Bushwalking Boots | Preventing Blisters in Poorly Fitting Boots

Ever found that perfectly good boots are giving you blisters? Too expensive to throw away? Discover some solutions to this problem.

Leather boots often take ages to break-in. Some brands of expensive leather boots, with a full thickness hide, can take months, before they feel comfortable.

Some  solutions I have tried include:

  • wearing multiple socks to increase the padding ( eg two thick or one thin inner and one thick outer)
  • wearing the boots for a few months, for short durations, until your feet toughen
  • soaking the boots in a bucket of water, and then wearing them until they dry
  • preemptive bandaging of your feet, before beginning your walk
Blister location

The outline sketch on the left shows where I usually got blisters after an extended pack-carrying walk, with my old leather boots. HINT: To help you remember where the blisters occur, make a sketch by standing on a sheet of paper, immediately after your walk
If you have a similar blister pattern, it may be related to where the toe of your boot bends, just below the lower end of the tongue, which often produces a ridge, which can rub on the top of your toes, causing blisters. Try stretching the boot to get rid of the ridge (see below)

Stretch boots
  • add extra padding to your boots eg inner soles (gel are best but expensive and have a shorter life)
  • stretch the boots, by soaking thoroughly and then jamming something like a bottle or log of wood inside the boot and waiting for it to dry.

Don’t forget that:

  • your feet are often different  sizes, and that this can vary depending on the temperature of your feet. Don’t be surprised if you need two socks on one foot and three on the other.
  • leather doesn’t like intense heat. It will crack, if placed too close to a fire. 

Related post

Bushwalking Boots |Selection and Fitting Criteria

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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