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blisters & new boots needed?

blisters & new boots needed?


Postby AdamR » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:21 am

Hi everyone,

I've been registered a while but 1st time poster.

I've got a pair of Meindl Bhutans which are great boots & have saved my ankles countless times in the 50+ or so munros i've done in them in the last 2 years.

I've had these professionally fitted & wear double lined socks, but I find that the longer hikes I do the more susceptable I am to severe blisters on the balls of my feet. 4-5hr hike no problem. above 6 hrs & I have problems. My skin ends up that soft with 'moisture' the blisters basically tear. I've tried new insoles with mixed results, mainly worse.

My questions are is there something I can do to lessen the chance of blisters? or do I need a more lightweight boot? I'm reluctant to change from a stiff boot with good ankle support as after many years of playing football in my 20-30s with all the injuries I've had I can go over on these easily.

Thanks in advance for any advice

Adam
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:57 am

Ouch.

Blisters are normally the result of movement of skin against sock/boot, rather than pressure. So if changing insoles hasn't worked by stopping any movement, its probably not worth changing those again.

I'd look at a few things;

1. Socks. You say "double lined". Is this like 1000 Mile socks; a single sock with two layers, or are you wearing two pairs of socks. Many find 1000 Mile brilliant, but I didn't get on with them, I found they "rucked" up under my feet and were unusable. I have used thin Bridgedale liners under good wool-mix walking socks for over 20 years now and find they work brilliantly.
It also sounds like your feet are getting very sweaty, hence softening up a lot, so again different socks may help. Also, perhaps carry spare liners and swap them over at lunch time? I mostly hill walk in winter, so my feet don't get too hot, and I suspect if I wore my leather boots in the same hills in summer, my feet would be very sweaty and soft.

2. Fit. If its movement causing it as you'd expect, and its on the ball of your feet, it sounds like the front of your foot is moving inside the boot. You might be able to try different lacing techniques to help this, and certainly concentrate on making sure the lower boot is gripping your feet well when you lace up. There's a tendency, of which I'm guilty, to mostly worry about stopping heel slip when lacing up, and I've occasionally found I haven't laced up the front half well enough.

3. Whilst I also tend towards heavier boots in the mountains, don't rely on them alone for ankle support. Perhaps better to make sure your technique and ankle strength is as good as possible and you may find lighter boots work for you.

4. Personally, I dislike a Gore-Tex or equivalent lining in a full leather boot. They just don't breathe well enough, and this might contribute to sweaty soft feet. Unfortunately there are few models left that don't rely on this to stay waterproof. I'm still on "old" Mantas, which are just leather. Too stiff for much of the time, but as most of my mountain walking is winter, I get away with it.

5. Do you get similar if walking low level for a long day in lighter footwear such as trail shoes? If not, think about the differences to help narrow it down.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:48 pm

My Bhutans started shredding my feet and causing pain on the ball of the foot after about a year and a half. I've no idea what changed but the problem persisted despite upgraded the insole, changing lacing techniques, various sock combos etc. I also found the Bhutans were bad for retaining moisture (compared to other Goretex boots I've had). I got a pair of Scarpa Rangers about six weeks ago which are similar but a bit more flexible and have since had no issues on a few 15+ mìle hill walks.

Not sure you'll definitely need new boots but it's probably worth cutting your losses if you can't rely on them. I think I'll probably move into mountain trainers next time I'm in the market for three-season boots.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby AdamR » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:09 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Ouch.

Blisters are normally the result of movement of skin against sock/boot, rather than pressure. So if changing insoles hasn't worked by stopping any movement, its probably not worth changing those again.

I'd look at a few things;

1. Socks. You say "double lined". Is this like 1000 Mile socks; a single sock with two layers, or are you wearing two pairs of socks. Many find 1000 Mile brilliant, but I didn't get on with them, I found they "rucked" up under my feet and were unusable. I have used thin Bridgedale liners under good wool-mix walking socks for over 20 years now and find they work brilliantly.
It also sounds like your feet are getting very sweaty, hence softening up a lot, so again different socks may help. Also, perhaps carry spare liners and swap them over at lunch time? I mostly hill walk in winter, so my feet don't get too hot, and I suspect if I wore my leather boots in the same hills in summer, my feet would be very sweaty and soft.

2. Fit. If its movement causing it as you'd expect, and its on the ball of your feet, it sounds like the front of your foot is moving inside the boot. You might be able to try different lacing techniques to help this, and certainly concentrate on making sure the lower boot is gripping your feet well when you lace up. There's a tendency, of which I'm guilty, to mostly worry about stopping heel slip when lacing up, and I've occasionally found I haven't laced up the front half well enough.

3. Whilst I also tend towards heavier boots in the mountains, don't rely on them alone for ankle support. Perhaps better to make sure your technique and ankle strength is as good as possible and you may find lighter boots work for you.

4. Personally, I dislike a Gore-Tex or equivalent lining in a full leather boot. They just don't breathe well enough, and this might contribute to sweaty soft feet. Unfortunately there are few models left that don't rely on this to stay waterproof. I'm still on "old" Mantas, which are just leather. Too stiff for much of the time, but as most of my mountain walking is winter, I get away with it.

5. Do you get similar if walking low level for a long day in lighter footwear such as trail shoes? If not, think about the differences to help narrow it down.


Hi Mal,

Thanks for the reply

Its a single sock with 2 layers that I wear, I find that helps with reducing issues with my heels. My feet definately got very hot even this time of year.

You could be right on how I lace my boots, I pay that much attention to ensure my heel is held securely I've maybe not got everything right, although my feet are held pretty securely.

I wear a Berghaus mid ankle boot for any low level walks i do locally along the coast, i wouldn't trust these 'trainers' up a mountain. I dont get issues with my feet but i'm never out for more that 3-4 hrs.

I think i need to look at how i'm lacing my boots & carry a spare pair of socks before i think about a more light weight boot
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby AdamR » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:14 pm

iain_atkinson_1986 wrote:My Bhutans started shredding my feet and causing pain on the ball of the foot after about a year and a half. I've no idea what changed but the problem persisted despite upgraded the insole, changing lacing techniques, various sock combos etc. I also found the Bhutans were bad for retaining moisture (compared to other Goretex boots I've had). I got a pair of Scarpa Rangers about six weeks ago which are similar but a bit more flexible and have since had no issues on a few 15+ mìle hill walks.

Not sure you'll definitely need new boots but it's probably worth cutting your losses if you can't rely on them. I think I'll probably move into mountain trainers next time I'm in the market for three-season boots.


Hi Iain,

Thanks for the reply

The issues you describe with your Bhuatns are exactly what I have encountered. I don't think there is anything wrong with the boots but if I end up looking for new boots I'll check out the Scarpas to see if they suit my feet.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby weaselmaster » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:57 pm

Have you tried micropore / clinipore tape? Very thin paper tape that you can put over any area of your foot that is starting to feel a bit sore - if it's always the same place then put it on prophylactically. Will prevent the development of blisters or can use it on toes where the skin has been damaged too. Has worked for me for years, as long as your foot is dry when it gos on it tends to adhere well.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Scottk » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:23 am

Try changing socks for a dry pair half way. This is what I do on long days.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Gareth Harper » Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:41 am

Try putting some talc or athletes foot powder in your socks. That should help keep moisture from softening your skin during a long walk.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Giant Stoneater » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:19 pm

This will not be of any help to you but my feet go against a lot of the comments on here as i wear Goretex boots,have very sweaty feet and wear only one pair of medium walking socks and never change socks during a walk,even done a 8hr walk when i forgot to replace the insoles in my boot,my feet seem to get on with any type of boot.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Mpgscott » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:34 am

Sorry to hijack the post, but im also continuing to get blisters on my heel after around 10miles so have been reading up some of the forum posts on this to see if i can stop them in future. Currently using Asolo boots with bridgedale socks so read about adding in a liner sock so will try this.

Anyone comment on the use of Gehwol foot cream do you use this in combination of the surgical tape or is it simply rubbed on and then socks over it directly. Cant see how cream alone would stop but worth a shot.

Thanks
Mark
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Low Level Walker » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:16 pm

This is also a forum post I have been watching with interest. I would be delighted to see if anyone can come up with a definitive solution.

One of my problems (I have many lol) is that my second toe is longer than my big toe. I know this is quite common with guys, so a lot of my blister issues are with them forming at end of toes (but I also get them in other areas). I have lost countless toenails as a result of this, sorry not a pleasant image I know.

Amongst other things I have tried with little or no effect are:

Liner socks
1000 mile socks
Gehwol foot cream
Micro porous tape
Different lacing techniques

One of the best solutions I have found is surgical spirts. It doesn't completely remove the issue but I have found this to be best solution so far.

A bottle can be picked up for under a couple of pound from most chemists. Apply daily to the areas you know will be affected with cotton wool or cotton buds. Do this for about 7-14 days before you do your walk. This hardens the skin so helps to make the area more resistant to blisters forming.

As I say different things work for different people. If anyone has any other solutions I am always happy to hear them.

Personally I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that I am just highly susceptible to them. I have also found stopping maybe once every 5 miles (or so) and completely removing boots and socks and just airing feet to also help, but not always the most practical when out with others or weather conditions dictate this is not suitable.

I shall be keeping an eye on this thread for any other feedback, although I fear for myself there is no panacea or silver bullet :( :(
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Marty_JG » Tue Nov 17, 2020 8:19 pm

How come the tape didn't work? You use enough of it you basically wrap your foot, or at least all hotspots, in armour.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby prog99 » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:09 pm

No mentions of zinc oxide tape yet? Tape up your hotspots preemptively. But do make sure you use a good quality tape.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Low Level Walker » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:16 pm

Marty_JG wrote:How come the tape didn't work? You use enough of it you basically wrap your foot, or at least all hotspots, in armour.


Basically it never stayed in place. Difficult to place over end of toes also, but mainly I just found it did not stay in place.
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Re: blisters & new boots needed?

Postby Low Level Walker » Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:18 pm

prog99 wrote:No mentions of zinc oxide tape yet? Tape up your hotspots preemptively. But do make sure you use a good quality tape.


Yeah I overlooked that one. It has been something that has been on my radar also. I have seen it on some sites, but seems a bit pricey?

Have you used it yourself? Would you recommend it and if so do you know a good vendor to purchase from?
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