/ Blister Nightmare

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jdsowden - on 24 Jun 2013
Dear all

I'm a newbie to this forum but by no means a newbie to hiking and fell walking.

Last year I bought a pair of Salomon Quest 4D GTX. Over 100 quid, which is a fair outlay for me, being used to Berghaus fabric boots in the past (which have generally served me well).

Over the last 6 months I have done a number of longer hikes, and without fail after at the end of the walk, I end up with two large and painful blood blisters on the outer side of my heels, one on the ball of my foot and often on the little toes around the nail. I begin to feel the pressure and then then pain around 10 miles or so into the walk.

I have upgraded to 'blister free guaranteed' 1000-mile socks (dual layer), with a very slight improvement, but nothing significant. My boots are around 1/2 size larger than my normal foot size to account for swelling and feel very comfortable when I first put them on. Just done the Yorkshire Three Peaks this weekend, and once again was crippled by the end of the walk. I'm beginning to wonder whether it's just something I've got to live with - and am considering taping up my problem zones with duck tape before heading out as some people suggest!

Before I give up, or buy some new boots, any suggestions on things to try or things to look for in a new pair of boots?

Many thanks

John
freerangecat - on 24 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden:

I always pre-emptively tape my feet now. Used to never ever get blisters, but then got new boots and started getting them. Tried every sock combination possible then just gave in and started taping the bits that blistered. I use Strappal tape, it's great.
IPPurewater on 24 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden: Tape up with a padded plaster. I use the long "tapes" of padded plaster you can buy i.e. Sainsburys fabric dressing stip, which I cut to size and put on at the first sign of a hot spot or rub point.

Experiment with two pairs of socks or different sock combinations too. In winter I use a coolmax sock under a woolen sock. In summer a cotton sock under a woolen sock. Vary the thicknes of the sock you use until you get enough padding.

I find that having a feeling of only just being able to get my feet into the boot with the two pairs of sock on at the start of a walk is a good indication, that I've got the sock thickness right. They seem to compress during the day.

IPP
cuppatea on 24 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden:

Those of a certain age will remember the advice to toughen the skin up with surgical spirit..
Does anyone do that these days or has that practice in the same museum as hemp rope and nailed boots?
climber david - on 24 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden:

I'm no expert but could the fact your boots are a half size too big mean they are moving about more and this could cause rubbing and blisters

As I say, I'm no expert but this could be something to think about.

Different manufacturers have slightly different sizing so this could also be a reason why you got them a half size bigger but if they move about on your feet then this could contribute to blisters

David
NottsRich on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden: If you've never had blisters before, and now you are with your new boots and are starting to not enjoy walking as much, then just get some new boots. Seems worthwhile in order to keep you enjoying it!
NottsRich on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to NottsRich: You could also try a heel lift to reduce movement aroud the back of your foot. Try a piece of cut up foam camping mat under the insole, just under your heel. If it reduces movement then get a proper footbed.
Hannes on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden: it sounds like the boots don't really fit you to be honest. Have you tried putting in a better inner sole like a pair of superfeet (they cost a bit but you have 60 days return on them even when used if they don't do anything for you)
In reply to jdsowden: This How to Beat Blisters article might be some help: http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/page.php?id=5286

Failing any of that working, it may just be that your boots simply don't fit.
Timmd on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden:

I can tend to plump for the simple solution at times, but the thing which jumps out in my mind is that you're not using Berghaus boots anymore.
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Timmd on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to jdsowden: Life's too short for faffing and you can't take money with you, buy some new boots. (;-))

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