As we enter the beginning of the new season, many skiers will be skiing in new boots for the first time. Your boot can make or break your day, and painful blisters can turn a good day of skiing into a frustrating one.
Blisters can form various ways, but in ski boots, it is generally a result of an abundance of space in the boot. So how can one fix boot blister woes?
For downhill and backcountry boots alike, the first line of defense against blisters is making sure your boot liners and socks are completely dry. Moisture will increase the friction between the boot and your skin, making blisters more likely.
If you are on the hill and feel a blister coming on, the first technique that you can use is to change the buckle combination on your boots. Maybe tightening this buckle and loosening that buckle will change the fit so that your foot is not rubbing as much on the liner. This is a super-easy way to try to prevent blisters when you feel them coming on.
However, if changing the boot’s fit doesn’t work, another strategy that I regularly use is using tape. Stop at a restaurant or on the side of a run, just somewhere where you can stop without getting pummeled by skier traffic. Take your foot out of your boot and take off your sock. Dry off the affected area as best as you can. If you already carry medical tape with you skiing, great; if not, you should start doing so. Get a few pieces of tape over the blister area, and then carefully roll your sock back up. Be sure not to snag any edges of the tape and accidentally rip off the tape from the skin. Slide your foot back into your boot, and hopefully, that will provide some relief.
If neither of these strategies brings relief, the next step would be to see a boot fitter. Boot fitters can diagnose the exact problem in your boot and have strategies ranging from insoles to heat molded liners to help you!
In terms of taking care of a blister, what you do with it outside of the ski boot is just as important as in the boot. Be sure to keep the blister covered and moist, but let it dry for at least an hour or two per day. If the blister has already punctured, it is imperative to keep it clean. Antibacterial ointment is a great option for keeping it clean and moist.