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Athletic Tape and blisters
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(strong806) - F
Athletic Tape and blisters on 09/25/2008 07:56:16 MDT Print View

Does anyone use athletic tape for blister care/prevention?

Does the slick surface of duct tape make it a better choice?

I'm still experimenting with socks and am getting blisters on the balls of my feet. I've been using Patagonia and Injinji socks, which help on the toes, but thin socks (esp. Injinji's) seem "slippery" inside my trail runners and don't help with the bottom of foot hotspots. I wear a size 14 and any smaller and my toes would bump. I have skinny but long feet.

Superglue has worked really well.

I'm thinking of layering a thicker sock over them.

Any thoughts?

Edited by strong806 on 09/25/2008 08:02:25 MDT.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Athletic Tape and blisters on 09/25/2008 08:08:41 MDT Print View

Leukotape for the win!

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
yup on 09/25/2008 08:30:58 MDT Print View

i actually do use athletic tape. i carry a small strip (maybe 1 1/2 feet) of it wrapped around a piece of weed wacker string (as opposed to carrying a roll of it or otherwise bulky option). it keeps the bandaid or moleskin in place and feels better on my foot than duct tape (more flex, lower profile). i save the duct tape for pack or tent repairs

(strong806) - F
Re: Leukotape on 09/25/2008 08:54:33 MDT Print View

I've heard the praises of Leukotape, guess I'm looking for a cheaper alternative.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Leukotape on 09/25/2008 10:22:23 MDT Print View

Certain shoe-sock combinations give me blisters on the ball of my foot unless I pre-tape. I recently tried Leukotape and like it a lot. It's *very* tenacious and still breathes (unlike duct tape, which to me feels wretched on the skin). IIRC the Leukotape adhesive is zinc oxide-based and hypoallergenic (latex-free). It's somewhat expensive but a roll is quite large and should last years.

I formerly used Johnson&Johnson brand athletic tape, which also works well but isn't as grippy as Leukotape over the long haul. It's definitely the best among the more common athletic tape brands.

One caution about Leukotape: applied atop an existing blister, it will rip that sucker right off your foot when you peel it away. Far better to pre-tape!

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Athletic tape is great on 09/25/2008 10:49:37 MDT Print View

On my long AT section, I had bad blisters almost from day one. I started out using duct tape, but it never stayed on for more than a few hours, and when it started slipping, the tape sometimes gave me new blisters. Switching to athletic tape made a big difference. It stayed on even when I hiked all day in soaking-wet boots. In fact, sometimes I could go 2-4 days without switching the tape. It didn't cure my blisters, but it made them a nuisance instead of a problem.

Troy Meadows
(LightWorker) - MLife

Locale: Sierra foothills
Glide and wrightsocks = blister free on 09/25/2008 11:25:55 MDT Print View

My girlfriend is prone to blister problems as well. She solves this by applying glide to her problem areas then she put on a pair of wrightsocks. The sock are double layered there is a thin coolmax linersock with an outer sock. They have worked great for her.

Has anyone used the ezeefit ankle booties?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Blisters on 09/25/2008 14:12:30 MDT Print View

Am I the only one that thinks it's odd that you get blisters after a shoe is broken in? I'd either change shoes, change insoles, or wear a liner sock. I just can't consider ongoing blisters as a normal part of hiking.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
blister and athletic tape on 09/25/2008 15:25:23 MDT Print View

Yes to athletic tape.

I went on a recent 6 day trek and on day one my beloved fly-rocs caused significant heel blisters (over 100 miles on em so it was a surprise). Used Johnson & Johnson blister tape on day 1. On day 2 I had blisters on my blisters, literally. That night I overlayed new blister tape with J&J athletic tape. Day 3 was much more tolerable and by the end of the trip my heels were A1. The tape held up through 4 days of walking and 3 swims. Had to remove the gummy residue at home with rubbing alcohol.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Blisters on 09/25/2008 15:29:55 MDT Print View

Hi Joe

> Am I the only one that thinks it's odd that you get blisters after a shoe is broken in? I'd either change shoes, change insoles, or wear a liner sock. I just can't consider ongoing blisters as a normal part of hiking.

No, you are not the only one. Blisters are very often due to the shoes being half a size too small, causing too much rubbing pressure on the foot. One's feet do expand after a few hours walking, so what fits in the shop is usually too small for a long (> few hours) walk.

But it does not seem possible to get this message across.


Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Good point about shoe size on 09/25/2008 15:40:23 MDT Print View

That's a good point. Before I buy my next pair of shoes, I should go for a long walk.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Good point about shoe size on 09/25/2008 15:50:20 MDT Print View

Hi Ross

> That's a good point. Before I buy my next pair of shoes, I should go for a long walk.
It is easier to use the knowledge.
Work out what shoe size fits reasonably neatly with the right socks. Then buy the same shoes but one size (Euro) up from what fitted. So if Euro 43 fits right in the shops, buy Euro 44. Most old experienced boot fitters know this already, but younger shop assistants don't.


Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Athletic Tape and blisters on 09/26/2008 07:43:23 MDT Print View

The sizing info is very good advice to anyone buying new hikers. Still, I'm convinced that some poor souls are just more prone. For them athletic tape (or leukotape) should be in their kit.

With no inclination toward blisters and ~100 problem-free miles on my Inov-8 310's there was no reason for me to pack any tape. Wrong. Man was I surprised on day 1 when the burn set in. Why did it happen? Was it the sloppy wet conditions?

Blister pads were in my bag as an afterthought but I had to borrow the athletic tape. Athletic tape is great stuff and from here on I'll be keeping some on hand. Hopefully for the other guy.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Tape on 09/26/2008 08:47:51 MDT Print View

I'm not saying blisters will never happen. Get the right set of circumstances in the right order, anything can happen to anyone. I always carry some kind of tape. And some people may be more prone to blisters, but since I'm not, it's hard for me to imagine. It just sounded more like a fit issue.

Andrew Lush
(lushy) - MLife

Locale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
Re: Athletic Tape and Blisters on 09/27/2008 17:44:37 MDT Print View

>>some poor souls are just more prone..

Maybe that should be: some poor soles...

- Sorry!

Edited by lushy on 09/27/2008 17:45:47 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Athletic Tape and blisters on 09/28/2008 02:35:08 MDT Print View

I use leukotape for bushwalking, running and rogaining. I personally wouldn't use duct tape when a roll of leucotape isn't that expensive and lasts ages.

I tape up some of my toes, my heel, my foot arch, and ive recently started taping the bottom of my front foot as I've had some shockers there and the skin is getting pretty mangled and never gets a proper chance to heal. They are usually enormous blisters sitting under a tough layer of skin-I drain them with a needle-the relief of pressure is rather relieving. After a couple more days that layer of skin wears out and I have to cut it off...and the process starts again. Leucotape is certainly slowing this down.

I also like to use Hydropel-when its dusty/dirty/sweaty and or wet, I find this stuff helps. Put it over the top of all the tape once its on-you don't need much.

Maybe I'm a bit sick, but otherwise I'm actually starting to enjoy the pain of blisters.

Edited by oysters on 09/28/2008 02:37:58 MDT.

Adam M.
(AdamM) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Re: Athletic Tape and blisters on 10/01/2008 00:55:24 MDT Print View

I've tried athletic tape with tincture of benzoin to aid adherence with limited success. It would hold temporarily, but eventually the patches would start to move and slide out of place. I don't use duct tape anymore, doesn't stick.

I am one of those poor soles that is prone to blisters. The best solution for me has been using tincture of benzoin as a primer and applying kinisio tex tape, then using gold bond powder on top. Injinji socks, better fitting shoes (my feet are a full size different) and home made gaiters round up the foot system. This has worked well for my back of heel blister problems. I generally pretape as I know where my hotspots and blister areas are. Micropore tape works great on my toes, but not as well for larger areas.

Experimentation has been the key to treating my blister problems; different tapes, lubes, powders, etc. day hikes are great for this.

I highly highly recommend the book 'fixing your feet' by John Vonhof. This book has been an indispensable resource.
best of luck, happy feet = happy walking