How to treat blister during your climbing trip

Blisters can add a heavy load to your climbing trip. Just as with bites and stings, the best defense is a good offense.


  • Be sure shoes or boots fit properly. Tight shoes cause pressure sores; loose shoes cause friction blisters.
  • Break in new boots gradually before any long hikes.
  • Wear a thin liner sock under a heavier sock. Friction will occur between the socks instead of between the boot and the foot.
  • Keep feet dry.
  • Before hiking, apply moleskin to areas where blisters commonly occur.
  • Treat hot spots immediately. A hot spot is an area where skin is red and irritated but has not yet blistered.


Blister treatment with moleskin For hot spots: Cut an oval-shaped hole slightly larger than the hot spot in a rectangular piece of moleskin. Center the hole over the hot spot and secure with tape or knit dressing. Be sure no sticky surfaces touch irritated skin.

For small, intact blisters: Do not puncture or drain. Apply a piece of moleskin or molefoam with a doughnut style hole cut out slightly larger than the blister over the site. Secure with tape.

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