Aug 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm #2219444jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
When my feet get wet I get blisters. So I wear a pair of 2 1/2 ounce event gaiters if I'm going to be crossing shallow creeks.(Actually, between rocks and logs, it's amazing how many creeks can be crossed wearing gaiters without over-topping boots.)I take off my boots and wear a pair of 2 ounce pool shoes if the crossing is too deep. Then I dry off my feet and continue on. I don't get wet feet.
But many–most?–people don't get blisters when their feet are wet, so it's not a blister issue. I'd wade right through if I could!Aug 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm #2219446M BBPL Member
Wet feet have never given me problems, even multiple days straight.
Although it is expected to lead to maceration.
Common from ultrarunners dousing their head with water, it runs into shoes, and their feet end up in horrible shape.
I intentionally will wade into streams on hot day, it cools your whole body, feet are very vascular. Keeps your socks clean too.
Only if I get wet sand into shoe doing that do I have problems, so Im careful around sandy creeks.
But, I wear very ventillated drainable footwear.
cool and damp doesnt seem to be nearly the problem that hot and wet seems to be for feet.
Of course, I leave my feet uncovered at night to dry out good as well.Aug 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm #2219450Richard MayBPL Member
@richardmLocale: Nature Deficit Disorder
Those who wear light shoes don't have many problems with wet feet and blisters.
Those with heavy WPB boots wear them to avoid wet feet and blisters.
Heavier packs require sturdier shoes. I think the blister issue isn't just about the shoe, rather it's related to the whole system.
My total skin-out weight was 19.5lb. If it'd been over 30lb I'm sure my skin would be peeling off and blisters would be bubbling under the ball and heel of my feet. The lighter weight is probably more forgiving on water logged feet.
I guess what I really wanted to know is what I should look out for in wet conditions. What warning signs, beyond blisters, should I be aware to avoid serious injury?Aug 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm #2219452
"@Justin how would thick wool socks help? I shied away from them wanting something that would dry overnight and trap less moisture. I may be missing something here."
When your socks are thicker, moisture can get pushed into the outer layers of the sock by body heat making the fabric next to your skin drier. With thinner socks you are waiting for the water to evaporate off the thin sock. Also they keep your feet warmer which helps to dry out. At least that has been my experience.
Thicker socks definitely help with blisters and rubbing when your feet are water logged and tender.Aug 6, 2015 at 6:34 pm #2219453
I should clarify that recommendation is for situations where your feet will be wet constantly, not for situations where your feet will get wet occasionally and have a chance to dry out. In that case thinner socks might be better. Thin socks dry faster but thick socks make your feet happier when they are wet.
Or better yet, wear some sandals.Aug 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm #2219456David UreMember
I used Hydropel ointment on my feet and between my toes. This permits rubbing to occur, if it must, but with the ointment there is little to no friction and no blisters.Aug 6, 2015 at 7:11 pm #2219460Richard MayBPL Member
@richardmLocale: Nature Deficit Disorder
Interesting on thick socks, Justin. I hadn't thought of them that way.
"Or better yet, wear some sandals."
That may be my next step. I need a pair anyhow, and I'm immune to poison ivy. I guess I won't know if debris floating through the sandal would be a problem or just something interesting, until I try.Aug 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm #2219483Daniel PittmanSpectator
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
Those look like they would dry out pretty well overnight. Clean them thoroughly and maybe apply some balm. Grease them up with something viscous before hitting the trail. All basic stuff.
One thing I do: If the crossings are hours apart, not minutes, I change socks after crossing. First I cross, and set down my pack. Then I take off my shoes and rinse them in the creek. Then I get a cup of creek water and sit down to wash and dry my feet. Apply balm and put on relatively clean spare socks. Next, put on clean wet shoes. Finally, wash wet socks in the creek and clip them to outside of pack to dry.
This routine takes a few minutes, but prevents blisters from wet gritty feet.
I use thin wool cycling socks from Pearl Izumi, NB MT10v2 shoes, and Vaseline or Aquaphor. My pack weight is usually light to ultralight.Aug 6, 2015 at 9:54 pm #2219488
I used to always carry dry socks for sleeping, but lately I just sleep with no socks. Is there any real advantage to wearing socks over no socks when sleeping after a day with wet feet?Aug 7, 2015 at 1:21 am #2219498Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Nah, not to worry. Only mild prune. Quite common.
Sometimes we travel down the river bed instead of on the banks – but you should see the scrub on the banks … Wet feet for days on end. No problem.
To my mind, what's important is good shoe drainage and drying your feet overnight. Like, drying them before you go to bed. Also important: keeping the sand, mud and gravel out of your shoes – which means good gaiters.
I like (as in love) thick wool Darn Tough Vermont boot socks. Imho, they do help. And shoes which are wide enough too.
CheersAug 7, 2015 at 4:55 am #2219511James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Yeah, as Justin and Roger were saying, wool socks are best for wet conditions. I spent over 6 weeks doing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail lining the canoe through some tough water. In two places I was making only 5-6 miles (as the crow flies, more on the twisting creeks.) I got one blister on the front of my big toe after a 4 day stretch of lining up one of the creeks in Vermont, even wearing sandals. Sandals are not that great since they pick up all sorts of debris: sticks, sand, pebbles, mud, etc. I met my wife and she brought me some mids to continue the hike. Yup, they still soaked up water, but at least they did not pick up debris.
Wool socks, even walking through water, are a big help as is drying out every night. They supply good cushioning even when soaked in water…when you need it most. Proper socks works better than all the salves, creams or oils. Darn Tough, Smart Wool, Wig Wam, or the like, they all perform the same.
Actually, except for short hikes, every hike I have been on means wet feet at least at some point. Especially with trail runners. They wet out in the scrub in the mornings. One of the reasons I switched back to mids with a heavy scree collar. They do not wet out as easily nor pick up mud from ankle deep mud holes or beaver ponds. It is something we deal with in the NE. I don't even worry about it. I know my feet can handle it. I don't treat with anything, just heavy socks and an anticipation of wet feet.Aug 7, 2015 at 7:25 am #2219538Buck NelsonBPL Member
"Is there any real advantage to wearing socks over no socks when sleeping after a day with wet feet?"
The reason I usually wear sleeping socks is for warmth (they are part of my sleep system) and to help keep my bag clean. A cleaner bag is also a warmer bag.Aug 7, 2015 at 7:32 am #2219539Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
oil and sweat from skin can get in down sleeping bag requiring cleaning it which is a hassle and might reduce lifetime
wearing socks will minimize this
toenails might catch on fabric and tear itAug 7, 2015 at 7:56 am #2219544David UreMember
+1 on the oil and extra warmth reasons. I wear these to sleep:
They are 1 oz for the pair.Aug 7, 2015 at 2:29 pm #2219629
What if I wash my feet before bed? Do you think clean feet would produce enough oils overnight to be of concern?Aug 8, 2015 at 5:58 am #2219720Buck NelsonBPL Member
"What if I wash my feet before bed? Do you think clean feet would produce enough oils overnight to be of concern?"
Not for most people.Aug 11, 2015 at 8:29 am #2220385Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
My feet were wet for almost a month hiking the PCT through Washington. If it wasn't raining the bushes would drench my feet all day, and there were some pretty big creeks. It seemed as long as my feet dried out at night nothing bad happened.
Also on the PCT, I suffered with horrible blisters for the first 700 miles in the desert. Once I got into the Sierras and had to walk through all the streams, the blisters went away. I think my feet liked being clean.
I wear thin wool socks in my shoes otherwise I find that my wet feet slip around inside too much and my toenails will catch on seams. I usually wear my shoes extra large and I find that foam insoles (bare foam on the top surface) and wool socks provide enough friction so that my feet don't slip. Thin wool socks don't last very long when conditions are wet.Aug 14, 2015 at 9:48 pm #2221132
"I like (as in love) thick wool Darn Tough Vermont boot socks. Imho, they do help. And shoes which are wide enough too."
Roger, why do you like the boot length socks over their shorter quarter length socks?Aug 14, 2015 at 11:43 pm #2221137Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Roger, why do you like the boot length socks over their shorter quarter length socks?
ONLY because they seem to be a thicker sock.
I have even gone so far as to take a pair of Full Boot Socks and cut them down to a shorter length. Yes, I had to sew up the top edge of course. The operation seemed to be successful, and the socks are still in use.
I do NOT like those socks which barely peep above the top edge of low-cut joggers. Apparently some people like to wear a pair of socks but to hide them from sight – dunno why. Very odd. And VERY prone to getting sand and gravel and sticks in between the sock and your foot. A bit silly imho.
CheersAug 15, 2015 at 10:52 am #2221190
Ah, ok. Makes sense. I like their quarter length sock the best for the reasons you mentioned. It goes right above the ankle.Aug 18, 2015 at 1:43 pm #2221726Dan LeeBPL Member
IMO and FWIW… Your feet look like most feet after hiking in wet conditions. I just spent four days in the Holy Cross where the trail was almost always like hiking in a creek. (It's been a very wet year in CO…) My trail runners and padded Experia running socks were soaked the entire time but at night I always put on my Smartwools after cleaning my feet with some Purell and getting them dry.
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