Blist-o-ban review

Last time I went backpacking, I got a pretty serious case of blisters on both heels. I figured it would be a good idea to get a handle on blister treatment early, so when I saw Blist-o-ban in a magazine, I figured it was worth a try. Blist-o-ban looks like a pretty cool concept. Basically, it's a bandage with a double-layer central section. The two-layers slide against each other protecting you from blisters.

I've done some Blist-o-ban trials with a pair of running shoes I'm breaking over several runs ranging from 40-100 minutes. It's a little hard to assess how good a job of protecting me against blisters because the hot spots aren't actually that bad. Unfortunately, it really doesn't seem to stay on that well. I used two today (one on each arch), and the edge of one started to peel off as soon as I put my sock on. The other looked OK initially, but after the run when I took my socks off, both bandages seemed to be stuck to the inside of the socks. I've had similar results with putting the bandages on my heels.

It's possible, of course, that I'm doing something wrong putting them on (though I'm using the alcohol wipes provided) and it's obviously hard to get anything to stick to your feet when you're sweating, but since those are the conditions I'm going to be encountering in the field, that's an obvious problem. The Blist-o-ban people recommend using Mastisol for extra adhesion, but that doesn't sound super-convenient for hiking.

Truth be told, the best thing I've found so far is old-style waterproof first-aid tape. It sticks pretty well and since you can wrap it around your ankle or foot, sticking isn't quite as important. What I've been doing is sticking a piece of moleskin to the inside of the tape (so the furry side is on the blister). This stops the tape from sticking directly to your skin, which is good if you've already got a blister.