How to Prevent Blisters When Hiking

May 17, 2021

How to Prevent Blisters When Hiking

Blisters are annoying but are one of the most common problems that plague hikers and backpackers. Even the smallest of spots can be painful enough to cut your trip short. The below guide should help you prevent blisters the next time you hit the trail.


What Causes Blisters?


The leading perpetrators are pressure, moisture, and heat that cause blisters to form on your feet while hiking. Blisters form when the skin gets irritated or damaged this could be from tight spots in your boots or wrinkles in your socks. Your feet are more prone to damage when they are wet, either from sweat or water on the trail.



  1. Keep Your Feet Clean
    • Cut Your Toenails
  2. Choose the Right Footwear
    • Learn to Properly Lace Your Boots
  3. Wear Hiking Boots That Fit Well
    • Socks Too
  4. Upgrade Your Insoles
  5. Plan for Stream Crossings
    • Bring Dedicated Water Shoes for Crossings
  6. Air Everything Out on Breaks
  7. Use Anti-Chafing Products
    • Vaseline is the Old Standby
  8. Pre-Tape Problem Areas
    • Treat Hot Spots Right Away


How to Treat Blisters


Sometimes, no matter how much you tried to prevent them, you will end up with a blister. As long as you have the correct first aid supplies and know how to use them, you can still manage the situation and hopefully continue on with your hike.


  1. Clean- You want to be sure to clean your hands and the blistered area with soap and water or alcohol wipe.
  2. Sterilize- If you have to pop your blister on the trail be sure to sterilize your safety pin, blade, or needle with an alcohol wipe, flame, or boiling water.
  3. Pierce- Pierce the bottom of the blister with your instrument slightly stretching the hole slightly.
  4. Drain- Carefully drain the blister by massaging the fluid down and out.
  5. Cover- Cover the blister with an antibiotic ointment.
  6. Pad- Using a piece of Moleskin, cut into a donut shape, create a pad around the blister. The hole in the center should be slightly larger than the blister.
  7. Bandage- Bandage the blister with a piece of gauze or Band-Aid.
  8. Tape- Cover the bandaged area with medical or skin safe tape.


We hope these tips help you prevent a blister from ruining your next adventure. What’s the worst blister you’ve ever gotten? Do you think it could have been prevented? Tell us in the comments.


Keep Trekking,

Wise Owl Team

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