Trekking, hiking, fell walking – whatever you want to call it, pretty much anyone can do it. But to really enjoy it, you need a pair of healthy, happy, blister-free feet.
Before you head off, you should walk-in your boots – noting any blister/rubbing-prone areas. You should give yourself a foot massage, removing calluses, clipping your toenails and massaging your muscles, especially around the ball and instep.
Prevention rather than cure is the key to happy trekking feet. If you have areas that are susceptible to blisters, cover them with a flexible, breathable tape (such as Elastoplast or similar) before you start your trek.
And when it comes to socks, always avoid cotton. Synthetic materials wick moisture quickly, but they can become very smelly. We recommend wool and a two-layer system of thin inner socks and a thicker outer pair. By doing this, the socks rub against each other, not your precious feet.
Make sure you keep your feet as clean and dry as possible during your hike. A warm, damp environment inside your shoes is a sure-fire way to get blisters. So whenever you stop and rest, air your feet – and this includes taking off your socks. Change your socks regularly too. And don’t wait to treat blisters. If you feel one coming on, do something about it immediately.
Treat yourself to a two-minute foot massage every evening before getting into your sleeping bag. It’s so worth it.
If you do get a blister, we advise puncturing it as close to the healthy skin as possible, preferably in two places. Use a small pair of sharp scissors and cut a small ‘V’ into the blister. Then rinse it with clean water or disinfectant solution. Dry your foot then cover the blister with a compression plaster or bandage. You’ll need to change the dressing regularly to avoid infection.