343 Miles Without a Blister
¨How are your feet?¨
¨Do you have any blisters yet?¨
During my first few weeks on the trail my feet were the hot topic of texts from my Dad. (That and the weather, as is mandated by Dad-law.) When you’re on your feet most of the day (shout-out to servers and bar staff!), and trekking about a dozen miles during those hours it’s natural to expect the constant friction will lead to rubbing your feet raw. A comedian friend of mine even joked that order to relate to an audience of thru-hikers my comedy material would be all ¨So, blisters, huh?¨ It’s just part of the trail, right? According to the title of this article, so not so much.
Don’t worry- I’ve had my share of ailments. In my first 23 days on the trail I have experienced a yeast infection, a knee problem that had me hobbling several miles downhill, 2 hours of violent vomiting in the middle of the night (no Noro), pink eye and tendinitis, but no blisters. You could say I’ve had a specific number of problems, but my feet aren’t included in that specific problem count.
Tell me the secrets of the foot clan, already!
Lotion + blister block + Injinji toe liners + full cushion hiking socks = happy feet.
This system is a hybrid I developed by combining great advice from The Hiking Lady and adventurer guru Andrew Skurka (Fun fact: Skurka and I went to high school together. Shout-out to Seekonk!).
Step 1: Moisturize and Protect
I use Aveda’s Foot Relief lotion given to me as part of a Bon Voyage gift from stylist-extraordinaire Therese at Casal’s de Spa in Clarendon, VA. The peppermint in it feels good on sore feet and helps combat the stank. It also helps remove dirt and salt from sweat to reduce irritation. I apply it in the morning and at night.
About mid-day my feet start to swell in a manner that suggests they are trying to fulfill some Manifest Destiny between the coasts of my Oboz Sawtooth Mids. I apply the Blister Block to the spots on my feet that will be forced off their land onto the sides of my boots during this daily historical re-enactment.
Step 2: Toe Liners
Put ’em on.
Step 3: Full Cushion Hiking Socks
Dr. Scholl’s protege Rob at Outdoor 76 in Franklin asked why I was wearing liners with full-cushion socks. Then I took them off and he admitted my feet looked pretty good. So the short answer is: because it’s working. I bought a back-up pair of light cushion socks to switch to in the afternoon, but have discovered I can’t do decaf cushioning.
Do you have some tried and true foot techniques to protect your most important gear? Spill it, girl! Spill it! (In the comments.)
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
Yes! Injinjis all the way. I wear smartwools over mine and have not gotten a blister since.
I’m thinking about buying some to test them out, but I was wondering if you can give me some advice on the different styles/ pros&cons of each if you have an experience with them? The three I am considering are:
(Injini RUN 2.0 Midweight Mini-Crew ) https://www.rei.com/product/881211/injinji-sport-original-weight-mini-crew-socks
(Injinji Sport Original Weight Mini-Crew)
What Do You Think?