There is nothing like hiking up a gorgeous peak, or finding yourself mid-way through a long run and experiencing the painful rip of a blister.
Example A is from my training run yesterday:
So my friends, here is a list of how to prevent and treat the blasted blister:
- Invest in Good socks! My favorite is Balega . This is a great sock for running and hiking because they have a seamless weave, and fit snuggly. They have various cuts to choose from for different activities. Thinner socks are recommended for minimalist runners, and a thicker weave for more substantial shoes. Note: my blister did not rip while running in Balega Hidden Comfort Tab Running Sock … it ripped due to tip #2…
2. Keep your feet dry! Both sweat and atmospheric moisture can contribute to softening of skin leading to tearing. Thus, sock material that wicks away moisture is important. If it is wet outside, try to avoid puddles or standing water. When doing long runs, cycling, or hiking in wet weather it is helpful to bring a second pair of socks.
3. Do not allow calloused skin to get out of control. There is a happy medium here, you do not need your feet to be baby skin smooth, as this can contribute to tears as well, however if calluses become too large, they are liable to tear around the perimeter. A pumice stone is useful to keep them at bay: slightly rough, but not raised up is ideal.
4. Use Duct tape! During a Ragnar Relay in California last year I developed a blister after running in heat and sweating profusely. The skin tore and I sought a dressing from the aid station. The medic taught me this awesome little trick to treat a blister when you must continue on in an event or adventure:
First, clean the surrounding skin with antiseptic or alcohol- but do not get alcohol in the wound itself. Then cover with a band aid or medical grade gauze.
Next, use good old, versatile duct tape to cover the dressing to prevent movement of the dressing or band aid. The duct tape allows the foot to glide with your sock to prevent further friction to the injury, and I found that it works better than moleskin, athletic tape, pre- wrap, and other dressings. Silly, I know, but when you must go on, this is cheap and gets you through.
Make your day great!