Taking care of your feet on a long hike is always important.
Toenails: First step, make sure your toenails are trimmed, especially for any hikes that involves long descents. It’s best to clip your toenails as short as possible. Put a toenail trimmer in your pack.
Socks Stay away from 100% cotton socks which absorb sweat and can bunch and cause blisters. It’s best to wear socks made from synthetics, or a blend of synthetics and wool. These will wick moisture away and keep your feet drier and cooler. Make sure your socks fit properly. Socks that are too big can bunch together in boots and create friction areas that result in hot spots or blisters. Always carry extra socks on an extended hike.
Boots: A lot has been written on the fit and type of boots to wear. Too much to cover in this post, I will write more on this later. For now make sure your boots are broken in fit well and are comfortable. To help prevent blisters from forming on your heels, and toes from hitting the front of your boot, make sure your boots are properly laced.
Blisters: A few suggestions for avoiding blisters:
- Don’t go out on a long hike without taking the time to toughen up your feet by doing walks or short hikes.
- Wear your new pair on short hikes, before taking them long distance.
- Walking barefoot will toughen the skin of your feet.
- Always stop and remove dirt, sand, or any other debris that gets in your boots.
- If you can, air your feet out during a break in order to cool and dry them off.
- Always carry moleskin, athletic tape or duct tape. If you feel hot spots forming, cover them with moleskin or tape.
Treating Blister will be a whole new post.