5 Ways To Avoid Getting Blisters While Hiking

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Jessica is a respected contributor to the Sampling America writing team, eloquently sharing tales of adventures across the country and beyond.

Do your summer vacation plans include a nice, relaxing hike through the woods or roughing it on a trek up to one of the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains?

If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, you’ve got to take care of your feet. Blisters can slow you down and put a damper on your whole trip. Here are five ways to keep from getting them.

Wear the Proper Shoes Properly

Hiking Boots
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When trying to prevent blisters, it’s all about the shoes. Invest in some quality hiking boots that fit your feet well and tie them tightly so they don’t slide against your heel when walking. Also, make sure that the first time you put them on is not the moment when you get out of the car to start your hike. Break them in a bit in the days or weeks beforehand to ensure they fit snugly to your foot and that all that new-shoe stiffness has faded.

Choose the Right Socks

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After the right shoes, the right socks are the most important part of a blister-free hiking trip. Wear thick socks that help your shoe fit snugly while still being comfortable. There are also special anti-blister socks with extra material on the spots that get blisters the most: your heels, ankles, the sides of your toes, and the pad of your foot. These are as close to a miracle as you can get when it comes to preventing blisters!

Consider Blister Prevention Pads

Woman massaging foot
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If you don’t want to invest in anti-blister socks, there are also blister shields or blister prevention pads. These are small pads that you put inside your shoe or directly on your foot to reduce the amount of friction that can occur between them. These are especially great if you are already prone to blisters and know exactly which spots you need to protect. (Pro tip: These anti-blister pads are also great for those foot-pinching high-heels!)

Keep Your Feet Dry

Wet feet
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Moisture is the enemy of healthy feet. During a hike, your feet can get wet from external factors like walking through a puddle or from internal factors like your foot getting sweaty. The dampness inside your shoe and sock can then lead to slippage, which, in turn, leads to blistering. Always carry a spare pair of socks with you so you can switch if they get too wet, and try to wear waterproof shoes so you can walk through all the puddles you want without having to stop and dry off.

Take Breaks

People resting during hike
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The best thing you can do for your feet is to give them a rest every now and then. Blisters form when friction occurs for an extended period of time, so it is important to break the cycle and give your feet a break from time to time. Tune in to your feet’s frequency: is one of them starting to burn a bit on the side? Do you feel a light scraping sensation or some dull throbbing? If so, it’s time to take a break and check your shoes and socks before you get back to trekking.


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