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Foot Doctoring???
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Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Foot Doctoring??? on 03/10/2006 14:15:20 MST Print View

After reading the print article in the latest edition of BPL, as well as on-line content I am kind of confused as how best to approach my own foot issues.

I tend to hike in warmer conditions with little water. I have switched from a mid-weight Asolo boot to a Vasque trail-runner. I will continue to use Smartwool mid-weight socks as those seem to wick very well. The Asolo was lined with Goretex and I think this contributed greatly to wetness and skin degredation and blistering. I think the increased ventilation of the trail runner should help a great deal.

The questions I have are: Is it smarter to use a lubricating product like Sportslick on my toe area, where I sometimes get blisters from the toes rubbing...or anti-perspirant? Additionally, I have gotten a black toe on my larger foot the last few trips and I think the smaller toe box on the Asolo contributed to this, but I also sense a blood flow issue where the toe gets increased pressure as my weight rolls over the top of it...mainly at the end of a day. Has anyone had this issue or know of resources on how to correct?

Thanks for any help.

Adam McFarren
(amcfarre) - F
Re: Foot Doctoring on 03/10/2006 14:29:18 MST Print View

If your toes are rubbing and blistering you might check out the Injinji socks. I have the same problem and those socks completely solve the blistering.

You could also try taping your toes, but if you start down this route, you may have to tape all 10 piggies to keep the tape from blistering the un-taped adjacent toes.

Lube or anti-perspirant? You'll probably have to sort that out after experimenting. I generally don't do either, but some people benefit from one or the other. I do use hydropel (a silcone based lube) on wet days which I think delays the time it takes my feet to prune up.

For the black toe, look for longer shoes or shoes with larger toe boxes. After a black toe experience I've stuck mainly with New Balance shoes which have a generous toe box.

I'd highly recommend the Fixing Your Feet book too.

Fixing Your Feet


Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Foot Doctoring??? on 03/10/2006 16:31:24 MST Print View

>For the black toe, look for longer shoes or shoes with larger toe boxes.

That was my solution, too: different shoes. Montrails are a perfect fit for me, no blisters or black toes ever (Torre GTX, Kalahari, Vitesse, and Susitna). My Lowa trail shoes went into the yard-work box.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Foot Doctoring??? on 03/10/2006 16:40:58 MST Print View

You might find a switch to thinner socks will give your toes more room. Thinner socks will also absorb less moisture and dry more quickly, which means that your feet won't wallow in the moisture as much. Either that or shoes with a better toebox for your feet. Or maybe a supportive insole could help keep your footparts aligned and in good order.

The anti-perspirant thing hasn't worked for me, but it's worth a try. Something like SportSlick or HydroPel could keep things lubed and prevent the foot skin from staying wet. Feet have more sweat glands than anywhere else, I think, so I try not to fight it. My goal is to keep moisture moving out and away from the foot. For me this means thin socks changed often, and a well-fitting well-ventilated shoe. With those basics covered, I can generally avoid taping, gooping, etc.

Edited by mlarson on 03/10/2006 16:41:30 MST.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Foot Doctoring??? on 03/10/2006 17:45:35 MST Print View

Mark, interesting point regarding thin socks. But I am wondering if thin socks "dry quicker". I suppose if you are changing your socks frequently, and then hanging on your pack, they would dry quickly...but on the converse side, if you have a little more material for the moisture to wick up into, then your feet stay dryer longer while wearing that particular sock. I have kids in diapers, and have noted that thinner ones load quicker and place moisture next to the skin, while the thicker ones keep the moisture away from the skin longer. I suppose trail and error are going to come into play, as with goop and my new Vasque trail runners. If I have issue with the Vasques after trying different socks and goop, then I may try the New Balance or Montrails.