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Advice on Hiking Boots

Travel Forums General Talk Advice on Hiking Boots

1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi everyone!

This weekend I invested in a pair of hiking boots, but I have a question for some of the more experienced hikers out there....

One of my feet is quite a bit smaller than the other...I'm normally a size 6 but i went for a 6 1/2 size boot because they were more comfortable when I had thick socks on. My right boot is a perfect fit...but my left heel is coming up ever so slightly when I walk in the other boot.

I imagine that if I'm trekking a lot in these that this would eventually lead to some nasty blisters. Can anyone advise - should i just wear an extra sock on this foot maybe?

Thanks,

E;)

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Hey Eve,

A possible solution (though I'm not a big hiker). Check the foot care section in a major store. They have a variety (like Dr. Scholls ) of comfortable inserts - especially the newer gel-filled ones that may help eliminate the excessive movement of your foot within the boot. They also make a type of "internal" lift (sounds bad I know) that will raise your heel within the boot. They also come in a variety of thicknesses for just this problem. You may have to check around, but I know they are out there.

An extra sock would probably work, though if doing quite a bit of hiking, I would think it may create a problem with thermoregulation. One foot will be comfy while the other will be uncomfortably warm and may possibly cause mild, but unwanted, swelling and perspiration - creating a soggy foot.

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Thought of something else awhile ago, but haven't been able to get TP to load until now...

If you have a shoe repair/cobbler near you - look there also. We have 2 near us and they both carry some of the more unusual "devices" for improving the fit of your shoes/boots. They may have a wider selection of products than the larger stores (like WalMart, etc.).

4. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting samsara2

Hi everyone!

This weekend I invested in a pair of hiking boots, but I have a question for some of the more experienced hikers out there....

One of my feet is quite a bit smaller than the other...I'm normally a size 6 but i went for a 6 1/2 size boot because they were more comfortable when I had thick socks on. My right boot is a perfect fit...but my left heel is coming up ever so slightly when I walk in the other boot.

I imagine that if I'm trekking a lot in these that this would eventually lead to some nasty blisters. Can anyone advise - should i just wear an extra sock on this foot maybe?

Thanks,

E;)

Ok, I have experience in this department after the Inka Trail. I am also normally a size 6 but the boots I wanted, the store only had them in 7. They were extremely comfortable so the guy said get an insole and wear thick hiking socks (which I needed anyway cause at night it would get really cold).

The moment you start hiking (a lot), your feet will swell and a minimum of a 1/2 size room is needed so your toes wont be hitting the front of the shoe. My best friend who got her boots in Colorado and she bought the exact size she normally wears (I think it was an 8). The problem during the hike was the descent. Her toes were too close to the front of the shoe, so after 2-3 hours every step she took, she said, felt like her toes where full of bursting blisters. They werent but thats the way it felt to her. She said she was told in CO to get her exact size for better support (no sliding, no movement inside the shoe, lesser chance of twisting your ankles). Well, she did regret not having the additional room and she paid dearly for it. Needless to say, I had no problem whatsover and when it got too tight, I would change to thinner socks.

In conclusion to my long and boring post, go with the bigger size and wear insoles and thick socks if necessary. ;)

5. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

I forgot to say that the Inka Trail isnt much of a technical hike but it gets tricky with the uneven rocks during the descent. That is when you need full support and no sliding inside the shoes if possible. The thing is to have your ankle (mid height shoes would work) strapped properly to avoid a bad sprain. I almost got a couple. Since you are going in December, if you are in South America then, it will be summer. Maybe the thick socks will make it too hot for you. But the best solution is to get hiking quick dry socks and change them constantly to avoid blisters...

6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Isa - thats just reminded me of when i was buying my ski boots - i can to get a lift for my right heel so that would make sense. Good tip - thanks;)

Anne - that's put my mind my rest...one or two people had said that I should have gotten a size 6 but from what you've said, I've made the right choice!

Brilliant, thanks girls;)

7. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Having gone through it, I think that is the best advice I can possibly give. Yes, a lot of people also told me, "you should have gotten the right exact size..." Boy, was everyone else wrong! I love my one-size bigger boots!!

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I have hikers I wear as my winter boots. I got them a size larger (8.5 rather than 7.5) so I could wear extra socks and still have room. My feet do swell when they get warm so the larger size has been great. My toes don't hit the tip of the boot and I'm comfortable in them for hours on end.

9. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Same as me, one size bigger. The worse that can happen is you have to use extra socks, thats all