Ah, the dreaded B word. Let’s face it; blisters are the bane of any walker’s life. Slowing rubbing away, punishing you with every stride. The truth is, the odd bump and bruise is inevitable, but the majority of blisters CAN be avoided. And it’s easier than you think! Simply follow these handy guidelines and start enjoying a pain-free walk this season…
Buy the right gear
Believe it or not, the majority of blisters are caused by ill-fitting footwear. So it’s vital to make sure you invest in good quality walking shoes and socks before you get started. Our walking boots section should help you decide, but if you’re after a personal touch, nip into store and ask one of our knowledgeable members of staff to help you. Some socks even feature anti-blister and moisture-wicking fabrics to reduce your feet rubbing and sweating during exercise!
It’s an age old cliché but one to remember - ‘prevention is better than cure’. So, before you set off, it’s useful to moisturise and massage your feet to improve the blood flow. Rubbing surgical spirit into your feet can also help, hardening your skin for added durability upon impact. Buying some high-quality plasters is another essential. Brands such as Compeed act as a second skin, offering a longer life-span and rubbing far less than regular plasters. To avoid treatment, make sure you apply them to vulnerable areas before you begin.
During your walk
Moisture in your boots is one of the other big causes of blisters, so it’s important to keep dry and prevent a build-up during exercise. Try taking breaks on your walk and removing your boots and socks. Then, once you’re barefoot, apply some Talcum powder to help dry your feet quicker.
As we mentioned before, preventing blisters isn’t always possible. So if you’re unlucky enough to suffer from them, make sure you treat it properly. Most blisters will drain and go away on their own, but if a blister is very large or painful, it may be necessary to pop it. To do so, first sterilize a pin with a flame or rubbing alcohol. Use the pin to puncture the very edge of the blister and press gently to drain the fluid. Leave the skin intact over the blister. Gently apply antibiotic cream or ointment to the area, and cover it with a sterile bandage. And if you will be walking again before the wound heals, use athletic tape to secure the dressing.