Tourist taking pictures in Rome in front of Roman Forum by Moyan Brenn
Whether you’re headed to the mountains or a tropical destination, don’t let blisters stand in the way of your perfect summer vacation. Even a tried and true shoe can cause blisters under the right circumstances – increased humidity, heat, or a different type of terrain than you’re accustomed to. Try these four tips for preventing hot-spots and blisters on your next trip.
Footwear, footwear, footwear
Finding the right type of boot, shoe, or sandal for your foot is the first step in reducing the risk of blisters. Shoes that are too small, too wide, and even too big for your foot can cause uncomfortable friction or pressure. When you’re trying on shoes, the smallest irritant in the store can turn into a big problem when you’re walking through museums and tourist attractions all day. If you’re looking at buying a pair of sandals like Chacos, spend a little time adjusting the straps to get just the right fit for your foot.
Don’t forget your socks!
Even if you’re just exploring the shops and restaurants downtown, a blister can easily develop in less than an hour. Don’t forget to wear a pair of synthetic or merino wool socks. While cotton socks get soggy with sweat, synthetic or wool socks wick the moisture from your skin, reducing the risk of friction.
If ever there were an excuse to get a pedicure this is it: friction is more likely to occur on rough and dry skin. Moisture and exfoliate those tootsies!
When in doubt, use your eNZees!
Whether I’m headed into Manhattan or up a mountain, I always keep a little eNZees in my purse or backpack. The all-natural New Zealand lambswool reduces the friction between your shoe, sock, and skin and can prevent hot-spots and blisters. It’s lightweight and doesn’t require any tape or scissors to apply, so it takes up little to no room in my bag.
Last week I had the pleasure to participate in the first annual Colorado Trail Days at Backcountry Experience in Durango, CO. While eNZees Foot Soother can be used to comfort feet during any activity, it has its roots in hiking and backpacking. I discovered it while trekking in New Zealand and I’m always happy to introduce this amazing product to fellow hikers.
I spoke with numerous beginning and advanced backpackers during the event who were excited to try a new method of preventing hot-spots and blisters. It’s incredible how simple foot wool is to use. eNZees reduces the friction between your shoe, sock, and skin. The fibrous nature of wool allows it to weave into your sock, holding it in place. It’s always fun to see the light bulb turn on and see people just “get it.”
During the Colorado Trail Days event, there were numerous educational clinics like Basic Map & Compass Skills and Intro to Wilderness First Aid. And there was plenty of “hiking inspiration” to go around!
Here’s to Happy Trails and Happy Feet this summer!
The hike of all hikes! Angel’s Landing is one of those iconic hikes that you hear about and hope to do one day. I was fortunate enough to have that opportunity just a few weeks ago.
The day started out perfectly clear, dry of course and a bit cool as we ascended the 6 mile round-trip hike to the top of Angel’s Landing.
Starting at the Grotto Trailhead, this is one of the defacto classic hikes in Zion and one of the most stunning viewpoints you will ever experience, but it's not recommended for anybody with a fear of heights. Chains help ease the fears of intrepid hikers seeking the summit.
The condition of the trail was impeccable, with numerous switchbacks in and out of the sun to get to our first taste of a narrow loose trail with long drop offs. As we made the approach to the final pull to the top, the chain links were there waiting for us. The pictures below was taken from the top looking down through the canyon; and the second picture was taken of Larry and me chilling on top of ANGEL’S LANDING!
Along the way I have to admit to giving out some eNZees to a few hikers stopped along the way with their socks and boots off, rubbing some hot spots. I ended up seeing one of the woman later on and she was quite surprised that no blister developed!
As many of you may know, eNZees Foot Soother is based out of Durango, a town of 16,000 on the remote Western Slope of Colorado. Among other points of notoriety – like our huge craft brew scene, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and Mesa Verde National Park – Durango is known for being the southern terminus of The Colorado Trail, which connects us to Denver 486-miles away.
The Colorado Trail attracts hikers, backpackers, and even mountain bikers from all over the country and world. It truly showcases some of the best scenery in Colorado, but you have to work for it. The majority of the trail is at or above 10,000 feet! Though I have never done the entire trek, I am happy to support the first annual Colorado Trail Days this weekend in Durango.
The event is organized by one of the first stores to carry eNZees Foot Soother, Backcountry Experience. I will be at the event on Saturday morning, spreading the word about the benefits of using lambswool to protect your feet from hot-spots and blisters. (I’m sure you thru-hikers know a thing or two about those!)
If you’ve always wanted to get into hiking and backpacking, Colorado Trail Days will have plenty of free clinics on backcountry skills and gear. There will also be prize drawings throughout the event with prizes from Osprey Packs and Outdoor Research. All proceeds are benefitting the amazing volunteer trail maintenance efforts put on by the Colorado Trail Foundation.
If you’re in the Durango area, come on out and support this great community event. Hope to see you there!