I worked out the blister problem the hard way; three years active duty in the Army, through trial and error. Here is what worked for me.. Each person has found their own unique solution.
Blisters come from only one root cause, shear forces in layers of skin, which then separate from the underlying layers.
- Most important and top of the list, is toughening your feet. Calouses can take the shear, soft skin can not. Toughen your feet on a daily basis. Choose a daily wear sock and shoe more like your hiking configuration.
- Now you have toughened your feet, choose the right hiking shoe. Loose boots/shoes move relative to the foot, thus inducing shear forces, so choose a shoe with the correct 'last'. Wear two pair of socks to transfer any remaining relative motion to the gap between socks instead of the gap between sock and foot.
- Wet spongy skin is more suceptible to shear forces so keep feet dry. Use hydrophobic socks. Gold Bond powder before a hike helps keep them dry during the hike. Use non-goretex shoes for a dry hike, goretex ones for a wet hike. Never spray your boots with any coating which reduces breathability.
Taping feet is a last resort to relocate shear forces to the surface of the tape/pad/donut. If you notice a hot-spot on your feet, stop and tape it before it becomes a blister. And then next hike try a different combination of the above treatment/sock/shoe. Iterate, possibly for years, until you find what works and never worry about feet again.