What Is Your Foot Care Regime?

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    jason quick


    Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne

    Hi all

    I'd like to know what people's foot care regimes are when on the trail. Of course a brief, one liner outlining the hiking conditions and footwear are important. For example:

    Conditions:3 Season hiking, rain and hiking in 40F temps
    Footwear combo: Inov-8 TrailRoc 245 Trail runner/Dirt Girl Gaiter & Wigwam Triathlon socks
    Night time/before bed: Moisturiser (Vitamin E cream with socks)…or whatever
    Morning: Hydropel/BodyGlide etc.
    On Trail: Shoes off where possible, feet up etc.
    Additional: Use of Leukotape etc. in high prone blister areas etc.

    I'm curious about the various foot care systems being used by everyone. If you want to include why it works then that's ok too!


    So, I'm first up:

    Conditions: 3 season hiking including high probability daily rainfall up to 55F day temps
    Footwear combo: Inov-8 TrailRoc 245, DG Gaiter with Wigwam Triathlon socks
    Night time/Before Bed: Vit E cream and socks
    Morning: BodyGlide Liquified Powder (Hydropel is simply too expensive, and I can get BodyGlide easily in Aust.)
    On the trail: Shoes off where possible, feet drying and elevated
    Additional: No need for taping as yet

    Im not sure if this combo is overkill (Vit E cream at night & BodyGlide), as I have only converted to trail runners in the last 6 months. I know the BodyGlide is also a moisturiser, but I'm not sure on its effectiveness (as a moisturiser) over a simple, good old Vit E moisturiser. Perhaps the Vitamin E cream is a waste of time and weight….although, I do like it for my face once a day. Any tips would be great too!

    Jase in Australia

    Edit: (…as a moisturiser)

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    I clean my feet at night and dry them when able. That's it. Blisters are very, very rare. Trail runners here also. I've used Hydropel and it works. Most of my trips are not long enough in duration to warrant its use for me though. Plus I forget.

    Jason Elsworth


    Locale: New Zealand

    Dry feet at night, put on Hydropel/Guerney Goo and bed socks. In the morning wet socks go back on. I will give socks, if they are wet, a rinse every day or so. No blisters yet after years of using trail runners. When I was a kid I used to get terrible blisters in boots.

    Stephen M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Way up North

    I use talcum powder in the evening to dry my feet.

    Recently bought some Gurney Goo to put on them in the mornings.

    Ike Jutkowitz
    BPL Member


    Locale: Central Michigan

    Once I found a footwear combo that fit well, I haven't needed much of a strategy. No more blisters or calluses.

    Injinji performance lightweight crew socks, merrills trail gloves wide. Great wet or dry.

    I just put on dry socks before bed. If I have it, I sometimes give myself a foot massage with hand sanitizer for cleanliness and drying. Probably doesn't do anything, but it feels nice at the end of the day.

    M B
    BPL Member


    take off shoes at night
    take off socks, wipe dirt off a bit with hands,esp in between toe dirt.
    Put socks in my kangaroo pocket on my hoody so will dry better from body warmth.

    In morning, put socks on, then shoes.

    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    take off shoes at night
    take off socks, wipe dirt off a bit with hands,esp in between toe dirt.
    Put socks in my kangaroo pocket on my hoody so will dry better from body warmth.

    In morning, put socks on, then shoes.

    Similar to mine. Sometimes I leave the socks on. Was different when I used leather boots though.

    Dena Kelley
    BPL Member


    Locale: Eagle River, Alaska

    I found out that for me, less is more. I used to wear an 8" solid leather Goretex lined hiking boot with double socks. I had suffered a severe sprain and felt I needed the ankle support. Despite the boot being a fairly good fit, I always suffered terrible blisters.

    This year I discovered New Balance and their 4E width (what a Godsend for people like myself with bunions). I wear a super light sock, either a light nylon sock or an Injini sock and suffer no blisters at all. If it's cold, I'll wear a mid-weight merino wool sock. I'm actually dreading when the snow gets deep enough that I'll have to switch back to different footgear because it has been so nice to go nearly all summer blister free.

    One thing I did do at the beginning of the season is I would "paint" areas I was prone to blisters in with New Skin. That made the skin nice and slick. And I started carrying New Skin with me as my primary blister care. It's a lot better (for me) than Moleskin or duct tape.

    John Donewar
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeastern Texas


    1.) Keep nails trimmed.

    2.) Ample room in the toebox to allow for comfortable downhill sections.

    3.) Thin sythetic low cut socks.

    4.) Loosely tied low trail runner/hiking shoes.

    5.) Low gaiters to help keep scree out of shoes.

    Of late my socks are "tabbed" low shoe liner style synthetic socks. They are form J. C. Penny's department store. 4 pair for 10 dollars. I wear 1 pair and carry 2 pair to rotate out when needed. I really only need 2 pair since I can usually walk them dry.

    As far as shoes I have used and like Merrell Moab Ventialtors, Columbia Aztecs and just this weekend Champion C9 Motivate trail runners from Target ($29.99). I have to say that the Motivates performed well this past weekend. I don't use hikers or trail runners that have any waterproofing system or treatments like Goretex.

    My gaiters are Dirty Girl normal height.

    On the trail, hand wash feet with plain water to remove dust/dirt accumulation that gets in through the mesh. Dry feet and put on fresh or rotated socks. Socks can be washed with plain water and dried as necessary on the pack front while hiking.

    I use no creams or ointments on my feet. On the trail I have almost zero problems with blisters so I use little or no tape. I do carry a small amount of Leukotape and moleskin just in case. Curiously at home walking on bike paths and such my Merrells blister me on the balls of my feet. None of my other shoes do this. ;-?

    Party On,


    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    I started hiking this way about 10 years ago, and can't remember the last time I got a blister. I figured this out by reading Ray Jardine's books, "The Complete Walker", and "Fixing Your Feet", plus lots of trial and error.

    Conditions: Non-snow seasons, from mid-30° F to high-90° F, up to 22 miles per day.
    Footwear: ASICS GT-2150 Trail, REI CoolMax EcoMade Low Socks, no gaiters.
    Before bed: Wear dedicated "sleeping socks" at night, same kind as hiking socks.
    Morning: Nothing special.

    Before a trip:

    Kill athlete's foot with Vicks VapoRub. The fungus causes feet to peel and blister more easily. I apply a thin layer of VapoRub daily, to all of the infected areas. In a few weeks, the fungus is gone, and my feet smell better.

    During a trip:

    Take 10 minute breaks every hour.

    At every break, take off shoes and socks, and let feet air as long as possible.

    During breaks, keep feet up, preferably higher than your butt.

    Carry two pairs of socks, and put on the drier pair of socks at each break. The other pair goes in an outside mesh pocket to dry.

    Tie shoes loosely, so I can slip them on and off, and dump dirt and rocks easily. Gaiters make my feet too hot.

    Replace socks at each food drop.

    I will try these on future trips:

    Wash one pair of socks every day.

    Wash feet every day.

    Nico .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Los Padres National Forest

    Using slightly oversized trail runners (~1/2 size too big) with a relatively wide toe box coupled with thin injinji wool socks has successfully prevented blisters for several years now. During colder hikes I can layer other socks over the Injinji socks as needed without creating blister problems.

    As far as other on trail foot care goes, I tend to try to take my socks/shoes off during long breaks to let my feet air out and dry a little. In camp, I will wash and dry my feet before slipping into clean sleeping socks.

    If going for more than one night, I will carry one extra pair of hiking socks and switch out each day. One pair of socks gets rinsed and hung on the pack to dry while the other pair get worn.

    This generally works well for me although I do get pretty bad maceration of the skin on my heels during prolonged hikes in the cold/wet. Even with thin merino socks and mesh trailrunners, I think because I run hot and tend to sweat quite a bit, my feet end up being damp for prolonged periods of time even in relatively normal conditions.

    The maceration has never become bad enough on a trip to have to do anything about, but I notice it usually a day or two after getting home when the skin will be a bit sensitive. I should probably start exploring ways to keep the skin drier in these conditions. Does applying BodyGlide work for this or do I need to look for something different?

    jason quick


    Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne

    Hey Nico

    I use Body Glide Liquified Powder and it has worked well for me.

    There are heaps of other threads that explore this issue (Body Glide vs Hydropel or other barrier ointments etc.)…just whack in some key words and enjoy hours of reading here! :-)

    Yep, the wide toe box on the TrailRoc 245's has been ace, and sooo comfy.

    I too switch out socks at the end of each day, or earlier (weather dependant).

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