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Topic: Boot break-in time, any tips/tricks?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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HuntersHikes Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 7:27 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey folks, just grabbed a pair of the Zamberlan Steep on sale at REI and was wondering what I should expect for a normal break-in period...also, anyone have any good tips or tricks for smoother, faster break-in?  Thanks.

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treelinebackpacker Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 8:49 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I never touch any chemicals to break in boots. They're out there depending on what your boots are made out there, but it's never been my thing. Just wear them around town for a few weeks before you hit the trails. Once they feel ok there, start doing shorter day hikes. Do day hikes for a while before you do any long multiday treks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 9:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I agree with Treeline.  To me, the best way to break in a pair of hiking boots is to hike in them.  Wear them on a few short walks.  Then longer day hikes.  They'll be broken in pretty quickly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 9:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wear them a lot.  Even sitting around they'll conform to your feet.  Replace the stock insoles day one. Stay on natural surfaces as much as possible.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 9:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thanks for the input guys...have been wearing them around the house non-stop under the now-confirmed guise that having them on my feet will help them conform to my feet...appreciated!!

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If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball, and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without considering if there are men on base.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 1:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just curious, what is a good replacement insole for a hiking boot?
After about 6 or 8 miles my feet start to feel it.
After about 25, I get pretty achy actually.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 5:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're breaking your feet in to the boots as much as the boots in to your feet.  As others have said, it's hard to beat actually hiking in them for break-in, but I also find the *time* spent wearing them is important.  It's surprising how much it helps to wear them to work for a few days, even if just sitting at a desk.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 17 2013, 11:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like to wear them for a few weeks around the house, around town, or at work before I take them on the trail.  That helps break them in a little, thus making the "real" break-in a little less arduous.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 1:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Feb. 17 2013, 1:18 pm)
QUOTE
Just curious, what is a good replacement insole for a hiking boot?
After about 6 or 8 miles my feet start to feel it.
After about 25, I get pretty achy actually.

Anything will make your feet achy after 25 miles. With a loaded pack, 6-8 can feel like 25 without one.

That being said - more often than not the problem for prematurely sore feet is poor boot fit. Where is it sore? In general, or a specific location?

Too tight in the toes is a common one, and usually because boot makers somehow think all feet look pointed. Which isn't true. If you have square toes buying pointed boots isn't ideal, and can cause pain. And cramped toes are the least of it - it can lead also to Metatarsalgia or Morton's neuroma specifically - pain in the ball of the foot.

Loose fit allows feet to slide around, and can also cause toe pain when your foot slides forward on descents and is crushed against the front. Many cases of black toe aren't because of boots being too tight but rather boots that are too loose!

A good footbed helps reduce fatigue and pain. But it can't correct bad fit. If the fit is good, then focus on the specific needs of your feet - over-pronation and low arches leading to arch and heel pain needs proper arch support and a supportive heel cup and a footbed that isn't too soft. Supination and stiff arches is better served by more soft and cushioning insoles.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 1:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Love the choice of boots you made!! I certainly love my Zamberlans. I saw that sale - great deal! Hope you like yours as much as I like mine. Just wear them a lot to break em in. I really didn't need to break mine in much at all.
In fact, I have developed plantar facitis from my nursing shoes and have found that my zamberlans are the only shoes I can wear. So they are taking me through the halls at work.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 6:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm torn - obviously my feet aren't perfectly symmetrical to one another, so the left boot (size 10) fits like a glove, but the right boot - due to my foot shape - fits poorly and I have a lot of heel slip.  Might have to return in favor of something more forgiving, like my old trusty Salomon Quest 4D GTX...

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If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball, and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without considering if there are men on base.

Latitude:N 42° 7' 34.7232"
Longitude:W 71° 42' 28.6164"

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 7:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HuntersHikes @ Feb. 19 2013, 6:51 pm)
QUOTE
I'm torn - obviously my feet aren't perfectly symmetrical to one another, so the left boot (size 10) fits like a glove, but the right boot - due to my foot shape - fits poorly and I have a lot of heel slip.  Might have to return in favor of something more forgiving, like my old trusty Salomon Quest 4D GTX...

Go try another pair.  Could be the boots.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 7:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well I know the top of my right foot is taller with more arch than my left, so I can't snug the boot (or any boot for that matter) as tight on that foot as I can the left, so it's hard to prevent heel slip - even with alternative lacing methods...I really want to own a heavy duty all-leather hiking boot that'll last for years, but I think my only choices are the less-stiff material-based boots like the Salomon Quest, Lowa Renegade, etc.

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If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball, and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without considering if there are men on base.

Latitude:N 42° 7' 34.7232"
Longitude:W 71° 42' 28.6164"

www.huntershikes.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 8:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Feb. 17 2013, 11:18 am)
QUOTE
Just curious, what is a good replacement insole for a hiking boot?
After about 6 or 8 miles my feet start to feel it.
After about 25, I get pretty achy actually.

What is it that gets "achy"?

FWIW, I've used Superfeet insoles for many years.  They support my arches well and keep my feet pretty happy out there.  But my solution may not be the same as yours, of course.  Some people hate 'em, depends on your foot.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 19 2013, 8:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's the arches of my feet that get sore after a while.
I've tried many boots, and they all typically give me the same problem. It's usually pretty minor, but on long mult-day trips it gets downright painful, almost bruised feeling. I keep going, but I would enjoy the ability to not have the issue.
I have steep arches on the inside of my feet, but very little on the outside.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 10:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most shoe stores like REI have a selection of Superfeet you can try on with the shoes.  Might be worth it, just to see whether you'd like them or not.  Worth a shot anyway.

[/ thread hijack]


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 5:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(treelinebackpacker @ Feb. 19 2013, 8:51 pm)
QUOTE
It's the arches of my feet that get sore after a while.
I've tried many boots, and they all typically give me the same problem. It's usually pretty minor, but on long mult-day trips it gets downright painful, almost bruised feeling. I keep going, but I would enjoy the ability to not have the issue.
I have steep arches on the inside of my feet, but very little on the outside.

Not sure if you saw my post:

http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....2302237

I asked you a few question r.e. where it hurts etc. You mentioned later that is hurts in the arches - a classic sign that you need better support. I'd go with GBH suggestion of superfeet, though you might find the arch support too much if you have low and stiff arches on the outside.

You always need to fit the larger foot. This might mean wearing an extra sock on one foot or adding padding. Or even using different footbeds.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 10:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

finding boots that are comfortable is extremely important. I wouldn't get to attached to one particular boot that you think you like, find a boot that feels good on your foot and get that one. Plus I agree with what was mentioned above, you have to get a size that fits the bigger foot otherwise you will be in pain. Wearing to socks on the smaller foot is always an option.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 1:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just hike in them.  Ive seen so much over the years about breaking in boots, and i think its a lot of nonsense.  Just wear them, and hike in them.  Ive bought sevearl pairs of boots and imediately taken them out on backpacking tips with no blisters or problems.  I think it has a lot more to do with our feet conditioning, and also to do  with your socks/layers

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2013, 5:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

No, it has a lot more to do with getting the right fit beyond anything. If a boot doesn't fit right away no amount of walking in them will make it fit. Some people just are lucky to have very "average" feet that fit most boots well enough. Others struggle to find even "ok" fitting boots.

Break-in for most modern boots is minimal but I often find even light duty boots and shoes benefit greatly from some break in. Full grain leather norwegian welt models need a lot of breaking, and to an extent, will shape to your foot. But initial fit is still just as critical.
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