Saturday, October 11, 2014

Five Little Piggies ...

I know I've talked about this before but blisters are the bane of the hiker's existence.  I usually get them on the heals, ball of the foot, or on the toes. When I was walking my second Camino we would say, when counting blisters, toe blisters didn't count.  Yes they would hurt but they wouldn't stop you from walking.  They could take some of the joy out of the hike though.  I decided to try out a possible solution.

I've already mentioned a few things I do to prevent blisters like lubing up your feet and wearing two pairs of socks.  Lubing up is just what it sounds like - using some type of lubricate like Body Glide or Vaseline to reduce friction against the skin.    Wearing two pairs of socks consist of wearing a thin, moisture wicking inner sock (or liner sock) with a thicker sock (often a merino wool sock like OmniWool, SmartWool or Wigwam) over it.  The idea being to transfer any friction off of the skin and onto the liner sock.  These two fixes are more effective against the heal and ball of foot blisters than toe blisters.

.My potential solution to toe blisters has to do with the liner sock.  I decided to try changing the type of liner sock I'm using.  Namely, I'm trying funky looking toesocks.  I hope, since each toe is totally encapsulated in cloth that there will be minimal friction between the toes thus preventing blister formation.
Injini Liner Toesocks

I'd heard of these socks from a Camino forum comment.  Someone posted that they loved them.  I thought what the heck and bought a couple pair to try out.  The Injinji Liner Toesocks are thin and moister wicking like proper liner socks.  They are made with coolmax which is known to anyone who has bought athletic clothing.

I tried them out yesterday on a thirteen mile walk around downtown Omaha and through the Dundee and Benson neighborhoods.  When I first put them on they felt odd but the sensation quickly went away.  They fit tightly over you feet and hug your toes.  I wore a pair of thick Omniwool Merino wool blend socks over the liners.  The liners felt good over the four hour walk.  They didn't slip or bunch up anywhere and were comfortable.

Obviously one hike does not a test make.  I rarely get toe blisters after a single long walk - it will take a multi-day hike to really test them out properly.   I should, though, have some results later this year as I lengthen my hikes.  I have a soft corn on the side of one of my toes that often starts hurting during longer hikes.  It doesn't need consecutive days of hiking to irritate it.  It just needs a few long hikes.  Hopefully I will post a follow up later in the year.

I will say that so far I like them.  The only short coming is the price which, at $9.00 per pair, is a little steep.  If these turn out to prevent toe blisters they will be worth every cent.

If anyone has any experience with toesocks and blisters, feel free to share your stories in the comments.  I'd love read them.

2 comments:

  1. I have no experience but the theory seems pretty sound. I hate getting blisters too! I'm trying to go on longer walks myself, so maybe I'll test out the toe socks too! :-D

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    1. Autumn: that would be great if you could try them yourself. Let me know if you do!

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