How to Avoid Blisters During Hikes

With hiking season getting underway, don’t forget that happy feet are just as important as great views when it comes to having a fun, enjoyable hike.

Comfortable feet start with good-fitting boots, of course, but that’s not enough. Why? Moisture exacerbates friction and can lead to blisters big enough to make a grown hiker cry. And it’s not just rain you have to worry about. Sweat can soak your feet even on a sunny day. And since sweat glands are most concentrated on your feet, they can produce more than a cup of sweat on a daylong hike. Use these tips to keep your feet dry.

Choose the right socks.

The best boots in the world won’t be comfortable if your socks are ill-fitting or constantly damp. Look for socks made from merino wool, a synthetic material, or a blend of the two—no cotton! Both of these fabrics have wicking properties that pull sweat away from your skin. Thinner socks tend to be better since they don’t absorb as much moisture as thicker models. Try on socks with the boots you hike in and check fit: You don’t want any bunching or pressure points.

Wear liners.

If you have…

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