Tuesday, July 24, 2012


For years I have touted the Asolo women's Stynger Hiking boots as being the perfect shoe for me. They are lightweight, waterproof, feel good- but lately they have not been making the cut.

Since we have been hiking so much my feet have become chopped liver. Both heels are covered in layers of blisters that are in various stages of healing. It leads to a very painful hike to say the least.

I have been reading up on "how to prevent blisters" on the blogs. They all recommend preventing them before they flare up, obviously wool/synthetic something socks, tieing your boots differently, etc. But nothing was really working for me.

So I tried a few things. Here is what I have tried:

  • moleskins before hiking
  • giant band-aids before the blister starts
  • two layers of socks- thin and thick etc
  • moleskins on the back of the hiking boot where my foot rubs
  • something called heel inserts that are supposed to keep your heel from rubbing

Really nothing was working. I went into the local hiking store to seek advice from the experts. Unfortunately it meant buying another pair of shoes. I have way too many shoes and way too many hiking boots. So this was not my ideal situation.

All of the boots that were recommended to me were "cushiony" on the idea that the Asolo Stynger was too stiff in the heel for my particular foot. I tried the new shoes around the house but I just felt like they wouldn't provide the support I needed on longer hikes. And since we were shooting for Owl's Head in August, an eighteen mile hike, these just didn't seem to be the right boots.

Instead I tried my Asolo TPS backpacking boots. These shoes haven't gotten much wear over the years since my Asolo Stynger's are so much lighter, but I thought I would give it a try.

Asolo Boots

Happily these seemed to do the trick. No moleskins. No band-aids. Just two layers of socks and these boots.

Weirdly the front of my foot swelled up after the hike. I think this was just because these boots need to be broken in, but I am certainly willing to take suggestions from people. Let me know if you have any experience and/or tips with this!!


ibagoalie said...

Just stumbled across your blog, awesome. I have had trouble with heel blisters on one foot when cross country skiing. Two things seem to work. Just a piece of duck tape on the area you want to protect and rather than two socks, get the double layered ones, forget the brand, starts with a W I think. Meant for runners, but might work for hiking as well.

Janelle said...

I work at an outdoor retailer that sells both the Asolo Stynger GTX and the TPS 520. I unfortunately am just getting into the backpacking world myself so I have no experience hiking in either. One suggestion I do have is to try covering your blisters or the areas on your feet that rub directly with vaseline. This may sound strange but I have been an avid soccer player for years with my husband and we both have solved the blister issue before it pops up by applying vaseline and it works. I'd wear the two socks and just add the vaseline directly on the foot if the moleskin falls off after a while of hiking. Best of luck!

Betty Mountain Girl said...

ibagoalie- Thanks for your comment- I haven't heard of those double layered socks but they sound like a good idea. I often get bunching when wearing two layers of socks and that might help cut down on it. Also- I am planning on getting back into cross country skiing again this winter!! More to come....

Janelle-Thanks for the tips!! I've come across that vaseline thing before and haven't been brave enough to try it- mainly because it sounds so messy. I think if I can't get the lastest round of blisters to heal I may give it a try though! Thanks!

Kern said...

Ibagoalie is right about duct tape. No bandaids or moleskin. In fact, I wouldn't even do the double layer sock necessarily. Duct tape applied carefully with no bumps or creases is the wonder solution. I have used it preventatively, on hot spots, and also on open blisters. Best of luck!

Betty Mountain Girl said...

Thanks Kern and everyone!