Blister Prevention on Multi-Day Dive Trips
Blisters while freediving are often not a consideration for most divers, until they become a big problem. It makes sense that putting large amounts of force from kicking on our feet can cause blisters. The long fins that Freedivers use can compound this problem. There are a couple important ways to ensure blister prevention while freediving, and we will be going over some of those strategies in this post.
Booties – Blister Prevention while Freediving
Dive booties help prevent blisters and fill in your freedive fin foot pocket. They can also help on long walks to and from your dive site. Booties prevent blisters by adding an extra padded, protective layer, between your foot and the sometimes abrasive rubber of a foot pocket. A good neoprene bootie will help keep your feet safe from the environment around you. That can be anything from an underwater rock, to shells walking along the beach. Booties are the single biggest piece of equipment that can prevent blisters from diving. Make sure to always have a spare pair of dive booties in your dive bag to prevent skipping a day of diving, or ruining your week or month. If you have particularly sensitive feet you should consider wearing a thicker neoprene bootie.
Properly Fitting Foot Pockets
After dive booties, properly fitting foot pockets are critical to blister prevention. Foot pockets for freedive fins should be like an extension of your foot. They should be snug, but not tight. If you foot can easily move back and forward in the foot pocket they are too loose and can likely cause blisters. Make sure to get a comfortable pair of foot pockets that fit your foot well. If you are having a hard time finding a good pair of foot pockets that fit you, another good option is to use a pair of Fin Keepers to hold the foot pocket to your foot better.
Know When to Get Out of The Water
It is amazing how quickly your feet can go from completely normal to looking like ground beef. If you are on a multi day trip it ic critical to make sure you are taking care of yourself. That means staying hydrated, cleaning your wetsuit, and taking care of your feet! One of the toughest calls you can make on a trip is to know when to get out of the water. If you forgot your booties up in your room, just stay out of the water for a day. It is brutal to miss a day, but it beats missing the rest of the trip and having to heal up for over a month with major foot injuries. We speak from experience when we say it is not fun to spend more time than necessary in 3rd world clinics trying to pick up antibiotics for blood poisoning.
Foot Pockets for Freediving Fins
Picking The Right Pockets For You
Foot pockets are an under appreciated by many freedivers. Other diver may place too much faith in the marketing of some pockets for freedive fins. The most important qualities in a foot pocket are comfort, fit, durability, and that they are compatible with your fin blades.
Some of the Myths
There is a concept in the freediving world that it is important to have ‘light’ pockets. The problem with this concept is that the weight of an object is not important once it is in the water. The object then has the new issue of buoyancy. These are not entirely unrelated subjects, in how the density of an object and the amount of water it displace impact how ‘light’ an object feels underwater. Most brands of freedive fin foot pockets may have some differences in their weights above the water, but once submerged, the difference becomes a few grams difference.
Comfort is Key for Foot Pockets
Foot pockets need to be comfortable. If you swim all day with freedive fins, you want your fins to be an extension of your foot. That means your fins need to be the right size. This can be impacted by several factors. Most pockets come in a size range. These ranges are usually two shoe sizes. Another element to this is the thickness of your neoprene booties or socks if you wear them. If you wear a thicker bootie this changes the size of your foot and may change the pocket size you need. A foot pocket should fit snugly on your foot with your foot pointed out. You should not have a bunch of space for the heel of your foot to move around. If there is excessive space it can result in blisters or hot spots on your feet.
Freedive fin pockets durability is largely determined by the quality of the rubber they are made with. If the rubber is too soft the foot pockets will tear quicker than pockets made with harder rubber. If the rubber is too hard there is no give for your feet as you kick, and they become uncomfortable. Getting the right foot pockets makes a big difference in how long your fins will be useful before you need to replace important parts.
Manufacturer Specific Foot Pockets
There are some brands of fins that require their specific pockets. C4 fins are a great example. Their pockets only work with their blades, and their blades really only work with their pockets. There are a handful of other brands like this.