Although it is a common and benign injury, foot blisters are the bane of skiers. What are the solutions to avoid these painful injuries that could ruin your day of skiing?

What causes foot blisters?

Blisters are the result of intense and repeated friction, which is why they are common during sports activities such as skiing. The epidermis becomes irritated, turns red, then separates from the dermis. A small pocket forms and fills with serous fluid. This defense mechanism helps protect the injured tissues under the blister.

To prevent blisters, prepare your feet beforehand:

We always think about taking care of our equipment. But don't forget to take care of an essential piece of gear: your feet! Some care before your sports activities will help prevent blisters from forming.

  • Cut your toenails: Any protrusions or rough edges increase friction and the risk of blister formation. Nails should be trimmed short, without sharp points. Use nail clippers or scissors, then a file to smooth the cut. Be careful not to cut too short, as this could also cause pain from friction.
  • Reduce calluses on the heel and sole: These two parts of the foot can be dry and hard. This is what we call calluses. Well before departure, so that the skin is not too sensitive, these calluses should be thinned progressively and regularly with a pumice stone. This care should be done after a foot bath, when the skin is softened.

How to avoid blisters when skiing?

Choosing the right footwear and having appropriate gear will help prevent blisters during ski sessions.

Choosing the right ski boots:

If your foot moves, or conversely, is compressed, this increases friction and the risk of blisters. Therefore, opt for a shoe that fits perfectly to the size and shape of your foot, without any pressure points and with maximum support. To do this, choose:

  • Shoes of the correct length: so that the heel and toes do not "float" in the shoes, nor are they compressed.
  • Shoes of the right width: so that your metatarsal and other protruding bones like the ankle or the instep are not too tight or completely free.

Take the time to "break in" new boots:

Do you have brand new ski boots? Like with city shoes, whether you are an expert or a beginner, avoid jumping into intense and prolonged sessions right away! It will take approximately 5 to 6 days of skiing for the liner to adapt to your foot and for the lining to settle correctly in the shell.

You can also avoid discomfort on the slopes by wearing your boots at home for about an hour every evening in the weeks leading up to your next skiing session. Make sure to flex your knees and distribute the weight from front to back, as you would on the slopes!


  • wear your complete boots, tightened as on the slopes for about twenty minutes,
  • then wear only the liners for another twenty minutes,
  • then wear the complete boots again for the final twenty minutes.

Choose quality socks:

The sock is the direct interface between your shoe and your foot, and helps reduce friction. By using quality socks designed specifically for sports activities, you can even benefit from additional protection in the most sensitive areas thanks to reinforced zones.

Choosing the right thickness of socks:

Socks that are too thick create excessive overall compression on your foot. This can result in poor blood circulation, restricted movement, and the formation of pressure points that increase the risk of blisters due to friction.
On the other hand, socks that are too thin do not provide enough cushioning between your feet and your shoes. The foot moves inside the shoe, increasing friction and the likelihood of blisters.

How to prevent blisters when practicing ski touring?

Ski touring involves ascending stages that require walking movements, as well as descending stages. Needless to say, friction can be intense in the boots! It is important to follow the same advice as for traditional skiing, but there are specific tips to avoid blisters while ski touring, which we provide below:

  • Choose technical socks specially designed for ski touring: they have reinforcements suitable for this sport and are made of low-friction materials.
  • Opt for an anti-blister ankle guard: it molds to the ankle and heel like a second skin, providing additional protection to prevent blisters. This device is particularly useful for splitboarding, where friction is intense during the ascending stages.
  • Choose a thin liner sock that allows the two socks to slide against each other, reducing friction between them instead of against the foot.

Whether you are practicing traditional skiing or ski touring, you can now head out without worrying about blisters!

Yann Borgnet, with a calm and relaxed stride. This is the attitude of a skier without blisters!
Photo credit: Yann Borgnet