Hiking shoe fit?

6:15 p.m. on April 10, 2014 (EDT)
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I bought a pair of Keen's hiking shoes. They are low top and wear very well, only problem I seem to have is the right shoe while feeling comfortable while wearing them all day seem to be putting pressure on the outside of my foot. Its unnoticeable until I take them off at night and the outer middle edge of my foot is sore to walk on. 

If I shower after taking off the shoes and let my feet soak in the water of the tub as I shower the pressure goes away as well as the discomfort of standing/walking on my foot.

As I said I feel no soreness or pressure on the side of my foot while in them all day, but as soon as I take them off the soreness is there but only on the right foot.

I am guessing that the inner sole is to tight against my foot but do not understand why it isn't noticeable until I have removed my shoes?

I walk in them and bicycle in them as well. The part of the foot that feels the soreness I might add is just behind the spur section of my foot. Not the spur itself which has never bothered me before and this is the first time I have felt this soreness from a pair of anything on my feet ever.

Being a tall (6'7") guy I have large long feet. I wear a size 12-14 shoe, wearing a 14 to give my toes room when hiking especially down steep trails. My foot is not really that wide but I have a high instep. I used to have difficulty buying Cowboy boots as a teenager because of my high instep and had to have them stretched at least once or twice a month. Since wearing lace up hiking boots and shoes that problem ended 40 years ago. I wish back then in high school I would have known about lace up cowboy boots that I never saw till I first came to Wyoming.

12:12 p.m. on April 19, 2014 (EDT)
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So no one here knows anything about what might be the problem with my shoe? I took to wearing my street shoes now that I am living in town more. 

5:31 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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I had a similar problem before with a pair of Teva mids. I would be fine for my entire hike, but once I took the shoes off, my right foot was in terrible pain. I think the snug fit of the shoe acted like a compress on my foot and kept a lot of the pain at bay while it was on, but once removed I felt the full effects of whatever aspect of the design was hurting me.


I solved the problem (to some extent) by changing the insoles, but I also know that I have a 12-14 mile or so limit for those shoes before I start feeling negative effects, so I only use them accordingly these days.

8:33 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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I dealt with a similar issue with my Keen Erickson PCTs, but being a leather boot I dealt with it by applying mink oil to the area to soften the leather so it wrapped around my foot rather than compressing it.  Since you said it was a shoe and not a boot I'm assuming you are dealing with different materials than leather?

8:56 a.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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Gary, I know what you are talking about. My Keen Oregon PCT's do that to a lesser degree. But my Keen Targhes are the opposite, throwing my feet into pronation. I really got crippled up after my last 9 mile hike in them and emailed KEEN about it. No response. Looks like LONE got it from the Ericksons...which are like the Oregon's only the Ericksons are leather. Which model are you sporting Gary?

3:21 p.m. on April 23, 2014 (EDT)
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Sounds like plantar's on that foot. They make sleeves that relieve that pressure, or try loosening the laces on the forward portion or whatever area of the shoe is providing the pain, and keep the other areas cinched down. Also maybe try a good shoe store where they know how to properly use a Branok device. Sometimes an ill-fitting shoe is the problem.

7:49 a.m. on April 26, 2014 (EDT)
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Here's a quick test...put your shoes on and stand in front of a mirror. Are you naturally standing with both your feet facing straight forward? Can you draw a nice, straight line from your waist, through your knee cap, to your feet facing straight forward? Or are you standing with your feet splayed, like a duck? If you don't have that straight line, you need better insoles.

I only recently learned that many hiking shoe companies add cheap insoles with the expectation that you will buy more expensive ones based on your type of feet.

10:22 p.m. on April 26, 2014 (EDT)
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Also maybe try a good shoe store where they know how to properly use a Branok device. Sometimes an ill-fitting shoe is the problem.

 

Although I can't speak from personal experience, I know many of family and friends who have gone to an area shoe store that is known for doing customized fittings. I think they use more than just a brannock device, although that's a good place to start. Although it is a store and they are in the business of getting you to buy something, I have only heard high praises from people who go in search of a fix to their foot/ankle/knee/back problems caused by their shoes. Certainly worth looking into if you can't solve the issues yourself.

11:37 a.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
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KiwiKlimber said:


Although I can't speak from personal experience, I know many of family and friends who have gone to an area shoe store that is known for doing customized fittings. I think they use more than just a brannock device, although that's a good place to start. Although it is a store and they are in the business of getting you to buy something, I have only heard high praises from people who go in search of a fix to their foot/ankle/knee/back problems caused by their shoes. Certainly worth looking into if you can't solve the issues yourself.

 In looking for good insoles, I went to REI, Dick's, & Gander Mountain. The experience reinforced my belief that their minimum-wage employees can only quote what has been spoon-fed to them. ("Superfeet are the best insoles on the market....because the company rep came to our store and told me they are the best insoles on the market.")

I went to a locally-owned running store. They immediately recognized my flat feet, without me telling them, then they walked past the Superfeet display and handed me a few pairs of different insoles to try in the store. After 3 attempts they could see (and I could feel) that the Sole brand was the right insole for me.

I'm working on a review.

12:36 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
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GOOSE says: Here's a quick test...put your shoes on and stand in front of a mirror. Are you naturally standing with both your feet facing straight forward?

My feet have always faced directly forward. I note when most people I hike with their feet look like duck feet pointing out at an angle and how much trouble they seemly have walking with an ackward step. Never had that problem and I grew up walking everywhere in the country side i grew up in on Lake Ontario NY. I didn't learn to ride a bicycle till I was 12. Which was about the time I started learning to backpack in the boy scouts.

I have never had any problems with my feet except that I have a high instep and when I started wearing cowboy boots I always had to get them stretched about once a month or so. It wasn't until I moved to Wyoming the first time in 1981 that I saw lace up cowboy boots which would have been easier on my young feet instead of having the boots stretched.

These Keen hiking shoes are the first that I have eve had that hurt my foot. And like someone else mentioned they don't hurt while in the them just after I get them off my feet and start walking in my feet.

I am trying to sell these shoes if anyone is interested? Or know of someone. They are 14's, I wear a 12-13 but wear 14's because i hate my toes being crunched when I hike down hill, especially in the Grand Canyon where its a 6-9 miles hike down.

1:21 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
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G00SE said:

 In looking for good insoles, I went to REI, Dick's, & Gander Mountain. The experience reinforced my belief that their minimum-wage employees can only quote what has been spoon-fed to them. ("Superfeet are the best insoles on the market....because the company rep came to our store and told me they are the best insoles on the market.")

I went to a locally-owned running store...

 Good point. I should have been more clear in my previous post.

The area shoe store I was describing is not a big box outdoor gear store. It is locally-owned and has been under the same management staff for nearly 30 years. You can't beat that kind of knowledge and experience. They've seen just about everything.

From the various people I've known who have sought their services, nearly everyone first went to Dick's Sporting Goods or somewhere similar. Don't waste your time and money. Do it right the first time.

3:17 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
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Your instinct to get different shoes is correct, Gary. The Keens do not fit your foot well. Your feet hurt afterwards, when walking barefoot, because they're walking differently than they do in shoes...I'd guess the flex in the forefoot of the shoe does not line up with the flex in your forefoot.

This is bad juju; get new shoes quickly before you have a more serious issue.

Also, don't buy into the insole hype. You already have strong feet and legs; keep them that way.

10:57 p.m. on April 27, 2014 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

Your instinct to get different shoes is correct, Gary. The Keens do not fit your foot well. Your feet hurt afterwards, when walking barefoot, because they're walking differently than they do in shoes...I'd guess the flex in the forefoot of the shoe does not line up with the flex in your forefoot.

This is bad juju; get new shoes quickly before you have a more serious issue.

Also, don't buy into the insole hype. You already have strong feet and legs; keep them that way.

Pillowthread: Just looking for some clarification here…are you recommending something along the lines of a minimalist shoe/FiveFingers shoe, in order to walk the same way with or without shoes on?

If one foot is perfectly fine and the other is bothering him after taking the shoes off, I wouldn't go betting on another pair of shoes solving these problems.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. But if it were me, I'd be looking into custom insoles rather than searching for new shoes. The problem with new shoes is that you never know how your feet will react to them after 10, 100 or 1,000 miles.

5:49 p.m. on April 28, 2014 (EDT)
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I am saying the right shoe doesn't fit his right foot. I'm not sure anyone's two feet are exactly the same, and shoes tend to be...

I'm not recommending a minimalist shoe, unless a minimalist shoe feels best on his foot.

I had a nice pair of boots a while back, and the "break line" in the left-boot forefoot didn't match up with where my foot bent at the ball...terrible, throbbing pain--only after I took the boots off--showed up after only a few weeks. I ignored it, telling myself it was just the boots breaking in, and I developed a morton's neuroma in my left foot, which subsequently took two years to rehab.

Get rid of ill-fitting footwear as soon as you notice it's ill-fitting.

5:55 p.m. on April 28, 2014 (EDT)
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Also, insoles which cradle your feet can give them no reason to be active. I had the uber-conforming, $300 3-D insoles, and they made my feet weak. Yes, I threw them in the garbage and rehabbed with a pair of five-fingers. I now enjoy multi-day backpacking trips barefoot, and go ten miles a day with a 25lb pack.

The best way to collapse an arch is to push up on it from below.

1:25 a.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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To me shoes are the MOST important equipment choice one makes when backpacking (the choice of backpack a near 2nd...everything else is so distant as to be almost a non-consideration)...because your feet are your ONLY form of mobility when backpacking...and if they fail you...you are not just uncomfortable and having a terrible time...you are now a burden and in need of rescue!

I have never really used insoles...but I cannot dismiss their use altogether (some people may need them for corrective purposes). I would however...(as Pillow suggested) stay away from shoes that do not feel PERFECT...absolutely perfect...no compromises...because "good enough" could leave you in the middle of a trail immobilized. Just to be clear on this point...PERFECT...no amount of shopping or consideration is too much...perfect is the only acceptable option!

Seriously...I suggest being the most annoying person EVER for sales-people when buying shoes...walk + jump + bang the toes of the shoes into the floor + squat around in the store for up to 20-30 minutes (when you think you have found the perfect pair...wear and test them some more). Most importantly...ignore almost every word that comes out of the sales-person's mouth (price and return policy being the only exceptions to this rule)...because you are the EXPERT...your feet "tell" you EVERYTHING you need to know. After you get the shoes home...wear them some more for the next few days...and if you have even the smallest issue...take them back...your aim is for perfection...because even with perfect shoes your feet are going to hurt:-)

8:49 a.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

Also, insoles which cradle your feet can give them no reason to be active. I had the uber-conforming, $300 3-D insoles, and they made my feet weak. Yes, I threw them in the garbage and rehabbed with a pair of five-fingers. I now enjoy multi-day backpacking trips barefoot, and go ten miles a day with a 25lb pack.

The best way to collapse an arch is to push up on it from below.

 I can't speak to those without foot problems. When I was first diagnosed with arthritis in my knees more than a year ago, my physical therapist pointed out my flat feet aggravated the symptoms, because my knees weren't aligned correctly.

She told me to get insoles with high arch support to realign everything. She told me to never again go barefoot. She told me my Birkenstocks were a good choice & that I probably didn't notice my arthritis sooner because I wear these more than any other shoe and they provide excellent arch support.

I started with cheap Dr. Scholl's. They are okay for day-to-day moving about, when I'm outdoors at work. Hiking with Sole Inserts (working on review now) were perfect for my 85 mile hike earlier this month.

Again, this is from someone already dealing with flat feet.

2:23 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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These insoles do support your feet in a more anatomical position, and are better for body allignment than walking flatfooted.

I believe they are best used sparsely, however, as one reconditions the feet to not be so dependent on such support.

Sure, use them as much as possible when initially combatting inflamation and irritation, but don't let them become crutches. They give you feet no reason to become stronger, and they limit your foot's flexibility.

3:14 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Vince,

Everything you say sounds very right but FYI, I have been diagnosed with metatarsus primus elevatus and if I don't use my orthotic insoles (or some support) I'll be in severe pain in less than ten miles. With them i can go 25 miles in a day without significant issues.

I've tried nearly every shoe you can think of short of the minimalist stuff. And maybe i should try that, but every time i try a trip with no support insole I get really hurt. The only shoe that sort of works for me with no added insole is a wide Chaco sandle. Those have really good metatarsal padding.

4:03 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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I use stick-on metatarsal pads in a couple pairs of my shoes, and recommend their use to anyone who finds relief from their use.

The condition you described, patman, plagued my left foot for a while after the neuroma went down, as a result of an over-correction...the metatarsal pads helped me greatly, and then I just had to wean myself off them...

Age and conditioning plays a big role...these things happend to me in my late twenties; your results may vary.

4:07 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Prime met elevation can be corrected by mindfull foot placement...care should be taken to ensure the Prime met head is the first thing to take up your weight, followed closely by the rest of your big toe, your other toes, the ball of your foot, and then your heel. This all happens in a few hundred milliseconds, and appears to the observer a mid-foot strike.

Such mindfulness can change the biomechanics of the foot as it lands, strengthening the band that starts at the end of your big toe, wraps up the back of your heel, and becomes your Achilles tendon...my Achilles have gotten noticably more stout since focusing on the technique I descibe.

4:21 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Well you've inspired me to take another look at these things.

I'll be 42 in a couple of months but I only started intense backpacking in my early thirties before which time I was not aware of any foot issues though the doctors claim that I was born with the issue (classified as congenital) and would have been dealing with it regardless of my activity level.

But even now, if I only hike a few miles I can get away most any kind of footwear with no pain. 

 I have some of the stick on pads as well but never tried them. Maybe it’s time.

I absolutely hate the idea that I can’t enjoy one of my favorite activities (long distance hiking) without some special expensive mechanism. Your ideas of crutch avoidance and strengthening the natural joints really resonates with me.

5:49 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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Vince, are you saying flat feet can be corrected? I've never heard that before (not saying you're wrong, just never heard it).

...off to Google flat feet.

6:36 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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I don't think one can "correct" flat feet, but you can strengthen your ankles to the point that your feet don't pronate as much. If you have flat feet that are not strong, they will get worse as you age, which will lead to more rotational forces on your tibia, which will lead to worse knee problems...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronation_of_the_foot

6:41 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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@Patman: you are perhaps the first person who has told me that you were inspired by me. I consider it a great honor, and do not take your endorsement lightly.

7:29 p.m. on April 29, 2014 (EDT)
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To add to what I wrote above, my educated guess is that ideally, one supports about 20-30% of one's body weight initially on that Prime Metatarsal/Tarsal complex; another 30% on the remainder of the Tarsals, and 30% on the ball. Some 10-20% should rest on the heel, as it comes down only very briefly to let you know your stride is correct, percentages depending on whether you're jogging or hiking. If your foot starts pronating excessively during a run/hike, and you start putting much more weight on your heels, it is a sign your foot/leg muscles are getting tired.

Your toes should be actively gripping and splaying as you ambulate. On shorter trips I don't need to put in the met pads, but on longer trips I use them, as they keep my form from degrading as fast, which keeps my knees from hurting as the days pile up...

8:59 a.m. on April 30, 2014 (EDT)
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Gary...which KEENS are they? I was on the phone with KEEN yesterday because I am trying to replace my beloved Keen Oregon PCT's with a lighter boot for my Inca Trail trek. I had purchased KEEN Targhee II both in boot and shoe. The boot gave a lot of feedback through the sole while the shoe did not. I thought that rather odd given the should be the same sans the ankle cuff. The lady told me the Targhee II is their most popular and are built with a high arch. I told that was funny because my problem with them was they threw me over on my arch to such a degree that after 9 miles I was in PAIN and had bruised feet and exterior ankle bone area for several days after. She disinterestedly told me I could file a claim.

 

I ended up ordering Keen Gypsums. I own a LOT of KEENS and some are not so good. But the toe box is the bomb for my Fred Flintstone shaped feet. I am also starting to wonder it ZAPPOS is getting seconds of some sort....I ordered the Gypsums from REI so will be anxious to try them out if they arrive this weekend.

 

I have developed a mean case of plantar faceitis and just got orthotics a couple months ago and am trying to determine if that will fix my substantial foot pain. I leave to Peru in late August so gotta get this fixed!

10:57 p.m. on April 30, 2014 (EDT)
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This thread got me to finish that review:

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/sole/softec-response/#review31307

July 31, 2014
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