“-switching to sandals when it rains and ground is wet”
I of course vote for this one since this is what I use 10 months of the year.
Heat, moisture, & friction combine to cause blisters.
I wear the sandal with a coolmax sock. Socks do a great job of wicking sweat from the foot underside and minimizing the smell. I’ve hiked in swamps/marshes/mud for days. The sandal-sock combo allows the foot to vent fast thus eliminating heat. Cinch the sandal tight when walking thus eliminating friction. Loosen at a rest spot so they feel like slippers. Now all that’s left is moisture---- but so what! That’s not enough alone to cause blisters. However, to minimize prune feet (which softens the skin and makes more prone for a tear/crack/rip) sleep with no socks or dry socks at night. Sandals dry fast so in the morning you’ll be putting on dry footwear.
1. Buy about 3/8” to 1/2” longer. This minimizes/eliminates stub toes.
2. Athlete’s Foot will disappear. No more powders!
3. I’ve had bad experiences with close-toe sandals so I will only promote the open toe sandal. Your toes need total freedom when backpacking--- especially up and down hills/mountains.
4. If the sandal doesn’t feel comfortable in the store, don’t get it.
5. If your feet start sweating in the sandal, in the store, don’t get it.
6. After a little practice, bushwhacking and scree crossings becomes no problem (with the right sandal).
7. Your sandal is also the camp slipper--- thus saving weight.
8. Just plow through the river. Your sandals will dry in about 30 minutes of walking.
May everyone find their foot zen :)