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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    First of all....thanks for actually reading my question before blaring out "it's a shoe problem". I've got 50+ yrs experience wearing a variety of shoes and have had issues with heel blisters wearing all manner of them for as long as I can remember. I'm not concerned about the heel blisters, leukotape works well for that and I'm sure there are at least 1/2 dozen other solutions that work equally well. Everyone can have an opinion about shoes...it gets more complicated and specific when talking about feet! No one has my feet (and no one has yours or anyone else's). I'm looking for those willing to share their experiences solving similar problems with THEIR feet. There's a lot feet out there and someone has a solution that will work for me.

    The MTP replacement certainly could have changed my pronation on that side. That is the only side where I am experiencing blisters on the little toe. So I think this is certainly the most likely culprit, not necessarily "THE culprit" but the one that can't be ignored.

    Orthotics may be in my future. I've worn prescribed orthotics for plantar fasciitis years ago. I agree that goes on the list of possible solutions

    Also...I'm flat footed so I don't consider the zero drop design of Altras to be an issue. Having the problem only on one foot also lends credence to this. My Altras are sized appropriately and there's no slippage forward/back or side-to-side.

    Just based on my own experience and what I've read from others here, the first things I'll try (if only due to the ease and cost of trying) will be one or a combination of the below:

    * no liners (I've been using thin, synthetic liners)---several folks commented on this being the solution for them (wouldn't that be great!)
    * thinner socks (going to try DT running socks)
    * lubrication (Vaseline, hikergoo, etc.)
    * more powder (have been using a miniscule amount...must be sure to not use so much as to cause clumping though)
    * on longer hikes will definitely remove shoes and socks, clean/dry feet, and possibly even change socks
    These problems can be vexing, though it often amazes me how effective even minor changes in footgear can be. Good luck with the approach you have laid out. If you think of it, once you have gone through the list, rekindle this thread and let us know what happened. There are a lot of folks who read the forum this can benefit.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    A few tips:
    1. your hiking shoes must be at least one size BIGGER than your regular size shoes.
    2. Wear liner socks under your hiking socks to reduce friction. Your liners must be very thin and made of non cotton synthetic fabric (e.g. polyester).
    3. apply a thin layer of A & D ointment before hiking and massage well into the skin. Do not massage over blisters.
    4. Keep your feet dry, especially between the toes. I carry two pairs of liner socks, so i can change when one pair is wet.
    5. Let your feet "breathe" at the end of the day. If you still have the energy, you may wash them with a bottle of water.
    How could i forget the most important tip?!?!?! toe nails. Untrimmed toenails are a major cause for blisters and all kind of foot pains. So my tip # 6: trim your toenails before hiking, and if your hike is over a week long, take a nail clipper with you. I have seen nail clippers in hostels for hikers to use, but.....

  3. #43

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    I haven’t read every post on this thread so consider this.

    When you stand barefoot and look at your toes, do any of them tend to turn and land under an adjacent toe? If so you may consider toe straighteners such as these.

    There are several types, and some of the smaller more compact ones can benefit hiking.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/4Pcs-Full-...rts-/642387404


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  4. #44
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    None of my toes appear to do as you suggest. However, my little toes have taken a beating over the years (stubbed toes!) so they're far from straight.

    Those toe straighteners are interesting though and might do the trick. Will consider them.

    For anyone else reading...there's a mind-blowing number of these on Amazon too. Evidently Amazon is the Baskin-Robbins of toe straighteners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    I haven’t read every post on this thread so consider this.

    When you stand barefoot and look at your toes, do any of them tend to turn and land under an adjacent toe? If so you may consider toe straighteners such as these.

    There are several types, and some of the smaller more compact ones can benefit hiking.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/4Pcs-Full-...rts-/642387404


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  5. #45
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    One more shot in the dark:
    At 72+ years of age I visited a physical therapist for the first time.
    In less than half an hour of examination, he informed me that my left leg is 1/2” short. A simple heel lift in my left shoe corrected the problem.
    Good luck! I hope you find a solution!
    Wayne

  6. #46

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    [QUOTE=seakayaker;2242611]First of all....thanks for actually reading my question before blaring out ....

    Everyone can have an opinion about shoes...it gets more complicated and specific when talking about feet! No one has my feet (and no one has yours or anyone else's). I'm looking for those willing to share their experiences solving similar problems with THEIR feet. There's a lot feet out there...[quote]

    You shouldn't have to say TU to those willing to reply for entirely reading and considering your situation. That should be expected. You're welcome though.

    That's so right about shoes and feet.

  7. #47

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    I'd ditch the liners as well, but I'm not "in your shoes". In the meantime, you might try Johnson and Johnson athletic/coach tape, cut to width for that little toe. This is also what Metolius rebrands as climber's tape, and works better than other brands for whatever reason. Unlike a bandaid or some other tapes, it'll stay in place until you take it off, whenever that is.

  8. #48

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    People with a lot more experience than I have chimed in, but I understand that moisture is one of the leading causes of foot blisters.
    My feet sweat a lot. A lot. Prior to a hike, for several days, I spray my feet with anti perspirant spray (aarid xxdry), and it has a carry over effect for several days once I hit the trail.

  9. #49
    Flip flop, flip flopping' LASHin' 2000 miler LDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    Looking for some good advice on both dealing with the blister "after the fact" while continuing to hike as well as prevention. Thanks for your help!

    Seakayaker
    I’d recommend two things. Get “Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes” by Vonhof, John. Avail on Amazon

    The advice I got from that, which fixed my problem with blisters on the inside of my little toe, was to carefully trim and file toenails! His point is that sharp edges on toe nails catch on socks and cause the toe to move and rub against adjacent toes.

    My dad taught my to trim my toenails straight across. Not rounded. Well, that creates sharp corners. For whatever reason, that toenail also curves up a bit. I started rounding my toenails, and filing them smooth, and my toe blister problem went away.

    I also no longer scratch my wife’s legs. So there’s that.


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  10. #50

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    Read Fixing your feet for the whole low down on blisters.

  11. #51

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    I had a very similar problem. Tried something called toe sleeves, on Amazon. They are silicone sleeves that fit over your toes, and prevent the rubbing....very comfortable!

  12. #52
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Risk, the MD who wrote The Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike, made a basic point about blisters: blisters form in the presence of heat, friction, and moisture. So the question is: which of these factors are causing your toe blisters?

    Things I do that helps me prevent blisters:

    If the weather is going to be at all warm, I wear the most ventilated shoes I can find. My usual shoe is Brooks Cascadia. I like Altra Lone Peaks because of the wide toe box, but they seem warmer on my feet than the Cascadias. Except for boots used for snowshoeing in the winter, I never buy shoes with a vapor barrier liner, or any sort of waterproofing.

    I wear very thin socks, usually a liner sock alone.

    My hiking shoes are longer and wider than my normal shoes. (My most serious foot issue is a Morton's neuroma. I've had surgery, but it's a still a problem. Like your blisters, it usually starts showing up after 7-10 miles. Hot weather and the associated swelling of the feet, is a big problem. In summer I often hike in Chacos, which seems to help.)

    I keep my toenails trimmed quite close, paying special attention to eliminating sharp corners on the little toenails, since they can irritate the insides of the fourth toes.

    When I take a break, every hour or two, I take off my shoes, take off my socks, take the insoles out of my shoes, knock out all the sand and debris, and spread everything in the sun to dry out. I manually clean the dirt out from between my toes. A squirt of Purell really dries skin out, if that seems necessary. I try to rest with my feet at least as high up as the level of my hips. Maybe rub my feet to redistribute the blood, and reduce swelling. (This happens when it's hot out, and not raining.)

    Toe socks have had mixed results for me. They come is a wide variety of thicknesses and cuff heights. Some of them have worked well. Other pairs have caused problems, riding down into my shoe, and having the fabric bunch up around my toes.

    I personally haven't tried it, but I had a frequent hiking partner who puts Vaseline on her foot in spots where she otherwise gets blisters. I have to say that her feet look quite soft and not at all calloused, like most hikers' feet look. I've talked to other hikers who use Body Glide on problem spots.

    Good luck solving this problem.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  13. #53
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    Calling this fixed....I just completed a 2 day hike on the Art Loeb Trail. No blisters on problem little toe.

    Here's the combination of things that worked for me:

    * Careful attention to trimming/filing nails pre-hike. I'd categorize this a "obsessive attention".
    * Foot powder. Not so much as to cause clumping.
    * 3M Nexcare waterproof tape around little toe. This worked better than Leuokotape to me. Remove all tape at the end of the day.
    * I ditched the liner----but only the on the problem foot. I think this is key...everyone has different feet. Even the same person has different feet! So...liner+DT hiker sock on good foot and just a DT hiker sock on problem foot.
    * Kept the Altra Olympus size 12 shoes. They did great. I normally wear anywhere between a 10.5 and 11.5 depending on shoe/brand.

    Some of the steps above were taken as the result of advice received here (esp 3M tape and ditching liner) so thanks to everyone that contributed to this thread!

  14. #54
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    Glad your toe problem is better. You said you had a MTP replacement. Did you regain your normal range of motion in that joint. This type of surgery can change your foot mechanics. Since you were getting a blister on the little toe, you are shifting weight to the outside of the foot. You also remarked about having flat feet. Your metatarsal arch is probably flattened which combined with altered mechanics will cause your blister.

    Consider putting a metatarsal pad under the insole of your shoe to restore the metatarsal arch. You could also be fitted with an orthotic by someone who understands hiking as well. Just remember that your footbed in your shoes are critical to happy hiking.


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