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ArmaSkin Anti-Blister Socks
the Perfect Liner Sock Solution
ArmaSkin Anti-Blister Liner Socks provide robust protection against foot blisters.

Blisters are one of the most common foot injuries. They are painful, affect the way you naturally walk causing other injuries / strains throughout your body and if not treated properly straight away can get infected. Blisters are bubbles of skin filled with clear fluid that can appear anywhere on your foot. Blisters can be extremely painful -- enough to cause you to stop your hiking or running activity.

Foot blisters can form when a number of conditions occur in your boot/shoe. These conditions are heat, moisture and movement that generates damaging skin shear and friction. Anyone wearing boots/shoes will experience all these to different degrees depending on the micro atmosphere within the footwear including temperature, moisture and of course their level of exertion.
ArmaSkin anti-blister second skin socks ( liner socks) address all these conditions that cause blisters:

  • The inner surface of the sock has a silicon polymer friction coating which gently adheres to the skin and PREVENTS any FRICTION that can occur naturally between socks and skin. Any friction generated in the boot/shoe is absorbed by the outer fabric.

  • The polymer coating is macro porous and hydrophobic (water hating) therefore REPELS MOISTURE away from the skin keeping it drier.

  • Better HEAT dissipation is achieved thanks to the hydrophobic/ hydrophilic moisture management. i.e one side of the fabric is water hating the other side is water loving.

  • The Si fusion polymer coating gently adheres to the skin and importantly shares skin shear forces across wider surface areas of skin thus reducing damage. 

In addition the Silicon fusion polymer is bacteria static so the socks can be worn for prolonged periods of time. 

Wash them with your normal clothes but avoid using bleach, fabric softener or sending them to the dry cleaners.

If you are concerned that your hike or run could be ruined by blisters then ArmaSkin anti-blister liner socks should be THE FIRST THING you put on your feet.
HOW TO USE ARMASKIN
Silicon Fusion Fabric
The Secret to Anti-Blister Success
The secret to ArmaSkin's break-through in Anti-Blister performance is the Si Fusion fabric.
This fabric was designed and created by ArmaSkin after years of research and testing. Watch this VIDEO to see how to put on the ArmaSkin anti blister sock with Si Fusion fabric.

You can see how to put on ArmaSkin in the following Video:
How to use ArmaSkin
ArmaSkin Anti - Blister socks were specially designed to work with Military, Hiking and Work Boots of all styles but have since been found to be successful with all sorts of endurance sports.

How to Use
Step 1:
Note that ArmaSkin socks comprise a left sock and a right sock. The sock is worn so that the seams are on the outside. The mildly sticky Si Fusion coating is against the skin with the smooth fabric of the sock facing out.
Step 2: Roll ArmaSkin onto feet. The sock should stretch evenly over the foot and ankle. Smooth out any excessive wrinkles. The heel seams should be sitting neatly around the heel.
Step 3: As Armaskin are liner socks, fit your normal socks over the top of ArmaSkin.
Step 4: Fit boots normally.

NOTE: Due to the friction dissipating effect of ArmaSkin, ill-fitting boots may feel more loose on the foot than normal.
If this occurs adjust your boot lacings for comfort but do not over tighten the boots to compensate, as this may cause excessive pressure on tendons.
ArmaSkin heel placement is important

When on properly ArmaSkin Anti - Blister socks have the seams on the outside.

It is important to check that the heel seams are positioned around the heel as shown in the following picture.

If the socks are stretched when being put on not only will material be thinner underfoot resulting in quicker wear, but also it implies that the sock will be tighter around the toes thus being less comfortable and effective in that area.

There are three sock sizes, Small, Medium and Large which apply to both females and males according to this chart.  lf your size falls in two ArmaSkin size categories we would recommend going to the larger size unless your foot is particularly narrow.

HINTS FROM HIKERS

There are many variables which can influence the creation or prevention of blisters.This new section of our website will be used to flesh out broader factors that can lead to a blister free hike. Over the coming weeks we will, with the help of our ArmaSkin customers and the hiking community, try to flesh out the following, all of which contribute to the ultimate goal of zero blisters on every trip. We know that everyone is different but we aim to accumulate a valuable reservoir of insights from successful hikers for you to draw on.


1. Choice of boot
Picking the right boot size is a critical piece of the no blister puzzle. Simone gave us her hint which she’d picked up from the web and believed it had worked for her. “When choosing a boot, give yourself enough oversize room to allow you to put your finger down behind your heel (while wearing your chosen socks).” Her advice ties in with others who’ve said to buy the next size up, and also to make sure you start buying your boots towards the ends of the day after you’ve been on your feet because your feet can swell up to half a size during the day.
HINTS FROM HIKERS

2. Foot pre-conditioning
While there is some debate as to whether it is best to pamper your feet with lotions to make the skin more supple and moisturised versus the old school of "toughen those plates of meat", Diane of Hiking-For-Her makes the good point, that in addition to having tidy nails, especially for the ladies, try to avoid wearing high heels in your non-trail life. Her logic is that your feet will be molded into the shape of your daily shoes much more so than your hiking boots, simply because of the amount of contact time. When you plunge your foot into your hiking boot on Saturday, after wearing other shoes Monday through Friday, the contact points will be vastly different, which sets you up for rubbed skin, and the creation of a blister.
3. Training and Preparation
This is a much bigger topic than we'll address here, but from the point of view of blister prevention sound training can only be a benefit. Especially if preparing for a major long distance or multi-day hike firstly research the terrain you'll be facing, what surfaces you'll be travelling on and what inclines you will be tackling.
As a general rule use the footwear, boots and socks you will be hiking in during your training to help achieve optimum comfort.
Allocate at least a 6-8 weeks to prepare your legs, back and cardio stamina.
Good legs for hiking are built up steadily. These are large muscle groups that only respond to hard road work and lots of repetition. Remember to start every workout with a stretching and warming up routine. Start with short walks and slowly build the distances. A couple of weeks into the training get the quads & hamstrings used to providing more uphill power by tackling small hills. Always take rest breaks when needed. In time, increase the length and slope of your uphill climbs. This strengthens your legs and increases your cardio performance as well.
If you are planning a long hike then a few weeks in, train with your backpack suitably loaded to reflect what you expect to be carrying. The best pack can be strapped around your chest and abdomen so the weight is consistently held as close to your spine as possible. The extra weight brings critical conditioning to your legs and can be built by adding more weight to achieve greater intensity.
Although you may not need the cardio performance of a runner to enjoy your hike you should still include jogging or running (eg sets of 30-40 m sprints) to improve your breathing / lung capacity to take in the extra oxygen you’ll need to handle steep hills. You won’t build that from walking on the flat.
As you will on your hike, drink plenty of water to keep your muscles strong.
To help you decide on the training you need to undertake for your particular adventure, we consider an easy resource the many #hiking #Training posts included in Pinterest
An important blistr prevention consideration highlighted by Soeren (applicable to other aspects of successful hiking) is to seek to minimise backpack weight. The heavier you/backpack are the more load you impact on your feet with every step.
4. Choice of socks
ArmaSkin considers itself to be an integral part of the successful blister prevention strategy. Linersocks are consistently cited as the solution for those who suffer from blisters. Nevertheless the selection of the outside sock can have an important impact on comfort and overall blister protection. The broad rules for sock selection are to avoid cotton and choose socks with merino wool blend of 60-80%. Consider the likely terrain and temperature challenges you'll be facing to help influence your choice of sock thickness. Ideally you'd be wearing ArmaSkin and your outer sock of choice when purchasing your boots .
5. Lacing strategies
Ed has highlighted the importance of appropriate lacing of your footwear. Learn to tie your shoes correctly to protect your feet as you go up and down steep areas. There are numerous Youtubes on this topic worthy of viewing and testing out prior to your big trips. John recommended a loosening of laces at about the 10km mark to compensate for foot swelling.
6. Mid hike foot management
Mary has covered hundreds of km on the Camino de Santiago without blisters. "I think it's the very long days walking ( in the heat mostly!!) and day after day ..... and it's very mixed terrain and the coming down sharply on steep sections wrecks your toes! But going up a shoe / boot size and using Armaskin works for me! I change my outer socks every 10 km and let my feet have some air. and put them up. On really long days ( over 28km) I swap from hiking boots to trail shoes after about 20km.
Andreas popped in the thought that it is important to keep well hydrated while hiking for many reasons, but including that being dehydrated can result in extra fluid being stored outside the cells resulting in swelling which would of course translate to foot discomfort
Olivia suggested that for multiday hikes it is handy to have a couple a pairs of ArmaSkin to allow them to be regularly freshened with a wash (where possible)
7. Post hike
At the end of a hike while jotting down trail notes, put your feet up to quicken the reduction of swelling. If you can, wash your feet and the ArmaSkin.
We encourage your input to ian@armaskin.com who will curate this article.
ARMASKIN USE IN FREEZING CONDITIONS

In recent months ArmaSkin has become more confident that these blister preventing socks can be used effectively in sub freezing point temperatures.

Dr Sophie Wallace has been trialing ArmaSkin at Everest Base Camp and has been happily surprised by their performance.  "I was really happy with the socks actually, surprisingly so.  It was a bit odd putting them on for the first time but no rubbing at all and my feet were clean and dry at the end of each day which I wasn't expecting so the moisture transfer really worked.  I also used them on hikes above Basecamp too so for high and cold environments they were great.  I haven't taken them to extreme cold but for long hikes in different temperatures from warm lower down valley to cold snow at Basecamp they were great.  

Dr Ash Routen completed his 8 day solo skiing trek around Hardangervidda in Norway and reported "Keen to keep on using, and I did like the fresh feeling of my feet unlike other liners after use"

Tapani Kunnas (Finland) Tapani reported: "Based on my experience the best way to keep feet dry and happy is to wear ArmaSkin + 1-2 layers of other socks + a breathable shoe. If wet conditions are expected and 100% waterproof shoes must be worn, I would bring enough socks with me to transfer the moisture away from my shoes by changing socks to dry ones after or even during the day." .  

Art Huseonica from Arizona. reported: "I have worn ArmaSkin socks on a recent winter ascent with great success.... summitting, and with very comfortable feet. The lowest temperature was 25F/-4C over a period of six hours. Over the next six hours, the temperature slowly climbed to a maximum of 35F/2C. My outer socks were a bit damp after 12 hours, but my ArmaSkin were dry, as were my feet." 

Dean Cattell from  Canada reported: I have used the Armaskin socks in winter temps down to -30C. ..... From my experience thus far, I have found them to be very comfortable and they seemed to provide extra warmth in the above notes temps. I usually wear a hiking boot all seasons.

We remain without a position as to whether ArmaSkin would be suited to extreme altitude climbing. 

If you have experience in this area and would like to join the conversation we would love to hear from you.  ( please email ian@armaskin.com ).
TAPANI KUNNAS: FOOTWEAR FOR FREEZING CONDITIONS

Tapani Kunnas (Finland) Tapani reported: "Based on my experience the best way to keep feet dry and happy is to wear ArmaSkin + 1-2 layers of other socks + a breathable shoe. If wet conditions are expected and 100% waterproof shoes must be worn, I would bring enough socks with me to transfer the moisture away from my shoes by changing socks to dry ones after or even during the day."   

I have been using my ArmaSkin socks during winter when walking, snowshoeing and skiing. Normal winter conditions here mean temperatures around -5...-15C; and the lowest temperature where I have been (skiing) with my ArmaSkin has been -25C.
 
The shoes I am wearing in winter are Lowa Renegade hiking boots (when walking) and Kuoma (Finnish) winter boots (snowshoeing, skiing) or Sorel boots (snowshoeing, skiing). I rarely ski on ready-made tracks but rather on snowmobile routes or just deep, untouched snow.
 
With my Lowa hiking boots I use ArmaSkin + thin merino wool liners; with Kuoma and Sorel boots there is also a thick wool sock. Lowa boots are quite breathable so there is usually no moisture trapped inside the shoes even after a long day of walking. Kuoma boots are slightly breathable and there is some moisture buildup - Sorel boots are 100% waterproof (both ways) up to the ankle level so they trap all moisture in and after a long day of skiing the inside of the boots is wet. These boots have detachable inner boots which can and must be separately dried after a skiing day. That is not a problem in my winter tent which I warm up with a MSR multifuel cooker (Whisperlite). Sorels are easy to dry from the inside simply by placing a dry towel in the boot for a while and then letting it dry in the warm tent.
 
For next winter I may try to find other, less insulated boots with detachable inner boot as the Sorels are too warm for me even in -25C.
 
With all above-mentioned shoe and sock combinations I end up with dry feet (but damp socks) after the day. Based on my experience the best way to keep feet dry and happy is to wear ArmaSkin + 1-2 layers of other socks + a breathable shoe. If wet conditions are expected and 100% waterproof shoes must be worn, I would bring enough socks with me to transfer the moisture away from my shoes by changing socks to dry ones after or even during the day. I often go skiing on snow-covered swamps where it is possible to cross a puddle of water hiding under the snow, and sometimes this results in wet feet like on one of my skiing trips this winter. After that I got the Sorels which are more likely to keep my feet dry even in a puddle than the Kuomas which are not meant for walking in water.
8 WAYS THAT ARMASKIN LINER SOCKS PREVENT BLISTERS
Liner socks provide a comprehensive protection barrier to prevent blisters from occurring while hiking or undertaking strenuous sports of any kind.
This table summarises the key benefits of ArmaSkin.
Many of the blister prevention strategies that you can see on Pinterest use tape to protect the skin. As a concept this does make sense, however with ArmaSkin providing essentially a whole of foot, reusable, adhesive solution, taping feet is considered old school.
ArmaSkin Anti-Blister Socks
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