Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

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Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 8:02 am

Yesterday I went out to do a day long walk in my hiking boots (Ahnu Montara boots). I've worn them frequently for walking and short-ish hikes (usually 2-3 hours), and for the first time ever after long use and wet weather, I got blisters starting along the arch / edge. Thankfully I finished my hike before they developed into a full-on blister, so it's more like a hot spot verging on beginning to develop into blisters.

When I inspected more closely, I realized that it was where the insole met the side of the shoe. My feet are quite flat, with very little arch, and I think have a bit of pronate. And those ingredients had almost like a line on the arch of my foot most of the way along where a continuous hotspot was developing.

Oh no! And one week out from the Overland Track!

I'm kicking myself - metaphorically.

Here come the lectures that I should have done more long hikes prior. I hear you, I hear you. I have a 2 and a half year old daughter and am a solo mother, so it's not easy to get time out to do a long hike. And she can't do long hikes and won't be in a carrier that long at her age. I had done plenty of walking with the boots though, all through Winter. I'd walk into the city, to the supermarket and back with a heavy pack on. Lots of walks of 2-3 hours with pack. So I felt like while I hadn't completely tested them in full Overland Track conditions, I thought they would be fine.

I found an article on Arch / Edge blisters here: https://www.blisterprevention.com.au/bl ... h-blisters
suggesting Engo prevention blister patches, using a "2 patch method". In my case I'd need though to patch all along the inside arch of the bot, then on both sides as suggested by that podiatrist, which would mean about 6 patches per boot, so 12 patches for the pair of boots. And they're $24.95 for 4 patches, so I'd be $75 + postage on patches which may or may not work for me.

I'm thinking instead to ditch my boots and go with my trail runners - La Sportiva Akasha mountain runners. The insoles on them actually curves up the shoe, and is cut a good inch above the arch! I've also worn those shoes in really well, and I frequently spend the entire day wearing them. They're light-weight, and have a lot of cushion, and given my base weight is relatively lightweight at 7.3 kg, I hope they'll be fine. (My main reason for choosing boots was I thought they'd be a good option the mud. I've got pretty strong ankles so I wasn't so worried about ankle support.)

However the entire experience has made me quite nervous about blisters on the Overland Track.

Thank goodness I did such a long hike yesterday and also stopped before they were full-on blisters. Today that insole area is a bit sore and sensitive, but nothing major. I have no doubt that had continued hiking I'd have bad blisters forming.

I have got "Foot Glide", Injinji Coolmax liners and Darn Tough socks. (Yesterday I was only in the Darn Tough socks - sigh.)

Has anyone else had this issue with arch blisters / edge blisters?
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Zapruda » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 8:30 am

Those boots look about as breathable as a piece of tin.

Hot feet cause blisters. I am not sure there is any miracle product that will stop them forming.

I use these for my hot and ill fitting ski boots. They seem to work - https://www.armaskin.com/
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby photohiker » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 8:32 am

Years ago, I visited a Physio foot person with my new boots (they were a leather Salomons) The Physio spent time measuring and imaging my feet, then walking on the rolling track. Then repeated the walking in the boots on the rolling track.

The Physio said that the boots are well made, but too strong for my feet. Will make them sore and probably blister. But with the Physio making correct insoles for my feet for the boots they were much better.

As a result, I moved from strong and heavy boots to light and flexible boots (same brand) and moved the changed insoles into the new light boots. As a result, never had the pain in my feet again, and never have blisters.

I would suggest use your Sportiva mountain runners for the Overland and later after your Overland have a Physio to see if the boots can be correct to eliminate the chance of blisters.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby peregrinator » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 8:42 am

Zapruda wrote: . . .

I use these for my hot and ill fitting ski boots. They seem to work - https://www.armaskin.com/


They work extremely well for me with normal walking boots. I'm writing a review, but as it won't be finished before your trip, I'll say no more at this point. Other than to note: (1) make sure you get the correct size -- see their website and (2) be patient when you are getting used to how to put them on. Do some practice fitting sessions at home before you go.
Last edited by peregrinator on Mon 17 Dec, 2018 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 9:23 am

What type of terrain were you walking on for the long hike? Were you walking at the pace your planning to do during the overland track?

A long hot walk on a fire trail at a fast pace will make the likelihood of developing blisters greater. As Zapruda said the heat builds up and in something soft like a inner sole this contributes to increased friction/rubbing.


Simply slowing down and walking on dirt vs firetrail may reduce the development of hot spots.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Wazza12 » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 10:44 am

I found rubbing my feet with roll on deodorant at the start of the walk stops my feet from perspiring.
This cured my blister problem l repeat at lunch time.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Mark F » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 11:23 am

Perhaps slightly off topic but worthwhile. Like many others I have found blisters develop when the feet are hot and humid. Having switched to lightweight non-waterproof shoes I no longer get blisters. I also use my lunch stop for foot hygiene. I take off my shoes and socks to allow them and my feet to dry in the sun. If possible I will first wash my feet. Pull out the insoles to dry, shake out interiors and remove any grit from the little holes in the insoles.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Warin » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 11:51 am

During a first day with hired ski boots I got blisters.
The next day I went down one size.. no blisters.
This was in Europe where the sizing runs in cm .. and they increment by 1 cm.

I think the blisters were caused by slight movement .. going down a size held my feet more firmly thus no movement.

Good luck.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 1:19 pm

I think your trail runners are the best option.

The terrain on the OT doesn’t require anything more.

Your feet are obviously used to and comfortable in the trail runners. While you might get wet feet on the overland, trail runners will breathe and dry better.

Ensure you have two sets of socks. Takeoff your boots and socks as soon as you arrive into camp, and allow them to dry out - I carry lightweight foam thongs for this purpose. I carry two pairs of darn tough socks and alternate them each day so I’m putting on a dry pair each morning.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Lamont » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 3:43 pm

"I think your trail runners are the best option." Yes this. Absolutely.
Forget about the boots -write them off for now.
You will (should ha ha!) immediately feel relieved. Not enough wearing in, what's done is done. You have comfy runners and that is all you need.
Your feet cooked, then as a result swelled and sweated far more than previous too short walks, then pressure appeared because of that swelling and contact/pressure with the boot. As your feet were wet the rubbing exacerbates pressure (points) and causes the layers of skin to rub against each other under the pressure of the boot. Hence blister.
I feel confident you shall have the toppest of times in your runners.
I think I thought I saw you try.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 5:15 pm

Attached are photos showing the edge of insole where it meets side of shoe. It was that part rubbing, and photo of insole out and you can see the coarse area on arch where it’s rubbed.

As the boot has Waterproof Event lining, I agree my feet got moist in hot weather also.

By comparison, a photo of interior of La Sportiva Akasha shoes. The insole softer on the arch edge and is higher to wrap higher up the foot. Plus ventilation and breathability.

Thank you everyone for your advice and comments. This group is so helpful.

You’ve all made me feel better about going with the trail runners. And I’ll try and keep my base weight down and maybe ditch plans to carry Helinox Zero chair. Boohoo!
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 5:22 pm

And my poor foot - for those of you not too squeamish.

You can see the entire arch line is just so close to developing blisters.

Thank goodness this has happened a week before I start my hike. Would have been very miserable on Overland Track with 12 kg backpack loaded up with food and water. Ugh!
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby slparker » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 5:33 pm

Despite agreeing that the la sportivas are probably your best option you dont have to spend a fortune on blister protection if you would prefer to wear your boots.
Any strapping tape is a good preventer but i personally use fixomull aka hypafix tape on myself and others at the first sign of a hotspot. I used it on soldiers for years when I was an army medic.
Once a blister forms and breaks small sections of duoderm, a hydrocolloid dressing, are best and keep them on with hypafix. It is difficult to keep dressings on in boots when you are continually walking and the bulk of a dressing alone in tigjt boots can create more problems. Prevention, prevention....
You can cut off sections for your FA kit but it will last days on heels in SWTassy mud.
That said, wearing the footwear that fits your purpose and your feet best is a good rule of thumb.
I agree that waterproof membrane boots run hot and sweaty and may be the problem.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby emma_melbourne » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 5:48 pm

Fraying edge on arch creating friction.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 6:04 pm

Glad you’re feeling a bit better about it.

You’re going to have an absolute ball, it’s an incredible experience.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Zapruda » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 6:31 pm

Trail runners for sure. I do everything in them. Snowy traverses to thick scrub, scrambling and rolling tussock. I never have issues. I can’t speak to Tassie mud but I am sure they will do fine.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby Huntsman247 » Mon 17 Dec, 2018 8:52 pm

I've had problems all the time with blisters. Armskins have fixed it for me. Even in ill fitting boots that are wet i no longer get blisters.
I've bought 2 pairs now and never go without.
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Re: Boots & arch blisters / edge blisters

Postby peekay0019 » Fri 21 Dec, 2018 8:06 am

I like Enzees for blister / hot spots...its wool and you place a bit between the hot spot / blister and your sock.

I have found it works very well.
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