After I sent out my most recent Hiking Lady’s Newsletter with tips on how to avoid sweaty feet and blisters, I got a few follow-up questions. I recommended using a liner sock/outer sock combination as well as making sure your boots are comfortable and fit your feet well.
Some readers find that their feet aren’t comfortable wearing a liner sock/outer sock combination…
Still getting blisters despite wearing well-broken in boots and liner socks?
One reader found that she tends to get blisters on her pinky toes. What should she do?
HL: If the blisters are recurring on the same toes, I recommend using moleskin around those toes to provide a little extra protection. Bandaids tend to slip off and end up doing more harm than good. Moleskin is a soft, heavy cotton fabric with adhesive backing that is commonly used to cushion an area around a blister. Use moleskin to prevent the blister from forming and put a little moleskin around “hot spots” where you are prone to getting blisters.
How about treating blood blisters?
HL: These are the most unattractive, and sometimes most painful blisters you can get. A dark pool of blood sits right under the skin, and it can take a couple of weeks to heal. While I have never had one of my feet, I got one a couple of weeks ago on my finger when I jammed it in a door. Mine was raised up and after about a week it was completely flat, then this week it flaked off as new skin grew underneath. Be patient – they will eventually go away, and definitely don’t pop them!
Do toe sock liners work better than regular sock liners?
HL: I have definitely tried both, and let me say that whenever I’m headed on a long hike or backpacking trip where I don’t want to risk getting blisters, I always make sure that I take my toe sock liners. I haven’t had issues with regular sock liners, but I find my feet stay drier and more comfortable with my toe sock liners.
The manufacturer of the toe sock liners I wear is Injinji. The drawback? They’re always sold out! All of my hiking friends are wearing them now, and the word is getting out that these funny looking liner socks are preventing a lot of blisters and unhappy feet on the trail 🙂 REI once again is carrying the liner socks after discontinuing them (they are now being called Lightweight Crew), and they are also available online at Moosejaw. Even though it says “Men’s Liner sock”, they are unisex. A small fits women’s shoe sizes 6-8.5, and medium fits women’s 9-11.5.
Check out my full Gear Review of my Injinji Toe Sock liners.
Happy hiking! And Happy trails!
Do you have a question for the Hiking Lady?
Hi Janet, great question. Yes, a thick sock will make your boot fit tighter, and a boot that is too tight can indeed cause blisters. The rule of thumb in all hiking boots, especially winter boots, is to order a 1/2 size larger than your street shoe size so you have space for enhanced insoles and thicker socks.
Depending on how cold it is where you are hiking this winter, you might be able to get by with just regular hiking socks in your well loved boots.
Good luck and happy trails!
I have hiking boots I’ve worn for years and are broken in. I used them recently with heavy winter socks and in less than half an hour had heel blisters. Does the heavy sock make my boot tighter? Do I need a bigger boot for winter hiking?
You’re quite stylish, Mutya! 🙂
I am swearing by Ininji as well!! But mine’s the technicolored ones!
Do you use Body Glide? Works very well on my toes and heals to prevent blisters.
The hikegoo is a local favorite and works great as well. 🙂
Thanks, Alex! I updated the article above. I’m happy to see that REI is carrying them again. Happy trails.
I just wanted you to know that I just found the Injini toe sock liners on REI’s website. Not sure if they just made them available again or what but thought you might want to know.