View Full Version : Womens Boots

Mike Drinkuth
09-11-2002, 13:13
My partner next march has somewhat narrow feet. She's tried many different kinds of boots and she is not finding any that don't hit the front of her toes on downhills. Anyone had a similar problem or recommend anything?
She owns Merrell, Columbia, and North Face and has tried on other brands. It seems like there could be a simple solution, brand of insert or something.
Thanks in advance...Mike:D

SGT Rock
09-11-2002, 13:46
I have another suggestion: running shoes.

If her pack weight is down and she starts conditioning her ankles, then running shoes are an alternative. Running shoes come in lots of special makes and sizes, and are usually easier to fit.

Mike Drinkuth
09-11-2002, 13:55
YEAH! I suggested that. How does a girl go about conditioning her ankles without damaging them? I think this might be the answer! Everyone seems SO solid on the need for boots specifically.

SGT Rock
09-11-2002, 15:29
Well the how depends on current physical abilities. If she soes a lot of hiking, and hopefully some running, I would say she is already 40% there, at least.

An important factor would be pack weight. If she is below 35 pounds, I would say that is another good place to start. But an even better guideline would be based on body weight - 25% or less is the goal. If you got that, add another 40%

Now add to that if she uses hiking poles, then you could be there and ready to roll. If not, consider going there.

I had all the above and the first trip with running shoes was perfect.

If she isn't totally ready and conditioned, the the best thing is to start on easy to moderate trails localy on day hikes carrying the target weight and using poles. Gradualy build up the mileage and difficulty of trails.

09-11-2002, 19:05
I copied this from a prior post I made under the Ultra-Light Hikers Forum for your convenience, Mike...

Here are the ankle-strengthening exercises adapted from the physical therapist in an attempt to reduce my chronic Achilles tendonitis. Those of you concerned with ankle support in trail sneakers could do this regimen every other day for a month or so to see how it works for you.

1) Toe-ups on the stairs. Be careful not to go too far down until you're warmed up. I typically do about 50.

2) Stretch your calves on the stairs by carefully lowering your heel below your toes, keeping your knees straight. Alternatively, you can stretch calves by leaning against a wall with your toes about 2 feet from the wall you would "push up" against. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. (You can stretch your Achilles on the stairs by slightly bending your knees).

3) Walk on your heels, scrunching your toes, for about 3 minutes on a carpeted surface. You'll feel the fronts of your ankles get tired after awhile. I typically do these exercises in my living room, watching TV to ease the boredom.

4) Using 3 feet of green or blue Ther-a-band (available from physical therapist offices and fitness centers for about $1/foot, with blue offering more resistance than green) tied in a loop, wrap the loop around the toes of one of your feet. Do 15-50 reps of the following four strengthening techniques. Push your toes away for one set, then put the loop under a chair or other heavy object and position yourself to "pull" the band toward your chest for a set, then left then right for two sets. Repeat with your other foot. Concentrate on your ankle and keep your knee straight and out of the exercise, especially on the sideways pulls. You can also replicate this exercise using a "wobble board" (a round board with half a round sphere on the bottom that wobbles), but it costs a lot more.

5) Here's the fun part. Now that your ankles are tired, stand up next to the chair on one leg, placing the other leg in front of you in the air. On a rug or other uneven surface (a pillow or mini-tramp), try to stand on one leg for 15-30 seconds. If this is easy, then close your eyes (you'll be amazed at how hard this is). After 15-30 seconds, move the leg in the air to your side for another count, then to the back, and then move it all over (left-to-right, front-to-back, whatever). Repeat with the other leg.

After multiple bad sprains and reliance on ankle braces for years, this regimen has worked for me, although I'm not sure that I'm quite ready to shift to low-cut trail sneakers quite yet!

Mike Drinkuth
09-12-2002, 09:24
Thanks kerosene! You rock!

09-12-2002, 12:03
Hi Mike, I also suffer from the narrow foot issue, and found that a pair of Lowa Renegades (womens) with superfeet insoles did the trick, I wore them all the way to Vermont before I switched to Montrail trail running sneakers...

Mike Drinkuth
09-12-2002, 13:04
Thanks a million jumpstart!
Writing it down and will give your suggestion to stephanie today! We found the superfeet inserts last weekend and they almost did the trick alone but didn't quite, however, I know she wasn't trying on any kind of Lowa boots.
Thanks! :D

09-26-2002, 12:02
If you really want sturdy hiking boots to fit narrow women's feet (like mine), I have 3 suggestions. (1) Scarpa boots come in women's narrow - just bought a pair of SLs, (2) LLBean Cresta boots come in widths including narrow - they get good
reviews but I haven't tried them, (3) custom made Limmers if you can wait 4 years. I am a section hiker/weekend hiker/fall-winter hiker in New England and my pack is typically ~40 lbs (I'm trying to lighten up...) so I still use real boots.