Intro: Prevent Blisters
I learned this trick for how to prevent blisters a few years ago when I was doing roller derby and constantly getting blisters from my skates. I have since retired from derby and now use this quick and easy technique for avoiding blisters when breaking in new shoes, hiking, and for the occasional night of roller boogie...
Step 1: Supplies
This is a layering technique. The goal is to have the friction happen between the layers of fabric and NOT on your skin. Here's what you need to protect your footsies:
Layer 1: plastic bandaids - that stick all along both sides of the gauze pad (like pictured)
Layer 2: nylon knee high stockings (pair) or very thin socks (silk if possible)
Layer 3: pair of your regular socks
Step 2: Find the Points of Contact
If you plan on hiking or breaking in a pair of new shoes, put them on with just your socks and walk around until you start to notice the points of contact (between your skin and the footwear) where potential blisters could form.
This is where you will put the bandaids.
Step 3: Layer One
Once you've established the blister danger zones, put one (or more) bandaids in those locations, making sure to apply them carefully and smoothly so that there are no wrinkles in the plastic. Also make sure that the thin strips of sticky on either side of the gauze pad are stuck to your skin as well.
Don't skimp on bandaids! Always err on the side of caution and go with 'more is safer'.
Step 4: Layer Two
Next, put on the nylon stockings, pulling them all the way up to the top of your calves so that the material over the potential blister zones is smooth and won't bunch up.
Fellas, if you're uncomfortable donning the stockings, find the thinnest socks you can (silk works well) and use those instead of nylons.
Step 5: Layer Three
The finishing protective touch is your standard pair of socks!
You have now applied your blister armor and are ready to lace up those shoes (or slip 'em on) and head for the hills!