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MJB

Joined:

Mar 07

Posts: 192

MJB says:

Hardening your feet

Is it true you can use surgical spirit to harden your feet? Is this a good thing to do or anything else I can do to make my feet stronger. Doing C2C and in the past had a few blisters, so want to do everything to help.

 
Nickwolf

Joined:

Dec 06

Posts: 293

Nickwolf says:

Re: Hardening your feet

I would say quality socks and correctly fitting boots are massively more important in stopping blisters than the "hardness" of your feet, if you don't get these things right nothing you will do will help. Having said that, in my Army days some soldiers used to say that putting surgical spirit on your feet helped - in my own opinion it is an old wives tale but I wouldn't have thought it would do you any harm so try it and let us know if you feel it helps. Nick.

Dandylion

Joined:

Jan 07

Posts: 1546

Dandylion says:

Re: Hardening your feet

quote:
Originally posted by MJB
Is it true you can use surgical spirit to harden your feet? Is this a good thing to do or anything else I can do to make my feet stronger. Doing C2C and in the past had a few blisters, so want to do everything to help.
Never tried it. But I do know people that use it for similar purposes. A violinist friend uses it to help harden callouses on her fingers. It will kill surface tissue I think, and should aid with the build up of layers of dead skin. You could try applying some daily to soft areas prone to rubbing maybe? Nothing to lose anyway.

campers185

Joined:

Feb 07

Posts: 130

campers185 says:

Re: Hardening your feet

Sorry Nickwolf but the old wives tales is true! Eric clapton advocates the use of surgical spirit to harden the fingertips for guitar players and I can confirm it is true. So go ahead MJB but as for the rest of what Nick says i would whole heartedly agree with. Correct sock fitting is extremely important to minimise blistering. Incidentally, you could also try putting some strapping plaster on your heels and toes to aid the hardening especially if you are new to hill walking or breaking in new boots. Hope that helps Grahame

MJB

Joined:

Mar 07

Posts: 192

MJB says:

Re: Hardening your feet

cheers for the help! If i could find a pair of boots that fitted properly i would be laughing (see wide fitting boot thread) Ive just got some bridgedale liner socks which someone recommended to me so i will see how i get on with these. Cheers Mark

Nickwolf

Joined:

Dec 06

Posts: 293

Nickwolf says:

Re: Hardening your feet

quote:
Originally posted by campers185
Sorry Nickwolf but the old wives tales is true! Eric clapton advocates the use of surgical spirit to harden the fingertips...
He should get better socks and boots for his hands then [:D][:D] Nick.[:I]

chris_sk2

Joined:

May 07

Posts: 1097

chris_sk2 says:

Re: Hardening your feet

Read this with interest, i did Hadrians Wall last year and my Vasque boots whilst fine for days walks round the Peak District and Kinder Scout were a different proposition on the 4 day walk. We set off at a good pace in summer conditions carrying 65 litre packs as we were camping en route. My feet swelled and by day 2 i was struggling. The whole sheath of skin including the nail came away from my little right toe from the 1st knuckle and i finished the walk in Nike sandals.I also developed sore points on the soles of my feet from front to back due to the pounding they were taking. What i should have done was have a proper boot fitting in a proper gear shop by a proper gear seller, then worn said boots in with the pack round town to get my body used to the stresses and harden my feet. Surgical spirit does work but takes time, and take tons of blister plasters and surgical tape to wrap and bandage as soon as you feel a hot-spot coming on.Rubbing Compeed gel on your feet before you start helps too. I took too much stuff wearing ill fitting boots and i wasnt fit enough. The 7 P's spring to mind, you army types will know what i mean. West Highland Way next year and i'll be a different animal. Good luck on your walk and i hope its blister free.

campers185

Joined:

Feb 07

Posts: 130

campers185 says:

Re: Hardening your feet

quote:
[i] He should get better socks and boots for his hands then [:D][:D] Nick.[:I]
LOL[:D]

mountainmachine

Joined:

Apr 07

Posts: 428

Re: Hardening your feet

quote:
Originally posted by chris_sk2
take tons of blister plasters and surgical tape to wrap and bandage as soon as you feel a hot-spot coming on.
Yup agree that was the advice given to me by a seasoned mountain guide in his late 60's, he said no matter what look after your feet, if you feel something rubbing, stop the group get your socks off and stick some tape/plaster/2nd skin on it. After all you can walk 25Km a day with happy feet and a heavy pack... try that with blisters!

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Edmund Hillary
BimblingJean

Joined:

Nov 06

Posts: 59

BimblingJean says:

Re: Hardening your feet

Lots of good advice already on this thread particularly about attending to any discomfort earlier rather than later. I did go down the surgical spirit on the feet route prior to my 1999 trip on the C2C but altho I survived blisterless to the penultimate day not sure if it was down to the surgical spirit or not. I haven't perservered with it since and apart from breaking in new footwear usually have minimal blister probs. A friend of mine swears by coating the feet in barrier cream before putting on socks & boots but I find this makes my feet slip about and more likely to rub.

The longest journey starts with a single step - I may be of some help for the South Downs & Sussex area.

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