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Topic: Boot fitting and heel blisters< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
LazyTurtle Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 2:58 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have narrow and low volume feet so I researched which boots are appropriate and found one that feels like it fits like a glove, the Asolo Fugitive GTX. They feel perfect on flat ground and I dont slid forward in them downhill, going uphill they seem to rub just above my heel. I have had them out for one test hike, 3 miles or so and I had blisters on the back of both feet above my heel pad. I wore liner socks under my wigwams, I didnt put in my superfeet yet.


I am wondering if the "Heel cup" is to deep, it feels like they are trying to round over your heel to keep it from slipping but that creates a pressure point going uphill. Or is this the product of needing more break in time?

Thank you very much for any help I get.
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ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 3:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wear a piece of duct tape on that very spot.  It is the one place I can count on having a hot spot in my hiking endeavors.  White athletic tape would work as well.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 3:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jun. 10 2013, 3:18 pm)
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I wear a piece of duct tape on that very spot.  It is the one place I can count on having a hot spot in my hiking endeavors.  White athletic tape would work as well.

Thats what I will do to see if that makes things better long enough for them to break-in or decide its the boot. I have never had a problem in that area with any previous boot but these seem a bit stiffer. Anyone else experience this till they "broke-in"?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 4:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

They might "break-in" enough to prevent further blistering, but don't necessarily count on it. The rigid sole and rigid heel cup forces the heel into the back of the boot when bent. When you walk uphill, the foot is bent more upwards (dorsiflexed), but the boot doesn't bend as much as the foot because it is so stiff. This puts excess pressure on the back of the heel and with friction from running leads to blisters. Since you have low volume feet you probably tie the boots extra tight, which worsens this. I know, I have the same problem.

There are all kinds of tips and tricks you can try including the duct tape. You'll want to try lacing so that the top of the foot is nice and snug but the ankle cuff isn't as tight, allowing the back of the foot to slip upwards a bit more instead of just pressing harder into the back of the boot. Better insoles with more arch support can help take up volume and snug up the interior fit a bit more.

However, if it is more of a pressure issue than simply a rubbing one, my guess is that the tips will help a bit and the boots will soften a bit with time, but uphills are just going to be blister inducing sometimes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 5:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SmokeyBear @ Jun. 10 2013, 4:02 pm)
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They might "break-in" enough to prevent further blistering, but don't necessarily count on it. The rigid sole and rigid heel cup forces the heel into the back of the boot when bent. When you walk uphill, the foot is bent more upwards (dorsiflexed), but the boot doesn't bend as much as the foot because it is so stiff. This puts excess pressure on the back of the heel and with friction from running leads to blisters. Since you have low volume feet you probably tie the boots extra tight, which worsens this. I know, I have the same problem.

There are all kinds of tips and tricks you can try including the duct tape. You'll want to try lacing so that the top of the foot is nice and snug but the ankle cuff isn't as tight, allowing the back of the foot to slip upwards a bit more instead of just pressing harder into the back of the boot. Better insoles with more arch support can help take up volume and snug up the interior fit a bit more.

However, if it is more of a pressure issue than simply a rubbing one, my guess is that the tips will help a bit and the boots will soften a bit with time, but uphills are just going to be blister inducing sometimes.

Your right I do tie them extra tight to prevent movement, I will also try keeping them lose in the ankle and tight on the foot.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 7:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You can also add some adhesive backed felt padding under the tongue to eat up a bit more room. But don't overdo it.

Hope it works out - I still find my boots too hard on my heels, but I probably still tie them too tight. Whe I can afford to I am buying another pair that is less stiff.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 10 2013, 7:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SmokeyBear @ Jun. 10 2013, 7:18 pm)
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You can also add some adhesive backed felt padding under the tongue to eat up a bit more room. But don't overdo it.

Hope it works out - I still find my boots too hard on my heels, but I probably still tie them too tight. Whe I can afford to I am buying another pair that is less stiff.

Thanks for the tips my friend, I believe your right that its the way the shoe is designed, it pulls the heel in so it doesnt slip. The blisters looked weird, I think its a pressure point that is pivoting because I cant feel any slip.

Now im at a hard spot, one other boot fit well "Lowa Renegade GTX Mid " , but I really like extra toe protection and those boots dont have it. Im going to try and break these in further and find out if they will work out, the issue just doesnt have a clear answer, could be the fit, could be the break-in... Thats why I went to REI, awesome return policy! Ill come back in a few weeks and post what happened. Thanks so much for some of your shoe-fu :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 9:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the area in question gets severely irritated, you can always use Bag Balm, that stuff works great on burns and trouble areas.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 9:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Use Leukotape on your heel.  It sticks better and longer than other tapes and breaths well.  Doctor your foot up before starting your hike to avoid blisters.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 10:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might try a heavier sock. My favorite shoes fit the rest of my foot, but rub my heel with the lightweight merino wool socks I normally use. Was having to use athletic tape on my heels. Switching to midweights didn't feel any different, but my heels don't rub. Only problem with that is that I have a bunch of lightweight socks that were intended strictly for hiking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 1:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(LazyTurtle @ Jun. 10 2013, 7:58 pm)
QUOTE

(SmokeyBear @ Jun. 10 2013, 7:18 pm)
QUOTE
You can also add some adhesive backed felt padding under the tongue to eat up a bit more room. But don't overdo it.

Hope it works out - I still find my boots too hard on my heels, but I probably still tie them too tight. Whe I can afford to I am buying another pair that is less stiff.

Thanks for the tips my friend, I believe your right that its the way the shoe is designed, it pulls the heel in so it doesnt slip. The blisters looked weird, I think its a pressure point that is pivoting because I cant feel any slip.

Now im at a hard spot, one other boot fit well "Lowa Renegade GTX Mid " , but I really like extra toe protection and those boots dont have it. Im going to try and break these in further and find out if they will work out, the issue just doesnt have a clear answer, could be the fit, could be the break-in... Thats why I went to REI, awesome return policy! Ill come back in a few weeks and post what happened. Thanks so much for some of your shoe-fu :)

No problem! Also, try looking for a boot that has built in padding in that area. Some are just plain hard plastic under the liner while others use memory foam which helps relieve the pressure.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 3:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

See if you can find a heel lift.  It raises your heel up a 1/4 inch or so.  The down side is that it could cause your hiking gait to be a bid uncomfortable.  It might work, or do as others say.  Put duct tape on it and leave it on until after the post hike shower.  Or wait a week it might come off on its own.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SPeacock @ Jun. 12 2013, 3:37 pm)
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See if you can find a heel lift.  It raises your heel up a 1/4 inch or so.  The down side is that it could cause your hiking gait to be a bid uncomfortable.  It might work, or do as others say.  Put duct tape on it and leave it on until after the post hike shower.  Or wait a week it might come off on its own.

Personally I've found that lifting my heel inside the boot with orthotics tends to worsen the problem, as it lifts the heel out of the curved heel cup and puts the back of the heel in more directed contact with the top of the plastic heel counter in the boot. It probably depends on the anatomy of the boot and the heel of the wearer. My heels are narrow and have small spurs growing - they began pretty much since I started wearing stiffer boots and rubbing the back of my heels. :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 12:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

on the orthotics point, i use custom orthotics with every pair of boots and shoes i own.  i won't buy a boot or shoe without fitting it with the orthotic to make sure the shoe has enough room to accommodate it.  the only exception were the Limmer boots i purchased via mail.....but i had to trace and measure my foot in several places and explained the size and dimensions of the orthotic before they made a size/width recommendation, and that worked out well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 4:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You say you didn't put in your superfeet "yet."  As in "haven't tried that as a fix" or as in "I always put superfeet in for real hiking"?  If the second (and that's basically my need) you need to do that; until they're in, you don't really know what the fit is.

Another thing to try is some lacing variations.  I can't find the link, but look for "boot lacing heel lock" or something; your feet sound something like mine, and I do that on most every hiking boot I have (or at least the narrower left).
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 10:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In this case though the problem isn't that the heel isn't locking - the problem is that there's too much pressure on the heel causing blisters. The stiff boot tries to slide but can't move much, so it presses against the heel and rubs it slightly, causing the blisters. Using a heel lock technique will only worsen the problem.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 3:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have used the Lowa Renegade mid in a narrow width for my long, narrow, low volume feet for about 6 months. They are comfortable but a couple times I have had to duct tape my heels. I have been using the Super Feet green.
They are relatively light and provide decent traction in snow.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 8:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are several good comments from others in this thread that have worked well for me, the first, and most important, is SmokeyBear's suggestion to not lace up too tight. I mistakenly tried to reduce foot movement and increase snugness by lacing up tight, this caused friction in the same places over and over, ankle soreness etc. I have found that leaving my boots comfortably laced up has allowed my feet to adapt and avoided the predictable "hotspots".

I have used Leukoplast to tape up and treat blisters for many years, as opposed to the Leukotape mentioned by JonW or duct tape. This is the duck's nuts, it's more flexible and the adhesive is super, it stays on for days on 15 mile days, it breathes and blisters heal well under this if applied during a hike. I apply this to trouble spots before I set out but I will never tape toes together as this causes friction between them.

I have found that wearing two pairs of socks cause friction and blisters for me, irrespective of the type, quality or use, including liners. I now stick with a single pair of socks of a good blend of wool that have good heel and toe padding. The whicking ability of the fabric is important as I find moisture is often a factor in causing blisters.

I wear custom orthotics made by a podiatrist and will never buy shoes without having fitted the boots with them in first. I buy what fits for my intended use.

The bad news for me is that if a pair of boots are causing blisters after only 3 miles I would have serious concerns about putting my faith and my well-being in them. Maybe a time to test the REI returns policy?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll echo what Smoky said. I've got a pair of Mammut Brecon GTX that I'm in the middle of breaking in and no matter what uphills would cause a normally teflon spot on my heel just above the base of my foot to rub. These are very stiff soled boots and resist flexing on uphills, causing the base of my heel friction in the heel cup.

Two things helped keep me in them so far. The first was Leukotape. Taping up my heels became a priority as I broke in the boots (they will learn to flex with your foot as you put in uphill time, but these are some tough boots and it will take time). Tightening the top but leaving the lower lacing slightly looser while using arch support has given me a slightly better fit in the meantime (as Smoky mentioned) filling up the boot a bit more. Finally, double layer Wrightsocks in combination with the leukotape has prevented blisters from worsening while I bear with these boots breaking in to my feet.

These boots are fantastic on flat land all day long and have a wonderful fit in the toe box (a priority for me as I have wide squared off feet but with low volume). A few more weeks of dayhikes and they should be good for my Yosemite trip in the fall. Just got to get the sole broken in so there's a bit more flex. :)


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