Everyone's feet are different, so different solutions suit different feet.
Here we'd like to share some tips that we've found useful ourselves.
Remember to tackle the problem as soon as you feel something is wrong. Don't wait until you have a wound! It's much easier to prevent a chafing from forming than to try to treat an existing wound.
Here are 11 tips to keep in mind -->
1. USE NEW SOCKS
Change to new, smooth and soft socks. Old socks can nub at thinner parts and make your foot slide more in the shoe. We also recommend technical socks that wick sweat away from the foot.
2. DRY FEET AND SOCK
Wet feet are more vulnerable than dry feet, so if your feet get wet, we recommend that you change into dry socks as soon as possible during your trip. Make sure your feet are clean, warm and dry before putting on a new sock, so that the new sock doesn't get wet either.
3. PUT ON ANOTHER THIN SOCK (LINER SOCK)
By using a thin sock on the inside, this acts as an extra layer of skin, protecting your skin from stress points in the shoe. The lining sock takes up relatively little space so be sure to pack an extra pair.
4. HEEL SOCKS
For many, heel socks are a good alternative to tape and liner socks. They have a softening effect and prevent chafing.
5. TRY TO CHANGE THE POSITION OF THE HEEL
For some, changing the position and height of the heel in the shoe will work well. This can be done by inserting a thinner or thicker insole. Then do an "indoor test" to feel that the heel shape of the shoe feels good against the heel and that the heel is correctly positioned in relation to the curves of the shoe.
6. CONSIDER A PRESHAPED INSOLE
The construction of the shoe is based on a "normal foot". Most of us have major or minor deviations from this "norm" and will therefore in most cases get a better fit with a moulded sole. A proper sole gives the foot better cushioning and relief and therefore less risk of injury to the feet, joints and back. It will also adjust the position of the foot in the shoe and prevent it from moving back and forth. Most mountain boots have a relatively soft insole that can be replaced with a pre-shaped insole. These can be bought in most sports and shoe shops.
7. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR SHOES
Leather shoes in particular need good care and their shape is maintained with the help of conditioning creams. If not, this can lead to chafing at new pressure points. An important part of maintenance is proper drying and storage of shoes. Remember to remove insoles, and if shoes are very wet, a newspaper can be used to draw out much of the moisture. Leather should not be dried quickly over or near heat sources as this breaks down the material. Shoes should also not be stored in hot, bright places as this reduces the life of both leather and rubber.
8. SOFTEN PRESSURE POINTS
If there are specific points that are pressing extra hard, you can soften the point with additional wax. This will soften the leather and the shoe will shape even better at these points.
9. FIND A LACING METHOD THAT SUITS YOU
There are many ways to lace shoes. Finding one that fits your feet can change the load and pressure points on the foot. For example, Soft Lacing and Rock Lacing are good examples of how to lace a pair of shoes that give two completely different feelings and characteristics to the shoes. There are many great videos about lacing on YouTube. Try it out and find a favourite!
10. TAPE UP VULNERABLE AREAS
If you're going on a long trip and know that your shoe is rubbing at certain points, it might make sense to tape your feet before the trip. This provides an extra layer of protection so that the pressure points don't press directly on your feet.
11. AND OF COURSE: CHAFING PLASTERS
Stop as soon as you feel a blister coming on and get a chafing plaster. The patch and its binder are most effective in the early stages. They can also be used for preventative purposes as people often get chafes at the same points. Read the instructions carefully. For the plaster to work optimally, it is important to warm it up before application and leave it on until it falls off.