I think we are not discovering anything if we tell you that feet suffer a lot on this route. Therefore, we have made a special effort to let you know the best tips when it comes to buying anti-blister socks for the Camino de Santiago. A normal sock does not meet the special needs that arise on routes where the walking distance is so great. For example, the French Way is more than 700 kilometres long. Protecting our feet will be our main priority if what we want is a comfortable experience.
In addition, blisters are the most common injury that occurs and one of the most annoying. Making the right choice is therefore vital.
Anti-blister socks are not magic
One of the problems with marketing is that it undoubtedly exaggerates the goodness of what it sells. In fact, the name itself (anti-blister) may give the false impression that this type of sock will prevent the appearance of this type of injury, which is false.
A sock is not a piece in which there is a lot of room for manoeuvre, so you can’t expect miracles from them. Anti-blister socks are intended to make it more difficult to get blisters, but this does not mean that we will not get blisters. They will come out less, yes, but they don’t do magic. Remember that.
For this reason, it is important not to neglect the preventive measures which, as a rule, are the same as those that apply to shoes. The basic rule and fundamental pillar of shoe care is that you should never wear new shoes. New shoes are the easiest way to turn a pleasure trip into a real torture. Another basic recommendation, in addition to the oxygenation of the foot, is not to overtax our feet.
It makes no sense that in a stage of more than 20 kilometers (in which we are not competing with anyone) we do not take breaks. Breaks are not only good on a psychological level but also have a special dimension on a physical level.
Other foot care tips
Although this article focuses on anti-blister socks, we should not forget about other foot care, specifically when it comes to preventing sprains. Perhaps this is the advice that we have repeated the most on the blog, but it is really necessary. Be very careful on the descents, do not be careless, do not run down, as this is the stretch where most sprains occur.
Another good tip is to use Vaseline on your feet to avoid chafing. Remember that, unlike the wheel of a bike, you can’t change your feet. Therefore, if you suffer any kind of injury or bruise you will be condemning your experience. If it is mild, you will be in discomfort all the way, if it is serious, you won’t even be able to continue.
Believe me when I tell you that this is very annoying, especially because deep down you know that with a minimum of care you could have avoided the injury.
The material and design of the socks
As is obvious, and despite the little room for manoeuvre, socks have different characteristics that make them more suitable for one type of route or another. On the Camino it is best to opt for resistant socks, as the distance to be covered is going to be long. In fact, most pilgrims opt for socks in which the toe and heel are reinforced (these are the parts that wear out the fastest). Rubbing the foot against the shoe or boot is not recommended.
The sock must also be breathable. This obeys a very logical rule and that is that sweaty feet are not said to be a great companion. First of all, because it is an annoying feeling. Secondly, because sweat makes our feet cold in winter and hot in summer.
As far as the fabric is concerned, it is best to opt for brands that specialise in large mountain routes. Generally, Coolmax fabric is recommended. However, it is best to get advice from an expert to assess, based on your experience, what is best for you.
Finally, remember to avoid socks with seams, as they are the main cause of unnecessary chafing and blisters that could have been avoided by choosing another type of sock.
The last piece of advice
Don’t wear new shoes for the first time. It may seem like we’re being a pain in the ass, but it’s really very important. Therefore, when you buy new socks, wear them first so that they adapt better to the peculiarities of your foot.