Russell was just getting back into bushwalking and was experiencing ongoing blister issues on his heels and the balls of both feet. With the help of his podiatrist, he built a hiking blister prevention plan that comprehensively dealt with his blisters. There are some lessons here we could all learn from, so I thought I'd share our conversation.
I’ve been seeing a podiatrist to get my feet working properly again. I had been a multi-day bushwalker in pre-children years but getting back into it as the children got older was not trouble free. I was getting serious blisters and just could not figure out what was going on. So working with the podiatrist to get my feet working properly again has helped. Also I have been working at losing weight and developing ultra-light systems for use when walking: to reduce pressure on my feet.
ENGO Blister Patches
The podiatrist put me onto the ENGO blister patches. They just make sense. Patch the shoe surface rather than the skin. I’ve tried taping, creams, powders, blister patches on hot spots etc etc. But all these have the problem that they rely on the staying on the skin.My feet get very damp when walking any distance. So, all these methods fail after a few kilometres. Your friction reducing patches get past that by relying on adhering to the shoe. The adhesive layer is protected and the patch is less likely to fail. Simple but brilliant idea! I’ve not done any serious multi-day walks since applying the patches but I can tell the difference in the 10-20 km walks I have managed. The spots that previously developed hot spots just haven’t. I’ll be able to tell you if they have made a real difference once I have done a serious multi-day walk again.
Russell Provided An Update a Few Months Later With Some Serious Bushwalking Under His Belt
Thanks for all your help with the teflon patches. They have been working fine for me in the weeks since your last email. I have gotten on top of my blister problem. I’m using a combination of the large rectangle ENGO patches across the forefoot strike area in the shoe, anti friction creams, tinea prevention and a double layer of socks (Coolmax toe socks inside thin Coolmax normal socks). It’s doing the trick. I just completed a 200km section of the Bibbulmun Track in 7 days with no blisters.
Well I Did Get One Blister (you'll love this!)
Well, I did get one. That one blister tells a story about how good the ENGO patches are. I was wearing an old pair of trial runners with a worn ENGO patch. I did not replace the patch because this would be the last wearing of these shoes. Anyway, I developed a blister on the little toe because the ENGO patch had worn out under that toe. So I replaced the patch. I had some just in case. No more problems after that. The blister deflated of its own accord as I kept walking. It was obviously replacing the worn patch that made the difference.I’ve ordered some more large patches to go into a new pair of trial runners and a pair of hiking boots I will be wearing on a winter trip into the mountains. Again thanks for your help. It is so good to be able to walk the long distances without blisters.
Are you on top of your blister situation? If you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing, I encourage you to take a look at the Fix My Foot Blisters Fast course. I'll walk you through the process of building a comprehensive hiking blister prevention plan. Or simply use the search function on this website to find free answers to your topic of interest.