Keep Blisters at Bay to Stay in the Fight || Combat Ready Tactical Body Tape Review

Combat Ready Tape
Combat Ready Tape Ruck Kit

During the predawn hours of the GORUCK Star Course in D.C., a guy (David Fox founder of Combat Ready Tape) came up to me and gave me a free sample of something called Combat Ready Tape. It looked like KT Tape and he explained how much better this was than KT Tape. He said that the Special Operations guys were using it and it was being used in the best Ranger and Sapper competitions. I stuck the tape in a pocket on my ruck and figured if I had any issues I might give it a try later in the event.

As well as I thought I had prepared my feet (good socks and fiction lube) a few hours later and who knows how many miles I had put in I started to get a hotspot on the ball of my foot. I finally get to the point where I need to do something to treat the foot.

I pull the sample of Combat Ready Tape out of my ruck and stuck the precut patch on the ball of my foot. As a person that has used moleskin for blister treatment over the years, the first thing I notice is how thin the Combat Ready Tape is. I didn't use the alcohol prep pad that came in the kit, I just stuck it on.

While I kept walking I still had some discomfort with that foot but nothing that I felt that I need to stop doing anything else with the foot. Just keep going and finish. Worry about it after the event.

It wasn't until the next morning that I knew just how big of a blister I had until I saw some fluid on the bathroom floor about the size of a silver dollar. The blister had popped just from standing on it. Once I took the Combat Ready Tape off did I realized that I had a blister the size of the ball of my foot.

I was doomed from the start of the GORUCK Star Course to get blisters and I will tell you why a little later in this post. I do believe the Combat Ready Tape helped me deal with the blister that developed and helped me get to the finish of the event.

Currently, I am getting prepared for my second GORUCK Star Course in Richmond Virginia. To my surprise, in a short 9-mile ruck I developed blisters on the balls of both feet. I had the same shoes and socks that I had used on the lasted Star Course but I had just used lube on my feet. After this injury took place I decided to purchase a Combat Ready Kit.


Combat Ready Tape
Combat Ready Tape Back of Bag shows where to put the pre-cut pieces of tape

I purchased the Combat Ready Tape "Ruck Kit" as it looked to have the precut sections of tape for about any issue and friction point that you could have while rucking on the Star Course. I have since conducted three more practice rucks since I developed the two blisters on the first long practice ruck. I am happy to report than I have not had an issue with a hotspot or blister since using the Ruck Kit.

So how was I doomed from the start of my D.C. Star Course to get blisters? I didn't fully treat my feet. I knew the ball of my foot was a trouble area for me. If I had gone ahead and put in better prevention efforts on my foot, I might not have gotten the blister or it would not have been as bad as it was. The other issue was during my training I had not rucked as far as I had that day and time you do things longer and harder than what your body is used to that is going to cause issues too.


Understand how Blisters Develop

Blisters develop is from the combination of fiction, heat, and moisture. The correct selection of footwear and socks help with fiction, heat, and moisture but will not take care of all of those issues. The older we get we might start to develop calluses on our feet in the area of the ball of the foot, side of heal, or on a toe. This happens because of poorly fitted footwear or how the bones in your foot have developed that will cause the calluses.


Foot Care Preparation is key 

It takes many years to become an expert on a subject. I believe I can call my self a subject matter expert in the world of hotspots and blister care. It's not because I was smart behind what I did to take care of hotspots and blisters it was what I didn't do and those mistakes.


Preparation of your feet is the foundation to prevent foot care issues such as hotspots and blisters.  It is better to prepare than it is to treat. If you are treating then it's to late. The following are my prevention steps.

  • Properly trim toenails
  • File down calluses (calluses are caused by poorly fitted footwear, walking barefooted, frequent fiction to the area of skin)
  • Use a skin moisturizer to treat dry and callus areas 
  • Monitor and treat your skin for athletes foot or other skin issues
Prevention tools are toenail clippers, calluses file or pumice stone, moisturizer, athletes foot spray, Combat Ready Tape, and foot lube.

The next step in my prevention efforts is to go ahead and apply the Combat Ready Tape to known problem areas. I know straight up that the ball of my left foot is going to cause me issues. I will apply tape to that section of my foot. The proper way to put the Combat Ready Tape is to clean the area with the alcohol prep pad that comes with the kit  (I have found it best to start at center spot of where I want to put the patch and in a circle working out from the center point with the alcohol pad to clean an area larger than the patch). This removes body oils that would be on the skin and provides a clean area to stick the patch. There is no need to stretch the tape, just put it on in its a relaxed state.

In areas that I normally don't have issues will I use a lubricate like Body Glide on those areas. Once everything has had a little time to set-up I will put on my socks. I have found that a high-quality merino wool sock works best for me. I find that merino wool no matter the time of year pulls the moisture from my foot.


Combat Ready Tape
What you get inside the Ruck Kit
The above picture shows the items that come with the Ruck Kit. The bigger tape patches are for the areas across the lower back and shoulders. While you might run out of the smaller patches for your toes and feet. I have found that the printed grided paper on the back of the larger patches makes it easy to draw out and cut smaller patches with a limited waste of patch material.

The Ruck Kit also comes in a 6mil plastic zip-top bag that will hold up being thrown around in your pack or ruck.

The only con I have had with Combat Ready Tape is that it doesn't seem to sick as well as moleskin does once it has gotten wet such as after taking a shower. I am not sure if this is due to the type of adhesive on the back of the patch or due to how well I cleaned the area with the alcohol prep pad.

For military users, you can get your supply channels to order Combat Ready Tape in kits or bulk rolls. For Mil/LE/Fire/SAR you can contact info@combatreadytape.com for a discount code.

I purchased the Combat Ready Tape Ruck Kit for this review. I received the sample kit just like any of the other participants.



Comments

Unknown said…
Thank you so much for your conversion info. I was thinking I would have to get rid of my lantern. Dug it out after many years. Thanks again.

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