Ask the Goat: Trail Toes

Military officer creates anti-friction product out of mission necessity

Vincent Antunez is the owner of Trail Toes LLC, a company he started while deployed to Afghanistan in June 2013. The company manufactures Trail Toes Phenomenal Ultra-Extreme Anti-Friction Foot and Body Cream and supplies several other essential products that are designed for ultra-athletes to help them complete endurance events by reducing abrasions, blisters and chafing.

Ask the Goat by Chris Knodel

Ask the Goat
by Chris Knodel

The idea for Trail Toes actually came about after returning from a late night MEDEVAC mission in June 2013, while Vincent served as an Aeromedical Physician Assistant for an attack helicopter unit in Afghanistan. The idea blossomed after completing one particular mission where afterward he couldn’t get to sleep (sometimes it is hard to quell the adrenaline).

Whatever the reason, Vincent was passing the time by perusing race websites and was trying to set a race strategy for his return to the states. He was reading the Racing the Planet website and it became apparent that several folks were missing their favorite blister cream – Hydropel — that had recently been taken off the market. Vincent, too, had been a huge fan of Hydropel and was equally disappointed when it became apparent that it would no longer be available. At one point he even tried to contact the developer that made it as well as the company that bought it. Both were without success, so he did the next best thing — he concocted his own recipe.

On June 6, 2013, Vincent decided to take things to the next level and started Trail Toes LLC. While in Afghanistan he contacted various production companies and sent them the proposed formula and finally settled on one. It just so happened that things worked out pretty well and when he arrived home in August the first samples were waiting.

Unfortunately, the first batch had a flowery aroma, so it was sent back with guidelines for change. A second sample was sent but wasn’t thick enough and it too went back with some additional modifications. Finally, the third arrived and it was just what we were looking for — thick, silky and fragrance-free.

A Trail Toes photo Vincent Antunez is shown finishing the last stage of the 170-mile Grand to Grand seven-day stage race.

A Trail Toes photo
Vincent Antunez is shown finishing the last stage of the 170-mile Grand to Grand seven-day stage race.

Vincent tested it on some training runs, but there wasn’t much time to find out if it was truly what he was looking for, because in September he went to Arizona to do the Grand to Grand — a 170-mile self-supported stage race. So this became the big test. He took two jars and used it on his feet and body in one of the toughest runs on the planet and left without a single blister or chafing.

In addition, he provided some to several other runners and they were just as pleased with the results. The proof was there, and Vincent knew he had a great product that would hold up in the most extreme environments athletes can race in.

Author’s note: Vincent M. Antunez, D.Sc, PA-C, has a Doctorate of Science in Orthopedics and serves as a major in the U.S. Army. He currently works as an associate professor at the Inter-Service Physician Assistant Program teaching neurology and orthopedics.

Chris Knodel is a Mangum Track Club member and Sandhills Region native. He is the author of “More, Better Quicker – The Irish Goat: A Fat-Boy & His Path to Ultra-Distance.” His column will appear each Thursday on

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Military and Veterans, Outdoors, Sports

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