View Full Version : Neuroma and Hiking Boots

01-15-2011, 15:28
My 63-year old father is newbie hiker is looking for some hiking boots with ankle support and something that won't aggravate his neuroma in the ball of one of his feet.

For those not familiar with neuroma, and you want to know more, please read: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/mortons-neuroma.htm

I told him good cushioning inserts should work but we were wondering if there was a boot out there designed to protect that part of the foot without squeezing it too much.

We are planning a short 15 mile (or less) hike on the AT in the Hot Springs, NC area next April (2011).

Thanks for any insights you may provide.

01-15-2011, 15:37
Try this thread:

I had Morton's Neuroma a loooooooooooong time ago, got custom orthotics, learned to buy boots which were wide in the forefoot, eventually dropping a bundle on custom Limmer boots (which weigh a ton), and, finally, discovering lightweight trail runners, which I find work best for me with Superfeet inserts (and, also, some old orthotic inserts which I got with a pair of Chaco boots, which didn't fit well, but the orthotics are still useable after three+ years).

01-15-2011, 16:42
Thanks for the post on this condition. Apparently I've been walking around these past 10 years with this and experiencing 3 of 4 symptoms, only lacking excessive pain. I now have a diagnosis. My addaptive behavior has been much like noted above and on the other thread. Sturdy boots with a wide toe box. Stiffer sole rather than flexible is my choice. I had a pair of Keens with wide toe box but they were too lightweight, so I use them now as day hikers here in sandy FL. I backpack (about 35-40 lbs) with a pair of Vasque GTX Summits. Size is a full size above my normal 42. For padding I do wear a silk liner sock with a heavy Smartwool sock. Put them on very carefully with all wrinkes smothed out. Last year I started being a two pole guy with a pair of Leki's. Yeah they help on the up hill. but were essential for long rocky descents like Thornton Gap on the AT. Poles help to relieve much of the downhill pounding and punishment on the balls of the feet.

01-15-2011, 17:46
Chiefipoo and Tinker,

Thanks very much for the replys. I'll let my dad know about your suggestions. Unlike most of us he can afford to go the expensive route. ;)

Much appreciated.


Spirit Walker
01-15-2011, 17:53
Your father needs shoes with a big toebox. Lowas run wide - they make good midweight boots and shoes for hiking. Vasques have wide sizes. I've worn their boots and trail runners for years. Merrill running shoes also have wide sizes. You may have to special order shoes for him since a lot of stores don't carry wides.

01-15-2011, 17:57
Hi Spirit Walker,

I myself am wearing Keen's Targus II with the wide toe box. I think I've already sold him on that idea. Of course, the mid ankle support is his next concern. I'll forward your suggestion to him.

01-16-2011, 13:45
I had a neuroma (surgery to remove it before the AT this past year), and I also have bunionettes, so a wide toebox is important to me.

I'm trying to get certified to do scrambles with a local group that at least in some cases is pretty firm on folks wearing actual boots (which I generally hate to do). So with a lot of reluctance I went to a local dealer and tried some options. Most that I saw looked awful and hurt right away when trying them on. By substantially sizing them up (note that I also substantially size up my trail runners) I think I'll be okay with Scarpa Charmoz (http://www.rei.com/product/748422).

These are very likely not what you're looking for here, however; it's a full shank mountaineering boot. I'd hate to walk a lot of miles on trail with these --- but then in general I'd hate to walk a lot of miles in any boot if I had my preference, FWIW.

I guess my point is that the Scarpa brand in this case seemed a bit "less bad" than others, and to consider sizing the boots up a size or two.