Walking and Hiking Boots that Rub

Q. I've been experiencing a problem with rubbing boots. They felt fine when I tried them on in the shop and feel comfortable when I start a walk. However, after about an hour they start to rub and I am finishing walks with painful blisters. The boots were quite expensive and I don't want to throw them away - has anyone got any suggestions?

Sheila Vickery, Hove, West Sussex


A. I have found that putting a small drop of vaseline or nutragena on the part where the boots are rubbing and covering it with a piece of micropore tape is a great help

If the blister or redness has already formed, there are a couple of products on the market that have cooling gel pads that can be applied to the sore area and covered with tape or elastoplast.

I take these any time I am going walking on several consecutive Days.

John Cotton, Stewarrton


A. I also had a pair of boots that gave me blisters after about an hour. Problem now solved. I stuck a large piece of foam - Scholl sell this - in the back of the boot where it rubbed. Perfect. Just be careful how you put the boot on without dragging the foam away from the boot. If it does come unstuck you can always stick on another piece.

Patricia Needham, Bacup


A. I guess most of us have suffered with uncomfortable new (and not so new) boots at some time or other. Sometimes it's just a matter of 'wearing-in' the new pair. However, it just may be worthwhile considering a few other things:

Firstly - are you tightening them up enough?

I've certainly found that I need to re-adjust the laces after the first hour or so when my feet have warmed up.

Secondly - your choice of socks can have a big impact.

I can remember the days when I was relatively new to walking. I used to wear ski socks which were wool . . . and I did suffer quite frequently from badly rubbed heels.

In some desperation, I went along to a local specialist outdoor shop for some advice. The guy I spoke to explained how my woolen socks might be at the root of my problem.

He recommended that I try socks made of material designed to wick moisture away from my feet. I took his advice and for a relatively small investment (small that is compared to the price of my boots!) managed to solve the problem almost completely.

Finally - you may find that wearing a thin sock underneath your main sock will also provide some relief.

Hope some of this helps - painful feet are the pits!

Siobhan Morrin, Shropshire


A. See Rubbing Boots for more answers.


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