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Discussion Starter #1
Not particularly sniping related I'm affraid, but sport/military related all the same.

I am sure all you ex-serivce personel will have various personal methods of avoiding/curing blisters, and I am sure you have also heard of many more which you never got round to using!

So, what do you find are the best ways of avoiding blisters, and what are the best ways of curing them when the inevitable happenes?

I know this is a tad boring a topic, but my reason for asking is that I have got myself into a bit of a pickle. Given that only recently I was telling Jeff via ICQ how to avoid blisters, I feel a bit of a hypocrite going and getting them myself! Basically, my unit participate in an infantry competition, yesterday we did a practice of one part of it - and my boots were not as broken in as I thought they were. :roll:

Preventative measures I have heard of range from pissing on your feet in the shower to toughen the skin, doing the boots up nice and tight (but not too tight round the ankle), wearing two pairs of socks, covering likely blister spots in zinc oxide tape, spraying feet with anti-perspirant, using cooking oil, using foot powder, to putting the boots in a warm bath to soften the leather.
Cures I know of consist of basically either covering the blister in zinc oxide tape, or puncturing it, cleaning and covering, along with the good old salt water soak.

I have not tried all of these preventative ideas, but normally I wear a thin pair of socks below my standard thick ones, and do the boots up tight, this normally is enough to stop me getting bad blisters, but I often get the odd small one or so.
Yesterday, thinking my boots were well broken in, I only wore the one pair of socks. (I felt a small blister forming about 3-4 miles in, and by the 8th mile I felt like both feet were on fire... when I took my right boot off after completing it, it was covered in blood from where the blister on my heel burst, as was the inside of the boot.) :roll:

I only really have myself to blame, but I thought I would see what you lot could contribute to my little f*** up, as to what you do. I have to do it again in 2 weeks.

In particular, I am interested in your opinion of softening the leather of my boots by sticking them in a warm bath - my reservation being that I am slightly concerned that it could cause them to shrink ever so slightly, causing discomfort.

Anyway, I much appreciate and of your ideas, from those of you who are armchair enthusiasts as well as ex-military...
 

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Whatever you do, don't put leather boots in the bath!! You will clintonize them. ( that is to say, you will fork them up)

If you want to soften leather safely, use shaving cream. Shaving cream contains lanolin which is just about the best leather conditioner you can get. ( You can also use mink oil, but shaving cream is available everywhere and is much cheaper)

I found out about using shaving cream on leather, because that is what professional baseball players use on their gloves. I tried it on some very expensive kangaroo hide baseball gloves and it really worked.

I use shaving cream on my own boots etc and it is highly to be recommended.

Mad
 

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I know how you feel,

Try using some type of insert like Super-feet It will tighten up the room in your boots without having to cut off the pressure in your foot with your laces. By the way if you have high arches your in tough spot. if you use two pair of socks make sure they are of sythecic material. Wool will cause your feet to sweat and cause more blisters. I've used and like the ultimax series of socks. They last a long time. My buddy used a dry powder dusting of somthing not talc powder but it did keep his feet dry and blister free I think it was from the arm and hammer co.. If it's your heel and your burning through socks in the heel area try and get new boots. THey don't fit right. If not, you can try an insert of soft material like neoprean on the inside heel. I don't know if it work personally but check the cabellas catalogue that's were I first saw it.The other amazing product is called second skin from specco. It rocks but can be expensive

If you do get blisters here is what I do.

-Wash my feet and clean the area,then get them dry
-pop the blister,clean the crap and then apply polysporin{no bandage}
-keep the foot exposed all night and let heal in the air.
-get your boot moisture free by taking out the insoles,drying them and putting some paper towel in your boots and open them up as much as possible and get some air in there.

The big thing is keep your feet dry and make sure there is no rubbing of any kind. The same buddy had a problem were his pinky toe crossed over top of the next toe. It got so bad that he used to shove a peice of paper towel between his toes. That was after he lost his toe nails on those two toes of his left foot. He limped for a while and was written up for trying to hide it after infection set in.{candain army is big on foot details}

Gore-tex boots are great but here is the catch. Gore-tex over time gets clogged and then makes your boots act like an oven. Heat=Sweat=blisters. You have to clean the gore-tex with some type of tec-wash{soap used for gore-tex.if you dont and use regular tide or cheer the gore-tex will break down} and then recharge it. The only way to do that is to wash the material and then put it in your dryer. The membrain shrinks in the wash and then the dryer heats up the membrain and it expands back to its original size. To heat the boots to recharge the gore-tex will often break the glue that binds the sole. Did ya hear the flush of the toliet,ya it's you money going down the drain.

Hope this helps.
Cheers,
Kenshin
 

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Discussion Starter #4
re

Thanks for the help.

I think my best bet so far is in zinc oxide tape.
 

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From working with scouts for a while, I have the following to offer:

In the case of cure:

-Do not burst your blister, unless it is causing severe discomfort and inhibits the natural movement of your foot.

-Pack Moleskin in your first aid/backpack. Moleskin has a soft bottom. Cover the blister with the sticky side and the soft side will greatly cut down on the friction between your foot, sock, and boot.

-If you find that moleskin is getting rubbed off, or it will not stay on your blister spot, I have had several long distance packers tell me that this seems to work in extreme cases:
1) If the blister has burst, or you decide to burst it, cover it in "second skin" to simulate a skin surface.
2) Again, cover the blister area with moleskin
3) Tape overtop of the moleskin with your zinc oxide tape to ensure the moleskin does not move. The key is to put several firm layers between the blister and the friction producer (boot)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
re

Thanks again.

One more thing - do you know of any methods to toughen the skin on my feet in the long term?
Not sure the rest of the house would appreciate me regularly pissing in the shower. :D
 

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I thought all guys did that any way? *grin*

Anyway, generally having to stand in water while you shower should toughen them. Not sure where the urine idea came from, nor do I see anything beneficial from it. In fact, I would imagine your feet would get rather rank after a while.
 

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Yeah, all my coaches always told me to not pop blisters.
The blister is your body's cushion while it heals.

If you want tough feet, take a (careful) walk through the woods with your shoes off.

-snowy
 

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Snowy's got the idea. If you want to toughen your feet, just walk barefoot. After a couple of months your feet will begin to form a thicker skin which you will begin to notice. The best I know of.

Kenshin,

Thats good stuff on the Gore-Tex. I was considering a pair of Danner 8" GTX Gore tex boots since it rains here so often.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
re

When its wet I prefer to wear jungle boots and gortex socks. That way your feet stay dry, and any water that gets in the boot jus t drains out.

If you wear gotrex boots, and water does get in, for instance through stepping in a deep puddle, your in ****.
 

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12twist said:
Not sure where the urine idea came from, nor do I see anything beneficial from it. In fact, I would imagine your feet would get rather rank after a while.
Our coaches had us do it in the shower to prevent athlete's foot: the ammonia in your urine will kill it, apparently. I don't know how effective a small, dilluted amount of ammonia is in killing athlete's foot, but I haven't gotten it yet. ;-)

It's rather easy to avoid foot odor, even if you urinate on them, by simply washing your feet with soap when you're done. :p

Scatch Maroo
 

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Label me what you will but, you men you guys urinate on your own feet to prevent foot odor? :shock:

Or to prevent foot complications?

I've never done that....how does it work. Dont mean the chemistry but how efficient is it?
 

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its actually supposed to work very well, we used to do the same thing in the showers at the pool when i was on swim team.
 

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SpEcTeR said:
Thats good stuff on the Gore-Tex. I was considering a pair of Danner 8" GTX Gore tex boots since it rains here so often.
I have a pair of hiking boots with Gore Tex...my feet have never gotten wet, nor have I gotten a blister with them yet. I did, however, go over the seams with waterproofing. Got a long hike coming up this summer i'd like to be ready for.
 

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if you are in a hiking running situation where you will have time to stop and are carrying supplies, if you feel any hotspots developing on your feet,take a strip of duct tape and cover the spot. Duct tape will slide aganst your sock and therefore wont create as much friction. Ive done several 50+ mile hikes and now before i put my socks on i always srap the hotspots on my feet with duct tape, have gotten a blister yet!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
re

I have never heard the duct tape thing before, but I guess it is the same principle as zinc oxide tape.

Unfortunately on CFT's we can't stop and do that sort of thing, and plastering my entire foot before setting off isnt such a great idea!
Mind, adding tape to areas that are prone to blisters, such as your heel, before setting off works.
 

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dead roman,

Do you do this before you hike? I've heard of medical tape wrapped around your feet but not duct tape.

What do you do, your ankles and ball of your feet?


This is intersting stuff guys, not too marksmanship related but it is related to sniper fieldcraft.
 

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I am regular army infantry and duct tape is one of the tricks that we use as well. If you already have a blister the best cure is a tincture. They can hurt like hell, but the first time I got a bad blister in the army one the medics gave me one and presto it was gone. A tincture is basically a drying/bonding agent. To use it you take a hypodermic needle and drain the blister, you then fill up the blister with tincture and its done.
 

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tyvick said:
I am regular army infantry and duct tape is one of the tricks that we use as well. If you already have a blister the best cure is a tincture. They can hurt like hell, but the first time I got a bad blister in the army one the medics gave me one and presto it was gone. A tincture is basically a drying/bonding agent. To use it you take a hypodermic needle and drain the blister, you then fill up the blister with tincture and its done.
Yep thats what i do as well... but to prevent blisters... aside from duct-tape around the feet... You can get those gel insole's and cut them up and put them around your whole foot... i have them stitched into the top and sides of my military boots. You have to make sure you buy / get boots a size or a half a size larger than normal so that your foot will fit in it with the gel inserts stitched in there. But for an easier fix... yea Duct-tape works fine.
 

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Another hot tip for boot break in. This clashes with someone elses advice but here is my experance. Soak your boots in water and them wear them until they dry. NOT on a road march. Off duty etc. After they dry put on a leather conditioner like mink oil etc. I prefer omendorft (sp). One good soaking should not ruin a pair of boots. If it does the boots would last in the field. Also wear good quality wool or synethic socks. DO NOT wear cotton. Cotton holds moisture and grows bacteria. Good hiking socks can be thin and not as hot as you think. BTW for some quality out door gear including socks go to www.northernmountain.com Their store is here where I live. They have high quality out door gear and if you wait for sales or discounts the prices are not bad at times.
 
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