Ask the Gear Guy

Boots hurt my feet

Q. On every camp-out, my boots always hurt my feet — sometimes from wet socks but mainly for reasons unknown. Is there anything I can do?
– Andrew Tenderfoot, Tarpon Springs, Fla.

A. Andrew, there could be many different things going on. I’ll just run through some things that might help:

Keep your feet clean and dry. Wear a thin synthetic liner sock under a wool sock. This will wick the sweat away from your feet and keep them drier and more comfy. When you’re back at camp, take off your boots, maybe wash your feet in a stream, dry them well and put on a pair of clean, dry socks.

Make sure your boots fit. Don’t try to squeeze into too-small boots or get a pair to grow into. Get the right size now and be sure to break them in a little, wearing them around as much as you can before your outings.

Add a little extra cushion. You can buy boot insoles at outdoor specialty stores that can improve the fit, support and comfort of most any boots.

Waterproof your boots. If your boots are not waterproof, treat them with a product like Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather ($8; or ReviveX Leather Water Repellent ($8;


Comments about “Boots hurt my feet”

  1. Knife Xpert 157 (aka Chad 101) says:

    Get new boots!

  2. 556 says:

    get fivefingers you dont need soxs

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes! I have the same problem. One time I forgot my socks on a weekend campout! I was not following the Boy Scout Motto-Be Prepared. I did learn my lesson :D

  4. Ranger B says:

    Also you can cut out and apply moleskin to blister areas while breaking in boots.

  5. anubis says:

    makes since

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