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March 2008 Boots Review: Start Smart Boot Tips

Prevent Blisters
5 field-tested techniques for eliminating the three causes of blisters: heat, moisture, and friction

1 Grease up Reduce friction by applying antiperspirant, antifungal powder, or a skin lubricant such as Sportslick, BodyGlide, or Hydropel before your hike. Reapply every few hours on the trail.

2 Ventilate Wear the most breathable footwear appropriate for the conditions.

3 Keep them dry If your feet perspire heavily, remove your boots and socks during rest breaks (even short ones) so they can air out.

4 Rotate socks Change socks at lunch–or whenever they get soaked–and dry sweaty ones with body heat (in your jacket or pocket) or by hanging them from your pack as you hike.

5 Act early As soon as you feel a hot spot developing, wrap or cover it with duct tape or moleskin (use tincture of benzoin with the latter to improve stickiness).

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