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Hiking boots and smashed toes

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Hiking boots and smashed toes

Postby quentinc » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:09 pm

My Montrail Moraines are not long for this world (they've basically been held together with duct tape my last 2 trips), and to my regret Montrail doesn't make them any more. I probably have the world's hardest feet to fit -- narrow heels and wide, splayed toes. Not only do I find that the toe boxes of most boots are too narrow; they are also too low. I just tried a wide version of Montrail's Torre GTX, and while it was plenty wide, my left big toe was aleady fighting with the roof of the toe box.

I can't imagine anyone else has my weird foot configuration, but any suggestions on boots (fairly heavy duty) with roomy toe boxes would be most appreciated! Thanks.



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Postby rightstar76 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:09 am

A few years ago I had a terrible time finding a pair of boots that fit. My heel is also narrower than my toes. It took me six weeks and three stores until I found a pair that worked. I was so frustrated trying to find a pair of boots I was in tears. At one point, I had four pairs in my back room. That's where R.E.I. comes in handy. I would wear the boots at home and then return them when I realized they didn't fit. Finally, I discovered that the Asolo Fugitive GTX worked real well on my feet. However, I had to make a little modification with my socks. I used to wear a Wigwam Gobi polypropylene liner sock under my wool sock. Well in these shoes, my heel was still slipping a little so I changed my inner sock to a Wright double layered running sock. Problem solved! No more slipping and no more blisters. Best of luck!
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Postby cgundersen » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:44 pm

Hi Quentin,
I think everyone goes through the agony of finding boots that fit and hold up under duress; frankly, I too had a pair of Moraines, and they were great on trail, but I did not like how they performed offtrail or on snow. So, my replacements were La Sportivas that I got at A16 (in leather, I think they also have a mountaineering variety that's more of a composite). Although I don't have the foot shape problems you do, my wife is more problematic and after I raved about the La Sportivas, she got a pair and loves them. It took inserts and messing around with socks to get a cozy fit, but it was worth it. I bought a backup pair so that I'm at least covered for a while once they discontinue this model (whose name I forget, but they were the heavy duty version).
good luck,
cgundersen
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Postby TwoFortyJeff » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:44 pm

I too have a narrow heel and wide toes. I have tried on probably 20+ boots and only a few fit. Even then I got blisters after putting on some miles.

My fix was to use non-goretex trail runners. Even then it was hard to find the right one and I still got some blisters. After 250 miles my feet expanded and to this day I have no feeling in one of my toes.

I know this doesn't help you much, but good luck and let us know when you find something that works.
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Postby quentinc » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:20 pm

Thanks all. Jeff, I've considered going the low-top route, but I'm afraid of rolling an ankle. Also, I tend to carry a lot of weight.

As for Sportiva, I've read good things about the Trango and will try that. I'll also try Asolo Fugitive if I can find them. Oddly shaped feet are such a nuisance. Even with my Montrails, on my left foot I had to wear an extra sock to stabilize the mid-foot, with the end cut off so as not to scrunch my toes. A real nuisance to put on, but it worked.
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Postby calipidder » Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:18 pm

quentinc, I am a woman with similar foot issues - a regular width heel but wide forefoot. I've found that Garmont builds shoes (at least the women's shoes) with this shape - I can buy a regular width shoe that will fit my heel but won't scrunch the rest of my foot. I discovered them about two years ago and my feet have been much, much happier. I'm a light hiker/trailrunner wearer, but they probably follow the same fit style with their boots. If you can find them it would be worth trying them on - the problem is that it is hard to find Garmont in stores. Now that I know that they fit me, I'll buy them online whenever I find them on sale (I have a stockpile of them in my closet!)

Another suggestion is Injinji socks. With wide feet, toes are sometimes pressed together and I'll easily get blisters between them. These socks (seamless with individual toes) seem to be the solution. I just got back from finishing the John Muir Trail and I'm happy to report that I didn't get a single blister with the Garmont/Injinji combination.
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Postby munmile » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:22 pm

Have been wearing Montrail Namches for months, highly recommend them. Supposedly, they were developed for thru-hiking and are super lightweight. One thing though on dusty trails they will allow the passage of superfine dust into your socks. I mean like talcum powder fine. I wear a single merino wool injinji toe sock per foot and the combination allows completely dry, dust lubricated feet on the longest hikes. You will be washing your feet and rinsing socks every night. 55 miles in 5 hiking days w/ 50 lbs not even a hint of a blister.
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Odd Man Out

Postby frediver » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:18 pm

My foot shape is like yours, narrow heel ee wide at the ball of my foot and toes. The only boots I have fount that fit very well are Combat or Tactical boots. The last pr. I purchased were hi top 5.11 tactical boots and they fit like a glove. They are a running shoe style with a hi top, great support and comfort, very little break in was needed.
L.A. Police supply often has boots on sale. They have a web site, try google.
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Postby quentinc » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:55 am

Frediver, I found an LA Police Gear website selling 5.11 boots. One model even comes with a bloodborne pathogen resistant lining!

Did you have a chance to try yours on first or did you just blind luck into them?
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5.11

Postby frediver » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:11 am

I ordered mine blind.
If you have never worn Combat boots before I would recommend looking around a bit and trying some on. Brand is not to important now in the test phase, they will fit/feel differently than you are accustomed to. Combat/Tactical boots have never failed me. I'm sure you must have a uniform shop nearby, try
them then order. L.A. police supply has some great sales.
You could also check the 5.11 web site for local dealers to check out.
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:54 am

After years of trying to get top of the line boots to fit, name brands from dot.com companies, I gave up. For my last trip I went to Big 5 and paid 19.99 for a pair of "Nevados"...never have my feet felt so good during a trip. They will probably last a couple of more trips. The only complaint I have is the sole, while grippy, is a bit soft, so when talus hopping sharp edges tend to be felt more than with a stiffer sole.

I wear size 13 and I have a narrow heel and wide everything else. No raw spots or even sore spots that are the beginning of blisters. Just wore two pair of thin athletic socks.
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Boots

Postby frediver » Wed Aug 29, 2007 12:02 pm

At our local Big5 you can find Tactical boots among the normal offerings.
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