How can I prevent blisters?

blisters

Blisters are caused by abrasion against the skin. Lubricating the skin can keep that abrasion from causing blisters. The lubricant you use should be one that will last for the length of your walk. Apply any lubricant liberally to your feet in any area that is prone to blistering.

  1. Lubrication – Vaseline or similar gel – It’s cheap and it works. Put great gobs of vaseline on your feet before you put on your Cool-Max socks. No, your feet don’t slide around in your shoes – the socks prevent that. No, it doesn’t feel slimy once you put on your socks. It doesn’t wash out well but who cares – these are walking socks!
  2. Socks – Select socks that fit your foot without being too tight or too loose. Choose soft wicking fabric such as coolmax (NO cotton). Cotton absorbs moisture and is usually a little rough in texture. Ensure that the socks do not have bulky stitching at the toes or heels. Lorpen, Thorlo, WigWam, and Thermolite are a few of the popular brands. Some people choose to wear two layers of socks (or a sock that is made with double layers) to aid in blister prevention.
  3. Shoes – As with many other walking ailments, begin with the shoes. Your shoes must fit properly to avoid blisters. Too snug or too loose is always a problem. Be sure that you have enough room to wiggle your toes inside the toe box, and your heel does not slip when you walk. But be careful! During your camino your feet will swell at least 1 european size becasuse of everyday-walking and warm up of your feet!!! Choose hiking shoes or hiking boots, but not a running or simple street-wear shoes. Choose shoes that breath well. Shoes with a lot of fabric or mesh combined with leather are better than a solid leather shoe.
  4. Rest your feet – When you have a break during the walk take off your shoes and socks to dry them a little, and rest your feet naked.
  5. Moleskin – Moleskin acts like a second layer of skin to help prevent new blisters while soothing and healing those that already exist. If you feel a little pain anywhere on your feet which can become a blister, do not hesitate, take off your shoes and socks and cover that point with a moleskin immediately. Popular brands are: Compeed, Salvequick

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