Thoughts and comments about hiking, skiing and other interests.
.............not all those that wander are lost..............
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
New boots or I'll need new feet..................
I'll not go into too much detail about my ghastly feet. Well, I used to think they were quite good feet until recently.
I have over the years rather abused them - at an early age by trying to ballet dance on points, jamming them into ski boots for hours on end, wearing strange sandals made from old car tyres, and presently walking for miles and miles carrying a heavy body (my own) and often a weighty rucksack.
I've had a great struggle to find walking boots to really fit my feet without causing me blisters on the heel or (worse) blisters under my toe nails. During the TGO Challenge in 2009 I had two very painful little toes (resembling plums!) and lost 5 nails. This year, even though I only completed 5 days my toes were already painful and I had a blister on the sole of one foot under the big toe.
I originally always had Scarpa boots, mostly leather, and I found they were not too bad once broken in. Although I did suspect it was my feet that became broken in and not the boots! Once I started hiking more miles I did regularly have damaged toes so I swapped to Meindl boots. I was told they were a bit wider and therefore more suitable for my strange square feet. I had custom insoles made to support my high arches.
I eventually stopped them rubbing at the heel by various lacing techniques but they still bit my toes and then in 2009 disgraced themselves completely by damaging the little toes as I explained.
I haven't worn them since and bought a pair of fabric boots made by AKU. I find them comfortable up to about 7 miles and then they start to make my toes sore and the ball of my foot ache. They really let me down on the Challenge this year - though they are fine for shorter day walks. The liner also leaks badly if it rains heavily.
So yesterday I went into Ellis Brigham at Castleford and had a long discussion with the sales staff. It was suggested that I tried Keen boots. Certainly looking at the front of the boot they do seem very square (much like my feet!). I tried on some trainer type Keen shoes as they didn't have my size in a boot. My feet kind of felt a bit more at home than they have before.
Now I've ordered some Keen Pyrenees in my size and I'm waiting for the parcel to arrive with all my fingers crossed! If they're no good you'll probably hear me sobbing.................