What Causes Blisters?

Blisters are bad. The only things that beat blisters on the list of terrible things that happen while hiking are breaking your leg and getting eaten by a bear. Blisters are painful, distracting, and they can ruin your hiking trip. Understanding what causes blisters can help you prevent blisters from forming in the first place.

What causes blisters?

There are four main causes of blisters. It’s the combination of these things that really cause blisters while hiking. You’re much less likely to develop blisters while hiking if you can keep the following things in check.


There are a couple of reasons heat can lead to blisters.

  • Heat can damage the skin.
  • Heat can also cause your feet to sweat, which leads to another major cause of blisters – moisture.


Moisture – whether it’s because your boots don’t breathe and your feet are sweating, or because you stepped in a massive mud puddle – can soften the skin on your foot.

When water or sweat softens the skin of your feet, you’re more likely to develop blisters.


This is another major cause of blisters. Friction in your footwear causes constant rubbing on your feet. This can’t really be avoided. However, the friction is made worse by shoes that don’t fit properly.

Hiking boots that are too big, too small, aren’t broken in, or that just don’t fit your foot well can quickly lead to blisters.


Debris in your hiking shoes – such as rocks, pebbles, grit, and dirt – add extra friction and can damage the skin. Even just a little grit your boots can cause blisters.


There are lots of ways to prevent blisters while hiking. One of the easiest ways to stop blisters from popping up is by wearing hiking shoes that fit well. Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters if you’re looking for hiking boots or hiking shoes in Northwest Arkansas!

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