Blisters are the number one reason people don’t finish Oxfam Trailwalker.
Preventing blisters and preparing and strengthening your feet and ankles are the keys to a successful walk. Below are some tips for keeping your feet healthy and happy during training and on the day.
Footwear. Make sure you have a comfortable pair of good quality hiking shoes or boots that fit you well. Don’t wear new shoes during the event!
Socks. Choose good quality moisture-wicking socks in a synthetic/cotton or wool blend. (Avoid wearing pure cotton or pure wool.) ‘Double - socking’ - using a thin liner sock under a thicker walking sock works well for most people.
Moisture control. Keeping your feet dry will reduce the likelihood of friction blisters. Some walkers use spray-on antiperspirant (on the feet!) before and during the event. Change out of wet socks during the event.
Try taping your feet. Taping feet with a thin hypoallergenic tape like Fixomull (not brown sports tape) where your feet are prone to blisters may help. Practice different foot taping techniques during training.
Recognise hot spots. The key to blister prevention is to recognise ‘hot-spots’ which are slightly sore or warm patches of skin that can be caused by rubbing or pressure. Anyone who has experienced bad blisters will need no convincing that prevention is better than cure, so if you notice a ‘hot spot’ stop and fix it immediately.
Treat your Skin & Nails. Clip your toenails so they are short and rounded to help prevent pressure and bruising. You should see our Podiatrists to have any callus removed in the weeks prior to the event. It’s a common misconception that hard skin prevents blisters – the worst blisters are under areas of callous. Moisturiser can be used daily to improve the elasticity of skin and minimise hardening.
Prepare Your Feet: Strong feet and ankles are the foundation for all movement. Talk to our Podiatrists about prepatory foot strengthening and strengthening programs to remain pain and injury-free.