Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar

Posted by: Mike-Ontario

Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/07/16 09:50 AM

I tore my calf muscle back in 2003 and have a three or four inch scar on my achillies.

Just starting to train for a Peru hike in 2017 and bought a comfy pair of Vasque hiking boots. The break in period went well and other than one particular hot spot on a pinky toe, they have been great.

Got the boot with the pinky toe problem stretched a bit and all is well, but now I have another problem.

I have Merino wool socks and regular winter socks (not sure what they're made of but probably a mix).

I had a small spot that was sore and I put duct tape over the scar but did not wrap it around the whole leg. Now I have a really sore and roughed up scar.

So, suggestions?

First, I guess wrap the whole leg, not just the scar?

Any other suggestions? I wear only one pair of socks and I read about others that wear two? Would this help any?

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/07/16 10:52 AM

Give up on boots and get a pair of light weight trail running shoes.
Posted by: Mike-Ontario

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/07/16 11:31 AM

I'm hiking 65 kms in 6 days in the mountains of Peru. Boots are highly recommended.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/07/16 11:54 AM

Hiking 65 kms in 6 days in boots sounds horrible particularly if they give your feet problems.

I am not trying to be trite. There is an old adage that you needed a good pair of boots to backpack. Many people on here (and other light weight backpackers) have found many of their problems went away when they got rid of their boots. Lightweight hikers allow your feet to breathe so you don't get hot spots. Assuming the shoes you wear every day don't rub on your scar, I am guessing a pair of hiking shoes also will not rub on your scar. Also, when you hike, your feet are constantly moving. Shaving off weight from your foot wear can increase hiking efficiency significantly. (If you look, I think you can find a study the military did on it).

You don't have to take my word for it. I believe we have at least a couple members you have hiked in the Andes hopefully they will weigh in. I hike in the Sierra and found it much more enjoyable when I got rid of by heavy hiking boots.
Posted by: Mike-Ontario

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/07/16 12:06 PM

I appreciate your assistance.

The boots have been fabulous except for the one little spot. They are very good boots Vasque St. Elias. Breaking them in only caused the one hot spot on my pinky toe....the Achilles scar wasn't bothered.

So, I'm guessing I should always tape it, change up my sock combination and/or both. This is the advise I'm looking for!

Thanks again.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/07/16 11:39 PM

I use "Body Glide" on my feet/toes when hiking long treks. It's a lubricant that eliminates hot spots. Taping works, but for me, 2 pairs of VERY THIN socks (actually thinner than one pair of normal socks), Body Glide, and changing socks every few hours makes for very happy feet. I don't hike in boots unless bushwhacking. On trail, New Balance trail runners have served me well, as long as you travel light.

Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/08/16 01:18 AM

I've hiked more than 2,000 miles in the last ten years, and all of them have been using two pairs of socks: a thinner, lighter pair (thin nylon dress socks) that take all the abrasion and wear and tear that would normally happen to my feet, and a nice thick pair of hiking socks.

My wife resisted this strategy for years, but is now firmly convinced.

Where are you going in Peru? We've backpacked there a couple of times---stunning scenery, lovely people, fabulous food, and incomparable archeology. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/08/16 06:49 AM

I have the same boots and the same problem. They are POORLY designed and are horrible for the price. I've also snapped off several of the hook eyelets off, as they are too weak for a rugged boot. If you reach inside the boot, you'll find the rubber toe guard that looks so nice on the outside of the boot protrudes on the inside- this is what's causing the hot spots. I've tried polypro liner socks, silk liners and tightly woven smooth merino- all failed after about 5-6 miles. I now use them for work boots. I bought the wide and they should have worked- it's a design flaw. Trail runners don't work for me on rocky hikes, I use Keen Targhees with Superfeet insoles and they get the job done. Find what works for you and fits best. The St. Elias are not your fault- I though mine were a great fit until I put miles on them and discovered the silly design flaw. By the way- we aren't alone. I've run cross several others who have the same problem with these boots.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/08/16 09:39 AM

Peru? No plans to hike in Peru...yet.
Hey, try something....eliminate the thick hiking socks and and run two pairs of the super thin ones. I used to do the thin/thick thing myself and learned that sweat was the main culprit for me. Sweat, plus tired/swollen feet made for a bad combination.
That all ended when I:
1) bought a half size bigger shoe than what felt right in the store.
2) went to doubled thin socks (yes, thin nylon dress socks)
3) Body Glide....wonderful stuff, feet happy when everyone else is pulling out the tape and complaining. It's not messy or greasy as you might suspect.
4) stopped hiking in boots....most of us don't wear boots daily. Expecting them to be comfortable during the occasional hiking trip is unrealistic. I wear boots for trail maintenance, bushwhacking, yard work, but get out of the dang things as soon as I'm done. Trail runners work for me but there are some very nice walking shoes out there. I wear New Balance walking shoes pretty much every day....it's a non issue to go hiking in them....just go!
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/08/16 11:28 AM

A couple of comments:

First of all, I tried taping many years ago and discovered that all it does is irritate the skin underneath, especially when I have to remove the tape because it's starting to bunch up and wrinkle (I tried several brands). No tape on the skin for me! You note what happened to your scar (which is necessarily more sensitive to irritation) when you tried taping it! Like others here, I recommend Body Glide.

Second, for years I was a big holdout on switching from boots to trail runners. No, no, I said, I gotta have that ankle support! Finally I decided to try, motivated by the fact that I could find no women's hiking boots that weren't Goretex lined. The Goretex lining turns my boots into a sauna, greatly increasing blisters. They also take days to dry if they get wet.

I found a pair of trail runners that fit perfectly and had plenty of antipronation support. I tried deliberately turning my ankles in them and couldn't! This was in contrast to many pair of boots, in which for years I had ankle-turning problems sometimes leading to painful falls. I never looked back and finally gave the boots away. Since then, I have had no more ankle problems and no more blisters!

I cite my experience with shoes vs. boots only to encourage you to give the shoes a try. Obviously the boots you have are not working for you (you need to fit your footwear to your feet, not your feet to the footwear!), so you'll have to buy more footwear anyway. If the shoes don't work for you after a trial, you can always use them for exercise walking or mowing the lawn!

Posted by: Mike-Ontario

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/08/16 12:09 PM

We're doing the Salkanty Trail with Mountain Lodges of Peru. A few days of 12,000 ft elevation, a couple at 14,000 and one at 15,250!

You then go downward to about 8,000 ft for the rest of the trip. 65 kms over 6 days. Nice comfy beds, hot tubs and showers at night.

I do love these boots. And I mentioned the scar never bothered me for the first few hundred miles of use and break in. I know what you mean about the rubber on the inside....I think this was my hot spot on my pinky toe. Got the boot stretched a bit and all seems well now. Time will tell.

I try and walk daily and wear the boots when doing so. It's not like I put them on every 6 days or so.

First thing I'll try when things are better is two pairs of socks or at least get rid of the thicker wool socks I was using when this happened.
Posted by: Adventurejus

Re: Taping an Achillies Tendon Scar - 11/13/17 10:42 AM

Originally Posted By Mike-Ontario
I'm hiking 65 kms in 6 days in the mountains of Peru. Boots are highly recommended.

I'd definitely agree with BHZ. Trail runners will immediately solve your problem. If you don't have ankle stability issues that is. I did 2 treks in Peru this May, the 5 day Salkantay(70km up to 15,500') and 6 day Ausangate(92km up to 17,000') Trek in my trail runners. Boots are not necessary unless you're going when it's snowing or mountaineering. We actually had a blizzard day 5 of the Ausangate trek and I was fine in them. Wet feet that day but they were dry by the morning and surprisingly stayed dry in our snowy trek from camp to rainbow mountain.

The Peruvians made for a very humbling experience haha. Hiking up crazy steep terrain twice as fast as us but in slip on sandals.