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Thread: Still Finding New Ways To Make My Feet Miserable While Hiking

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Still Finding New Ways To Make My Feet Miserable While Hiking

    I finally caved in and bought a double boot this year (Scarpa Inverno) for Winter hiking to address my issues with fit and cold feet. Wore around the house form several hours, walked up and down cellar stairs, did step ups, etc and all seemed well. Very nice fit, no rubbing, no pressure points, inner boot fit nicely, etc. SAT I took them out on their maiden voyage up Ammo to Monroe. For the first mile or so I was pretty happy. They were comfortable, no pressure points, nada. And then it started.....an odd rubbing sensation that I have yet to feel in all my many years of wearing ill fitted boots and dealing with the related maladies. The longer I walked the more it burned. I wasn't quite as bad descending but was uncomfortable enough all day to be a spoiler for the walk. When I got to car I took shells off and feet felt fine. Just for the hell of it I drove home wearing the inner boots and they were super comfortable. Did not feel any rubbing sensation whatsoever.

    When I got home and took everything off to inspect my feet I had rub marks similar to a rug burn or similar rash along the SIDES of my achilles and the tops of the ball of my heel on the SIDE. The area where you traditionally get that big nasty blister directly on back of heel was comfortable all day and had zero signs of irritation, redness, etc. I've had many a foot ailment over the years attempting to fit my feet into boots but never even in the worst pair have I got a rug rash type irritation. As I walked it felt like there was some movement with the heel but not in the inner bootie. I assume the whole bootie heel was lifting/moving? Was puzzled by this. So I have two questions:

    1) Does this sound like the heel cup area has too much volume relative to my ankle size given that the irritation is on the sides of ankle, not the back? I'm assuming movement is letting booting fold or crease and rub the sides of my ankles in this void? I do have a somewhat narrow ankle.

    2) How the hell do you actually tighten the outer boot to create a snug fit around the bootie and restrict movement of the inner boot? The bootie is obviously matched to the outer shell so if the bootie feels good then I assume I should be able to adjust the outer boot to get a snug fit over the bootie. I have laces on the instep of the boot but the boot is so rigid even cranking the laces up doesn't feel like it does anything at all. I left the upper laces loose initially based on recommendations I had seen about shin bang but on way down I snugged up more and it seemed to help slightly. I didn't get any shin bang issues at all. Boots really were very comfortable except for the rug burn on the sides of my feet. Should I go ahead and crank all the laces down tight to attempt to secure the bootie?

    If anyone has any thoughts on this it would be appreciated. Really like the boots otherwise. Hoping there is some sort of hack to correct. Frustrating never having comfortable feet when I hike.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  2. #2
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    I have the same darn boots and ended up having to wrap my feet with duct tape. Havent used them for several years because of it. You will not break these boots in, they will break you in.

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    That is an odd spot for rubbing/blisters! But if you didn't end up with shin bang and, in spite of your suffering, you are still saying you really like the boots, I'd say it's well worth trying a couple of fixes. Those are great boots if you can get your feet to fit them. :-)

    1. Yes, certainly play with lacing. Since you don't have a shin bang issue, I suggest tightening the upper laces of the outer boot. Having them loose might have provided enough play in your entire boot to cause your heal to lift or move around enough to cause the friction burn. The sustained climbing on Ammo Ravine probably exacerbated the issue. I think you'd want to tighten the inner boot too.
    2. Rub those spots like crazy with Body Glide or the Gold Bond equivalent before your hike and possibly reapply during your hike.
    3. Try vapor barrier liners. Just do it. One hike. Put your Smartwool socks on, then put plastic grocery bags over your socks, and stuff that all into your boot and be on your way. Make sure the parts that were rubbing are well inside the plastic bag (sometimes the plastic bag shifts a little over the course of the day). It'll feel a little sloppy and slippery at first, but it's worth a try. Cheap. Easy. The plastic provides a surface without much friction, so even if your feet are moving around it won't cause burning/blisters.

    Monroe must have been sweet on Saturday! I was across the street (Kearsarge North) admiring the rugged Presidential Range from the fire tower. Nice.
    Sure. Why not.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    That is an odd spot for rubbing/blisters! But if you didn't end up with shin bang and, in spite of your suffering, you are still saying you really like the boots, I'd say it's well worth trying a couple of fixes. Those are great boots if you can get your feet to fit them. :-)

    1. Yes, certainly play with lacing. Since you don't have a shin bang issue, I suggest tightening the upper laces of the outer boot. Having them loose might have provided enough play in your entire boot to cause your heal to lift or move around enough to cause the friction burn. The sustained climbing on Ammo Ravine probably exacerbated the issue. I think you'd want to tighten the inner boot too.
    2. Rub those spots like crazy with Body Glide or the Gold Bond equivalent before your hike and possibly reapply during your hike.
    3. Try vapor barrier liners. Just do it. One hike. Put your Smartwool socks on, then put plastic grocery bags over your socks, and stuff that all into your boot and be on your way. Make sure the parts that were rubbing are well inside the plastic bag (sometimes the plastic bag shifts a little over the course of the day). It'll feel a little sloppy and slippery at first, but it's worth a try. Cheap. Easy. The plastic provides a surface without much friction, so even if your feet are moving around it won't cause burning/blisters.

    Monroe must have been sweet on Saturday! I was across the street (Kearsarge North) admiring the rugged Presidential Range from the fire tower. Nice.
    Was a pretty great afternoon. I left lot around 11:15AM hoping to catch a combo Supermoon moonrise and sunset because the moonrise and sunset times were only about 15 minutes apart and lined up so the moon would rise over the shoulder of Bigelow Lawn as the sun was setting directly below the Southern Presidentials. But when I got up there around 2:00 PM or so it was clear the clouds were going to spoil that. The undercast and "cloud waterfall" flowing into the Dry River Wilderness was a pretty nice consolation prize though. Based on all the photos I saw from the weekend there was awesomeness pretty much everywhere this weekend.

    Thanks for the boot ideas. I have used Bag Balm in the past to lubricate hot points. I may give the plastic thing a try as well as tighter lacing.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  5. #5
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have the same darn boots and ended up having to wrap my feet with duct tape. Havent used them for several years because of it. You will not break these boots in, they will break you in.
    I wondered if there was some sort of athletic or similar tape that I could just wrap around my ankle either on the bare skin or over the sock. I really didn't mind the added weight of the boot although it was little weird walking at first, especially in the easier grades where you could normally be cruising in a normal boot. It was also a little weird stepping on the edges of rocks and not having the boot give and "wrap" around the terrain. The firm ski boot like base seems to make you get more on your toes. My legs didn't get sore so I guess that is a plus too.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  6. #6
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Double boots require breaking in your feet, to get used to them. Try and protect the hot spots in the mean time. My first trip in Double boots many years ago, I'll never forget. My feet were so sore towards the end of the hike, I felt like walking out in just the inner boots. lace them tight, but not to tight, I got used to mine and used them for years, but it took awhile. They are not really comfortable on boney terrain as you tend to rock back and forth verses flexing with rocks and such, that's just the nature of the boot and it's lack of "give".

  7. #7
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Double boots require breaking in your feet, to get used to them. Try and protect the hot spots in the mean time. My first trip in Double boots many years ago, I'll never forget. My feet were so sore towards the end of the hike, I felt like walking out in just the inner boots. lace them tight, but not to tight, I got used to mine and used them for years, but it took awhile. They are not really comfortable on boney terrain as you tend to rock back and forth verses flexing with rocks and such, that's just the nature of the boot and it's lack of "give".
    Cool. I'm definitely going to stick with them. Hasn't really been cold enough or snowy enough yet for them but I wanted to get a short trip in to try them out, use the snap on type crampons, etc. I was happy overall except for the rug burns. If that winds up being the only issue I'm sure I'll come up with a workaround.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    You could try to use moleskin as additional padding on the outside of the liners to keep them from shifting?

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    I wondered if there was some sort of athletic or similar tape that I could just wrap around my ankle either on the bare skin or over the sock.
    Have you tried Leukotape? Just cover the parts of your feet that tend to get hotspots or blisters and you won't have any problems.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblings View Post
    Have you tried Leukotape? Just cover the parts of your feet that tend to get hotspots or blisters and you won't have any problems.
    I have not. That sounds like exactly what I am looking for. I'll try it out. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  11. #11
    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    I prefer Moleskin over Leukotape, personally. It comes in different thicknesses. Put it on hot spots before you go hiking to prevent blisters.

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    It's definitely a personal preference thing. I've found well-fitting, lightweight footwear and no longer need to pre-treat my feet. In the past, I preferred Leukotape because 1) it stays in place incredibly well, even though it's easy to remove and 2) it's very thin and doesn't add any noticeable volume. If you need padding, then moleskin might be better.
    Last edited by Ramblings; 12-06-2017 at 02:22 PM.

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