Keeping your feet healthy on the journey
Constant pounding on a very hard surface is the biggest challenge your feet will face on the Pilgrimage. So bring footwear that is worn in, comfortable and able to cushion your feet. Footwear which is light and waterproof is even better.
Whilst Traditional ‘walking boots’ are brilliant for the mountains, they are not good for the type of walking we are doing.
Keeping Blisters at bay
When walking on consecutive days, blisters can become a real problem. They arise from friction between your foot and your socks and boots, as well as from excess moisture around your foot. Asides from wearing the proper footwear, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the chances of developing blisters
Wear the right socks. Cotton socks hold sweat and often bunch up, adding to the risk of developing blisters. Some people advise on socks made from synthetic blends that wick away moisture, such as CoolMax. Others (including myself) swear on wool socks. They can be pricey though.
Grease up. Blisters can be reduced by applying a lubricant to the feet. You can buy products such as Bodyglide or BlisterShield from sports shops. Some people use Vaseline, and I even have a friend who uses Vicks vapour rub!
Act fast. Act immediately when you feel a “hot spot” on your foot, take off your shoe and apply a moleskin plaster or an adhesive bandage such as Compeed.
Advice from Brigid’s Way helper, Jane McEvoy: Last year I spent six weeks walking the Camino de Santiago. I wore wool socks, used bodyglide and each lunchtime, took off my shoes and socks to let my feet breathe and return to their normal shape. I developed one blister on the entire journey. Good luck on yours.