Hiking Boots vs. Outdoor shoes. - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Hiking Boots vs. Outdoor shoes.

I do about 10 hikes a year in the Sea-to-Sky corridor usually trying to get in at least 1 overnight hike with a pack per year.

I bought a pair of boots, but am finding I prefer to use my Nike outdoor type shoes vs. the boots. I've attempted to break in the boots and have used them on some 20km hikes, but I find that I get really bad blisters as below:



These are the boots I got:

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1280854602500

Do they fit right? I believe so... They were sized by people at MEC. I do have bone spurs on the back of my heels which usually end up digging into my shoes.

I'm just not sure what to do at this point. I realize with a pack, you need more beefy foot wear or you will just eat at the soles, however, the weight, and the uncomfortableness and weight of hiking boots has just turned me off of them.

I will be hitting Joffre Lakes for an overnight with a pack next week, and am contemplating using the boots or not.

Anyone have any advice for me?

- I have attempted to break them in by wearing them on very light trips and around the house.
- I have thin hiking socks that seem to be for this type of application.

Many thanks!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 10:33 AM
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The fit is probably not right for your foot regardless of whether or not staff sized them for you. Return the boots, get new boots.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 10:45 AM
Dru
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Quote:
quote:- I have thin hiking socks that seem to be for this type of application.
If I get blisters with thin socks, and I switch to thicker socks, especially a thin synthetic liner sock with a thick wool sock over it combo, the blisters often go away.

Maybe your thin socks are too thin.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 10:47 AM
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If that makes it too thick you can also try layering 2 thin liner socks. Works for me, then again my boots fit properly and I can wear one pair without issues.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Yeah, I'm guessing my bone spurs are going to make my life difficult and I will need to literally break in the boots.

I'll try the sock recommendation as well. Thanks!



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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 12:03 PM
tu
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Way back, I had boots that did the same, so I glued in rubber shims to take pressure off the affected area.

Took a bit of trail-and-error.

If you want to do the same faster, you might try finding a cobbler to take a look at your boot and foot.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 12:38 PM
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Get the thick hiking socks and your problem will go away... Of course heal first or it won't go away...



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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by AcesHigh

Get the thick hiking socks and your problem will go away... Of course heal first or it won't go away...
spoken from a man who has had many a long hike....not!

Dirty Socks:

I have the same problem with these exact boots but applying duct tape around the whole heel does help. Also, using a base layer before your hiking socks helps. The combination usually works for me unless I'm doing hikes over 18 km.

Happy trails,
Lynn
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 01:02 PM
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Try trail runners. Personally I do more running than hiking so I would never use hiking boots, even for hiking. When you are used of trail runners they just seem hilariously bulky, cumbersome, stay wet excessively long and they have no ground feel. Trail runners, especially ultra lightweight ones offer good grip and rock protection in the forefoot/arch, comfort, and are breathable and quick draining. There are even Inov-8 running boots now if you prefer some ankle protection, and a higher top to keep debris out, but they're still super light and very quick draining. You might be able to get those at Hillsound on Broadway in Vancouver, they carry some of the Inov-8 line. The lightest boot they make is called the x-talon 240. The number is the weight in grams.

The best socks are Drymax. They sound like many other types of socks (ie: Coolmax) but are way superior. I've never had a blister with those aside from between the toes where skin has rubbed together even on extremely long runs (ie: over 100 miles in a day). They seem super heavy (maybe not compared to hiking socks) but they are actually cool because they wick so well.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ryan Conroy

I've never had a blister with those aside from between the toes where skin has rubbed together even on extremely long runs (ie: over 100 miles in a day).
To prevent blisters between the toes, try Injinji socks as liners. They have individual toes like Vibram Five-Fingers. For summer trips with hiking boots as well as shoes, I've been wearing them under Coolmax double-layer socks and I haven't had a problem since. Like you, in between my toes was the only place I ever got blisters. It's been such a relief to not have to worry about it anymore.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 01:36 PM
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As suggested already, duct tape on the heel may help as it has me in the past. I thought these boots were fairly soft and supposed to be comfortable out of the box. So, as t2c said, it suggests maybe they're just not a good fit afterall. Another thing you could try is dunking them in a lake then hiking around for several hours as they dry and somewhat mold to your feet. I'm not sure if with your bone spurs that'll help and MEC probably wouldn't take em back if they knew but it was a proven method for some really stiff boots once.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru
If I get blisters with thin socks, and I switch to thicker socks, especially a thin synthetic liner sock with a thick wool sock over it combo, the blisters often go away.
+1.

I used to get blisters every hike no matter what until I discovered this combo, now I never get blisters - hiking is so much more fun that way. I'll have to look into those Drymax socks, etc. too.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 02:20 PM
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If your boots are giving you blisters you either have the wrong size or the wrong pair of boots for your gait and particular type of feet. Don't expect an uncomfortable, blister-inducing pair of boots to "break in". They need to be comfortable right off the bat.

I would return your boots and, armed with the experience of what doesn't work for your feet, look for a pair of boots that feels comfortable and just feels right. Try on several pairs of boots and expect to spend a couple hours figuring it out. You will eventually find a pair that feels like it's perfect for your feet.

Remember, with the laces loose and your feet all the way forward you should be able to fit your index finger between your heel and the end of the boot. After you lace them up tight, if your toes touch the ends of the boots while walking down the ramp, get a bigger pair, unless you like losing toenails. Also, you don't want your heel to lift up and slip around in the boot. It needs to be snug, but you need to look out for boots that pinch your heel and give you blisters like yours. Walk up the ramp as well and take note of how it affects your heels. Any pinching or pain is bad.

It's all about trying a whole bunch of pairs and deciding what's right for your feet.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 02:26 PM
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DirtySocks,

Some good advice here, here's my take on your situation in sequence:

Go with time2climb's recommendation. These are NOT the boots for you if you require a band-aid solution right from the start. This is 2010 after all.

MEC is usually pretty good with situations like this. If you get stuck with these boots, try the thicker hiking sock, I use Ultimax (with NO LINER sock) with unerring success over my last 2 pairs of boots.

If still not right, try putting a thin layer of Burt's Bees Wax (yes, lip balm) to just BARELY cover the affected area, then put 1 or more big honkin chunks of duct tape over the heel. (wrapping around the rear-sides of the heel.)

Years ago in desperation I tried this on an 8-day trip after soaking-out on day-2 and running out of moleskin. By the end of the trek my heel-blister-wounds were virtually healed over. I think the wax provides just enough lubricant, and whatever the "medicated" ingredient in the lip-balm promotes healing.

I've passed this trick on to several formerly-cynical friends, who now want to invest in my new start-up company. (half-joking)

good luck,
Gord
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 02:48 PM
MJB
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My new boots were going to give me chronic blisters. They fit really well except my foot also has a bit of an odd heel that was rubbing.

I padded it with a little home made neoprene semi-circle just to keep non-abrasive contact with the heel and it works great. I bought the neoprene at a fabric store 1mx25cm for cheap.
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