When you go to buy hiking boots, it’s important that you find a pair that fits properly. If the boots are too big, you’ll get blisters. But if they’re too small, your feet will be uncomfortable and you won’t have proper support.
So how are your hiking boots supposed to fit if you want to avoid blisters?
Well, first make sure there’s enough room in the toe box. You should also look for a boot with a snug fit around the heel and consider the lacing system. Make sure the boot is comfortable from the first time you wear it, and don’t forget to wear socks.
In this article, we will take you through everything you need to know to get that perfect fit as well as ensure blister prevention while you are out on the trail.
How Hiking Boots Should Fit to Avoid Blisters
It’s no secret that hiking can be a pretty strenuous activity. And if you’re not careful, you can easily end up with blisters on your feet.
One of the most important things to consider when hiking is finding a pair of hiking boots that fit properly. A good fit will ensure that your boots are comfortable and provide the necessary support and protection while you’re out on the trail.
Here are a few tips on how to ensure a good fit when buying hiking boots.
Make sure there’s enough room in the toe box. You should be able to wiggle your toes around without feeling cramped. There is nothing worse than toe blisters when hiking, so ample space is vital.
Look for a boot with a snug fit around the heel. This will help to prevent blisters as your feet won’t be able to slide or move around when you are walking.
Consider the lacing system when choosing a boot. Some hiking boots have laces that go all the way up to the ankle, which can provide a more secure and comfortable fit that will help keep your feet in place.
Make sure the boot is comfortable from the first time you wear it. While you will have to break your hiking boots in, a comfortable fit from the get-go means that you will have an easier time that reduces your chance of blisters and sores.
Leather boots are often the best hiking boots for comfort, but the issue is that they lack waterproofing most of the time. Wet feet can cause blisters and hot spots, so synthetic boots might be a better choice for blister prevention.
Don’t forget to wear socks. Wearing good hiking socks can make all the difference in preventing blisters. Choose a breathable sock that will wick away moisture to keep your feet dry.
Cotton socks are the best choice for this as they wick moisture away and keep your feet dry. Blisters form when the area is wet and starts to chafe, and you’ll find good socks will stop this common hiking injury.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding a pair of hiking boots that fit well and will help you prevent blisters.
How to Prevent Blisters While Hiking
While a good fit is important, there are also other things you can do to prevent blisters while hiking.
Wear the right socks or sock liners. As we mentioned before, wearing the right hiking socks can make all the difference in preventing blisters. Choose a breathable sock that will wick away moisture to keep your feet dry.
Tape any hotspots. If you start to feel a blister forming, stop and tape the area. This will help to prevent the blister from getting worse. By tape, I mean the medical kind and not duct tape.
The Right Boots
Choose the right hiking boots. When it comes to hiking boots, it’s important that they fit properly in order to avoid blisters. A good fit will ensure that your boots are comfortable and provide the necessary support and protection while you’re out on the trail.
Keep Debris Out of Your Boots
Debris in your hiking boots can cause blisters, so make sure to keep them clean. Be sure to empty your boots after each hike and brush away any dirt or debris.
Build Up Mileage Slowly
If you’re just starting out hiking, don’t try to do too much too soon. Build up your mileage slowly so that your feet have time to adjust. Your new hiking boots will take time to get used to and you will need to break them in.
How to Look After Hiking Blisters
If you do end up with a blister, there are a few things you can do to care for it. You can perform all of these care tips while you are on the trail as well as when you are at home – ensuring you get treatment as quickly as possible.
Deal with Hot spots Immediately
If you start to feel a hot spot forming, stop and deal with it immediately. The longer you wait, the worse it will get, and it will eventually turn into a blister.
To treat hot spots, you can tape them up while you’re out hiking. You just need to put the tape over the sore, put your sock back on, and then get back into your trail running shoes.
Medical tape or a bandage is the best option to use for this. Duct tape can be used in an emergency, but it can be painful to remove and may rip the skin off with it, so we really don’t recommend this (I’ve done it before, it hurt).
When You Should Pop Blisters
There are a few instances when it’s okay to pop blisters. If the blister is large and painful, you can pop it and then put a bandage on it. This will help to relieve some of the pain and pressure.
You should also pop blisters if they are in danger of being popped by your hiking boots. If the blister is in a place where it’s likely to get popped by your hiking boots, it’s better to pop it and deal with it than have it burst on its own.
Generally speaking, blisters should be left alone as popping them increases the chances of a nasty infection. However, in the above circumstances, it is better to pop it and treat it yourself rather than risk it bursting in a sweaty shoe and gathering more bacteria.
How to Treat the Blister
Once you’ve popped the blister, it’s important to treat it properly to avoid infection. You can follow these quick and easy steps for blister treatment while you are out hiking or when you’re at home:
- Clean the blister and the surrounding area with soap and water.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment to the area.
- Cover the blister with a bandage.
You should also keep an eye on the blister and make sure it doesn’t become infected. If it does become infected, you’ll need to see a doctor.
Let Your Feet Heal
Once you’ve treated your blisters, it’s important to let your feet heal before you put the trail runners back on. This means you’ll need to take a break from hiking for a little while. Depending on the severity of your blisters, this could be a few days or a couple of weeks.
It’s also important to make sure you’re using the proper hiking gear, such as hiking boots that fit well, for blister prevention in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Always Get Blisters with My Hiking Boots?
There are a few reasons why you might be getting blisters with your hiking boots. The most common reason is that they don’t fit properly. Make sure you check out our tips on how hiking boots should fit to avoid blisters.
Another reason why you might be getting blisters is that you’re not breaking in your hiking boots properly. It’s important to build up mileage slowly so that your feet have time to adjust.
How Snug Should Hiking Boots be?
Hiking boots should be snug but not too tight. There should be enough room in the toe box so that your toes have some wiggle room. The boots should also be snug around the boot heel to prevent your foot from slipping when you’re hiking.
Consider the lacing system when you’re choosing hiking boots as well. Some lacing systems are better than others at providing a snug but comfortable fit.
What if My Hiking Boots are Too Big?
If your hiking boots are too big, they’re likely to cause blisters. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you choose hiking boots that fit properly in the first place. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your hiking boots are too big, you can try wearing double socks.
This will help to fill up some of the extra space and prevent your foot from slipping around. You can also try using a hiking boot liner. This is a thin liner sock that you wear inside your hiking boot to help with the fit.
Hiking boots that fit well are essential to avoid blisters. Make sure there’s enough room in the toe box and that the boots are snug around the heel. Consider the lacing system when choosing hiking boots, and make sure they’re comfortable from the first time you wear them.
Don’t forget a pair of thick socks as well. If you do get a blister, make sure to treat it properly to avoid infection and only pop it if it needs to be done. Don’t use duct tape to cover it. Most importantly, let your feet heal before hiking again if you do end up with one (or more).
With this advice, you’ll be well on your way to happy and blister-free feet.