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Sore feet while hiking | Reader feedback and input

600 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

Apparently a lot of people have had sore feet at some point while hiking!

Here is some of the feedback and suggestions we’ve received on Facebook and in the Survivalcommonsense.com comments. (And all you servicemembers – thanks for your service and the good advice!)


 Mark P.  As an ex-infantryman who marched many miles on pavement and swamps. Three rules for me: 1. Wicking or wool socks and change every 3 hours. 2. Foot powder and 3. Put Vaseline between your toes.

These Danner Fullbore Coyote Hot boots are my favorite hot weather/desert hikers. The are uninsulated and not waterproof.

Pat S. Panty hose liners, or sock liners do wonders on long hauls under adverse weather conditions. I spent plenty of time in the north country with the 10th Mountain and plenty of cold nights in the mountains. Gotta agree with Mark, foot powder-even baking soda in a pinch anything which will draw out moisture, rotating your socks even if you’re shoving one set against your chest to dry out and another set to hike in. Dry feet with pressure points will cause blisters just as fast as anything else. My rule (On buying boots) is a half size to a size larger to accommodate my foot once it’s been moving a bit. People are so often in the wrong size boot or shoe and that causes it’s own problems.

Do you need waterproof boots?

Lane B.
One thing I have found that really helps keep my feet dry is using stick deodorant on the soles of my feet. They sweat very little. I also leave my White’s brand pack boots untied most of the time. As I walk air is pumped out keeping my feet from getting too warm. I only tie them when I know I’m going through deep snow. I also change the felt liners every night.
Jim-Betty B.
I have hiked/backpacked for over 45 years in Idaho, Utah, Washington, January thru November. I don’t like waterproof/breathable lined boots. My feet sweat a lot. Lined boots only keep the water in from perspiration for me while a good treated boot keeps moisture out while allowing the leather liner to absorb the moisture of my feet and disperse it at night while I sleep. Good socks are a must but I believe lined boots simply don’t work for me.
Pat S.

Not fan of it, not a believer of it.

muck boots, outdoor shoes, best hiking boots

I wear these knee-high waterproof boots extensively during the fall when canoeing and hunting in the Deep South.

A liner is added friction in the long run feet need to breathe. It’s marketing I guess, but for guys who actually go in the bush we know a few things. Use quality and correct footwear and that shouldn’t be an issue. Correct socks and insoles, then changing out socks throughout the day. Best shoes, and boots I’ve owned have been made of quality leather, that are fitted correctly. Feet swell and sweat. Understanding your feet and their tendencys will save a ton of headache. I will treat my leather boots and shoes with wax or spray.

Logan H.
 I agree. Most of my Hiking boots are not waterproof. Even in winter we get very little snow.
Michel P.
 With non insulated and non waterproof boots. Do I need to spray them with a water repellent or not? Thanks.
Survivalcommonsense: Depends on the boot. For leather boots, I’d use some sort of leather preservative. I used Snowseal® for years, and there are many good leather waxes and preservatives on the market. The leather should be fairly water repellent anyway.
Todd R. 
Hiking boots no. Hunting boots sometimes depends on the conditions and where I am.

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