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#45753 - 04/13/16 05:09 AM paper tape to prevent blisters
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI

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#45756 - 04/13/16 12:19 PM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: Fishmonger]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7126
Loc: Fresno, CA
VERY interesting! I'll add that to my gear next trip!

Interestingly, the article didn't mention duct tape, which is what many hikers say works.

My method over the years has been something similar: Athletic or sports tape -- that one-inch wide tape used to wrap legs with shin splints, etc. Whenever I'd feel a hot spot starting, I stop and wrap the foot heavily in the area of the hot spot. My theory is that the hot spot is developing because the outside layer of skin is flexing or stretching more than the inner layer can accommodate, so wrapping the area with the cloth tape, which does NOT stretch at all, would stop the layer of skin beneath from stretching and pulling against the inner layer. In long hikes, I would leave the tape on the foot for days. It usually prevented any blisters from forming, but occasionally, the top of the foot, where the tape would wrap all the way around the foot, would get a rash due to the adhesive or being completely wrapped and unable to breathe.

I am pretty sure the paper tape would work similarly to the sports tape: it prevents the outer skin layer from flexing too much. Same for duct tape.

By the way, on my last long hike, I used Bridgedale socks, which contain a blend of merino wool, nylon, and "endurofil polypropylene" fibers. When hot spots started while wearing my all-merino socks, I switched to the bridgedale socks (31% merino wool, 31% Endurofil, 37% nylon, 1% Lycra), and the hot spots vanished, without taping or anything. I liked those socks so much, I bought several more pairs for my next hikes. They are still avaliable, worth every penny!

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#45757 - 04/13/16 01:19 PM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
I don't recall having a blister in ages. Almost all my hikes are long hikes.

My method: wear boots that fit, boots that don't need much breaking in, boots that keep the dirt out (gaiters in really dirty terrain), boots that are reasonably well vented.

Add to that wool socks (Darn Tough, they rock), and most importantly, whenever possible during breaks, take the boots off to allow your socks and feet to dry, place the boots in the sun if available to dry the insides as much as possible, take out insert soles if possible. In my experience, moisture and dirt in the boots/socks is the main reason blisters develop in the first place. Wash/change socks frequently.

My kids who have had more trouble (shoes never fit right) were quite successful in reducing blisters with a "Glide" brand lubrication stick we found in a resupply hiker barrel once. Very useful if applied to high friction areas before blisters develop.

I may pack a little paper tape with my med kit - who knows, I may run into somebody on the trail that needs it.

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#48819 - 11/24/16 04:05 AM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: Steve C]
Hillbasher Offline


Registered: 11/21/16
Posts: 4
Loc: San Dimas, California
As horribly wrong as it may sound, I have put duct tape over blisters that had already formed, and it worked like magic, Never felt the blisters for the rest of the trip. Don't know why it works, I just use it.

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#48833 - 11/25/16 02:25 AM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: Hillbasher]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 44
Loc: Pasadena, CA
I've been using leukotape for this purpose. It's actually a fabric joint strapping tape that has a zinc based adhesive which sticks better than most. Works better than duct tape or moleskin too.

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#48848 - 11/28/16 07:41 AM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: psykokid]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: psykokid
I've been using leukotape for this purpose. It's actually a fabric joint strapping tape that has a zinc based adhesive which sticks better than most. Works better than duct tape or moleskin too.


I did a tiny bit of research on leukotape, and ... it appears it can't be applied directly to your skin? If so, how have you used it in practice? Thanks.

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#48849 - 11/28/16 09:24 AM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: KevinR]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 44
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Originally Posted By: psykokid
I've been using leukotape for this purpose. It's actually a fabric joint strapping tape that has a zinc based adhesive which sticks better than most. Works better than duct tape or moleskin too.


I did a tiny bit of research on leukotape, and ... it appears it can't be applied directly to your skin? If so, how have you used it in practice? Thanks.


lol.. then don't tell my feet that smile You probably shouldn't apply duct tape directly to skin, but I and countless others have done it in the past.

I normally apply leukotape directly to skin. If I'm going to be going where there is a chance of my feet getting wet I will clean the area with tincture of benzoin to allow it to adhere better.

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#48875 - 12/02/16 05:08 AM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: psykokid]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 954
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: psykokid
I normally apply leukotape directly to skin.

Leukotape is so good, that when applied the day of starting a week-long trip on an area you know is a problem, it will stay there for a whole week. Even when you get back and take a shower, it is still on there.

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#48917 - 12/08/16 01:41 PM Re: paper tape to prevent blisters [Re: psykokid]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: psykokid
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Originally Posted By: psykokid
I've been using leukotape for this purpose. It's actually a fabric joint strapping tape that has a zinc based adhesive which sticks better than most. Works better than duct tape or moleskin too.


I did a tiny bit of research on leukotape, and ... it appears it can't be applied directly to your skin? If so, how have you used it in practice? Thanks.


lol.. then don't tell my feet that smile You probably shouldn't apply duct tape directly to skin, but I and countless others have done it in the past.

I normally apply leukotape directly to skin. If I'm going to be going where there is a chance of my feet getting wet I will clean the area with tincture of benzoin to allow it to adhere better.


Thanks. I've used duct tape many times and except when there's an open wound I apply it directly to my skin.

After reading Dr. Lankford's comments however, am not sure I'll consider leukotape. I WANT to be able to remove the tape at the end of the day, which is why I don't use moleskin.

Have used duct tape for 20 years. Probably will continue to.


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