Quick: What do runners, hikers, climbers, and sweaty sandal enthusiasts all have in common? Blisters. Yep, those painful fluid-filled bubbles that form when skin is exposed to forceful rubbing and friction. They hurt, and they can slow your pace down dramatically and, in some cases, end a hike early. You can tape them up or ignore them, but prevention is the best medicine–and 2Toms Blister Shield may be that handy bit of foresight you’ve been missing.

Now, before I delve into the pros and cons of 2Toms BlisterShield, be warned this product isn’t a miracle solution for ill-fitting boots or a missing sock. You need to wear shoes that fit and that have been broken in properly, and you need to wear moisture-wicking socks and use proper form for whatever activity you’re doing. But if hot spots keep happening, this is a great solution.

2Toms Blister Shield is a white, silky powder barrier that creates a frictionless barrier between your clothing and skin. The bottle says it offers 24-hour protection with a single application, but I’ve always reapplied the powder during snack and water breaks just to be safe. Simply shake a little powder into socks or shoes and coat the inside, smoothing to eliminate clumps. Lace up and walk on.

I love that Blister Shield is waterproof and doesn’t melt in the heat. It’s non-staining, non-toxic, and washes off easily, and the best part is you can’t feel it once it’s on (unlike greasier options on the market), though some athletes prefer a heavier-duty gel or powder they can feel. The true test will be time, but after three hikes, I haven’t developed a blister yet while using Blister Shield–knock on wood.

MSRP $12.99 for 8oz, www.2toms.com
Photo courtesy 2Toms.