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Derek M.
(dmusashe) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 03:47:36 MDT Print View

On my last backpacking trip of about 40 miles, I developed quite bad blisters between my third and fourth toes: specifically, on the inside edge of my fourth toe (my "ring toe"). The two aforementioned toes were rubbing together (they are always sort of stacked up on each other though, I've got weird feet) and this constant friction undoubtedly led to the blisters.

The thing is, I've actually never really gotten blisters here before and I'm wondering if anyone else has experience with blisters like these and how to prevent them? I should note that this wasn't a particularly strenuous hike for me, so the blisters were a bit unexpected.

I was wearing a new style of socks (for me) and a relatively new (but I'd say broken in) pair of trail running shoes, one of which is probably the culprit, but it's hard to say which one.

How long do you all endure blisters before giving up on a given style of shoes or socks? I really like the fit of the shoes otherwise (best heel cup I've ever had) and would hate to see them go over a few blisters.

I've been backpacking in trail runners for years and years, and I've never had this problem before. It's very strange to me. Any input is much appreciated!

Edited by dmusashe on 10/12/2013 03:53:57 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 04:00:30 MDT Print View

If your toes were rubbing against each other, that probably means the shoes are too narrow at the front. Wrong shoes for you.

Cheers

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Another possibility on 10/12/2013 05:27:33 MDT Print View

I have only had blisters on my toes when hiking on very dusty trail when my feet get covered in grit. In that case I have been able to avoid those blisters by keeping my feet cleaner.

John Z
(Feather) - MLife
Re: How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 06:14:07 MDT Print View

Toe socks might help, since your toes are rubbing against each other.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 07:50:26 MDT Print View

I think Roger's idea is good

I have a pair of boots that is too narrow at the front and get blisters on those toes

It's like my feet are more broad at the front but the boots are more pointy

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 08:52:32 MDT Print View

if you regularly had troubles with blisters between the toes (I did) then I would suggest doing something radical like wearing fivefingers which is the only total solution for me. If this is a new problems that I would agree with the others that your new trail runners are too narrow in the toe. Either swap them out now, or live with them and work at preventing blistering using some combination of toe socks or taping.

--mark

Todd Taylor
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tight socks on 10/12/2013 11:05:56 MDT Print View

Yes, narrow toed shoes can do it, but I've more often had trouble with socks that are too tight. They hold your toes together, won't let them splay out like they're supposed to. I've experienced this both hiking and playing basketball.

You mentioned new socks, so that's my guess as to the problem.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
blisters on 10/12/2013 11:06:35 MDT Print View

Eventually the areas that blister will be tougher up after they heal, so I wouldnt think you would give up on any footwear/sock just because you got a few blisters.

By constantly playing musical footwear as some do in the elusive pursuit of perfection, perhaps feet never get the chance to adapt, always being bombarded in a different way, resulting in blisters in different places?

Just a thought.

Taping etc will help prevent, but doesnt do anything to develop resistance to it.

I am a believer in THIN light socks, the thinnest you can find, coupled with light breathable footwear.

I think the tight weave and no pile of thin socks allow them to slide around a bit inside shoes better than a coarser weave/pile does.

It does sound like you may need more toe room though.

Edited by livingontheroad on 10/12/2013 11:12:10 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 17:49:34 MDT Print View

Injinji.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: How to prevent blisters between my third and fourth toes... on 10/12/2013 17:52:36 MDT Print View

I was just about to recommend toe socks as well.
They seem to help a lot of people will blister issues.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Toe Nails on 10/12/2013 18:05:36 MDT Print View

I had a similar experience once. The problem was one of my toe nails was a bit long and the sharp corner was digging into the next toe. I trimmed the edge of that toenail and the problem went away.