Mt Whitney Zone
Posted By: So.BayMark My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 12:56 AM
Hi everyone..I have a pair of Raichle Mt. Peak leather boots 2 yrs old the boots are just a little too long for my foot(1/2 size or less).

They are fine walking on flat ground or going up Thor peak or main trail but coming down is a different story as is from Thor PK on group hike a few weeks ago, would putting cotton in my toe box help or what other ideas do you have...thanks

Posted By: Rod Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 02:00 AM
I don't have a great answer for you cuz i just don't know if cotton would work. I think it might if you can hold if in place and you don't pack it in too tight.Trial and error I guess. The problem I can imagine would be if the cotton moved around and got under your toes. Why don't you try it on a practice steep downhill slope. My thought is that if your foot is not slipping why would it matter if the shoe is too long.If the boot fits in the arch,instep and heel OK then lace up tight and go out and try some downhill area. How about calling an Adventure 16 boot specialist and ask them?Good luck.
Posted By: wagga Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 02:16 AM
The better outfitters will have something like a railroad tie bolted to the floor. They will suggest you kick it with all your might. If it hurts, there is too much toe room.

So experiment with various socks, etc., kick some inanimate object & you will know what works without trashing footsies on an actual outing.

Try slip socks (Ultimax polypropylene) with a thick wool 2nd. sock. Experiment with bolting down the laces a lot tighter. Try dual-lacing (set the horizontal lacing, then tie a knot and use a different tension on the vertical portion). I find Wigwam to be a good outer sock.

SanDi_Carole (AKA Red) posted some really slick socklets on the very valuable WPSMB. Try them with tighter lacing.
Posted By: Bee Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 03:00 AM
Hi Mark,

The worst nightmare with boots that I ever experienced was with a pair that was too large, because my HEEL ended up rubbed raw once the foot slid forward and a gap was formed between the heel and the boot. If you have this problem, too, than there is no hope for a good fit (I tried all of Wagga's suggestions.) I believe that an ill-fitting boot will always be that: an ill-fitting boot.


PS My winter boots are the LL Bean Gortex Cresta; they come in an extraordinary selection of sizes and widths, but as mentioned below: BEWARE! They run 1/2 size too long!! (I had to painfully discover this fact)
Posted By: Karen R Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 04:35 AM
Bee's right on. Bad boots are bad boots. Bite the bullet and get some that are comfy. If you get toe banging on downhills and are properly/tightly laced in, they're just the wrong boot and size may have nothing to do with it. REI has a limited supply of good boots in the store, but you can get pretty much what you want online...and just like Sears in the "olden days" you can take them back after you've used them if they hurt your tootsies. Take them up to Portugeuse Bend and do some of the smaller/steeper trails (after the snakes pack it up for winter) and test them out.

My vote: Treat yourself to some new boots. Life's too short to have sore dogs. Your neighbor,
Posted By: Steve C Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 04:36 AM
Mark, boot fit is the biggest problem in backpacking for me.

I have a wide foot, and have stopped shopping at stores, because nobody carries the right width. So I go to and order my shoes.

There are only a few brands that make the ultrawide shoes that fit me right. The pair of hiking boots I got this year were a New Balance trail boot.

They fit great! ...but then, after three days of hiking, my toes still start to hurt. I think it's just something I'll have to live with. ...or stick to only 3-day backpacks.
Posted By: Mike Condron Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 05:45 AM
I had the big toe just touching the toe box to the point that after several days on the trail the nail was killed. Not too painful as each contact was so slight. The cure was a set of slip-in SUPERfeet slip-in arch supports. The theory being that as you shall we say "age" your arch drops a bit causing the toes to extend forward as the weight comes down on your foot. The higher arch of the insert keeps the bottom of the foot curved thus reducing the forward thrust of the toes, mainly the big one.
I have not had a bit of foot trouble this year since using these supports.
Posted By: Sam Page Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 04:46 PM
In my experience, it is worth the expense and hassle to get boots that fit like a glove. wink

I recently spent about $120 on hiking shoes, wore them twice, and realized they were painfully small. They subsequently sold on Craig's List for half the price. Now I have shoes that fit better and I am MUCH happier.
Posted By: KevinR Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/08/09 09:56 PM
LL Bean's Cresta boot has been around a long time, and it comes in Wide. They now have a Cresta available in a Gortex model. They tend to run a bit large, so if you can't get to a store, you might trace your feet and mail the order in.

The Creata is one of those rare boots you can wear on a moderate hike with no break-in.
Posted By: So.BayMark Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/09/09 01:10 AM
Thanks guys for the info..the last time I wore the boots my toes were kiling me at the end of the hike (coming off the mountain)these are my winter boots so maybe its time to get a new pair, I will try the cotton balls on a short hike and see what happens..

thanks mark
Posted By: wagga Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/09/09 01:20 AM
Kick the railroad tie. Scientific method & all that.
Posted By: So.BayMark Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/09/09 01:46 PM
wagga will do, i'll try that...thanks
Posted By: Bob West Re: My Boots Don't Fit - 11/13/09 04:07 PM
If possible, buy boots that can be resoled. I have a pair of older Lowa boots that fit like a glove - super comfy - but cannot be resoled because of the construction of the boots. If in doubt, ask the manufacturer.
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