View Full Version : boots vs shoes
Has anyone else out there developed Mortons Neuroma in a foot after hiking. I got this after hiking up Mt Leconte in the smokies. The trail was very rocky..I was carrying 20lbs and I was wearing lightweight hiking shoes vs my hiking boots..I wonder if the trail was too rough for lightweight footware.
Can you descibe you symptoms better? How do you know its Morton's Neuroma?
My wife has symptoms somewhat typical of Mortons. It seems to do a lot better if she has more cushion in her shoes. She started off at Springer with Boots, switched to low cut trekking shoes in damascus and finally sneakers in northern VA, but by that time it was too late, and her feet where hurting her so much we had to get off. She still gets the pain after long days (15 miles or so) when we do weekend backpacking.
The doctor diagnosed it...it is a pain in the ball of your foot just behind your 2nd or 3rd toes..there is alot of stuff on the internet about how to treat it...Padded shoes have made a big difference for me. I won a pair of the new Solomon Adventure Racing shoes and they are wonderful. I do not hike in them-I have gone back to boots. They can do surgery to remove the neuroma but sometimes it just grows back. If you are careful you can live with it and still hike.
Yes, it sure sounds like what she has. I finally made an appointment for her with a local sports medicine guru (we hiked in '01 and she STILL had made the appointment, so I finally did it for her :) and hopefully he will have something to say about.
One question, why did you go back to boots if padded shoes made a big difference for you? Also, how much pain did you have? Towards the ends, and even sometimes now, long downhills will bring her to tears. And she's "tuffie" (that was her trail name, and she really is, despite her relatively small stature).
Any other suggestions on how to treat it. The online material in one thing, but first hand experience is much more important to me (I have done a fair amount of reading about it).
I wear the Solomon Adventure Racers when I am walking or biking..I cannot wear bike shoes anymore..I wear boots on the trail because I need more protection from the rocks. My foot hurts the most when I overuse it. It gets better when I rest it. I have not been backpacking yet on it but I have been on several dayhikes and my foot was fine. I am in the process of switching to ultralight gear...I have my base weight down to 10lbs including all my clothes..that just leaves out food and water. Since I only hike on weekends I think my foot will be ok.
Firefly: I'm not sure which way you went up LeConte (probably Alum Cave), but the two ways I've been up (Brushy Mountain/Trillium Gap and the
Bouelvard) are perfectly suitable for trail runners. Overall, I haven't been on a trail in the Smokys or southern Appalachia on which runners would not have been the optimal footwear for me. Usually, bigger boots are required for bigger loads or unusual conditions (glacier, excessive talus, icy snow, etc). Or, if you have a history of weak ankles or sensitive feet. The one major downside of runners is that you have to be careful with foot placement. Stepping on the pointy end of a rock is not pleasant in runners, but perfectly acceptable in strong boots.