A blister is caused by constant rubbing of any footwear (often by socks or boots) against one’s foot. This continuous rubbing results in the skin becoming raw and painful. The spot where you particularly feel discomfort is called a “hot spot.” Constant friction then causes fluid build-up in the void between the layers of skin. This is a blister.
Blisters often form when hikers opt to wear new boots that are ill-fitting or are not broken in properly. Go to an outfitter and try on several pairs of boots until you find the ones which really mold to your feet and fit all your requirements. Once you’ve found your pair, wear them in before taking them on an all-day hike, whether on jaunts or around the neighborhood, or short trail walks. This will soften up the leather and allow it to conform to the shape of your feet slowly.
The best way to handle blisters is to treat them before they fully form. Thus, once you feel a hot spot starting to form, remove your boots, and inspect the area. Take out a piece of moleskin from your first aid kit and adhere it to the affected area. This will protect the spot and prevent a blister from forming. If you don’t have moleskin with you, duct tape or even a bandage can do the trick. However, be sure that you use duct tape on hot spots alone. Covering a blister with it can take off the entire skin from that spot.
Here are additional tips that can help you avoid blisters:
On the other hand, when you see that a blister has already formed on your foot, cut a piece of moleskin and adhere it to the blister. When you cut your moleskin (imagine a doughnut with a hole), be sure to cut away anything that might stick to your blister. Then cover everything with gauze. Check on the moleskin every once in a while, replacing it regularly. Keep the blister clean. Do not puncture and drain a blister unless it becomes absolutely necessary due to infection.
If you have any tips for keeping blisters at bay, feel free to share them by commenting below.