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Thread: Blister prevention....

  1. #1
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    Default Blister prevention....

    It doesn't matter what boats I wear hunting/hiking, I always get the worst blisters on my heal. I'm not talking about something small, I mean my entire heal! I currently wear scarpa lisk amms and have even went back to make sure they were the right size. The socks don't matter either, liners, smart wool, darn tough, none prevent blisters. And mole skin just falls off within the first mile. The best thing I have found so far is 2nd Skin, but that still doesn't work that great. Any hardcore recommendations for preventing blisters? Thanks for the help, wish this wasn't something hindering me from hunting/hiking farther, higher, or longer.

    Thanks

    I would post a pic but dont know how

  2. #2

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    My first reaction is that this problem will not be prevented or eliminated by finding the right "anti-blister" formula. To me, this sounds like a case of some rather sensitive foot skin meeting stiff and unyielding mountain boots. What is your daily footwear? Are your feet toughened by work boots...or do you wear casual shoes each day? Do you have a perspiration problem with your feet? Wet feet are much more tender, easier to rub raw, and skin can become macerated from constant moisture. Going from everyday shoes straight to hunting boots is a formula for bad feet. Blisters are a product of friction and tender skin. The tougher your skin, the fewer blisters you'll see. Preventing friction is more complex, involving variables like boot fit, boot flex, boot lining, moisture management, sock combination and etc.

    It sounds like you have an excessive amount of heel "travel" inside your boot. This produces friction and blisters. A comfortable and WELL broken-in boot that doesn't allow your heel to slide vertically is a must. Your liner sock should have a little cushion to it, and it should fit your foot very closely...it should not slide around on your foot easily. The outer sock follows the same principle, only with more cushioning. The interface of the 2 sock layers...where they meet...is supposed to prevent direct rubbing on your skin. Check the inside heel area of your boots. If this area "grabs" your sock (say your sock is moist) and doesn't let it slide easily against the boot heel, your foot will slip inside the sock and lead to blisters.

    Just some basic info for you to ponder.

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    After Miles and Miles of Ruck Marching in all climates and environments, here is what has worked for me:

    First of all, Socks make all the difference, I have found Fox River Military Boot Sock to be among the Best
    Second: Anti perspirant, Moisture is what kills, this allows a film barrier between foot and sock and helps keep feet dry. Can also use between legs and groin area to keep a rash from forming
    Third: Foot Powder every night to dry feet back out and some in boots to help dry them out
    Fourth: If blisters form I pop them and apply benadine or second skin inside (some times I peel skin off and cover open wound with this, burns like hell)
    Fifth: Blister band aides and duct tape, apply in morning and remove at night to air out blister. Cover band aide with duct tape so it stays on. Can use duct tape on entire heal before blisters start and after.

    These are the combination of things I do to keep my feet healthy. The more walking you do in your boots before the trip the better your feet will be. Try these things in different combinations and fine out what works best for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKJG View Post
    It doesn't matter what boats I wear hunting/hiking, I always get the worst blisters on my heal. I'm not talking about something small, I mean my entire heal! I currently wear scarpa lisk amms and have even went back to make sure they were the right size. The socks don't matter either, liners, smart wool, darn tough, none prevent blisters. And mole skin just falls off within the first mile. The best thing I have found so far is 2nd Skin, but that still doesn't work that great. Any hardcore recommendations for preventing blisters? Thanks for the help, wish this wasn't something hindering me from hunting/hiking farther, higher, or longer.

    Thanks

    I would post a pic but dont know how
    It sounds like you've taken some very reasonable approaches to blister prevention. I can't think of any other home remedies though there may yet be a liner/sock combo that takes away the hot spot. What I'd do if I were in your position is visit a podiatrist as well as have a custom pair of boots built for my feet. I'd seek a competent doctor first and heed his advice, perhaps a set of orthotic designed insert or insole will eliminate the issue. Custom boots can be expensive, but with a proper last (form) you should get a glove like fit and take care of your heel slipping around. I hope you can find some relief.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue8Gulf View Post
    After Miles and Miles of Ruck Marching in all climates and environments, here is what has worked for me:

    First of all, Socks make all the difference, I have found Fox River Military Boot Sock to be among the Best
    Second: Anti perspirant, Moisture is what kills, this allows a film barrier between foot and sock and helps keep feet dry. Can also use between legs and groin area to keep a rash from forming
    Third: Foot Powder every night to dry feet back out and some in boots to help dry them out
    Fourth: If blisters form I pop them and apply benadine or second skin inside (some times I peel skin off and cover open wound with this, burns like hell)
    Fifth: Blister band aides and duct tape, apply in morning and remove at night to air out blister. Cover band aide with duct tape so it stays on. Can use duct tape on entire heal before blisters start and after.

    These are the combination of things I do to keep my feet healthy. The more walking you do in your boots before the trip the better your feet will be. Try these things in different combinations and fine out what works best for you.
    I agree; while training for the last sheep I went on I would get blisters on blisters from the same broken hunting boots I had been wearing the previous two years, I had total confidence in them, wore good socks and used foot powder each time. After much thought I came to the realization that I was wearing one pair of socks and had forgotten that I needed to wear a liner, they were key. Blisters abated, feet healed and toughned in time for my hunt and my feet were happy.

    You may need to try, if not done already, a different sock combination. What works for me is knee high polypro liners ( with a dose of foot powder in them )under a tall, high quality wool sock (finer the wool the better). Keeping the socks up the legs and not migrating down into the boot is also important. When I return to camp I put on either sandals and no socks provided the bugs are scarce, or a cotton sock dosed with powder and comfortable, light weight shoes.

    If you are convinced that your foot care has been proper, then I would seriously consider changing the footwear.

    For drying my boots I always take along a newspaper. Seperate the pages and crumple them up, stuff the boots all the way to the toe after changing into camp shoes. In the morning remove the now wet/damp newspaper and enjoy dry comfy boots. The newspaper I then open up and leave in my tent to dry out during the course of the day for reuse. Besides, what better use is there for the newspapers of today anyhow ?

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    Default From: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-blisters/WL00008

    Mayo's pretty good for health-related topics. The first paragraph is along the lines of advice given in this thread, but the shoe shopping tips make sense too. Comments about moisture are interesting. Moisture could soften the skin up, reduce sock's cushioning effect, etc.

    "To prevent a blister, use gloves, socks, a bandage or similar protective covering over the area being rubbed. Special athletic socks are available that have extra padding in critical areas. You might also try attaching moleskin to the inside of your shoe where it might rub, such as at the heel.
    "

    Shoe-shopping tips
    Remember the following when you shop for shoes:


    • Shop during the middle of the day. Your feet swell throughout the day, so a late-day fitting will probably give you the best fit.
    • Wear the same socks you'll wear when walking, or bring them with you to the store.
    • Measure your feet. Shoe sizes change throughout adulthood.
    • Measure both feet and try on both shoes. If your feet differ in size, buy the larger size.
    • Go for flexible, but supportive, shoes with cushioned insoles.
    • Leave toe room. Be sure that you can comfortably wiggle your toes.
    • Avoid shoes with seams in the toe box, which may irritate bunions or hammertoes.

    Good luck.

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    Perhaps it is time to try a different boot. I would give the Lowa sheep hunters a shot if they feel comfortable. If not then perhaps it is time to bite the bullet and have Lathrop and Sons build you a custom boot.

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    If you live in the city, walkin on the side walks barefoot would help, build up the callisus so they don't blister. walking barefoot in the woods is good too, thats what I do
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    AKJG,
    This Scarpa Liscamm boot blister issue has been covered several times on the forum in the last few years. It does sound as if you need a new boot, shaped by a different boot maker, on a different last/form, to get your feet happy again. Twenty and thirty years ago we would simply recommend soaking the boots overnight and hiking them dry. But boots made today, especially the boots you now have with the rubber rand around the lower circumference of each boot, just does don't change shape after soakings, not ever. You can soak that boot, or cross a dozen streams and wear them dry and I'll bet you will still get blisters with those boots.
    I changed to Lowa GTX boots and have put a gaggle of winter and now spring miles on them, with very happy feet, again. Here was what I wrote in the gear forum a few months ago.....

    The Liskamm, while an attractive boot and well constructed, did not fit my feet. They are an extremely stiff soled boots, and two summers of "break-in use" did nothing to soften them up. I now have very expensive Sparpa Liscamm boots used for mowing the lawn. With the Scarpa Liscamm, a mere three mile warmup hike always resulted in a nickle size blisters on my heels. Of course, other feet may disagree.

    I then got a pair of Lowa GTX and my hiking life, which has always been extensive (as opposed to conversational), became instantly better, again. They fit me. A few weekends ago I put in a total of 28 miles on snow packed trails and remain sold on the Lowa boots.
    (The gear forum is full of this stuff.)
    dennis

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    There is a cheaper solution, which is what I have gone to. It is a bit time consuming, but I have found that I can wear this for 2 days, 3 if I push it.

    Get sports wrap and tape like football players wear. Wrap with the padding then tape up. If you have blisters put the wrap over the top of second skin.

    I have custom russell mocasins that don't fit any more, i've spent thousands on boots because my right ankle took a .270 bullet in 1984. No more. Wrap em and tape em - no more blisters. Wear cheap pronghorn boots now (comparatively speaking anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    ... my right ankle took a .270 bullet in 1984...
    Aw, man. We were just rehashing the old .270-bullet-in-the-ankle-still-get-blisters thread?

  12. #12

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    Blisters are invariably the result of friction. Eliminate the slippage & friction....no blisters. Dry feet are the MOST resistant to friction and blisters. Buy socks accordingly. You might need to change socks a couple times per day.

    I think everyone here has something good to offer. Me...I'm not much for having to apply moleskin, tape, bandaids, deodorant, wraps and etc every time I don my hunting boots. If a pair of boots gives me that much problem, I guarantee you they will not remain with me. I will find a boot that offers excellent fit with my sock choice, and it will always have enough flex to minimize heel slippage. I once made the mistake of wearing mountain boots on a rocky, tundra-terrain hunt. Most of the walking was relatively level or just semi-hilly. Those boots had stiff soles built for tromping up mountainsides and across scree slopes. They turned my feet to hamburger in one day, and nearly cost me a very coveted hunt. I burned that lesson into my brain, and now I always know how my boots and feet will perform before I need them both. I personally think that not many guys really need a full-on mountain boot most of the time.

    My feet are incredibly important on a hunt, and 500 dollars worth of the right boot is solid gold to me. I'll spend what I have to, in order to keep my feet healthy and comfortable.

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    Thank you for all the help, I will try these different remedies and if no success, i'll be looking at a new pair of boots.

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    Interesting subject that I've never really thought about till now. I never have had a problem with my feet, I can put on any type of boot and be comfortable; ski boot, snowboard boot, borrowed boots, etc. I think maybe it has to do with what I normally wear everyday?? Depending on what I'm doing, 95% of the time I'll be wearing either a pair of untied tennis shoes, any of several brands, some of them where left at my place by other people, or I'll be wearing a pair of Extra Toughs. So, my thought is that maybe you could condition your feet by wearing sloppy or poor fitting shoes most of the time. I'm sure no foot doctor would agree with this though.

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    two socks on each foot...always. works for me. i use synthetic or merino wool...light on bottom, midweight on top. feet dont slip even in a brand new pair of meindls...

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    I'm not a ruck marching pro but, where pantyhoses no not the ones that go up to your waste then you will just look dumb and super gay looking. Get the ones that go over the calf then put on a good pair of socks... Also put lots of foot powder on also, when you know your feet are sweating stop change out your socks let you feet dry more foot powder... Also if you buy new boots and they are not insulated soak them bad boys in water then strap them on and walk in them throughout the day those bad boys will form to yoru feet. Don;t do it two day s rpior to going on a hunt... If you buy insulated ones don't know what to tell you... I'm sure Lujon will pipe in and tell us about his ruck marching days in the Airforce hey ho....

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    +1 on the panty hose knee highs, and gay looking or not, on a cold day on a long ruck march, full pantyhose will keep you warm without bulking you down and save your bacon blister wise goes. And off the subject, but still not macho, a few tampons and maxi pads make great blood stoppers for bad cuts and bullet/puncture wounds. A few in a emergency first aid bag is the smart way to go. Swallowing your pride to prevent injury is a no brainer IMO.

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    I know guys who do that prevent chaffing between the legs.. The army black dress socks work great in place of pantyhose as well. Probably the best way to prevent blisters and such have custom boots like whites boots but at 400 plus bucks a pop not cheap but you will have boots that will last forever.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    Blisters are invariably the result of friction. Eliminate the slippage & friction....no blisters. Dry feet are the MOST resistant to friction and blisters. Buy socks accordingly. You might need to change socks a couple times per day.

    I think everyone here has something good to offer. Me...I'm not much for having to apply moleskin, tape, bandaids, deodorant, wraps and etc every time I don my hunting boots. If a pair of boots gives me that much problem, I guarantee you they will not remain with me. I will find a boot that offers excellent fit with my sock choice, and it will always have enough flex to minimize heel slippage. I once made the mistake of wearing mountain boots on a rocky, tundra-terrain hunt. Most of the walking was relatively level or just semi-hilly. Those boots had stiff soles built for tromping up mountainsides and across scree slopes. They turned my feet to hamburger in one day, and nearly cost me a very coveted hunt. I burned that lesson into my brain, and now I always know how my boots and feet will perform before I need them both. I personally think that not many guys really need a full-on mountain boot most of the time.

    My feet are incredibly important on a hunt, and 500 dollars worth of the right boot is solid gold to me. I'll spend what I have to, in order to keep my feet healthy and comfortable.
    I agree here...I think finding a boot that doesn't require powder, liners, etc is key. I have found a few boots that don't work for my feet, but also found some that do. I think you'd be better served finding a boot that works for your foot with just a pair of hiking socks, than trying a bunch of tricks to get a pair of boots that your feet don't seem to agree with. If the boots are causing huge blisters now when your feet are dry, imagine what they'll do to your feet after some creek crossings and miles of hiking later in those boots when they are wet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    I agree here...I think finding a boot that doesn't require powder, liners, etc is key. I have found a few boots that don't work for my feet, but also found some that do. I think you'd be better served finding a boot that works for your foot with just a pair of hiking socks, than trying a bunch of tricks to get a pair of boots that your feet don't seem to agree with. If the boots are causing huge blisters now when your feet are dry, imagine what they'll do to your feet after some creek crossings and miles of hiking later in those boots when they are wet.
    Good way to break in a pair of boots to get them to fit well is to soak them, wear them around during the day doing normal stuff around the house and let them dry while wearing them. A pair of seal socks will keep your feet dry in the mean time. It will soften and mold to your feet well. Back in my Military days, we took a shower with them, then wore them all day. But I stick by the knee hi nylons for added protection for hiking, as it does prevent blisters and wicks away moisture.

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