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Backpacker Magazine – June 2005

The Fix: Boots That Cause Blisters

Don't throw big-ticket boots in the bin when a quick makeover will do the trick.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Don't pitch your pricey leather stompers just because they're giving you a hot spot (best case) or a blister (worse case). If the problem is a pressure point--rather than fit or break-in--you can work it out just like a cobbler would. This two-step trick also lets you customize your boots for bunions, heel spurs, and other foot problems.

step 1 Remove the laces and pull back the tongue. Apply a dab of mink oil (found at most hardware and shoe stores) to the inner leather at the troublesome spot. Massage until the oil is absorbed to soften the leather. (For non-leather-lined boots, skip the mink oil and go to the next step.)

step 2 Knead the offending area with a hard, smooth, blunt object like the end of a broomstick or a closed pocketknife. Use a circular or back-and-forth motion and a healthy bit of muscle. The extra space this effort creates should eliminate the problem.

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Aug 20, 2012

About 12 years ago I started backpacking in trail running shoes because I did not have boots and I thought they would work and they did even though I had relatively tender feet without a lot of hiking or running.

My friend had big full leather boots and he was tending to blisters the first day.

You cant beat trail runners for there flexablity, breathablity, and lightweight. Bet a lower heal and rolling heals will not be a problem because the lever that rolls your heal is shorter. You have to pay attention to where you are putting you foot to protect your shoes and ankles from abrasion.

Jul 01, 2012

I have problems with my ski boots- almost always the right one. I think my heel is more narrow on the rt. What can I do about getting the boot to fit better? I have used dust tape and that works for awhile- letting the boot slip on thatistead of my skin. I have had some pretty bad blisters on long ski trips.

Apr 08, 2012


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