the shoe from forcing the sock to rub against the skin.

For those interested, I did a thorough review of the Engo Patches in an earlier Forum post.

For hotspot treatments, Leukotape P, Omnifix tape, Moleskin, sports tape (the white adhesive tape stuff) are better than Compeed for a few reasons.

An issue with using slippery substances on the feet, they will interfere with the application of hot spot treatments. Most treatments for the pre-blister hot-spot involves the application of barrier materials, like tapes or moleskin, etc, so it is vital for the adhesives to adhere securely to the skin. The adhesives will fail if applied to skin coated with lubricant. So care must be taken to use hand sanitizer or alcohol to clean the goop off of the skin.

If committed to using skin goops for blister prevention, use preparations that do not require more frequent application. Pure petrolatum-based goops, like vaseline, tend to rub off fairly quickly and get absorbed into to the skin as they are warmed up from body heat.

Ironically, the softening effect to the skin by the absorption of petrolatums can make one more prone to blistering.

So a goop that is more persistent and less absorbable will perform better. I would look for a more 'waxy' type of goop. Many times, beeswax is an ingredient for these types of foot or skin treatments for blister protection. BodyGlide, HikerGoo, ChafeX, Compeed Anti-Blister Stick, etc all use this type of formulation. These products might include some petrolatum as a part of the formula, but it is the beeswax and paraffins and other waxy components which allow for a longer duration of the product on the skin.
I had horrible blisters on my camino in 2017. Doing a last minute (leave in 2 weeks) camino beginning in Leon and worried sick about blisters. Would the Engo Patches help to prevent blisters on the toes? Not worried about my heels. Using different shoes (Hoka's instead of boots) and maybe going to try a wide.
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC '17. Budapest-Vezelay '18. Alicante-Burgos '19
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP '18
Add my vote for Vick. I massage my feet with a small amount of Vick (or a similar vaseline-based vapour rub) just before I go to bed. The vapours are more pleasant than foot odour(!) so make me more willing to give my feet the necessary attention. Vick wafting through my sleeping liner also clears my sinuses so I'm less likely to snore. It absorbs into my skin, so my feet feel dry before I put socks on in the morning. My feet have seemed more robust since I adopted this approach when mountain walking thirty years ago.
Add another vote for Injinji toed sock liners too.
 

CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
Are used body glide on my feet. It’s made for runners feet and it’s not as greasy as Vaseline and it worked really well. I think that might be a name brand but there are all sorts of brands of this type of application.
 

Mera

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
I used 5-toe liner sox and lightly padded smart wool sox. When I felt a hot spot while walking, I immediately wrapped it with moleskin. While walking, took my boots off and aired my feet several times. Had no blisters during the last 3 caminos.
 

SiobhanGalway

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - part of; Roncesvalles to Pamplona (2005)
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
I walked from Tui to Santiago this July with a Spanish friend - we both had Vaseline in our bags without even consulting each other, coincidence ... but a great one! We used it every day then put the socks on and walked. It worked a treat, no blisters and no problem whatsoever with the feet or with the socks -they washed out perfectly. The Vaseline gets absorbed into the skin. Definitely would recommend 👍🏼
 

Leandra

Leandra
Camino(s) past & future
French Way, starting on may 21st 2019
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
Vaseline was amazing for me! Unfortunately I found out about it, after many painful blisters! Buen Camino!!
 

TAF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019
Gehwol foot cream worked for me. Used it under feet and between toes in the morning, not rubbing it in but leaving a bit of a coating. I reapplied and changed my socks half way through the days walk. I had no blisters or hot spots. Buen Camino
 

candi

New Member
I am getting ready for Camino #2 and curious about posts where pilgrims put vaseline on their feet to reduce friction. My1st camino my feet did well aside from an occasional hot spot which i used compeed on and problem solved. So my ? is, do you rub vaseline all over your feet? doesnt it stick to inside of your socks? I would think it makes washing your socks icky? Advice? Thanks Dee
I used Vaseline on my whole foot my last Camino, changed my liners regularly throughout the day when they got sweaty and had no blisters. I also would tape hot spots. I think it works great.
 

taigirl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
A paramedic friend suggests using a piece of a condom taped over a blister or hot spot. Lubricated side against the skin. Anyone tried it?
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
You might not believe this, but as well as vasoline and two pairs of socks, a MaxiPad on top of the insole in your shoe wicks all the moisture away from your foot. After two blisters on my first Camino, a Portugeuse woman told me about MaxiPads and gave me some, and with them I have had no blisters since on the next three! And its fun watching men trying to figure out what size MaxiPad to buy, but the pharmacies along the Camino are used to men buying them. When I was a hospitalero in Camiino last year I gave away a package of them every week.
How do you fit all that stuff in your shoes?
 

lynnamiller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
How do you fit all that stuff in your shoes?
I already had one size larger shoes, and one pair of the socks are very thin polypropolene, something we learned hiking in the Utah slot canyons. And the MaxiPads flatten down very quickly. BTW, if I didn't say it earlier, you will need to use new, dry MaxiPads every day.
 

Ste66

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Camino (Frances) Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela by bike 2015 completed walk from St Jean pied de port to Pamplona July 2016
I use either Vaseline or beeswax but I find Vaseline has to be reapplied after 15 to 20 kilometres or so. Beeswax, on the other hand lasts a fair bit longer but either one works fine
 

gml

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago, Sept/Oct 2012
Le Puy to Roncesvalles, Oct/Nov 2014
I'm among the Vaseline fans. I put a sparse smear of it on my feet each morning, including between toes, followed by a thin synthetic liner sock (Wigwam Gobi liner), followed by Smartwool hiking socks. I wash the liners every day and don't care if less than 100% of the Vaseline comes out in the wash, but most of it does come out. I have never had a blister (or hot feet) using this method. I think, too, that whenever you feel even a slight bit of friction, it's essential to stop immediately and investigate, rather than letting it go on for awhile (awhile=blister!). Many a time, repositioning a sock or adjusting the laces of my shoes has solved the problem.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
I've used NOK, available at any pharmacy in France, and it works pretty well. The secret (not very secret, it's on the tube) is to start using it about three weeks before you leave. Put it on just before you go to bed. Give your feet a good long massage with it.
Or you can save money and smell nice by using coconut oil, the exact same stuff you use for cooking. Same thing, use for some time before you leave. Also, never miss a chance to take your shoes and socks off and air your feet. Not to mention going for a paddle in any river you pass.
 

Nigel Clark

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May /June 2017
September / October 2019
Vicks VapoRub worked for me in 2017 so will definitely be using it again this September plus liners and merino wool socks .
 

RuediG

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Dovadola-Assisi-Rome (2019)
A side note: I have no blister problem and don't use Vaseline against blisters. My socks are cheap Walmart socks who just happen to work great for me.

I do use Vaseline, though, because I tend to get cracked skin, both on the heels and the bottoms of my feet. ( This happens regardless what type of sock I wear. In fact, nice wool socks tend to be worse.) The Vaseline softens my skin and lets the cracks heal.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017), plus more than 2000 Km/year of trekking, hiking and minor caminos since 2000.
"Preparation H" is my magic cream for my feet, nipples, groin folds and the space between the butt cheeks.
A must, coming from my experience as ultratrail runner. :cool:
 
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Jackie Robinson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Time this year
I used Vaseline (well, it was non-branded petroleum jelly from the baby section of my local Superdrug) on my feet every day and the only blister I got was from the flip flops I'd brought to wear during boots-off time.. Sock washing wasn't an issue.. I has a bar of Dettol soap and used to pull the socks over my hands and rub the bar between them then give them a good old strubbing = job done. I did take compeed and Elastoplast with me but didn't need either.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I am a Vaseline user. I cover my feet totally and use liner socks. No problem with washing socks.

2015 walked 5 months and three weeks, one baby blister, when I didn't use Vaseline
2016 walked 5 months and one week, one baby blister when I didn't use Vaseline
2017 walked 5 months and three weeks, no blisters.

Everyday at midday/mid walk halt I change socks and re-apply Vaseline

Each to their own though
Davey
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I read this entire thread with interest and am now ready to offer my 'two cents' worth.

I side with Davebugg on prevention being better than treatment of problems after the fact. I also feel that moisturizing with Vaseline can be highly effective.

For what it is worth, here is my foot preparation system. I used this over six Caminos, covering about 3,000 km.

Socks, to cover my feet and provide cushioning:

I wear an inner, thin, liner sock made of microfiber. I get mine from REI. They come in white and navy blue, I recommend the latter, dark color as they do get grundgy after a month or so. However, in a pinch, like if I lost the liners I brought with me, I have picked up large sized ladies nylon ankle-high stretch socks for nil cost in a China Bazar shop. They work as well, but can be hotter.

I wear an outer, thickish sock from Smartwool - their medium weight merino socks with some elastic material woven in for durability and stretch, provides adequate cushioning for me. They have heavier weight socks if need be. But, medium works in my experience.

Moisturizing:

Nightly, I apply Vaseline or Vasenol as it is called in Portugal to my feet after showering. I then put on the liner socks I will wear the following day. I sleep in these sock liners. This ensures the Vaseline stays only on my feet.

In the morning, I do not add more Vaseline. I only add Vaseline if I felt the need to have a morning shower before setting out. It wakes me up.

This plan has worked for me for six trips.

Hope this helps.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
[/QUOTE]
Compeed is really not for prevention, but for treating deroofed blisters, and in my opinion is quite expensive to use as a preventative.
I only need to use a tiny piece over a few days if I get a hot spot early on. Not expensive at all in small amounts. It has nice comfy cushioning and stays on in the shower. I'm gonna keep using it when needed. It's worked great for me on five long caminos!
 

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