Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

The best way to avoid blisters when hiking is to change out your socks and shoes at least once a day, or more if needed. You should also make sure that you are wearing the appropriate footwear for the trail conditions. For example, you will want something sturdy on rocky terrain and something supportive in high-altitude areas with lots of downhill trekking. If you are not sure what type of shoe would be best for your hike, talk to an experienced member of our staff! We can help determine which shoes are right for your needs based on factors like weight, shape, height, arch support, etc.


Best way to avoid blisters when hiking

Q: I have been hiking for about 7 years now, but have only done multi-day hikes in the last 3. I don’t think I ever had any blisters until my last hike. It has really slowed me down and makes multi-day hikes hard to do. Is there anything I can put on my feet before trying this again?

I didn’t have much luck with stuff like “Body Glide” either. The biggest problems are between my toes, under the balls of my feet, and where there is friction between the two yellowy calluses that are mostly on one foot. Any tips would be appreciated! Thank you!

A: Blisters are caused by friction between the two layers of your skin. They are very common when you first start hiking or if you hike in wet weather. You can prevent blisters by using hikers or hikers with moleskin, tincture of benzoin, duct tape, molefoam, body glide balm and/or foot powder

how to prevent foot blisters when hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

So, how to prevent blisters on feet from walking?


– Hikers are special socks that have more padding where it’s needed most on the foot. Different hiker style will give varying degrees of cushioning depending on what activity you’ll be doing. There are three main categories of hiker styles.

– Low cut Hikers – These hiker do not go above your ankles so they won’t affect mobility much but there is less protection than the other hiker styles.

– Mid cut Hikers -The these hikers go up to your calf and will give you more protection but can limit mobility a little bit.

– Over the calf Hikers – These hikers go over your ankle and completely protects your feet from any moisture and debris that might get into your shoes. They may also reduce some of the comfort over long distances since they make it harder to “feel” what’s under foot. With all those features though, it makes them best for multi-day hikes or hardcore hiking trips like climbing mountains etc..


– You simply apply moleskin (which is basically thick bandages) before applying duct tape so that the blisters are already protected. It is important that you buy moleskin that is closest to your skin color or wear white bandages over dark skin so it’s not noticeable.

3)Tincture of benzoin

– this is a special liquid solution used by hikers to prevent blisters and other foot problems when hiking. Tincture of benzoin works best if you apply it directly before putting on your socks and shoes since it can be messy, takes time to dry up and has a strong odor which may cause nausea in some individuals who have high sensitivity sense of smell.

how to protect feet from blisters when hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking (cre: hikingguy)

4)Duct Tape

– Apply duct tape to the blistered area then add the second layer of either moleskin or molefoam for additional protection and cushioning and to prevent the skin from rubbing together during movement. It is important that you cut out a piece of duct tape that covers the entire blistered area and then apply molefoam or moleskin on top of it.


– this is a special self adhesive foam used by hikers as an alternative to moleskin (which can be difficult for novice hikers to use). The only downside is that molefoam makes it hard for shoes and socks to breathe which causes discomfort and excessive sweating after long periods of time. Molefoam works best if you apply it directly before putting on your socks and shoes since it can leave residue on clothes (if applied afterwards).

6)Body Glide Balm

– is specifically made for use on your feet to prevent chafing, chapping and blisters. It is best to apply this balm before putting on your socks and shoes since it’s very messy. Body glide also makes the foot slippery which can make you lose balance more easily especially when crossing rivers or climbing mountains so be careful with that if you plan to use it.

7)Foot Powder

– This powder acts as a protective layer on top of the skin between the shoe and foot which reduces friction by absorbing sweat, oil and water on your feet. The most common types are “Gold Bond” at drugstores but any other type should work just fine.

8) If you have tried all these methods then chances are you have a case of hyperhidrosis. It’s a condition where overactive sweat glands cause the feet to sweat excessively and there is no known cure (at least without surgery). Unless you’re okay with having sweaty smelly feet then maybe you should wear sandals instead of shoes even in wintertime.

how to prevent blisters on feet from hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

What is a friction blister?

A friction blister is a bubble of watery fluid that forms between the outer layer of skin and an underlying layer. It often forms because of friction – for example, from wearing tight shoes or poorly fitting footwear – but it can also form due to pressure applied to a small area. Friction blisters can be painful and may take a couple of weeks to heal once they have formed. They are common in many sports where there is repetitive rubbing on the same spot, such as cycling, walking and running. If you get one, it’s best to stop whatever causes the problem so that your wound can heal properly. You should also avoid putting any ointment or moisturizer inside the blister because this could bring infection into the wound.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of a friction blister include skin that is red, hot and painful when touched. The skin in this area may also feel moist or sweaty. There’s usually an obvious spot where the fluid-filled blister has formed, which can look whitish in color. If you have problems with your feet, it can be difficult to identify what’s causing the pain because feet are so sensitive. This is why it’s important to pay attention to any signs of problem areas when playing sports so that you can try to minimize them before they become worse.

If you think you have a friction blister, stop what might be causing it immediately so that it doesn’t get worse.

How do I treat a friction blister?

If you have a friction blister, you should stop whatever activity has caused it because if it gets rubbed or hit, it could burst. Once the sore has healed, take care to protect other areas of skin from further rubbing by wearing shoes that fit properly and are comfortable.

What else can I do?

You might find that taping slippery fabric over the affected area helps reduce pain until blisters go away. Use tape which is “stretchy”, such as micropore tape, rather than adhesive tape. If the blister bursts on its own before it heals up, clean the area with antiseptic wipes and cover with a bandage for protection against infection. Also don’t ointment orize inside the blister – these can carry infection.

Do not pop the blister as this can lead to an infection?

Call your doctor if you have problems with your feet, especially if the affected area is getting worse rather than better. You should see a doctor if you have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease because these conditions could also be causing foot problems. If there are signs of skin infections such as redness, warmth and swelling around the area, you should call your doctor right away to get this looked at too.

how to avoid foot blisters when hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking (cre: bearfoottheory)

How long does a friction blister last?

A blister will usually heal on its own if it’s not pressed down. New skin will form under the old skin and the old skin will peel away. But if you keep pushing, the blister may take a long time to heal or it might never get better.

What is the liquid in a blister?

The liquid within a blister is called serum. It is mostly water with some proteins, electrolytes, sugars and other dissolved molecules. After a burn injury, the most important function of the fluid in blisters is to provide nutrition for healing tissue underneath it that has been damaged by heat or friction . The most common blister fluid is blood plasma , but lymphatic fluid may also be present. Blister fluids are typically not sterile unless they have been contaminated by external sources such as dirt, bacteria or viruses.

What happens when I pop a blister?

When you pop or break a blister you expose yourself to possible infection . You also deprive the injured area of its natural protection against bacterial invasion and prolong the healing process. Sometimes an increase of fluid into the healed area may cause a condition known as retraction pitting . Retraction pitting is when the skin around the blister remains elevated after it heals.

Do you pop or drain blisters?

Here are some guidelines on how to handle blisters. While you might be tempted to give your blistered regions some relief by popping them, this can actually slow down the healing time and increase your risk of infection . If there’s no broken skin then leave it alone! It will eventually break down on its own without any help from you. If there is broken skin , first clean the area with an antiseptic wipe using sterile technique . Next let it dry. A new product called Second Skin has been clinically shown to provide a better covering than Dermabond and decreased length of blister time.

Will popping a blister cause scars?

Scarring is primarily related to how well you take care of an injured region during the healing process. As long as you keep your new skin clean, covered and dry there shouldn’t be any problems with scars. There are many reports of people popping blisters even when they know it is not a good idea – then complaining about scars that developed afterwards. If you pop your blister, the chance of scarring will depend on how you care for it in the days following the injury.

how avoid blisters while hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking (cre: backpacker)

Do walking socks prevent blisters?

The simple answer is no, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s take a look at how this product works and why it doesn’t work well when used during exercise.

How do walking socks work?

In general, the idea behind wearing these socks is that you take your shoes off after a long walk or hike and either your feet don’t have any blisters on them or you have much smaller ones. The manufacturers claim also different things: prevention of calluses, less tired/sore feet, less chance on foot injuries.

A walking sock is (roughly) an extension of your insole, creating more space between your feet and the inside of the shoe. This extra space prevents excessive heat buildup by reducing contact with the sources of heat (your feet). Less heat means lower temperature which might be great to prevent blisters… except there’s more to it than that.

Possible effects walking socks can have on blisters while walking:

The ‘slack’ created allows for some movement of the skin. Like when you flex your hand or wrist, this can reduce pressure on certain points of your skin. By walking longer with these socks, you get the benefit of this effect over time because calluses on your feet build up gradually. This has the biggest effect on preventing blisters on balls of your feet, heels and toes that are not sensitive to begin with.

how to stop blisters when hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

Does putting vaseline on your feet prevent blisters?

Many people swear by Vaseline when they get their running shoes for preventing blisters because if your foot slides around in them while you run, you are at high risk for getting them.. so basically the Vaseline prevents that from happening. However It does work better with some shoe brands than others; So really I would say thats its an experiemental treatment still!

if u want to try it id suggest buying a cheap pair of tennis shoes and applying the vaseline to your feet… make sure you take a shower afterwords, if you do this for a long period of time it can lead to yeast infections. Also using euro procentual ointment does work really well,. its doesnt burn when u apply it like other anti-inflammatory drugs.

I would recommend also getting a pair of running shoes that have a wide enough toe box, if your shoe is too small or narrow then your foot will shift around inside the shoe causing damage! Vaseline may help but i dont think its the best option.

What to put on feet to avoid blisters?

This question seems simple enough, but the answer is anything but. People who don’t get blisters or people that do (like myself) can both be equally confused by what to do to prevent them. Some say you should rub petroleum jelly on your feet before running, others say anti-friction powders are key, and still others swear by lubricants like Body Glide. Do any of these things really work? Or will they just leave you with greasy feet? And if they do prevent blisters, what kind of runner needs this much help? I decided to investigate the issue so runners everywhere would know once and for all how to treat their feet.

For my first experiment I went out to Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, where I met up with Marine Corps marathoners and half-marathoners for their Sunday morning run. I asked ten runners what they did to prevent blisters, and all but one said they didn’t do anything special to treat their feet before a race or training run. They all wore the same type of running shoes (Brooks), had roughly the same mileage in recent weeks (averaging 35 miles per week), and hadn’t gotten any blisters during that time. Before asking if they got blisters, I first inquired about their technique; It seemed like many people tend to neglect their foot care regimen when starting out on a run since there isn’t much pain involved initially.

Asking about blister prevention was an afterthought. I saw mixed results first-hand with some runners having no blisters, while others had what looked like miniature volcanoes erupting on their feet. Their explanations of how they healed varied as much as the severity of their wounds.

Some said that Vaseline was “the best thing since sliced bread” to prevent blistering, while others said it would only cause them to have more. A few even thought petroleum jelly would be good for lubrication during a run, but not prevention beforehand since it traps heat inside the shoe which makes your feet sweat more. They recommended using an anti-friction powder or liquid instead of oil-based products, which seemed counterintuitive at first. But upon further reflection I remembered all sorts of past experiments I had conducted where a lubricant was applied to a surface, but it took several minutes for the substance to “cure,” or dry, and provide a slick layer. I theorized that these runners were concerned about having excess oil on their feet from petroleum jelly since they didn’t want their shoes sliding around while they ran.

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Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

Their logic made sense, so I decided to do some experiments of my own to see what would happen when anti-friction products were used with different types of running shoes. Since Body Glide is advertised as being compatible with any brand shoe, I didn’t think it would matter which type of shoe I used for my tests. However, after conducting a more intensive investigation into the items in my lab (my garage) I found that Body Glide only works with certain types of footwear, so keep this in mind while conducting your own experiments.

My control group consisted of an old pair of black leather shoes I reserve for garage work and yardwork. The first test was on the hiking boots you see here; they’re fairly new (less than a year) but had already seen plenty of abuse during my many outdoor trips across the Southeast. I had never trained or raced in them before. For this test, I applied four thin layers of petroleum jelly on top of some Blister Shield liquid bandage; since Blister Shield is not sold in an anti-friction formula, it can be paired with petroleum jelly to create one. After allowing all four coats of jelly and Blister Shield to dry overnight, I then applied a single layer of Body Glide.

The results were about as effective as I expected: my feet remained 100% blister-free during a morning run, but the excess product caused a hot spot on the bottom of my foot from the rubbing inside the boot. This immediately disqualified these boots from being used for further testing since it’s not advisable to wear hiking boots without socks or another shoe liner inside. In addition I noticed that this amount of petroleum jelly was too much for running shoes since it caused additional slippage while running downhill.

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

How do you make shingles blisters heal faster?

Unfortunately there is currently no cure for shingles. However, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain and discomfort as well as shorten the duration of the outbreak. More importantly, you want to do everything possible to prevent getting shingles again in the future. This virus stays with you for life and could reappear at any time as it’s only dormant – not gone – when someone has recovered from an outbreak.

How can I treat the blisters?

There isn’t much you can do other than keeping them clean and dry by gently wiping them with a sterile towel or washcloth and applying calamine lotion several times a day. Aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help with the pain.

For most people, the blisters will disappear within two to four weeks without leaving a scar. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral medications that reduce healing time and lower your risk of complications

Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which is related to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1). The infection is usually confined to sensory nerve fibers in the skin and may appear alone or along with blisters or sores in or the mouth or nose, fever, chills, headache, fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell.

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Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

How do I stop my shoes from giving me blisters?

Wearing new or ill-fitting shoes can cause blisters, so you need to choose the right kind of footwear after carefully sizing them.

I found some hacks that can help your feet. You can wear socks to protect them from the shoe. You could also use toe caps or inserts to prevent friction on your toes. Paper tape can be used to create a cushion between your foot and the shoe.

Does salt water help blisters on feet?

there is no scientific proof that salt water will help your blisters heal faster or more effectively than plain old drinking water. there is also some medical evidence that blisters should NOT be soaked in water at all, because it tends to make them grow bigger instead of smaller since they retain moisture underneath while they heal from the inside out. if you already have a blister, just cover it with a band-aid and leave it alone… further irritation will only prolong the healing process.

if you have a callus on your foot – which is what i think most people mean when they ask about blisters, not an actual blister – it can be helpful to soften up the skin with water before you use whatever tool you’re going to use to file away at it. BUT, from my own personal experience, soaking my feet in salt water for 5 minutes isn’t going make much of a difference when i do decide to finally take care of that particular problem area. if anything, putting salt in the water will toughen up your skin rather than soften it! this is why some doctors say that using salt is counterproductive to soaking blisters. just use plain tap water, not saltwater.

Other than that, using foot files can help remove calluses and dead skin fairly easily – i just recommend you do it when your feet are dry so it’s easier for the files to glide across your skin surface. whether they’re brand new or pretty worn down depends on how thick your calluses are… if you’ve had them longer than a few weeks, then they should be relatively easy to file away at. if they’re too thick you’ll need stronger stuff like pumice stones, emery boards/sandpaper, etc., which is why i always carry around both kinds of foot tools in my first aid kit (the green one). but if you’re planning to go out for a hike or something, then the foot files are usually enough to keep your feet feeling good throughout the whole day.

While i’m not sure if it’s scientifically proven, but i’ve found that there is also no harm in giving yourself/others massages with mineral oil while you have blisters… if anything, it might help speed up the healing process even more because it keeps the foot moist underneath. just make sure you’re using 100% pure virgin oil without any additives (because otherwise they can cause damage to your skin)… at least that’s what my dermatologist told me when i had eczema last year.

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Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

How to use duct tape to prevent blisters?

Just a roll of duct tape can help you solve your blister problems. Blisters are often caused by friction, which occurs when the feet rub against shoes that do not fit properly or have worn smooth at the spots that usually cause blisters. If you get one, don’t try to “tough it out” by covering it with nail polish or bandages. They won’t protect your skin from further damage and could keep air from getting to the wounded skin underneath. So here’s what I did: Cut a piece of duct tape to cover the spot where the blister is. Covering it will prevent friction and irritation from worsening the injury, providing immediate relief for tender toesies!

What kind of tape do you use for holding blisters together overnight?

BlisterBlock (recommended) or Moleskin with medical adhesive tape/Steri-Strips over the top.

This is what I recommend to hikers more than anything else – BlisterBlock (not Cheap-o-Brand). My feet are blister free when I wear it, and since starting to use it in 2000, no one on my teams has ever gotten blisters! And occasionally I forget to put it on…I’ve never had any issues even while hiking 50+ miles per week.

There is also another fantastic product called New Skin that works great (and can be used on fingers/toenails too). It is like a liquid-bandage that actually seals over the top of mini-blisters/small raw spots, eliminating friction altogether. Perfect for toes! They come in little individual packets of two ounces each; weigh 1 ounce per packet when packed into a first aid kit! You just paint it on any hot spot when hiking and it seals over it and never comes off (and never gets gummy and gunky like Vaseline and duct tape too).

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Best Way To Avoid Blisters When Hiking

Some people recommend athletic tape instead, but we found it to be a real pain – especially when hiking – I don’t know how many miles of blood blisters that got taped together! Besides being uncomfortable – if you have long hair or are wearing a hat – your head or hat will stick to the tape. Not good! And some sports tapes are not really made for skin areas either. BlisterBlock is designed just for skin, so it’s perfect on your feet.

You can also use the original liquid band-aid, which works well but you have to reapply every day or so. You can also use molefoam – cut out the center with a hole and put it over your blister – but if you don’t put anything under it, it can eventually bunch up.


There are a few simple things you can do to avoid blisters. First, make sure your shoes fit well and have plenty of room for your toes. The more space there is in the shoe, the less likely it will be that skin from your feet rubs against one another which causes friction and blisters. Second – wear socks! It sounds silly but if you don’t want chaffing on the bottom of your heel or anywhere else, put on some good quality hiking socks before heading out into nature. Lastly, take care after exertion by applying an anti-chafe cream like petroleum jelly or other types available at any drugstore. This should help prevent those pesky foot problems we all dread when taking long hikes outdoors.

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