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Thread: Developing blisters on heel

  1. #1

    Default Developing blisters on heel

    Man, just when I think I have found the boot for my foot I get surprised. I have been walking with a loaded pack(partially loaded for some of you guys) and am getting some pretty rank blisters on my heels. I wore them on a family camping trip to Banff and I thought I was in need of a double knee replacement and this was with a pair of orange superfeet insoles. Today I made it over to REI and got a pair of the thicker Sole insoles and I only make it a mile before my scabbed blister was developing another. I like these better than the superfeet because they seem to have more cushioning on the balls of my feet. This was while wearing smart wool phd socks btw. I have not tried a double sock, but quite honestly I only want to go that rute at last resort. I am open for suggestions. The dude at rei said I have average but long arches, medium instep, and on the narrow side.Thanks

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    Member akguy454's Avatar
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    tighten the boot to the discomfort level with your sox on and take a hot shower and then after your shower sit in your boots with dry sox on and let them "form" to your feet... all evening. Walk around a little bit that evening (to the fridge.. to the truck..ect..) but mainly just to form the creases to you foot. Then 4 days later after they have dried wear them to work. ALOT. Then take them out. Plus your heel will form a good calice so it won't matter what you put on you will have tougher feet. That is how I broke in all my boots (army or civilian) and has done me good

    Robbie

  3. #3

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    I use tape on my heels as I break in boots. I have a pair of Danners that rubbed my heels raw without the tape. Also, they do carry at REI a really thin sock liner that might also help.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have found that it takes me about 100 miles to get my boots feeling broke in. I would try to let your feet air out as much as possible to harden your skin. I have found it helps me to spray my feet with antiperspirant for several days before a hunt to help keep my feet from sweating as much. Once in the field I use thin liners to help reduce friction and use duct tape, mole skin, second skin as needed. I stop immediately when I feel a hot spot and use duct tape or similar to protect the area trying to blister. I will also trade out socks often to keep my feet dry as possible. At the end of the day I will try to soak my feet in cold water to reduce swelling and then let them air out in a pair of croc camp shoes. Once you get a blister a product called second skin works great to protect the blistered area. I try to match my boots to the terrain, if it is a flat land hunt I will use a much lighter boot with normal ankle support. For mountain hunts and carrying heavy loads I like a boot with more ankle support.

    Steve

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    All good advice. I'm with stid regarding the break in period. Wear your boots as street shoes for a few weeks. You may get some funny looks but it's a good way to get more time/miles on them. If they have a full shank it will take some time to get some rocker in the sole to help keep your heels from slipping. You can also get something like a wooden dowel, rounded on the end, or the handle of one if the wifes kitchen utensils and use that as a tool to work the leather in the heel area where you are having trouble. It can help soften it up a bit.

    I have a case of tender foot myself and one thing that will help toughen your skin is to apply rubbing alcohol morning and night.

    Some guys like liner sox but one other thing that helps me is an "oversock" I wear merino wool socks next to my skin and then a thinner kind of worn out wool sock over them. For me it helps with the slippage. Kind of like a layer of grease between to pieces of metal so to speak.

    It will probably take a combination of things. But, as long as they fit good, eventually you should be able to get them dialed in.

  6. #6

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    Liner socks, Heavy wool socks, tight boots, and most importantly, foot powder.

    Allow your feet to heal in between hikes to develop calouses where blisters once formed.

  7. #7
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    I wear pullon boots all yaer long, and Ive never had blister problems.......

    I wear "Baffins" all winter, for warmth and easy changing felt liners, and I walk quit a bit.
    All summer I wear either rubber boots a size too small or I put a felt insole in and wear 'em, as well I wear German officers Combat jackboots, about knee high, also with a Felt insole and a nice snug fit. They last about 6 or 7 years unless I get 'em resoled, but mine are new.
    I put Mink oil water proof, after the "get 'em wet and wear 'em" breaking in period.

    I wouldnt climb mountains, but they are great with swampy Tundra and keeping the feet and lower legs snug and dry.



    I dont get blisters either, .........but then again I get called "Thick skinned" "Hard Soul'd" and "Callous"......why do they referr to my feet so much?? ~~LOL!!~~
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Silver duct tape on the heels. Top quality socks (yup, they're $25 a pair) with liners. Lace the boots properly: not too tight across the ball of the foot snug across the instep and firm against the front of the ankle.

    If your boots are tight at the toes, your heel moves against the inside of the boot.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  9. #9

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    Whats a blister?

    Are you for real? 100 miles to break in Boots!!!! Come on! Duct tape? Liners? You guys probably wear slippers at home too, huh? How long does it take to break in a pair of slippers on your Berber carpet?

    It's all about your feet, not the boots! Break-in your feet, and any boot will work right out of the box!!!

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    Even though he is being a smart ass Supercub is right, it is all about your feet. I recommend checking out the book, Fixing your Feet by John Vonhof. It's about foot care for endurance athletes and has some great blister prevention and treatment techniques.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
    Whats a blister?

    Are you for real? 100 miles to break in Boots!!!! Come on! Duct tape? Liners? You guys probably wear slippers at home too, huh? How long does it take to break in a pair of slippers on your Berber carpet?

    It's all about your feet, not the boots! Break-in your feet, and any boot will work right out of the box!!!
    If only it were that simple.... Boots and fit have everything to do with it, at least for me. I can wear my plastic mountaineering boots 15hrs a day for 7 days straight trekking around the mountains with no problems at all. Come home, put on my knock around shoes, spend and hour mowing the lawn and have blisters on my toes. But my wife wear a cheapo pair of worn out light weight hikers, put on cotton socks, hike all afternoon in hot weather not have a blister.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotdiggity View Post
    Even though he is being a smart ass Supercub is right, it is all about your feet. I recommend checking out the book, Fixing your Feet by John Vonhof. It's about foot care for endurance athletes and has some great blister prevention and treatment techniques.
    He is "sort of" right. While I agree that your feet have to adapt to the boots that is an oversimplification. The boot will need to give some and so will your feet. The structure of your foot is mostly set but the ability of your foot to adapt to a range of different conditions is absolute fact. Another words if the boots are too narrow your foot isn't likely to adapt to it the boot will need to stretch. There are all sorts of tricks to facilitate that happening. If your boots are too wide then the only real option is to wear thicker socks and to me that is a bad option. As the boot stretches then the volume will increase. This also happens if the boot gets wet. If you start out w/ boots and 2 pairs of socks then hike for 2-3 days with them we the whole time eventually they will stretch and you will likely get blisters because new uncalloused areas of your foot are rubbing.

    Finding good boots that are snug and have room to be tightened more is key. You need to be able to take up the slack as they stretch. My kennetreks are frustrating because they have fantastic out of the box fit but once they stretch I run out of width between the eyelets to tighten them down any farther.

    Two things have been key for me. 1 tighten your boots when they get loose. I find that after an extended up hill hike followed by a period of downhill that my feet will begin to slide around. I now make it a point to retighten my boots before beginning a decent now. 2 Treast hot spots as soon as you notice them. It is tempting in both these situations to put off making adjustments but it will cost you much more time in the future than the 5 minutes it takes to fix it right away. I use either mole skin or second skin at the first sign of tenderness and keep it handy while hiking to reduce the odds of me putting it off "till the next good stopping point".

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    The Walking Store besideds Barney's has great insoles! They read your feet and you get the propper insole, not someone guessing at REI! I put them in my Kennetreks and made a world of difference. More cushion for your feet, arch support-huge improvement, and just better feel. Even the high dollar boots have cheep insoles in them. They pretty much expect you to get good insoles, what is another $60 after spending $360+.

    Second, loose the Smart wool socks. They are not for me and sounds like they are not for you, OP. They feel to slick in my boots and feel like my feet are constantly slipping in my boots. Which in my mind makes them JUNK! I hear the heavier socks aren't as bad, but I am happy with costco merrino wool socks that are retardedly cheap and work about year round!

    Yep spend time in the boots.

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    Travis77:
    I dunno about all the stuff mentioned so far, but I know what WILL work.

    Just get yerself some Vaseline, and rub it all over your feet before you take off. If later, you're bothered, stop, take of your boots and socks, and apply it again, etc.

    This is something I learned when I was running Marathons, and I've used it on hikes with Great Success.

    Keep your toenails cut short or you'll get "Black Toes".

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    If only it were that simple.... Boots and fit have everything to do with it, at least for me. I can wear my plastic mountaineering boots 15hrs a day for 7 days straight trekking around the mountains with no problems at all. Come home, put on my knock around shoes, spend and hour mowing the lawn and have blisters on my toes. But my wife wear a cheapo pair of worn out light weight hikers, put on cotton socks, hike all afternoon in hot weather not have a blister.
    Well of course you should buy boots that fit you. Thats a given. But you did prove my point, as you complained about getting blisters in your tennis shoes while mowing the lawn! Your feet are not in shape.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
    Well of course you should buy boots that fit you. Thats a given. But you did prove my point, as you complained about getting blisters in your tennis shoes while mowing the lawn! Your feet are not in shape.
    SC, feet not being "in shape" has little to do with getting blisters in Snyd's situation. It is conditioning, your feet need to be conditioned to both the footwear and the activity. The same boots you can walk 20 miles in across a valley with no discomfort can give you massive blisters in short order if used to go up and down mountains. Sure if you continue to use them to go up and down mountains then your feet may condition to them and eventually not produce blisters during that activity.

    To imply that there is some magical method to get your feet "in shape" so that they will never get blisters during any activity or while wearing any footwear is a pretty big reach. Enough friction in a non calloused portion of your foot will create a blister. If you change activities and footwear while heavily exerting yourself you will undoubtedly find the right combination that gives you a blister where you have never had one before.

  17. #17

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    LuJon, have you tried adding volume to your kenetreks with thicker insoles?

    I usually break my steel toe redwing boos in with hot water and wear them around a few hours. I thought of doing this butbut I don't know if it would effect the watrer proofing any. I love the alcohol to your heal idea to toughen em up. Thanks you all for the great advice.

  18. #18
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have bad feet. Even custom built Russell Mocasins don't fit me right. I took a 150 grain 270 bullet through my right ankle in 1984 -never been the same since.

    For ill fitting boots I use a cheap but functional method - wrap your foot like like you did in high school football or basketball - use the cusion pad and then overtape with athletic tape - change every other day when in the mountains. 10$ worth will last a week and it doesn't weigh very much. Freddies sells it near the sporting goods section.

  19. #19

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    I wear women's knee high nylons as my liner sock - thin, light and slick. Never get blisters. My boot socks are the quality wool/synthetic type - worth the money.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Silver duct tape on the heels. Top quality socks (yup, they're $25 a pair) with liners. Lace the boots properly: not too tight across the ball of the foot snug across the instep and firm against the front of the ankle.

    If your boots are tight at the toes, your heel moves against the inside of the boot.

    Erik,

    You were spot on in the lacing up info. Thanks! You never know what you are going to learn from these forums. I had never had a hot spot or blister in my new boots. Then sunday after flat top I had wore spots on my heals, busted blisters basically. I had felt some pressure when the steep parts hit. Today I loosened up the toe area, tight from the box but gave them extra string, then did what you said and didn't synch the laces too light to the top of the boot. Heel stayed in placed today, no blisters, and sharp pressure points! I guess I thought as the boots were breaking I needed to tighten them more to keep the heel in place. Not the case! Thanks for the discription man. Just might have saved my sheep hunt!

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