How many times have you been on a hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski trek and have developed a heel blister? Heel blisters ruin everything! They are absolutely miserable, and can take several weeks to completely heal since most humans have to continue wearing shoes each day while the skin heals.
I (Stella) can recall many times when I have experienced noteworthy, deep, raw heel blisters from all three of those activities, although a few certainly stand out more prominently in my mind. Larry and I both have experienced some significant blisters over the years, and have thus been extremely diligent with researching footwear, and searching for solutions.
Having good quality footwear is important. But even more so, choosing footwear that possesses deep heel cups is perhaps even more critical. Most of the high-end outdoor footwear companies (and those producing cross-country ski boots) design their products with deep heel cups because they have an understanding of this vital component. However, even with the perfect fit coupled with a deep heel cup, it does not necessarily ensure that a heel blister will not develop at some point on your journey. For instance, using an insert that lifts the heel even just slightly too high can have devastating consequences.
Fortunately, I have not experienced any heel blisters with my Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoes or Rossignol X-6 SC Combi Cross-Country Ski Boots but I have succumbed to blistered heels many times with the snow boots that I use for snowshoeing. I’ve had these boots for three years and have yet to write a review for them because of this problem. So before I discuss the KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape, let me go back three years ago, to the day when I went shopping for a new snowshoe boot to paint the story about how awesome the KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape is.
Three years ago, prior to the winter season, we were at REI looking at snow boots. I had narrowed it down to three boots by three different brands: Columbia, Keen and Oboz. All three of the boots had deep heel cups and were comfortable, but all three felt uniquely different from one another. You may be thinking, “How different can snow boots actually be?” The answer: very different!
I had tried on each of those three boots at least ten times, and I ultimately decided upon the Keen boot. The heel cup felt the deepest, yet after trying on boots thirty times, they had all begun to feel about the same at that point despite how different they were. As I gleefully carried the box out of the store, I grinned and thought to myself, “No more heel blisters while snowshoeing ever again!”
Sadly, up until last year when we had discovered the KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape, I had experienced heel blisters on every snowshoe trek we had been on with the Keen boots. I experimented with using the boot’s own inserts, and also with my preferred insert that I use in all of my other footwear. And, we had researched and tried absolutely everything, including silk sock linings, which are touted as being a good solution. Yet still, no solution had been found.
Looking back, I do not recall how we had stumbled upon the information about the KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape. But we gave it try – it was the last option available, and it worked! Our last snowshoe trek of the 2020 winter season was the middle of March and the Trail Ridge Road 10′ Miler in the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park. That was a challenging snowshoe trek, and when we were finished, the skin on both of our heels was completely in tact. However, it is important to note that the location on my heels where the blisters had formed in the past was a little sensitive to the touch, but the skin was fine. That area on my heels will always be sensitive when anything rubs against it from the years of significant repeated skin breakdown.
KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape is made of a stretchy, breathable material (resembling that of a fabric band-aid). It comes in a large roll of pre-cut 3.5-inch strips that you tear off and then store in a round carrying container that comes with it. The evenings prior to our snowshoe treks, we clean our heels and put the KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape on. This allows for maximum skin adherence, and this tape has always stayed perfectly in place for us. Please note that KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape is not thick or cushiony. It is ultra thin and works to allow footwear to slide over the heel area without causing friction, which is what results in skin breakdown. We have put the KT Performance + Blister Prevention Tape to the test a dozen or more times, and it has always performed well. Now, we have finally found a solution to heel blisters and will never again be held back from doing what we love!
NOTE: this product can be difficult to find because it sells out so quickly in the retail stores.
Overall: Excellent Purchase
Price Paid: $9.99 + tax
Place Purchased: Available at multiple retailers including Amazon.com
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