Sensible Shoes

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Steve CDN

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When someone in their Golden Years wants to take? up hiking in the wilderness, at exotic locations we can get to with our RV's and SUV's besides a good portable GPS, what kind of hiking shoes provide comfort and safety?? Do you have to spend a couple of hundred dollars to ensure your feet don't give up half way into your excursion?
 

Ned

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If you are going to do extensive hiking, DO NOT skimp on your boots (not shoes).  Yes, a good pair will cost $100 and up, but if you don't get good fitting boots, you will not enjoy the experience and may even cause bodily harm to your feet.  There is also the safety issue as many places require good traction and good hiking boots are designed for that.

If your feet give up half way in, you'll never get back :)
 

Ron

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If you are going to do extensive hiking, DO NOT skimp on your boots (not shoes).  Yes, a good pair will cost $100 and up, but if you don't get good fitting boots, you will not enjoy the experience and may even cause bodily harm to your feet.  There is also the safety issue as many places require good traction and good hiking boots are designed for that.

Lets see all my western boots cost over $100.00 Does that mean they will be comfortable on a 20 mile hike?(BG)



 

Ned

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Probably not as those are not hiking boots.  But it's your feet :)
 

Ron

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Ned said:
Probably not as those are not hiking boots.? But it's your feet :)

I have worn western boots on some pretty good hikes but there are times when a good set of hiking boots are in order.  Sam & I each have a pair.
 

Pat

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Ned:  Why do people's feet always slip into the toes of hiking boots when they are going downhill?  Doesn't anybody make a boot that holds at your ankles or something?  'Course, then you run the risk of circulation cut off if the shoes are laced too tight.  So I bike.

--pat
 

Ron

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Pat Alexander said:
Ned:? Why do people's feet always slip into the toes of hiking boots when they are going downhill?? Doesn't anybody make a boot that holds at your ankles or something?? 'Course, then you run the risk of circulation cut off if the shoes are laced too tight.? So I bike.

--pat

Hmmm, does that mean it is more comfortable to go up hill ??? ??? ???
 

BruceinFL

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Pat Alexander said:
Ned:? Why do people's feet always slip into the toes of hiking boots when they are going downhill?? Doesn't anybody make a boot that holds at your ankles or something?? 'Course, then you run the risk of circulation cut off if the shoes are laced too tight.? So I bike.

--pat

I agree about the downhill problem. What I do is by a pair of boot 1/2 size bigger than I need. Works most of the time.

 

Ned

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Pat Alexander said:
Ned: Why do people's feet always slip into the toes of hiking boots when they are going downhill? Doesn't anybody make a boot that holds at your ankles or something?

The wrong size or gravity?
 

Lorna

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To add to Ned's message if you try on a pair of hiking boots and you feel discomfort anywhere on your feet or ankles try another pair until you find a pair that feels like you have worn them on a six mile hike.  My one and only pair felt that way when I tried them on but the first pair I tried on was uncomfortable in one spot and that is when our friend/hike-leader told me keep trying on another pair until they felt good.
 

Pat

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Part of the problem I have is wide feet, so most shoes available in stores are women's medium width.  Way too small.  I lucked into some D width walking shoes, so I ordered the same size via mail order in a hiking boot.  The boots feel ok on level or uphill, but I eventually slide into the toe going downhill.  This has happened with other boots and shoes, and I have heard many people talk about the same problem.  It's a good thing I don't like to hike much.

--pat
 

Lorna

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Hi Pat
I have hiked Devil's Slide at Idlewild, CA which is very steep and coming down your feet will slide to the toe so that is not unusual when hiking downhill especially if it is steep.  The day we did Devil's Slide we hiked 11 miles and the only part that really bothered my feet was the Slide.  Hope the boots you ordered work out for you, if not check Gander Mountain or some of the other sporting goods stores.  I have the other problem of narrow feet.
 

Pat

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Lorna:

I spent last summer at Casey's Riverside RV Park in Westfir OR.  REALLY great hiking around there.  Lot of miles of nice trails.  Breathtaking countryside along the Willamette River. 

--pat
 

Karl

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I used to do quite a bit of amateur competition roller skating (dance) which requires tightly laced boots. Even tho' they were custom made for my feet, they couldn't eliminate all the 'pressure points' The solution was simple and taught to me by my dance partner - get some of those round foam pads that women use to appply cosmetics, and place them at the pressure points. In the case of toes slipping forward, stick one (or more) in the toe area of your socks (you are wearing socks, aren't you?), then put your boots on. On level ground or while climbing, you won't even notice them; on declines you'll only notice the added comfort they provide. :)
 

Pat

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Thanks for the foam pad suggestion.  I will try it.  I always like innovative ideas.  The shoes are already purchased, so I won't be able to get something bigger to accommodate the little bit of room the pads take. 

I tried rollerblading, but I found that they put my feet to sleep and were extremely painful in a short time.  Other people commented the same.  I also found that sidewalk wheelchair ramps give a whole new meaning to terror when one is on rollerblades. 

--pat
 

dave54

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Go to some hiking websites like backpacker.com or REI.com and read up on footwear.  There are many options and technology improvements now other than the heavy and stiff leather boots we all grew up with.  Go to a store specializing in outdoor footwear, not Walmart or Sears -- the staff will (should) be more knowledgeable about hiking footwear than the average shoe clerk in a mass retailer store.  5 miles up a trail is no place to first realize you bought the wrong shoes.

Go shopping later in the day, not first thing in the morning.  Most people's feet change size during the day, getting flatter and wider after a day's activities, and return to 'normal' during sleep.  So get shoes that fit you after a several hours of hiking, not just when you first start out.

Wear the socks you intend to use while hiking when shopping.  Some people wear two thin socks while hiking, some wear only one.  It's a personal choice, with advocates on either side.  The advantage of two is you can remove one pair as your foot widens.  (I'm a two pair myself).  You can also swap them (inside sock to the outside, and vice versa) if the innermost sock gets sweaty.  I always carry a spare pair of socks anyway and change during the day.  Every couple of hours or so take off your shoes and socks and check your feet for any blisters or hot spots just starting.  The process of putting the shoes back on and lacing readjusts the tightness to your current foot condition.

I once encountered a web site that illustrated different lacing techniques for sustained downhill hiking, uphill, side hill, heavy packs, etc.  I cannot seem to locate it now though.  I'll keep searching and post it here if I find it.
 

Lorna

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Another thing to do when putting on one or two pair of socks is to put baby powder in the socks it helps to keep your feet from getting blisters.  Our friend/hike leader recommended that I wear a thin cotton sock inside a heavier cotton or wool sock depending upon the temps where you are hiking.
 

Ron from Big D

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Pat said:
Ned:? Why do people's feet always slip into the toes of hiking boots when they are going downhill?? Doesn't anybody make a boot that holds at your ankles or something?? 'Course, then you run the risk of circulation cut off if the shoes are laced too tight.? So I bike.

--pat

A properly fit pair of hiking boots will eliminate that problem for the most part.  Like Ned said, don't skimp on these and make sure you go to place the really knows about the boots and how to fit them.  Typically these are outdoor outfitters.

 

Carl L

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Pat said:
Ned:? Why do people's feet always slip into the toes of hiking boots when they are going downhill?? Doesn't anybody make a boot that holds at your ankles or something?? 'Course, then you run the risk of circulation cut off if the shoes are laced too tight.? So I bike.

--pat

They do not if a person gets a well fitted, good quality boot.? ? The boot should lace down over the instep.? (No moccasin-toed hunting boots wanted.)? ?They should come over your ankle and be padded at the ankle -- but they should not go higher.? ?The toe of the boots should have a fiberglass box construction.? ?The counter should similarly be reinforced at the heel (scree guarded).

When you fit the boots do so with the sox that you will hike with.? ?Try to shove your toes into the end of boot using a slant board that the store might have, or, lacking that put your toe against a wall and shove, or put the toe on the ground behind you and shove down.? ?If the toe hits the end of the boot, the boot is too short.? Go up a size and try again.? ?If you cannot find a boot that fits, try another brand, or try another store.

Paying a bit of money for a good boot is an investment.? ?A good boot can last decades with resoling and care.
 
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