Hiking boots hurt, mids and gaitors for winter?

11:18 a.m. on January 4, 2009 (EST)
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I am sick of hiking boots. They are heavy, too rigid around the heels, I've never needed the extra stability, and they dig into the outsides of my shins as I'm bowlegged. This was the result of my hike yesterday:

....This was on both feet after I cut down the top of the boots to relieve the pressure on my bowlegged shins. I guess if it's not one thing, it's another, right? hehe. I've tried moleskin, vasoline around my heels, wearing various boots casually around town for hours b4 I hiked in them etc.

Anyway, I've given up on hiking boots. (No I don't need your suggestion on another hiking boot that works for you or how you break in shoes ) For winter trail walking w/ the possibility to go through some stuff around 5 inches...I was thinking of waterproof trailrunners or mid-height hiking shows and gaitors. I've never had trouble with sneaker-esk footwear. I was thinking of gaitors like this:

I like the way they do the loop under your foot. If it wears away you can easily replace it with another lace.

And....low trailrunners like this:

but I'm wondering if most gaitors won't go down far enough on a waterproof sneaker like that or do I need a mid-height boot/show like this:

Also...I see a lot of what looks like mesh/synthetic uppers that have goretex membranes...do they actually work or do you need something that is more a leather/non-mesh upper to really be waterproof when you're in 5in of snow all day?

Thanks!

4:04 p.m. on January 4, 2009 (EST)
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If you want to wear trail shoes/running shoes in winter, I would recommend getting a pair of NEOS overboots. They are designed to be worn over shoes of different types.

I don't have a pair, but I have read several posts on other sites by people who do have them and really like them.

www.overshoe.com

6:06 p.m. on January 4, 2009 (EST)
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We have a pair and they are excellent! Good suggestion Tom D. They are also great winter boots for around camp, they can be worn over down booties for nice toasty feet! Double duty works for me!

4:32 p.m. on January 6, 2009 (EST)
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Wow... that looks painful. Have you considered custom footwear. Not cheap but better than what you seem to be dealing with.

Tom D or Wilderness Gal, can you wear crampons with the NEOS?

3:44 p.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
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The NEOS Explorer STABILicer Overshoe:

http://www.overshoe.com/recreational/products/detail.php?s=EXS

looks like it would be useful for Antarctic/Arctic trekking.

It says that these can be worn over boots, but has anyone worn these over expedition type boots, Acton Chimo's for example which have a roomy toe box area, for added traction as an alternative, with the added bonus of adding extra insulation, to wearing crampons over an expedition boot?

Would I be correct in thinking that the front part of the overshoe totally opens out?

regards
Andrew

8:16 p.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
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Looking at your photo, your problems go way beyond a simple "I will never wear boots again!" It is clear that you have a combination of improperly fitted footgear, wrong socks, and poor foot care. I see this sort of thing out on the trail far too often. You should spend some time with a podiatrist who deals with athletes, probably in a sports medicine clinic.

A book that will give you some good info is Fixing Your Feet: Prevention And Treatments for Athletes by John Vonhof.

You say you want no advice

No I don't need your suggestion on another hiking boot that works for you or how you break in shoes

. Sorry, but "another hiking boot" and "how to break in boots" would not help, simply because you did not have properly fitted boots in the first place. While you don't show the rest of your foot (or even the foot without socks), it is obvious at the least the heel and achilles area of the boot was completely wrong (which is why you believe that a running shoe would help). But a running shoe, especially a one which is completely waterproof (hence holding in the perspiration) will result in soaked socks (those look like cotton socks - big mistake, plus they are clearly the wrong size sock - look at the big wrinkle at the achilles area, a guaranteed blister generator), which will result in wrinkling and shifting, which will result in heel and ankle blisters. Which, if not caught immediately, before the blister forms, will result in an unroofed, bloody former blister very quickly (I have seen them form in the first quarter mile of trail), which can easily get infected.

Whether you end up with boots, running shoes, or barefoot, you need to get to a trained footgear fitter and a podiatrist.

October 31, 2014
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