Heel Blister Prevention Tips and Tricks?

Schemy

New member
Hoping to get some tips and tricks here.

I wear a pare of Cabelas Meidl hiking boots in the field. First year I wore them, had zero issues. Second season, blistered one day (logged 12 miles that day), and now this season heels are just wrecked. I blistered before getting out of the first field. I wear marino wool socks, with a synthetic liner sock underneath. Boots fit nicely, but I think they seem to not tightening like when I first got them, and I'm getting heel slide.

Any suggestions to prevent the heel slide, or to at the least prevent the blisters from forming.
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
I'm going to guess that the root cause of your blisters is the boot not fitting properly. Not sure that can be fixed but you might try a pair of aftermarket insoles. In the mean time to help with your problem get yourself some "MoleSkin". Any pharmacy will have it. Put it over the blistered area then your socks. BTW, you are doing the proper thing with your socks. In my hunting boots (for over 40 years) I have always worn a sock liner (silk or synthetic) and then a wool sock. I like the Merino wool socks myself.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Good suggestions from Zeb.

I use adhesive tape where blisters may start erupting. You state "heels just wrecked." Can you define this for us?

Boot fit? Perhaps a heavier sock would reduce the heel movement.
 

Rusty Trigger

New member
Your sock combo is great. Try duct tape on the heel before the blisters start. Athletic tape works as well but I find duct tape to adhere better. Just rip it down to the proper width. If it starts to peel up, I will use a longer piece and overlap across the top of the foot.
 

marn

Member
A set of heel cups can reduce heel slide if the boots are not fitting tight. Another option besides moleskin would be to cover the current blisters with second skin to reduce friction and allow you to keep hunting.
 

Schemy

New member
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to grab some moleskin or second skin.

As to the damage, my left heel had a quarter sized blister that opened up and all the skin ripped off. Working on getting that better. My right heel has a blister that popped, but I didn't lose the skin. Both were very painful during my three day hunt. The blisters appeared day one.

What is weird is that I had zero issues my first year with the boots. I'm guessing as I've worn them, they have loosened and now I'm having these issues.
 

jonnyB

Active member
I've installed the thin, inexpensive Dr. Schols inserts, under the regular insert. Adds to the cushioning effect and fills the boot. One foot is smaller than the other...
 

david0311

Member
I've installed the thin, inexpensive Dr. Schols inserts, under the regular insert. Adds to the cushioning effect and fills the boot. One foot is smaller than the other...
? Good Lord—Get Rid of the boots and spend some money on a quality boot that fits—why mess around with such an important part if not the most of your hunting gear—JMO
 

Chestle

Member
My solution to blisters was the Cabela's Ingenius sock. Started wearing those many years ago and have not had a blister since. Works for me in various boots, hiking/hunting/rubber boots, old boots new boots whatever. Unfortunately, Cabela's doesn't sell them any more.

https://www.cabelas.com/ensemble/cabela-s-ingenius-8482-sock-series/5570.uts

However, some company had to make them for Cabela's and I >think< it is Wigwam. Wigwam is still selling an Ingenius sock; funny they both use the same name and spelling. The construction of both is the same as well. The liner sock is knitted into the outer sock. I think that's the secret that has kept me blister free.

https://www.wigwam.com/products/p-trail-mix-fusion-socks.aspx?productid=2260

YMMV, but they certainly have worked for me. <edit> Oh, and I sent numerous pairs to a Marine over in the sandbox a few years back and he absolutely swears by them as well. Hunted with us this season and is still using pairs I sent him. They wear well. <edit>
 
vaseline, vaseline, vaseline... before boot, after boot. It won't matter how much tape, wrap is placed. find the boot that fits, not the walking down the road boot; you need the "I'm 4 miles from the road" boot. Then moisturize your skin. I have had blisters that would make tears come to your eyes by showering over them, let alone putting on the boot over the supposed blister medic bandage and still try to hunt in South Dakota. Vaseline enough to saturate the sock... anything to make it so the skin does not friction against the boot is better than crying through the blister tape because your dog makes you feel guilty that you motor through the bloody heel. Yep I've been there...
 

david0311

Member
vaseline, vaseline, vaseline... before boot, after boot. It won't matter how much tape, wrap is placed. find the boot that fits, not the walking down the road boot; you need the "I'm 4 miles from the road" boot. Then moisturize your skin. I have had blisters that would make tears come to your eyes by showering over them, let alone putting on the boot over the supposed blister medic bandage and still try to hunt in South Dakota. Vaseline enough to saturate the sock... anything to make it so the skin does not friction against the boot is better than crying through the blister tape because your dog makes you feel guilty that you motor through the bloody heel. Yep I've been there...
Vaseline soaked socks and boots—SERIOUSLY—

?? Believe the idea of this post is how to prevent foot problems—not treat them—
If you have had that many issues that you have had to resort to what you recommend—you may want to listen to/read other post here—

Good /to high quality —boots properly fitted—quality sock and liners—
 

jonnyB

Active member
I concur with David's dissertation...when I read about the Vaseline - I had to reread it - funny!

I played basketball in high school - lots of blisters due to poor shoes and socks. Recall we used "tough skin" a.k.a. tincture of benzoin and it worked, along with lots of adhesive tape. Most of the blisters were on the ball of the foot.

Perhaps changing socks mid-day might help...
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
Dave and Jonny, I have to agree with you guys. I had to re-read that post to make sure I had read it correct the first time. Saturate your socks with Vasoline? Never heard that one before. Some boots just don't fit properly and in those cases there is nothing to do but buy different boots. For some reason Danner boots don't fit me worth a darn. I've had 2-3 pairs and every pair gave me blisters on the heel. When it comes to hunting and walking your boots are the most important item of all your gear, including your gun. You must have proper fitting boots and then like myself and others have said, a good quality wool sock ( I prefer Merino wool) over a good sock liner that will wick the moisture to the outer sock. With the proper fitting boots and socks you won't have to worry about moleskin, duct tape or vasoline.
 

Chestle

Member
https://www.podiatrytoday.com/how-to-manage-friction-blisters

...However, a landmark study by Nacht and colleagues showed these measures may actually increase blister formation.17 They studied the effects of mineral oil, petroleum jelly and glycerin on the skin of humans and found that all three lubricants would initially reduce the friction force at the skin surface. However, after one hour of rubbing the skin surface, the coefficient of friction returned to baseline and after three hours of rubbing, it actually rose by 30 percent. This may have been due to a hydrating effect on the skin surface as the lubricant was absorbed over time.

Other topical agents that have been advocated for blister prevention include moleskin, tape, tincture of benzoin and viscoelastic dressings. However, there are no published studies to show these measures actually work. Few things applied to the feet will stay intact for more than one hour of vigorous activity. Therefore, measures that focus on footwear may be more efficacious...

... Four different sock studies have been conducted by the U.S. military in an effort to reduce the significant problem of friction blisters affecting marching soldiers.13,23-26 These studies have shown that the combination of a synthetic nylon or polyester liner with an outer padded wool sock significantly reduced blisters in comparison to the standard military sock.

The liner-sock interface typically has a lower CoF than the skin-sock or sock-insole interfaces. Therefore, the notion of setting up a low friction interface on the outside of the liner sock is validated by the end result of reduced peak shear stress on the skin surface.

Socks can reduce friction blisters on the feet by reducing moisture content and friction loads on the surface of the foot. In general, sock fibers that wick moisture from the foot surface are also the fibers that have the lowest CoF. Acrylic fibers and polyester fibers such as Cool Max® are preferred for wicking moisture from the surface of the foot. These and other synthetic fibers will also retain their shape and resist bunching and wrinkling when wet in comparison to cotton socks.

A sock with fibers that have a low CoF can reduce friction loads on the skin surface of the foot. This can be partly dependent on the sock fiber composition as well as the construction of the sock itself. Thicker, padded socks will allow internal movement within the yarn, which will dissipate frictional force on the skin surface. Also bear in mind that “double sock systems” can allow a movement interface between the layers, which can also reduce friction loads on the surface of the foot. This concept of a sock reducing friction on the surface of the foot has been recently validated in a computer model.26

Multiple interfaces are involved with shear force reduction on the surface of the human foot during running activities. The skin-sock, sock-insole, insole-shoe and shoe-ground interfaces are all various levels where friction loads can potentially be dissipated.
Boot fit and proper socks, my friends. Good luck to you.
 

BritChaser

Active member
I had some Meindls and they blistered me. I think that they were Ds - a little too wide - was the issue. That style of boot cannot be laced tight over the top of the foot either which means the foot slides around.
 

Schemy

New member
I had some Meindls and they blistered me. I think that they were Ds - a little too wide - was the issue. That style of boot cannot be laced tight over the top of the foot either which means the foot slides around.
Unfortunately I think this is the issue. I have tried a few different tricks, and my foot still seems to move around. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and find some new boots. I'll head over to the boot thread now.
 

BritChaser

Active member
Unfortunately I think this is the issue. I have tried a few different tricks, and my foot still seems to move around. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and find some new boots. I'll head over to the boot thread now.
Danner sells some styles in B width which I get, tho it's a tad tight - but no blistering. Also, Danner's are constructed so that they can be laced tight across the whole top of the foot.
 
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