Just returned from a 20-mile hike and I have massive blisters about 1.5" in diameter under the ball of each foot. I've done a pretty exhaustive search on BPL and haven't found more than the hint that perhaps the cause could be related to boots that are too tight, not enough toe flexion, or a couple of other potential causes.
What kinds of diagnostics can I deploy to find the real cause?
A bit of background:
I wear Smartwool mid-weight socks.
I've not done many longer hikes yet this year, so I'm sure my feet simply need to toughen up, yet this is not the only solution.
I understand that the ball of the foot is sliding, causing shear forces, but I don't know why.
The same thing happened in my Vasque full leather GTX boots last summer. I purchased 1/2 size larger boots, Salomon Quest 4d GTX that are the most comfortable boots I've ever worn around town and on shorter hikes. I'd hoped that a larger boot might have been the ticket, as my feet were a bit numb in the Vasques.
I have a slightly wider foot but I normally wear dress shoes that are a bit longer and narrower than my actual foot measurement to get the proper fit in the arch. The bottoms of my dress shoes typically show a circular wear pattern under the ball of the foot.
If the boots were too narrow, wouldn't my feet move less than if they were too wide?
What other causes might there be?