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Topic: Stretch The Leather?, Sore ankle bones.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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RidgeHiker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2012, 10:13 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of LL Bean leather Cresta Gortex boots. They are fairly new and from the beginning caused inner ankle bone pain.
Can I stretch the leather from the inside out to relieve the pressure?
Would I need to oil the leather to soften it?
Would I need some kind of boot press?
It is difficult to find boots that fit my long, narrow, low volume feet and I would like to make these work.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 19 2012, 10:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oil them will help a bit. Wet and wear em wet till they form correctly. However, the best option is to take them back and get a pair that fits.

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rayestrella Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2012, 6:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Are you talking about the end of your tibia? You may be able to have somebody press that spot to make some clearance.

I have had luck in the past having REI press/stretch a Montrail hiking shoe that just the left shoe had a tight spot at the front, but never tried manipulating the ankle area.

Tigger's suggestion may help too, but I think you may need to compress the inside padding too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 20 2012, 8:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never tried to stretch hiking boots, but I have stretched cowboy boots (which I wear a lot).  The usual procedure involves spraying the area (leather) with an alcohol formula (google "shoe stretch spray") then using a boot stretcher (ditto).  In a pinch, you could just use some rubbing alcohol (test first for discoloration effect) and wear the thing immediately.  Less effective but might work.  Boot stretchers, left in the shoe and pressing on the appropriate area(s) for a couple of weeks, are pretty effective.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 7:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rayestrella @ Sep. 20 2012, 6:22 am)
QUOTE
Are you talking about the end of your tibia? You may be able to have somebody press that spot to make some clearance.

Yes. If I have it right, the anatomical name is the medial malleolus.
Those medial malleolus are very helpful but can be a pain at times. :laugh:
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 8:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Stretching may not be the solution.

I made the mistake 20+ years ago of buying a pair of boots and didn't break them in well before going to Europe for some fun wandering. On one foot only there was a bit of a spot right on the medial malleolus, I guessed it would soften up with a little legwork. I guessed wrong -- turned to real sharp pain, ankle black and blue at the end of the day, and on a tight schedule that didn't let me shop for anything else.

When I got stateside tried to stretch and soften, did nothing. Eventually I determined that the corner of the tongue had some stitching that was causing the problem (same stitching on the other shoe did not cause a problem). The solution was a knife, I cut the top inner corner of the tongue off and the boots felt great thereafter.

So yeah, diagnose the problem first, that will guide potential solutions.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 11:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

RidgeHiker,

I had exactly the same problem with a new pair of Bean Cresta Hikers two years ago. While I was breaking in the boots, I relieved the problem by smearing vaseline on my ankle and putting a small piece of soft cloth inside my sock over the ankle area. After several outings, the problem disappeared as the leather softened and flexed. The break in period was a little longer than I would have liked but the discomfort was worth it as the Crestas are a great pair of boots.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 11:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Isn't there a new ".. seen on TV.." system for spreading out shoes?  Think it has a couple padded screws that physically push the leather along with a chemical treatment.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 28 2012, 3:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i would avoid any 'do it yourself' remedy.  they all suffer from a basic flaw, that the person doing the fix has no idea what they are doing 95% of the time.

Here is what LL Bean's website says about these issues.  Reasonably sound:

Breaking in Your New Boots

Once you purchase a pair of boots, break them in slowly with short hikes. Leather boots in particular take a while to break in, so take a couple of two- or three-hour hikes before your big trip or wear them around the house or even while mowing your lawn. If you find any sharp pressure points, use leather conditioner to soften the leather.

Care and Maintenance

1.Cleaning and waterproofing your boots from time to time is critical. Use waterproofing on leather, and be sure to concentrate on the seams, which can become porous over time. For boots with a Gore-Tex lining, use a silicon-based waterproofing treatment, not a wax-based treatment. Wax-based treatments keep the leather from "breathing."

2.On the trail, if a blister or hot spot develops, place padding such as moleskin or an adhesive bandage over the area. You can cut a "donut" in the moleskin to create a buffer around the blister.

3.Remember, hiking boots will never feel like bedroom slippers, but if you are consistently developing blisters and have uncomfortable pressure points, please call our Outdoor Hotline at 800-226-7552, any day between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST. We want all your hiking miles to be enjoyable ones.

You could also try to get a shoemaker (yes, there are some) or store that sells hiking boots to give you a hand fitting the boots.  sometimes, you can add a few pieces of foam or felt (with a sticky backing so it stays anchored to the inner lining of your boot) that make all the difference in the world.  Sometimes, changing the type of sock you wear or breaking the boots in can solve a problem.  

i vote against oil for softening boots.  oil can mess with boot leather depending on how it was tanned.  Note in particular that LL Bean recommends silicone-based products as boot conditioners, not wax-based products.  i recommend Limmer Boot Grease.  Nikwax makes silicone-based products for boots too.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 5:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(solonomad @ Sep. 26 2012, 11:37 pm)
QUOTE
RidgeHiker,

I had exactly the same problem with a new pair of Bean Cresta Hikers two years ago. While I was breaking in the boots, I relieved the problem by smearing vaseline on my ankle and putting a small piece of soft cloth inside my sock over the ankle area. After several outings, the problem disappeared as the leather softened and flexed. The break in period was a little longer than I would have liked but the discomfort was worth it as the Crestas are a great pair of boots.

solonomad, I am not sure if I get the concept here. The vaseline is to prevent friction? The soft cloth is for padding or just to keep the vaseline off the sock?

Thanks
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 5:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any concern with the alcohol mixture damaging the leather?
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10 replies since Sep. 19 2012, 10:13 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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