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Blisters!

Blisters!


Postby xtina89 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:08 am

Back in January my trusty Scarpa Terras started to fall apart after a solid few years of heavy use. I decided to upgrade to my first set of B1 boots as I had received some crampons for Xmas - but also wanted my boots to be wearable all year round.
After lots of research, I bought a pair of SL Activ - felt great when I tried on in store and the reviews were all really good.

Now, I have started wearing them 'in the wild' (only a few times prelockdown and a few the otherside now) - they are giving me the worst blisters I have ever encountered! Painful lower ankle rub (esp on ascents) and toe rub (on descents).

I initially thought it might be a case of breaking the shoes in but they've been on their 5th or 6th outing now and it isn't getting easier!

Would anyone be able to recommend some life changing socks/liner socks/ inner soles they've discovered - would especially welcome any recommendations if you have the same shoes (my partner is in the exact same boat - went from the terras to the SL activs and is getting blisters in all the same places).
Also if you have any good blister remedies please let me know!
Screenshot_20190803-172800.png
Picture for attention (of better times in less painful shoes)
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Re: Blisters!

Postby jacob » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:25 am

-Lift up the heel with an insole. Never ever use Gel insoles, as they're unstable.
-Let the insole be high and sturdy around the heel (f.e. Sidas 3D Outdoor or Quechua Hike 900)
-Treat feet with Lanolin or Gehwol
-Wear 1000 mile socks
-Next time focus on lighter and less rigid boots (as you don't seem to weigh much, you're more effected by rigid soles)
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Re: Blisters!

Postby larry groo » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:21 pm

Maybe try a few layers of zinc oxide tape on the problem areas... saved me from my new boots too!

I use this stuff. Doesn't come off with sweat.

https://www.firstaid4sport.co.uk/strapping-and-taping-c3/zinc-oxide-tape-c34/mueller-m-tape-zinc-oxide-tape-9-14m-13-7m-p514
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Re: Blisters!

Postby davekeiller » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:38 pm

Superfeet insoles get a good reputation. I think it's definitely worth going in to a physical shop with your boots and socks and speaking to a trained boot fitter to see how best to adjust things.
It also sounds like the SL is made on a different last to the Terra, so it's possible that they simply don't fit your feet unfortunately.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby kenncunn » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:59 pm

Liner socks and zinc oxide tape tends to work for me.If that fails could be boots are just a bad fit for your feet.
Compeed blister plasters are great for treating them.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby rockhopper » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:11 pm

One of my pairs of boots is SL Activ. I have broad feet and need to go up about 1 - 1.5 sizes. I use special metatarsalgia insoles but also found that my heel rubbed sometimes. Solution for me was to keep the laces around the ball of the foot not too tight but then to put a locking extra twist before going up the ankle then take the laces right to the top lugs bypassing the second top lugs then back down to the second top lugs and tying really tightly. That way I keep the ball of foot not too tight but really lock in my ankle so that it doesn't rub. I also always ear liner socks. Blisters are caused by friction - lock in the ankle by trying different lacing techniques may help. Try googling walking boot lacing techniques.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby xtina89 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:34 am

Thank you so much for all of the useful tips everyone!

I have ordered a few new bits based on your advice (a couple of pairs of 1000 mile socks, a tube of Gehwol and some zinc tape). I will also order some insoles – just having a think about which seem like the best fit for me.

Rockhopper – really useful info about shoe tying! I think my issue with the SL Activs is similar to yours. I had them fitted in store and am sure it is not a case of a bad fit, but there is definite slippage around the heel when I am walking – even when they are tied so tight my toes are going numb. Will definitely look at some youtube techniques for securing my ankle without cutting the bloodstream off to my toes!

Thanks again everyone :D
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Re: Blisters!

Postby davekeiller » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:05 pm

Sounds like your boots are too loose at the heel, which is causing the blisters on your heels. Possibly you're trying to compensate for this by tightening the laces too much at the toe, which is causing the toe problems you describe.
Zinc oxide tape will provide an additional layer to protect the skin, but is literally a sticking plaster solution. Gehwol will toughen the skin, but won't actually prevent the boots rubbing.
Thicker socks might help, but it sounds like heel lifts or volume reducers might be what is needed.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:10 pm

I always wore boots for walking until about 20 or so years ago, and always got blisters on longer walks.

Then I changed to walking in trainers (quite cheap and cheerful, as well as more expensive). That stopped most blisters. And I did long walks in them (eg Welsh 3000ers). Then I discovered and tried 1000 mile socks, and have not had any blisters at all since, even on pretty long walks over demanding terrain - eg, Mullardoch Round, Cuillin Ridge, etc. - and on boggy walks in which I've had wet feet all day.

So I second what Jacob says.

Something I discovered more recently is that I've been buying shoes that are too small - ie my nominal size - which often resulted in loss of toenails, mainly as a result of descending steep slopes quickly, even though the shoes feel comfortable when I try them - and I didn't get blisters: just toenail loss. I've sorted this by buying larger sizes, and then taking more care with the lacing so that my toes don't get jammed into the toe box on steep descents.

So I also second what Rockhopper says.

But: do you really need boots? What made me try trainers/approach shoes was noticing that fell runners seemed to be able to traverse 30, 40, 50km without getting blisters. I only wear boots now in deepest winter, when I may need to put on crampons. And in moderate winter conditions I have worn approach shoes with crampons, which worked quite effectively. My doctor brother also wears the same approach shoes/1000 mile socks combination, and my doctor son suspects that one suffers less from turned ankles because one builds up the supporting muscles rather than relying on ankle support from the boots - certainly before I swapped to trainers I used regularly to turned one or other ankle; this hasn't happened in at least 20 years.

Caveat: there have been many WH threads on this subject over the years, and my impression is that feet vary enormously, and what works for one person superbly may not work at all for another...
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Re: Blisters!

Postby xtina89 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:33 pm

Alteknacker wrote:I always wore boots for walking until about 20 or so years ago, and always got blisters on longer walks.
But: do you really need boots? What made me try trainers/approach shoes was noticing that fell runners seemed to be able to traverse 30, 40, 50km without getting blisters.


To be honest, I have been thinking about switching - especially during Summer. I've done a few smaller hills in trail running trainers and absolutely loved the agility and freedom of them. Howeverm I've been brought up walking with my dad who is an absolute boot purist and has given me a right talking to about my ankles every time I have raised the topic - but it is something I have been giving some serious thought recently!
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Re: Blisters!

Postby Manwaeadug » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:36 pm

rockhopper wrote:One of my pairs of boots is SL Activ. I have broad feet and need to go up about 1 - 1.5 sizes. I use special metatarsalgia insoles but also found that my heel rubbed sometimes. Solution for me was to keep the laces around the ball of the foot not too tight but then to put a locking extra twist before going up the ankle then take the laces right to the top lugs bypassing the second top lugs then back down to the second top lugs and tying really tightly. That way I keep the ball of foot not too tight but really lock in my ankle so that it doesn't rub. I also always ear liner socks. Blisters are caused by friction - lock in the ankle by trying different lacing techniques may help. Try googling walking boot lacing techniques.



This.
I got the idea of different lacing techniques from a video on You Tube. My boots were a good fit in the shop but rubbed slightly when I walked in them. I pretty much bypassed the mid-foot and locked in my ankles for a few weeks until the boot had worn in a little. Definitely worked for me.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:28 pm

xtina89 wrote:... However I've been brought up walking with my dad who is an absolute boot purist and has given me a right talking to about my ankles every time I have raised the topic - but it is something I have been giving some serious thought recently!


Well, I'm 67 and have been running and walking in the hills for 20 years plus in trainers/approach shoes without turning my ankles (as I said, in my boot days it happened quite frequently), and my son (40+) wears boots and regularly turns his ankles.... Whereas my brother (60+) also wears trainers/approach shoes, runs down often steep hills, and doesn't turn his ankles. Also, you have to ask: how do fell runners do it if it's a problem???? I suspect you strengthen your ankle musculature if you don't wear boots.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby jacob » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:16 pm

Alteknacker wrote:
So I second what Jacob says.



Well, in fact it was you who pointed 1000 miles socks out to me. And I've been happy ever since. Grand merci for that.
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Re: Blisters!

Postby Marty_JG » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:15 pm

The 1000 Mile sock recommendations piqued my interest so I checked out their website. Apparently they have their first ever clearance sale on, 50% off a number of lines (restricted sizes). I've picked myself up some half price socks (Walking, Heavyweight Walking) so it's a good time to check them out.

https://1000mile.co.uk/product-category/1000-mile/warehouse-clearance/
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