T-bag blisters are the common nuisance on the feet & heels of individuals that compete in outdoor events wearing boots. Whether the boots are too tight, the socks bunched up, or plain boot-rub, blisters are both a physical & mental hurdle to get over. Walkers, hikers & soldiers know this fine well. Prepare as you might, the dreaded T-bag blister is waiting to happen.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, the T-bag blister is so called as the blister is similar in size.
Can be on the heel, underfoot, under the toes, or everywhere on your feet.
One remedy for good foot health prep for a long walk or hike is Vaseline. Yep, the petroleum jelly-based product used on other parts of your body can also be used to great effect on your feet & toes – to lessen friction. A soldier told me his recipe for decent foot protection, but it came with a warning. Your friends, colleagues, or fellow soldiers will take the mick out of you. You’ll be called cissy, softy or worse … until you complete the event. Then the tables will be turned. Try not to laugh at them, or do the ‘I told you so’ look. Thanks Neil.
Whilst on the excellent ‘COPS 30 Miler’* with Royal Marines & Police officers in 2018, one guy had a bad case of T-bag blisters. I think he tried blister tape on his heels but also had new boots not quite worn in. The tape & boot combination ripped his skin off. Massive respect to him as he didn’t cry. Sounds lame, but until you’ve had sizeable blisters, you wouldn’t have a clue what it’s like. This guy got big blisters after a few miles, nearly gave up halfway, but persevered to the end. He hobbled over the finish line with much empathy from us all. Well done that man – I’m sure he has learnt a lesson.
T-bag blisters creep upon you. Recently I took part in the #FESTIVE50 challenge, set by AEE*. 50 miles (local & virtual), in boots & carrying a 50lb rucksack. Varied terrain of country paths, mud, uneven ground, tarmac etc. Day 3 was a planned 10 mile route to the next town. Done it before, no big deal. However, I had tied my boots too tight, worn inadequate socks, plus other minor details. This combination coupled with hiking on flat tarmac caused my heels to shred. Yep, T-bag blisters. I knew my mistake 2 miles in. At 2.5miles, stopped for admin on my feet, socks, boots, but too late. The T-bags were brewing. That day eventually turned into 14 miles, with blisters. Still had 22 miles to go.
If you’re still reading this article, then maybe you understand the situation & want to know a remedy? Thankfully a friend of mine had tried a product called ‘Compeed’. Wonderful invention. Acts like a second skin over your burst or ripped blister. Gives protection & keeps the open wound clean. Word of warning … once it has stuck to you don’t try & pull it off. It sticks so well that the real blister skin can accidently be removed with it. OUCH!
Blisters can happen even after loads of prep, new ideas, different boots & socks. So get on & have a good hike, TAB, YOMP, or run. You’ll know if you have a T-bag brewing. Lol.
*For AEE (Special Forces events) & COPS 30 Miler see the Challenge event page: teamchariot.com/challenges