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Pickleodeon
08-05-2008, 20:16
I tried to break in my relatively new Asolo women's backpacking boots today for the second time. (walking on the sidewalk isn't really making a dent in the break-in process) Both trips were on the same pretty strenuous rocky part of the AT (Port Clinton, PA) and every time I have a steep uphill it rubs the back of my heels and rips them to shreds. I stopped three times within the hour to re-bandage and they all bunched or slid off from the sweat or just didnt really make a difference. I'm hiking in smartwools, the first time with slightly too large liners (which added to the rubbing) so this time I went without liners and still had the blisters. I've heard duct tape works. I tried the moleskin foam pads with the circles cut out of the middle, I tried bandaids, I even tried the huge size bandaid over everything else. I don't know if I just have wimpy feet but I can't break in my boots if I can't go more than a mile or two without my heels ripping open. help!

ChinMusic
08-05-2008, 21:08
I'm wondering about the fit.

Def try duct tape. Works GREAT as soon as you feel a hot spot. DO NOT wait for it to blister if you can help it.

If it already has blistered you can still use duct tape. You need to put a small piece of duct tape sticky/sticky in the area of the blister so the tape doesn't stick to that area.

Pickleodeon
08-05-2008, 21:16
oh, i forgot to add that I've also added insoles to try to lessen my feet sliding around, they feel really good on, but as soon as I go uphill my heels grind against the back of my boots.

Ghost31
08-05-2008, 21:33
You can try these techniques....... after you've taken a shower put an anti perspirant deodorant on your feet for a few of my friends it seems to work........also you could soak your feet in epsom salt after your do a short walk (3 to 4 miles). This seems to toughen the skin quicker. Also this is a old trick a buddy told me about. Soak your boots in water and then put them on and go on a short walk. Some boots are just really tough to break in. I gave up on my Rachelles...not sure if that is how it is spelled. Worst case is change boots. If I was having so many problems with them I would switch. Hope you get it figured out.

take-a-knee
08-05-2008, 21:42
oh, i forgot to add that I've also added insoles to try to lessen my feet sliding around, they feel really good on, but as soon as I go uphill my heels grind against the back of my boots.

That may be your problem, once you add the insoles, you've effectively made the boots smaller. If you must add cushioning (I question whether anything Asolo makes needs additional cushioning) Sorbothane makes a heel only insert with stickum on it, but I really don't think you need it.

Pickleodeon
08-05-2008, 22:01
I only added the insoles the second time, the first time was without them.

adventurousmtnlvr
08-05-2008, 22:39
oh, i forgot to add that I've also added insoles to try to lessen my feet sliding around, they feel really good on, but as soon as I go uphill my heels grind against the back of my boots.

I'm a roller-skater and a snow skier. And in most cases, we use those round makeup SPONGES. In snow skis I thought they were nuts when they put them on the opposite side of the pain but it worked. However in roller skates putting them ON the problem is best. You can place them right inside socks too, just be careful they don't move much when putting them inside the boots. Another idea are those sticky pads women use for the back of high heels, most shoe stores have them ... they are almost hour glass shaped (but sideways). They stick pretty well but I'd leave stick tape on until I felt where it would work best. Best of luck with whichever idea works for you :)

Bearpaw88
08-05-2008, 23:14
Hi, sorry to hear about your foot problems.

You may want to take them back to the store you bought them at and check the fit. Remeasure your feet etc...

To keep the heel in place I used to wrap the extra lacing around the ankle of my boot. It helped a bit but the shoes were also a bad fit.

Body glide or Vaseline rubbed on problem areas helps as well.

Good luck and I hope your feet feel better:)

RockDoc
08-06-2008, 00:38
Sorry to hear your problems.
Three thoughts:

1. Sounds like a poor fit. Return them and find a better fit. Maybe a lighter, more flexible shoe?

2. Pre-tape real blister-prone areas to protect them, then use a good lubricant. Personally I would not use duct tape.

3. Finally, read "Fixing your feet" by John Vonhof. He gives dozens of suggestions to solve your problems, including pretaping strategies, socks, lubes, and much more.

Nearly Normal
08-06-2008, 00:54
I've found the ONLY thing that will stick and stay on is duct tape.
You need to try to get the section of lacing that holds your ankle secure tied tight enough that it keeps your ancle from sliding.
Wear the boots every day all day to break them in. Hiking up and down hills is not for breaking in boots.
They should be broken in in a month. After breaking in try the hills.

Matteroo
08-06-2008, 03:35
Bucket was able to do the whole trail on the Asolo Women's Stynger boot last year. She did, however, have horrible blisters along the backs of her heels that finally calloused over, but then blistered back up at a few points, and she used that bodyglide to help.

I just tried som asolo boots (mens) and had this same issue. the sew line between the upper-ankle and the lower ankle at the rear of the boot becomes problematic-adding to the friction. Personally I would just out and say that is a fit issue - try to secure the heel more. If you cannot (by lacing in various ways around the bridge area of your foot - without cramping it's style/comfort), then you need a new boot, unless you want to hike until you are calloused there.

i switched to a boot from LOWA with a full leather 'glove' interior which is incredibly soft and without seams. the heel fits better too - same shoe size. asolos are supposed to be narrow, apparently not narrow enough in the heel for me.

good luck

Matteroo
08-06-2008, 03:38
oh and for trying on any mid or full boot, just assume you'll be using insoles and test it out at the store with whatever insoles you'll use. I'm yet to run across a serious boot that comes with a serious insole - they are all jokes and meant to serve a nominal function whilst at the store, and not used for any serious duration.

Marta
08-06-2008, 06:36
Some of us have feet that tend to blister easily...which is why I almost never wear boots. You might be able to find a sock system that works. You might be able to develop callouses on your heels. But, if your feet get wet, or you skip a few weeks of wearing those boots and the callouses weaken, you'll be in trouble again. I'd recommend returning the boots. Or selling them. Or giving them away. Find some footwear that doesn't tear up your feet.

Egads
08-06-2008, 06:56
Sounds like you have the wrong boots.

Newb
08-06-2008, 07:32
You need different shoes.

Two Speed
08-06-2008, 08:22
I dunno about the different shoes. I've tried Vasques, Montrails and Tevas in a variety of styles and sizes. Always blister on my heels, so I duct tape 'em in the morning and take the tape off before I go to bed. If I don't I get some really heinous blisters on my heels, and it's usually going uphill that does it.

Just my $0.02.

BigCat
08-06-2008, 08:35
I've found the ONLY thing that will stick and stay on is duct tape.

I used to feel that way until I discovered Fixamol while hiking in Australia this year. (It's called MeFix in the states. (http://www.thefind.com/query.php?query=mefix))

On skin, it's more adhesive than duct tape but is also highly breathable and holds up even in the wettest conditions (trust me on that last one). I'll always carry duct tape but Fixamol has now become my preferred foot care product!

skinny minnie
08-06-2008, 09:23
Reason number one why I love trail runners - no blisters.

Try a trail runner, maybe? Some people are really attached to the idea of boots, but I love mine and feel confidant on any terrain.

That being said, some people just have difficult heels that are going to blister no matter what in a new shoe... whether boot, running shoe, trail runner etc.

angewrite
08-06-2008, 09:56
oh, i forgot to add that I've also added insoles to try to lessen my feet sliding around, they feel really good on, but as soon as I go uphill my heels grind against the back of my boots.


Doesn't sound like your boots are fitting you properly or you don't have them laced tight enough.

mudhead
08-06-2008, 12:28
I used to feel that way until I discovered Fixamol while hiking in Australia this year. (It's called MeFix in the states. (http://www.thefind.com/query.php?query=mefix))

On skin, it's more adhesive than duct tape but is also highly breathable and holds up even in the wettest conditions (trust me on that last one). I'll always carry duct tape but Fixamol has now become my preferred foot care product!

Spendy stuff. Must work great, if you bought more of it?

Quoddy
08-06-2008, 19:31
I heard about Hydropel over a year ago when I saw that Andy Skurka used it on his ultra hikes. I began using it last year on my end-to-end of the Long Trail and never had a hint of a blister or any other problem, even with wet feet for days on end. I've since used it every time I've hiked, except once when I tested to see what would happen without it. You guessed it, I got blisters by the end of the second day.

DAKS
08-06-2008, 20:03
i used to have a lot of blister issues no matter the type of footwear i was wearing(boots or trailrunners). i haven't had a blister in quite some time now which by saying i hope i don't jinx myself?!

it sounds like the issue is prolly' the boots, but here are a few things i do and continue to remain blister free!
1. i use rubbing alcohol on my feet a few days before hitting the trail. dries 'em out a bit!
2. regarding the break in period. when i buy a new pair of trailrunners, i go hiking/walking in them and find every mudhole and puddle i can so as to soak 'em. i know, sounds stupid! i then dry 'em out in the sun before repeating the process all over again.
3. i use something called a "tongue depressor" to make my heel fit more firmly into the shoe to reduce the friction. this product is very hard to find as they are apparently no longer in production?
4. i experiment with all different kinds of socks and find what thickness works the best for a comfortable blister free fit. this is sometimes a very long process kinda' like this post! sorry!
5. lastly, once i find a shoe that works i stock up on that particular shoe and buy several pairs!

good luck! i know the feeling all to well!

RockDoc
08-06-2008, 20:41
[quote=Nearly Normal;678240]I've found the ONLY thing that will stick and stay on is duct tape.

Perhaps, on unwashed feet.

But apply tincture of iodine solution and then ordinary athletic tape, or the newer high-tech tapes, adhere swimmingly and have less bulk and less sticky mess.

FritztheCat
08-06-2008, 21:46
3. i use something called a "tongue depressor" to make my heel fit more firmly into the shoe to reduce the friction. this product is very hard to find as they are apparently no longer in production?

Is that like the old shoe horns? I haven't seen one of those since I was a kid! Looks like an elongated bent spoon without the handle?

DAKS
08-06-2008, 21:49
Is that like the old shoe horns? I haven't seen one of those since I was a kid! Looks like an elongated bent spoon without the handle?

no, it's a thin piece of foam or padding that you place just under the laces of yer' shoes or boots that remains there permanently. it helps to seat yer' heal in place and fill in any loose spots!

BigCat
08-07-2008, 11:17
Spendy stuff. Must work great, if you bought more of it?

Well, I'm not rich but $6.42 for 11 yards of the tape is not too expensive. :-)

mudhead
08-07-2008, 15:28
I seem to be feet/yards challanged of late. Maybe saw the $100 version to the right.

Is it the kind of stuff you used up, and asap bought more?

BigCat
08-07-2008, 16:44
I seem to be feet/yards challanged of late. Maybe saw the $100 version to the right.

Is it the kind of stuff you used up, and asap bought more?

No, this stuff really lasts and since it's breathable you can leave it on for days. In my case, I averaged about five days between towns and would wear the same piece for that whole time. Down there, every pharmacy sells it by the meter and I only needed one meter for my 56-day hike!

Mother's Finest
08-07-2008, 17:46
Blisters=Improperly fitting shoe or boot.

Blisters are caused by shearing force, meaning rubbing. If the shoe or boot fits correctly, there will be minimal rubbing.

A secondary issue that causes problems is not changing your socks. If you hike all day long, no matter how breathable your shoes, your socks will get wet. Over 10 or so miles, things tend to shift around a bit, and laces can loosen. The ten mile mark is a great place to stop and rest, put on a fresh pair of socks and move forward from there.

peace
mf

take-a-knee
08-07-2008, 20:25
Blisters=Improperly fitting shoe or boot.

Blisters are caused by shearing force, meaning rubbing. If the shoe or boot fits correctly, there will be minimal rubbing.

A secondary issue that causes problems is not changing your socks. If you hike all day long, no matter how breathable your shoes, your socks will get wet. Over 10 or so miles, things tend to shift around a bit, and laces can loosen. The ten mile mark is a great place to stop and rest, put on a fresh pair of socks and move forward from there.

peace
mf

I would argue that blisters are caused by heat, a source of which can be friction of course. The warmer it is, the more blisters you are likely to have. This is why goretex and insulated goretex especially, will chew your feet up (in addition to the fact that goretex doesn't breathe well). This is a good arguement for trail runners, IMO. I'm still wearing light, non goretex boots (Asolo FSN 85's) but if I can get my pack weight really light I'll consider the trail runners, especially in the summer.