Blisters are a fluid-filled sac caused by heat and/or friction so making sure you don’t get them is your number one goal. They develop where rubbing from shoes and socks tears the skin and wet skin is easier to tear.
1. When buying your walking boots or shoes, go to a specialist shop and have them properly fitted. It’s best to go shoe shopping after walking when your feet are warm and a little swollen. When trying on shoes, there should be 1/2 inch from the big toe to the end of the shoe and you should be able to wiggle all of your toes comfortably. Try out lots of pairs until you find the brand that suits you best.
2. Invest in proper walking socks that are made from wicking fabric, not cotton, so they take the moisture away from the skin.
3. Build up your walking to get your body and especially your feet, used to the idea. Start with 30 minutes and build up your distance and pace.
4. If you feel any rubbing or discomfort as you are walking stop immediately and investigate. Put on a compeed over the rub so it doesn’t develop further.
5. Remove any small stones, little bits of twig, grass, grit etc that may be causing a problem
6. When you take longish breaks, take off your boots and socks to check your feet and let them air. Carry a spare pair of socks with you and if doing a long walk, change your socks during the walk.
7. Wash your feet after your walk rather than before it as washing softens the skin which, if walked on immediately afterwards, can easily lead to blisters.
8. In the morning, rub large amounts of Vaseline into your feet before you put your socks on. Be especially liberal with it on your heels and round your toes as well as anywhere else where you may get a rub. It’s cheap and I hardly ever get a blister due to this. The socks stop your feet sliding and the spin off is soft feet.
9. Invest in some Compeed, these are special blister plasters available in most chemists and walking shops. They are self-adhesive and stick to the skin and should be left there until they come off themselves. You can buy small ones toes and regular ones for heels and balls of the feet. The pads act as an extra layer of skin. Other companies do their own version but I find Compeed superior and well worth the money.
10. Be prepared and carry a blister kit so you are ready for whatever occurs.
You want to enjoy your walking so do take these on board and share with others. Then if you are not a member already, come and join my wonderful community of women who love to walk. You’ll be right at home there.