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First real hike in trail runners... Blisters
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Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
First real hike in trail runners... Blisters on 09/11/2011 22:31:35 MDT Print View

Last week I used my newish Inov 8 Roclite 315's for a 125km hike over 4 days. (Had only used them on a few 10-15km day hikes before)
The terrain was varied with some nasty steep rocky stuff in the mix but mostly fast trail walking in rolling hills.

On day two I started to develop some small blisters on my heel at the top back edge of the inner sole. (Superfeet Blues)
Over the walk the blisters slowly got more painful and larger, now they are about 25mm long and 10mm high on each heel but slowly deflating since I'm home.
The blisters never broke or looked like breaking. I just had these sore slug looking things on my heel.......

It looks like as my heel sinks into the inner sole on heavy foot falls the friction has caused the blisters.
No way am I going back to my heavy boots but I don't like blisters either.
The shoes fit great and I cannot feel any main abrasion on my heel.
It just feels like the flex when my foot sinks into the inner a little at each step.

Any suggestions.
Concrete pills are an option but lock me up downstairs.......

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: First real hike in trail runners... Blisters on 09/11/2011 22:54:43 MDT Print View

Did you heat form your heel cups?

Edited by kthompson on 09/11/2011 22:55:48 MDT.

James Berwick
(jhb0510) - F
Inov 8s on 09/12/2011 06:21:18 MDT Print View

I always do my heel cups on my inov8s. The other thing I found was that I got on better the less padding they have. With more padding I find that my foot sinking into the cushionning creates movement, which causes blisters. I use F lite 195s, which have almost no padding to sink into and are so flexible they move with your foot, which again means fewer blisters. I also wear injinji toe socks, and can honestly say that the 195s with the injinjis I have never had a blister!

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: First real hike in trail runners... Blisters on 09/12/2011 06:26:34 MDT Print View

Add some castor oil to the concrete pills?

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: First real hike in trail runners... Blisters on 09/12/2011 06:46:00 MDT Print View

I've never had a blister wearing my Flyrocs (with the standard insole) and thin Smartwool socks.

Have you used the Superfeet in previous shoes? I've never used them myself but I did have to trim the heel on the insole of a boot one time that gave me blisters. If the Superfeet are also a new variable in the footwear equation I would suggest switching back to the standard insole for the next trip and see what happens.


Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Insoles on 09/12/2011 09:15:57 MDT Print View

On a recent 25 mile overnighter, I tried Superfeet Green insoles in my Inov8 X-Talon 240s. I trimmed the right insole to match the original and kept the left insole untrimmed, right out of the box. Well, my right foot, the one which had the trimmed Superfeet green, ended up getting a blood blister and lots of inner foot pain. It still bothers me after a week and a half. My left foot using the untrimmed insole feels fine.

I would also suggest trying the original insoles. My feet seem to be fine (or even better) without the special ones.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: First real hike in trail runners... Blisters on 09/12/2011 20:03:10 MDT Print View

I tried superfeet inserts once with the 315's they raised my heel to much and have not used inserts since, the 315's where a great move from boots. You should check the heel fit and I would go back to OEM inserts. I have since moved to X-212's and love them with thin socks.

James Berwick
(jhb0510) - F
Insoles on 09/14/2011 10:12:01 MDT Print View

I either use the insoles they come with, or if it is cold and I am wearing thicker socks (sealskins in the winter) I take the insoles out. The whole inov8 philosophy s to allow the foot to work naturally, I think you are defeating the object somewhat by using Super feet! Give it a go, it's cheaper too!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
socks on 09/14/2011 10:46:16 MDT Print View

dont use superfeet ..

you can find dual layer light socks ... those might help with blisters ... i find it reduces the friction

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
Inov-8 295 on 09/15/2011 12:31:52 MDT Print View

I hike in Inov-8 295's and love them. I haven't had a foot issue (including blisters) since I started wearing them. They've held up well but its getting to be time to replace them. I haven't yet noticed any degradation in grip or cushion.

Purchased at for easy size testing.

Edited by Feileung on 09/15/2011 12:37:02 MDT.

Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
Feet OK on 09/18/2011 15:26:01 MDT Print View

Just home from a large off track bushwalk using the 315's again.

Probably did around 40-50kms over the weekend but I did convert back to the OEM inners ditching the superfeet blues that I know think were the issue.

I did tape my heels over the area still heeling from last weeks effort as I had to needle pop the blisters on Thursday night as they wouldn't go down by themselves. I do have quite think skin on my heels though from plenty of walking.

No issues at all and the shoes were great.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Feet OK on 09/18/2011 17:26:54 MDT Print View

> I did convert back to the OEM inners ditching the superfeet blues that I now think
> were the issue.
Tentative assessment:
I suspect the heel end of the Superfeet blues were square and lumpy and not really flush to the heel, while the OEM inner soles were tapered up to the heel? That would certainly cause the sort of blisters you mention. Seems wierd, but that's how it goes.

OEM innersoles may not be the world's greatest in quality, but they ARE shaped to fit the shoe. Third-party inner soles are not necessarily better as they are not made for the shoe. In many cases they are more of a marketing scam than a genuine benefit. I would hesitate to swap out an OEM inner unless you reall have a problem with it and can be sure the 3rd party inner is better.


Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Re: Feet OK on 09/18/2011 17:37:02 MDT Print View

Just curious, N Stuart, do you have any bony protrusions where the blisters formed?

Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
Re: Re: Re: Feet OK on 09/20/2011 20:53:10 MDT Print View

No I don't ??
I actually have superfeet greens in my Meindl Islandpro boots and they are great.
Figured the blue superfeet would be just as good in the 315's..... Wrong.
I'll be sticking with the OEM inners from now in these shoes.

jennifer ross
(jenhifive) - F

Locale: Norcal
Wrightsocks dual layer socks on 09/21/2011 20:10:56 MDT Print View

Love them. I always get blisters and I can't rave enough about these socks. For me smartwool socks make the blisters worse and if there's enough rub they break down very easily. My hiking partner wore huge holes in the pads of two pairs of light running smartwools in 6 days in a pair on light montrails. I bring smartwools as my thick sleep socks and backups.

You'll commonly see the coolmesh II but the running socks are a bit thicker and they make even thicker socks so if you have space in your heel it will fill the space or if for some reason you wear hiking shoes.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Stay away from Superfeet on 09/27/2011 15:02:05 MDT Print View

That's just my opinion. I bought a new pair of New Balance trail shoes and the sales rep talked me into the Superfeet. I got the most aweful blood blisters. Painful after a few weeks now. I still poke a needle inside my heal to bleed them. I had these same New Balance shoes with standard insoles and had no problems.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Stay away from Superfeet on 09/27/2011 15:38:17 MDT Print View

I have used Wrightsocks (as Jen mentions) for a few years with Montrails and Vasques without issues and used the stock footbed. I continued with this combination with my Inov-8 Rockite 295's which again went well without any blisters. I bought some green Superfeet at an REI garage sale a few months ago and have since replaced the stock footbed in my Inov-8's. Perhaps I don't put enough daily mileage on my feet (~9miles max) but I don't really see much improvement over the stock footbed. I also don't tighten my shoes very much and leave the laces just a little bit loose.

You may be better off with a narrower shoe (less movement), but I'll leave that up to the experts.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Stay away from Superfeet on 09/27/2011 16:12:21 MDT Print View

> the sales rep talked me into the Superfeet.
More profit, more profit ... yeah.

On socks: lots of brands around. I have tried many of them, and these days I favour the Darn Tough Vermont thick wool socks. They LAST, and are very comfortable.


Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Salespeople on 09/28/2011 12:04:25 MDT Print View

FYI a lot of shoe stores will pay their employees very little commission on the sale of shoes and a larger commission on the up sale of insoles and socks. It is my personal belief this is where the attitude of 'all stock insoles are trash and should be tossed out before you leave the store and replaced with quality aftermarket insoles' originated from. I think too many people have been sold time and time again on that theory because they have been told the same thing by different shoe salesman.

Case in point, my last pair of boots and last pair of shoes would not work for me AT ALL with numerous different insoles that I tried. I finally gave up and put the stock insoles back problems.

Like someone else said, I think part of it is the stock insoles are molded to fit that shoe, aftermarket insoles are not going to fit perfectly, especially in the heel. If you need arch support maybe better to add an arch support to the top of the stock insole. I think arch support is why a lot of people use Superfeet and others anyway.

I have also found Superfeet in particular to be slippery...foot slides around on top of that material which I don't like.

Edited by TylerD on 09/28/2011 12:07:23 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Salespeople on 09/28/2011 12:40:30 MDT Print View


Spending $100 on special shoes, then being told the insoles in the $100 special shoes are junk and you should buy some $40 special insoles.

Don't forget a few new pairs of socks, at $12 a piece, of course.


The marketi...oops, I mean, SCIENCE is brilliant...after a few million years, apparently people can no longer walk or run without investing at least $90 per foot.