Foot Care & Blisters

By William Roth

Jan 5, 2010


A blister is your body's way of telling you your boots don't fit, they aren't broken in, or your feet are too tender for the miles you are covering. The body is kind enough to warn you first with "hot spots," and it's a warning you would do well to heed.

The best advice on blisters is to avoid getting them in the first place. The pains you take to care for your feet early on will reward you in doubloons later down the trail. It's especially important that you stop and take care of your feet early in the trip when your feet are still tender. If you take your boots and socks off at rest breaks, you get a chance to look for red areas, which may indicate incipient hot spots. What's more, it allows your feet to cool.


Boot Fitting on YouTube - Kevin McGowan, NOLS Rocky Mountain boot expert, describes the finer points of getting the proper fit for your boots!

This is an excerpt from The National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness Guide.

Written By

William Roth

William has worked in the past as the web content administrator, social media coordinator, and a data logistics assistant for NOLS.

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How to Prevent and Treat Blisters [Video]

Blisters, a common occurrence in the outdoors whether you’re day hiking, through-hiking, or not even hiking at all, can be debilitating. Blisters are caused by friction—imagine your foot rubbing the wrong place in your boot, or the skin on your hands rubbing on a canoe paddle.

Luckily, preventing blisters is fairly simple as long as you pay attention to what your skin is telling you and keep an eye out for the warning signs, as outlined by NOLS Wilderness Medicine.

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