Sunday, June 07, 2009

Yet more uses for duct tape...

Okay, so I was hiking in my sandals today because I have a busted toe. This isn't as bad as it sounds, Chacos have a Vibram (i.e. very sticky) lugged sole and are made for hiking, and they worked pretty well (note that I have the older heavy-duty Chacos, not the wimpy new ones). Unfortunately there was one place on the strap on both feet that started rubbing a hole in my skin. So I duct-taped my skin, then duct-taped the strap. Problem solved.

I was doing a fair amount of uphill and downhill action, and managed to get a blister on one of my toes too. And the blister burst. Ouch! So I cleaned it as best as I could on the trail (used a baby wipe from my daypack, intended for, err, nether end use, but just as good for any other cleansing task), and then... well. You guessed it. Duct-taped that sucker. Problem (mostly) solved.

Duct tape. Good for more than ducks. :-).

Now, you might wonder, what was I doing wearing sandals without socks? Because surely socks would have padded against the straps at least, right? Well, the problem is that socks allow my feet to slip around inside the sandals too much. So I end up with blisters on all my toes because they're sliding back and forth, and blisters on the arches of my feet because they're sliding up and down the arch support. Sad to say, my feet blister if you sneeze at them, the closest I've gone without a blister was last week when I was wearing the trail runners, and even there I had sore toes at the end. So I'll just continue to be a duct tape messiah and now that I know where the sandal straps rub, I can pre-duct-tape them there and be done with it.

-- Badtux the Hiking Penguin


  1. I always wear my Timberlands when hiking because they are always comfortable.

    Now in your case I can understand the reason for hiking in sandals.

    Sometimes I want to hike barfeet so that I can feel the earth.

  2. I've carried duct tape in my saddle-bag for years.

    I wouldn't dream of going on a trail ride without it!

  3. Uh , you might not know this but there is a product made for that problem called " Mole skin " . It's manufactured by a foot acessory company , works really well for padding the contact points on your feet , and doesn't leave that ugly "duct tape residue" afterwards . It also breathes which will help healing .
    Of course if you like to be a "duct tape mummy" as we called them when skiing , then this won't suit you .
    a 'been there' w3ski

  4. Ole' Blue, Timberlands don't work for large flat webbed penguin feet. The closest I've found in actual boots that work are Montrail size "W" (for Wide), but they do not breathe and end up with wet blistered feet.

    Missouri Mule, I don't leave home without duct tape. It's a standard part of my first aid kit. I took the crappy-assed "bandage tape" out of it and replaced it with a small roll of duct tape (the ones about the size of a small thimble of thread that you can get at sporting goods stores). If I want to secure a bandage over a particularly nasty spot, duct tape succeeds where bandage tape fails.

    w3ski, "mole skin" *creates* pressure points for me due to its thickness, and does not slide like duct tape, thus does not address friction points. I've tried "mole skin" and duct tape works better. The little rolls from the sporting goods store don't seem to produce an appreciable amount of duct tape goo.


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