Making sure your hiking boots or trail runners fit well is very important. When coming down off the mountain your shoes should be tied tight, almost too tight to provide good support. I have lost toe nails before from my toes pushing against my shoes that did not fit well. If you go to a good shoe store (Atmosphere, MEC, REI are some of my favorites) they will make sure the shoes fit right and are good quality. Some store have a big rock so you can climb up and down to see how your shoes are in different conditions. Expect to pay at least a hundred for good quality shoes (unless you find a good sale but even then I never seem to pay less).
Socks are the next important part of hiking. I wear a long pair of wool hiking socks. Yes my feet are a little hot (you can buy thinner pairs and thicker ones). The reason why they are long and not ankle sock is so I can fold them down and my ankles are protected from my boots rubbing on my exposed skin. I made that mistake once and I was miserable. A good idea if you are prone to blisters is a pair of dry wicking socks under your wool pair. Both socks should fit to your feet. Bring an extra par and small towel. Soak your feet in a fresh body of water at the half way point, dry well and put your dry, clean extra pair on. I also carry a blister kit.
Blisters are no laughing matter. It can ruin your hike and that's no fun. Follow these few east steps and you can have a great hiking experience. Remember your feet take it all and happy feet equals a happy hike! Happy & safe trails!
Lori aka Hiking for the Scaredy Cat.