I don’t know about you guys, but in my experience backcountry skiers tend to be a fairly blister prone bunch. I’ve had them, and when I worked in a ski shop heel blisters were a pretty common complaint and reason for wanting new, better fitting boots. Now, nothing beats a good foot care plan and a system that includes good, well fitting socks and well fitting boots. However, even the best laid plans occasionally go awry. When they do, you are going to want to have some of these blister bandages from Band-Aid or something similar from another vendor.
These things work very well, and while they are kind of expensive, I think they are quite worth it. The other day I had plans to go skin one of the local mountains before work. Typically, I get all of my gear ready to go before I go to bed. However, I got home late from a meeting and forgot that my bindings were still adjusted for my alpine boots. Now, my alpine boots do have a walk mode, but I’ve spent enough time hiking in them to know that there’s a good chance I would develop a blister. Anyway, I went for it… and well… I developed two pretty significant blisters on both of my heels.
Initially the blisters weren’t too bad. But, then I made plans for another pre-work ski the following day. This time I made sure to readjust my bindings for AT boots and crossed my fingers. On the way up it wasn’t too bad, but I did end up rupturing the blisters. By the time I got home they were quite angry.
At this point I really needed to stay off my feet for a couple of days to let my heels heal. Unfortunately, that was not going to be an option. Usually when I ski before work I drive or arrange for a ride. But, when I don’t ski I typically run or bike. Because of the recent snow… I was looking at two days of run commuting the 3+ miles to and from work. Not the best recipe for letting blisters of the feet rest.
So, based on a recommendation I went and picked up a box of these blister bandages. After showering (Yes, I realize I am about to go running, but I like to feel clean at least once per day) I stuck a bandage on each heel, laced up and got my run on. During that first run, and every outing since, they have been awesome. By the end of my street I had totally forgot that I had blisters. As I write this, the bandages are still stuck very securely to my heels after having endured (3) 3+ mile runs and a shower. The plan is to leave them on through the weekend before checking in on the healing progress. As well as they’re stuck on I have no doubt that they’ll last that long.
Bottom Line: These things are worth their money and should be in everyones first aid kit. I’m going to pick up a different version so I can test out another shape, and I’m going to immediately put 2-3 in my ski pack. These bandages will take what could be a very frustrating and trying situation and make it a non-issue.
Get some for you kit. Even if you don’t need them yourself you might save the day for someone else.