Check out these tips to prevent blisters using double socks.
Years ago backpackers and hikers wore itchy wool socks that rubbed against your skin.
A good way to ease the rub and decrease blisters was to add a thin silky liner sock.
Most socks today are a finer wool that feels much better – so much less rub.
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You can use this same concept of double socks to help reduce blisters on really long hikes. Check out a pair of thin liner socks and see if this helps. The liner will rub against the sock and outer part of boot and not your skin. The liners are really good for wicking away sweat and moisture. Think of the liners as a base layer to help reduce blisters.
Review of Bates Boot and double socks
Check out Darn Tough Vermont Men’s Merino Wool Micro Crew Hiking Socks
Use a thin sock liner.
Check out these Fox River X-Static Liner socksto see if this helps reduce blisters.
Make sure you size them properly: they should fit very snugly and smoothly. There should be no wrinkles or gapping, which will just make your problems worse.
Don’t just buy sock liners and then take off on a long hike with a load.
Try out the liners on a much shorter hike with a light load. Make sure they work well with your feet and boots.
Don’t get a loose fitting sock liner that will just slink down inside your boot.
Use a relatively tight sock liner that will stay up on your calf while hiking.
Add a thicker poly sock over that.
We like the Smartwool hiking sock.
Don’t use all cotton socks as they will get wet and cause a problem.
This outer sock should be snug and not loose. It should rise up above the top of your boot. Don’t let outer sock (or liner) be below the boot. If this happens it can slip down below and scrunch up on your heal.
One of the best tips to reduce blisters is to apply a coat of anti-chafe.
We use Bodyglide Original Anti-Chafe Balm on feet to reduce blisters.
Back in the old days we used a dab of vaseline. But vaseline can attract sand and fine grit. This stuff is way better – think “space age lube”.
Triathletes have been using it for year as they come out of the salt water and onto their bike and run. You can get chafed really fast on the bike if you have salt water and sand on your sensitive parts.
Triathletes use it on their underarms and nipples, and legs – you can do the same.
From an Army Ranger buddy:
Brad – another trick is to lather the sock with Vaseline or baby oil before you put it into the shoe or boot.
This way you have the cushion/comfort and warmth of the sock with out the friction.
Using all of these tips will help you to avoid blisters during a ruck march or your next backpacking trip.
Try them out and drop us a note in the comments below and let us know how they worked for you.
From Ted: I ran marathons for 37 years, and used band aids on my nipples. The band aids worked great. Kind of like the socks, find the brand that works for you. You do not want them so flimsy they don’t last the duration of your hiking event.
You also do not want to buy band aids that adhere so strongly that it takes more than just you to pull them off at the end of your event…
Questions from our athletes.
Question: How to prevent nipple chafing on a ruck march or run?
Answer: Use Bodyglide Original Anti-Chafe Balm . You can also use vaseline in a pinch but it will attract sand and dirt, Try to wash off the excess dirt with your water bottle and a napkin. Using vaseline is way better than bloody raw nipples.
Question: Is it true that the Navy SEALs wear Darn Tough socks?
Answer: Yes; the guys in BUDS training are issued Darn Tough Vermont Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion Socks.I was out in Coronado a few years back and was talking to one of the staff and he mentioned about the trainees using Darn Tough.
Question: how do Navy SEALs deal with wet feet?
Answer: You have to keep a close eye on your feet to make sure you dont get trench foot which can happen within a day when being exposed to constant wet feet and humidity. Take your boots and socks off for starters. Get them out in the sun and wind and dry them out. Pop any blisters and apply Neosporine. Dry out feet as long as you can. Walk in the sand if you can as that can slough off some of the dead skin. Use Bodyglide anti-chafe balm on your feet and put back on dry socks and boots and start again.