How To/Advice / Walking /


By Cotswold Outdoor
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Whether you’re in a casual pair of shoes on a day long trek or hiking for hour upon hour with no alternative footwear, most of us have experienced the wincing pain of a blister rubbing continuously against the same spot with every step you take.

However, it’s important to note that blisters are not normal. With the right fit and the right socks you shouldn’t get them. Blisters occur due to poorly fitting footwear or when feet are warm and damp and begin to rub against your boots. Your skin naturally reacts by forming a pocket of fluid under the damaged layer of skin, cushioning the tissue underneath.

By following a few simple blister prevention steps in preparation for your trek and knowing how to stop and treat a blister mid-trek, you won’t have to let one ruin your comfort outdoors.


Most importantly, make sure that your footwear fits properly, visit any of our stores for a free boot fitting service or check out our boot fitting guide. Once you have correctly fitting boots make sure you tie your laces properly as this can often make the difference.


Avoid cotton socks as these tend to hold moisture next to your skin. Moisture combined with friction causes blisters to occur. If you take one of these two factors away a blister is much less likely to occur. Instead wear moisture wicking polyester or wool socks like Bridgedale or Smartwool.

Try a thin pair of merino wool or polyester dedicated liner socks, with a second pair of thicker socks over the top. Whether you wear one pair of socks or two, it’s really down to personal comfort. However, it’s important to think about the thickness of your socks in relation to the fit of your footwear, as they can change the volume of your foot. You should also consider the level of insulation the sock you choose offers.

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Wool and synthetic socks do a great job at moving sweat away from your feet, but you can always take a spare pair of socks with you and swap them if your feet get wet or if you feel you need to, when you stop for a break in the middle of the day.


When it comes to treating blisters, prevention is always better than cure, if you do feel a hotspot, stop and treat it before it spoils your day or tomorrow’s trek.

When using a blister plaster get it up to body temperature before you apply it as it helps to make it more adhesive. You can do this by placing it inside your layers or under your armpit to warm it up while you take your boot off. Air your feet out and apply these once your feet are dry, as they won’t stick to damp skin.

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Remember- getting blisters is not normal and shouldn’t be occurring. If you find you have an on-going problem with them pop into one of our stores with your boots and we’ll try and identify the problem.