View Full Version : Backpacking socks for those with bunions

04-14-2014, 08:46
Not proud, but I have them, on both feet. A month ago, I got a new pair of boots, Lowa Renegage GTX, and new green Superfeet. I'd say these boots are now broken in. In the past I've used Montrail Torre TGX but they don't make them anymore, so I had to switch. What I'm finding is that, while no blisters, after a long day backpacking, the bunions are red and achy. I was using Smartwool PHD socks, found they don't have enough cushion/padding on the top where I need it, switched back to Smartwool hikers, but think there has to be a better sock out there. Or maybe, though I've never used them, a good liner sock?

Anyone have this issue? What works for you? Recommendations?

04-14-2014, 10:24
Questions--do the shoes bend down onto the joint when they flex as you walk? That bend can hurt even with no bunion. Do you feel like there is enough room for your toes with the socks you use? If the joint is swelling as you walk a lighter sock might help later in the day. The green superfeet are fairly firm--does the joint that hurts need more padding, or room to swell during the day, on the underside of your foot? Try the light liner. Also consider that the joint presses into the side of the boot and may need more width as the day goes on. Good Luck! Do you carry so much weight that you need a sturdy boot or would a trail runner work?

04-14-2014, 11:11
I think it is a foot swell as the day goes on thing to an extent because its always later in the day. Worst is a big end of the day downhill. But yes, I need more padding/cushion on the bunion areas. We just did 19 miles this weekend with no blisters, so I'm am fairly sure the boots fit. My day one weeklong load with water is 40lbs. I am 6'3" 260, pack weight is not an issue. Bad ankles from years of football is why I wont backpack without boots.

04-14-2014, 11:30
I like my boots too--I just wish they didn't touch my feet! I know this is sacrilege but--have you ever considered cutting out your insole under the ball of your foot ? Maybe a second set of less expensive ones to try...maybe change them midday.

04-14-2014, 13:08
I have bunions. The problem for me is usually the shoes, and those boots you got are very stiff, serious boots. Anything stiff rubbing on my bunions hurts like hell. Plus, you have got to have the right shoe/insole depending on your pronation--this from my foot doc. If you're pronation isn't fixed, no matter what shoe you have the pressure on the ball of the foot will make the bunion hurt.

I don't know where/what weather you're hiking in, but what is working for me right now is:

Winter/west shoulder season/bushwhacking: Merrell Moab WP.
Summer: Asics Gel Scout Trail Runner. (Search by pronation on the Asics website!)
Socks: Fox River Xstatic Liner paired with Darn Touch socks.

This weekend I had the trail runners out backpacking, with this sock combo, for the first time. My feet got wet and muddy, the shoes dried fast, no blisters, no bunion pain. Feet felt better than ever.