Originally Posted by aristotle
Thank you all for your responses! Its a tradeoff for me - dry feet vs blisters. Hope I ended up making the right call with Moab ventilators.

I think Steve made a good point about Whitney streams. I think you made a good choice.

I've always found sock choice and lacing technique to be the better indicator of blister prevention. I have gone years without blisters on my feet. The last time I did the JMT (along with the HST) I didn't get a single blister AND wore waterproof boots. If you are curious about my technique you can find it below.


I always choose fully synthetic socks, meaning 0% cotton. I do not want a lick of it in my liner or my outer sock. I choose an ultra-thin liner and then a thicker boot sock outer. Before I put on my socks I apply body glide (the feet use body glide) lightly to all surfaces of my toes, the balls of my feet, the outer edge of my feet, and along my Achilles tendon.

I put on my socks so they are tight to my skin (no bunching!) then put on my boots, pounding my heel into the heel cup before firmly lacing across the foot, locking back my heel firmly (tighter than the foot but not by much and not too tight). Once laced on both feet I will walk around for a few minutes prior to unlacing my boots and tying a second time in the same way: reseat my heel and re-lace to a similar tightness.

I re-tie my boots for two reasons: one - when first donning my boots they are cold, rigid, and my socks are uncompressed by my body-weight thus re-tying allows my foot to settle in the boot, two - sometimes I tie my boots too tight/loose or the tension of the laces shifts after my boots are warmer re-tying gives me time to feel out my first lacing and ensure a snug fit without over-tightening.

Another thing I do sometimes includes bringing a fresh pair of socks to swap out mid-day on hikes over 20-miles (or when my feet get soaked).

Over the last 13 years of big hikes my incidence of blisters has trailed off as I've dialed this in, but YMMV.