Hiking Boots & Sore (!) Toes

6:06 p.m. on July 24, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. grblulin, Greg

Ok all you experienced trail stompers out there, I need your constructive advice/input.

I recently completed a hike in a new pair of Merrill Blast boots. I was all excited, because this was my first real pair of hiking boots, replacing the old Kmart work boots I used to use. Boy was I disappointed . . .

They were fine on the 2.5 mile ascent of Round Mt. in the Adirondacks. It was on the descent that the trouble started. They caused sharp pain in my big toes/toenails. By the end I was grimacing out loud with every downward stride. I now have very ugly purple and sore toenail beds.

I had on a pair of medium weight synthetic blend socks. I don't attribute this problem to lack of breaking in. My guess is that the boots are a bit too large(long).

What's your take on all this??

7:08 p.m. on July 24, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

The boots are probably 1/2 size too small. I'm far from a pro on boot fitting, but know from past experience that this was the case for me.

The downhill forces your foot to move forward in the boot, allowing your toes to contact the front of the boot, thus a lot of weight is being put into your toes.

If your sure your boot is fitted correctly, maybe it's your lacing technique.

ag

7:11 p.m. on July 24, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Better a bit too large then a bit too small!
Lace them tight when going down...
Another pair or socks perhaps?

Feel better...

9:43 p.m. on July 24, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Sounds like boots are either too small or improperly fitted.
Again I must sing the praises of the Oren Fit System...: )
Try to find a shop that uses it and have your boots fitted there, and you will not have this problem again.
Hopefully the place you got your new boots from has a good return policy...

I just did an overnighter in Teva sandals, 'cause I forgot my boots and didn't realize it till I got to the trailhead!
Only problem was all the crap that kept getting between my feet and the sandals...had to stop alot and tap my feet aginst rocks to shake it out.

7:21 a.m. on July 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

You may find that nothing helps - they may not be the boots for you. I've been happily wearing Ultralight Limmers for almost 2 years - the most comfortable boots I ever had. Last week I found a pair of Salomons for a bargain price. They fit great in the store, I did all the right things - socks, custom insoles from my other boots, lacing...At the end of the first day I was hobbling and wishing for my old boots. Hopefully they are now broken in, but my experience tells me they'll never be quite right.

8:25 a.m. on July 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

You're gonna have black toe-nails....

Sure sounds like your boots are too small.

Try this test - lace your boots up like you normally would for a descent (mine are always a shade tighter for descents) then kick your toe into the floor - give it a good whack. Repeat. Repeat. I've always used the rule that on the third whack, you should just feel your toes brush the end of the boot.

Of course, this will depend on how hard you "whack", but I try to mimic kicking steps into hard snow.

In any case, you might have no choice but to get a larger size. Some people use varied lacing techniques to ensure that the lower foot and instep are locking into place.

Try this test with your hiking socks and let us know how it goes...

Diligence

12:18 p.m. on July 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Scott, Scott M
Wear socks...

I recently hiked the Slickrock Creek Trail in Joyce Kilmer and you cross the creek many, many times so I just hiked in my sandals. They were not actually as good for hiking in as my old worn out Alps but I ended up wearing my hiking socks with the sandals (not the height of fashion) but it kept all the stuff out my sandals and stopped them from rubbing the tops of my feet.

Quote:

Sounds like boots are either too small or improperly fitted.
Again I must sing the praises of the Oren Fit System...: )
Try to find a shop that uses it and have your boots fitted there, and you will not have this problem again.
Hopefully the place you got your new boots from has a good return policy...

I just did an overnighter in Teva sandals, 'cause I forgot my boots and didn't realize it till I got to the trailhead!
Only problem was all the crap that kept getting between my feet and the sandals...had to stop alot and tap my feet aginst rocks to shake it out.

2:01 p.m. on July 25, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

You might (MIGHT) be able to salvage the boots by getting heel lifts. They lift your foot up and back away from toe of boot a leetle bit. I cut the toes out one person's socks and pasted several layers of moleskin to the heel so we could get one young lady out without a lot of tears. She said the next size up didn't look good on her.

One ol salt suggested that your toes ought to be able to play the piano in there, while the instep area is held so tight it can't leave the performance.

10:01 p.m. on July 26, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Wear socks...Brilliant advice!!

I ended up wearing my hiking socks with the sandals (not the height of fashion) but it kept all the stuff out my sandals and stopped them from rubbing the tops of my feet.

I wear my Smartwool Hikers with mine and if those aren't hiking socks I don't know what are...
You must have either very tough feet or got good flushing action every time you crossed the creek. Try hiking on a dry sandy trail(don't forget those little rocks and twigs)with them and you'll be cussing.

1:24 p.m. on July 30, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have fit approximately 2k pairs of backpacking boots over many years and your problem is very common. This answer may seem vague, but it is impossible to determine without looking at your feet. Several Possibilities and solutions follow.

1. Your boots are either too large in either length or volume. It is possible to be in the proper length shoe, but have too much volume. This will result in your feet sliding foreward on decents.

FIX take another insole from an old pair of boots or tennis shoes and slide it onder the current insole in your boots to reduce the volume in the boot. As the "under insole" packs down, it will have to be replaced.

2. Your boots are too small in length.
FIX - take them back. You cannot "break them in"
And along this matter, boots should feel comfortable from the get-go. You should never have to break in boots to get rid of pain.

3. The other possibility is that you "pronate" a lot. In simple terms, when you wieght your foot, your arch collapses, your foot rolls in and then elongates. You could be in the proper length and volume, but when weighted, your foot elongates and thus hits the front.
FIX-Superfeet insoles dramatically reduce pronation. I never fit boots without them. The most important place to support the foot is not under the arch, but actually under the heel. A good insole prevents the heel from rolling in and thus supports the arch.

When you go to a boot shop, I offer the following advice.
1. ask which person in the shop has the most experience fitting botts. if he or she is not there, come back at a later time
2. buy by fit not price or look.
3. make sure you can put a few hours in them inside and return them if they are not perfect.
4. they should be comfortable almost immediately.
your foot should be locked in place. it should not slide forward and your heel should not lift in the back more than a pinky's thickness while walking upstairs.
5. shop in the late afternoon when your feet have swelled a little.
6. shop on a weekday. weekends are very diffiuclut for shops to give you the attention proper boot fitting requires.

Hope that helps, feel free to shoot me an email if you have further questions.

 

Quote:

Ok all you experienced trail stompers out there, I need your constructive advice/input.

I recently completed a hike in a new pair of Merrill Blast boots. I was all excited, because this was my first real pair of hiking boots, replacing the old Kmart work boots I used to use. Boy was I disappointed . . .

They were fine on the 2.5 mile ascent of Round Mt. in the Adirondacks. It was on the descent that the trouble started. They caused sharp pain in my big toes/toenails. By the end I was grimacing out loud with every downward stride. I now have very ugly purple and sore toenail beds.

I had on a pair of medium weight synthetic blend socks. I don't attribute this problem to lack of breaking in. My guess is that the boots are a bit too large(long).

What's your take on all this??

11:47 p.m. on August 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

This happened to me ONE time and from then on I have made a ritual of clipping my toe-nails very short [even if it looks like I don't need to] on the day before I hit the trail. It has never happened since.


chris

 


Quote:

Ok all you experienced trail stompers out there, I need your constructive advice/input.

I recently completed a hike in a new pair of Merrill Blast boots. I was all excited, because this was my first real pair of hiking boots, replacing the old Kmart work boots I used to use. Boy was I disappointed . . .

They were fine on the 2.5 mile ascent of Round Mt. in the Adirondacks. It was on the descent that the trouble started. They caused sharp pain in my big toes/toenails. By the end I was grimacing out loud with every downward stride. I now have very ugly purple and sore toenail beds.

I had on a pair of medium weight synthetic blend socks. I don't attribute this problem to lack of breaking in. My guess is that the boots are a bit too large(long).

What's your take on all this??

7:54 p.m. on September 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. annette deyle
wide feet and don't know where to start

this is my problem - I have size 8 wm wide feet and do not know where to beging to look for a pair of hiking boots. I had neromas taken out of both feet last yr and a second time on my right foot this past summer. At this time my feet are both healed and I am ready to start hiking again. My hiking consist either in the ADK area and a yearly hike out west going any where from 4 to 7 hrs a day. Can you reccommand where I should look in the Utica, Syracuse, or Albany area. I need some serious help.

9:29 p.m. on October 12, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: wide feet and don't know where to start

Quote:

this is my problem - I have size 8 wm wide feet and do not know where to beging to look for a pair of hiking boots. I had neromas taken out of both feet last yr and a second time on my right foot this past summer. At this time my feet are both healed and I am ready to start hiking again. My hiking consist either in the ADK area and a yearly hike out west going any where from 4 to 7 hrs a day. Can you reccommand where I should look in the Utica, Syracuse, or Albany area. I need some serious help.

 

Should check out Dunham Boots ( a division of New Balance ). Can find store locations on the newbalance.com site. These are not easy to find in retail locations, but do come in widths. I live in NJ and had went into NYC to purchase.

9:30 p.m. on October 12, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: wide feet and don't know where to start

Quote:

this is my problem - I have size 8 wm wide feet and do not know where to beging to look for a pair of hiking boots. I had neromas taken out of both feet last yr and a second time on my right foot this past summer. At this time my feet are both healed and I am ready to start hiking again. My hiking consist either in the ADK area and a yearly hike out west going any where from 4 to 7 hrs a day. Can you reccommand where I should look in the Utica, Syracuse, or Albany area. I need some serious help.

 

Should check out Dunham Boots ( a division of New Balance ). Can find store locations on the newbalance.com site. These are not easy to find in retail locations, but do come in widths. I live in NJ and had went into NYC to purchase.

9:30 p.m. on October 12, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: wide feet and don't know where to start

Quote:

this is my problem - I have size 8 wm wide feet and do not know where to beging to look for a pair of hiking boots. I had neromas taken out of both feet last yr and a second time on my right foot this past summer. At this time my feet are both healed and I am ready to start hiking again. My hiking consist either in the ADK area and a yearly hike out west going any where from 4 to 7 hrs a day. Can you reccommand where I should look in the Utica, Syracuse, or Albany area. I need some serious help.

 

Should check out Dunham Boots ( a division of New Balance ). Can find store locations on the newbalance.com site. These are not easy to find in retail locations, but do come in widths. I live in NJ and had went into NYC to purchase.

July 29, 2014
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