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  1. #1
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    Default Who's the best shoe fitter?

    So, with my upcoming launch date just a few weeks away I've developed some foot pain while training. I've left the pack off the last couple of days and cut my mileage back and that has helped some. I don't know if I went to far to fast or maybe my superfeet are worn out. I'll get new superfeet tomorrow and try again. This got me to thinking, is there anyone in ga,nc or tenn. That is highly recommended in helping to properly fit shoes.

  2. #2

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    I don't have personal experience but I have heard good things about Outdoor 76 in Franklin, NC with respect to shoe fitting. http://www.outdoor76.com/ Given that their location is a week or two from Springer it would make sense as I suspect they see a lot of folks that are just starting out and have foot/shoes issues.

  3. #3

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    No question: Outdoor 76. Go on a weekday and talk to Rob. Be prepared to spend several hours there but it is well worth it. He helped me out with my shoes and I am amazed at the difference.

  4. #4
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    Give N Georgia Mtn. Outfitters, Ellijay a call.706-698-4453 Travis is an experienced hiker and helped me a bunch when i was getting my footgear.

  5. #5
    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    The foot pain is good training

  6. #6
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    MRO Damascus, ask for Jeff.http://mtrogersoutfitters.com/

  7. #7

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    Rob at Outdoor 76 in Franklin, NC, hands down.

  8. #8
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    Those of you living in New England....the owner of Mountain Goat Outfitter in Manchester Center, VT is very experienced. In fact, it is best to schedule an appointment with Ron so you are not wasting time waiting.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeartWalker View Post
    Rob at Outdoor 76 in Franklin, NC, hands down.
    Agree. As mentioned previously, be prepared to spend several hours.

  10. #10
    Registered User Elder's Avatar
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    The owners and staff at Neel Gap/ Mountain Crossings are very experienced and do a great job. Most of the shops along the trail deal with hikers a lot and can help with any issues.
    "You don't have to think fast if you move slow" Red Green

  11. #11
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    Perhaps it's not the shoe but the superfeet? They nearly ended my hike. I tried them out and developed neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain - all because of super feet - I even tried the custom fitted ones. I wear Sof Sole insoles. And, as for the best shoe fitter - you are. It doesn't matter how well someone else knows how to 'fit your foot' YOU have to put the shoe on and walk in it to see if it's comfortable. When buying hiking shoes, go at the end of a day when you've been on your feet all day, bring your pack fully loaded with you. Your feet spread out a little with the weight of a pack on, so this is important.

    All that being said, yes the guys at Outdoor 76 are very good.

  12. #12
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I used Superfeet for years, but the folks at The Mountain Goat in VT suggested that we try Sole brand insoles. They seem to have a better heel cup.

    In any case, the insole may not be the issue at all. Any of the major outfitters along the trail, as mentioned above, would be good.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  13. #13
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    Not trying to make this a insole battle, but I've used the green superfeet for a few years in everyday life. I'm a Hvac tech so I use my feet and legs every day and my feet never bother me. I understand that in hiking your feet are going to hurt some and, I'm ok with it "embrace the suck " right! But miles 9and 10 with a 27-30 pound pack on flat ground was almost unbearable. I think maybe I just went to fast ( from 0 to 10 miles with a load ) and
    In all my 49 years on this earth I've never been properly fitted for foot wear. I'm just trying to do everything I can to increase my odds of finishing.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by walkinslow View Post
    Not trying to make this a insole battle, but I've used the green superfeet for a few years in everyday life. I'm a Hvac tech so I use my feet and legs every day and my feet never bother me. I understand that in hiking your feet are going to hurt some and, I'm ok with it "embrace the suck " right! But miles 9and 10 with a 27-30 pound pack on flat ground was almost unbearable. I think maybe I just went to fast ( from 0 to 10 miles with a load ) and
    In all my 49 years on this earth I've never been properly fitted for foot wear. I'm just trying to do everything I can to increase my odds of finishing.
    well, how FAST did you go? I hike 8.5 miles often once a week, with nothing but a hydration pack, on a nice dirt/sand trail. Not many hills (this is N TX). I do it in 2.5 hours, but have been doing it for some time. And, no weight, zero rocks. I have bad feet and none of the OTC shoe inserts, work as well as custom made orthotics from a PODIATRIST. I even tried some from some up-scale shoe place and they rubbed blisters by 4 miles.
    For a couple of bucks, get a weird haircut and waste your life away Bryan Adams....
    Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes. - sargevining on HF

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by July View Post
    MRO Damascus, ask for Jeff.http://mtrogersoutfitters.com/
    This right here. Go see Jeff at MRO and then go play in the Grayson Highlands. Make a weekend of it.
    Grizzly Adam


    WACphotography | Blog

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeartWalker View Post
    Rob at Outdoor 76 in Franklin, NC, hands down.
    I found him helpful also. I still remember him telling me you toes need to be able to play piano, meaning you need room in the toebox.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  17. #17

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    First off, wow, wow, wow. Thanks for the accolades guys (and girls).

    So you guys have thrown a couple things out that could be touched on and will help clear up a LOT of confusion. I'll go over some basics, then hit the bullets points in posts above.


    First of all fitting is all about YOU, YOU ,YOU…not anybody else. The glasses that give me good eyesight may not work for a single one of you. Shoes are no different. When anyone comes to us and say "OK, you guys know feet - do your thing", I need to do 2 things. I need to make sure fit is as close as I can get and I need to make sure YOUR orthopedic needs are met. The two are very different but the combinations of how we attend to both is different for everyone. If you guys look back, you'll see we've posted numbers of tutorials trying to help people understand what's important, how to avoid bad advise and how to get on the path to the best footwear arrangement possible. The very next day, someone would post a thread "What kind of shoes should I get?" and the flood gates would open up with so much bad advise, we would just bury our faces in our palms. We kind of left it alone and have let the importance on this subject spread organically. So to recap, FIT and Biomechanics.

    So, lets hit on the thread:

    #1 Insoles …There is no such thing as an insole battle. Sole vs Superfeet vs Powerstep vs Dr Scholls… BLAH BLAH BLAH!! The problem isn't the insoles. Its how we buy them and what we're buying them for (over pronation, lateral stability, fatigue deflection, etc..). #1 insoles ARE NOT shoe size. (Call me for more explanation, too long to type out). #2 Just because it has lots of arch support or cushion does not make it good. You could buy the best insoles on earth but if you aren't matching your biomechanics needs, biometrics and volume distributions you straight up wasted your money. We LOVE Sole only because Soles allow us an incredible amount of dynamic range. I've walked into outfitters that sell Sole and do not fit ...and my blood pressure goes through through the roof. Brands like super feet do great because there are so generic. They aren't dumb, they're foot people. Offer a size range based on a letter, put a moderate amount of posting in it and you just covered a lot of peoples basic needs. Take someone who's a 7 on a scale of 1-10 and and the best Superfeet insert might yield a 3 or 4. Is it better than nothing? Sure, but is there a void? Possibly. You can do more damage to your foot by improperly or overcorrecting your foot than not correcting it at all. You also need to make DAMN sure your shoes are orthotic compliant. Just because your shoe has a stock insole that slides out doesn't mean you're free to put an orthotic replacement in. I've seen no less than 10 bus tickets bought to head home from Franklin because someone thought putting Superfeet in a Salomon XAPro. It may work for some, but few people know that shoe already has a remarkable amount of medial post, and adding an orthotic just sent that shoe into a very dangerous package. People don't teach this anymore, sad.

    #2 Gotta find shoes that work for you (Trial and error). Yes that's true, but that's when experience kicks in. What the general public has been taught about buying shoes is intuitive. Unfortunately "intuitive" derails a lot of people. That's where we come in. We're not saying we're perfect. Far from it. What I will say, is I am 100% confident I can look at a foot and within 10 seconds tell you what you DON'T want. There may be a shoe out there you have your eye on, you heard something good about it and you bought into it. You spend 3 months beating your feet up in it to find out it was a bad decision. A good fitter might have been able to tell you the moment you fell for it that it is a bad choice. You just saved yourself 3 months and $150.

    #3 Toes play piano… I appreciate the retention of the lesson, but that's not always for everyone. More often than not, it has some truth. But this is a testament to individual fit needs. That's the case when we see inconsistencies in met-head measurements and overall toe box size/shape. I happen to have a proportioned met-head and toe box. If I was looking to make sure I needed "piano" room, I could throw my foot in a Keen Targhee 1/2 size down from what I need and I'll get "piano" room. Unfortunately, so much else would be wrong, I'd be in a bad place with my footwear choice.

    Hope this helps, everyone. Give me a call at the shop if any of you have specific questions or want to set an appointment. We love being able to help!

  18. #18

    Default

    First off, wow, wow, wow. Thanks for the accolades guys (and girls).

    So you guys have thrown a couple things out that could be touched on and will help clear up a LOT of confusion. I'll go over some basics, then hit the bullets points in posts above.


    First of all fitting is all about YOU, YOU ,YOU…not anybody else. The glasses that give me good eyesight may not work for a single one of you. Shoes are no different. When anyone comes to us and say "OK, you guys know feet - do your thing", I need to do 2 things. I need to make sure fit is as close as I can get and I need to make sure YOUR orthopedic needs are met. The two are very different but the combinations of how we attend to both is different for everyone. If you guys look back, you'll see we've posted numbers of tutorials trying to help people understand what's important, how to avoid bad advise and how to get on the path to the best footwear arrangement possible. The very next day, someone would post a thread "What kind of shoes should I get?" and the flood gates would open up with so much bad advise, we would just bury our faces in our palms. We kind of left it alone and have let the importance on this subject spread organically. So to recap, FIT and Biomechanics.

    So, lets hit on the thread:

    #1 Insoles …There is no such thing as an insole battle. Sole vs Superfeet vs Powerstep vs Dr Scholls… BLAH BLAH BLAH!! The problem isn't the insoles. Its how we buy them and what we're buying them for (over pronation, lateral stability, fatigue deflection, etc..). #1 insoles ARE NOT shoe size. (Call me for more explanation, too long to type out). #2 Just because it has lots of arch support or cushion does not make it good. You could buy the best insoles on earth but if you aren't matching your biomechanics needs, biometrics and volume distributions you straight up wasted your money. We LOVE Sole only because Soles allow us an incredible amount of dynamic range. I've walked into outfitters that sell Sole and do not fit ...and my blood pressure goes through through the roof. Brands like super feet do great because there are so generic. They aren't dumb, they're foot people. Offer a size range based on a letter, put a moderate amount of posting in it and you just covered a lot of peoples basic needs. Take someone who's a 7 on a scale of 1-10 and and the best Superfeet insert might yield a 3 or 4. Is it better than nothing? Sure, but is there a void? Possibly. You can do more damage to your foot by improperly or overcorrecting your foot than not correcting it at all. You also need to make DAMN sure your shoes are orthotic compliant. Just because your shoe has a stock insole that slides out doesn't mean you're free to put an orthotic replacement in. I've seen no less than 10 bus tickets bought to head home from Franklin because someone thought putting Superfeet in a Salomon XAPro. It may work for some, but few people know that shoe already has a remarkable amount of medial post, and adding an orthotic just sent that shoe into a very dangerous package. People don't teach this anymore, sad.

    #2 Gotta find shoes that work for you (Trial and error). Yes that's true, but that's when experience kicks in. What the general public has been taught about buying shoes is intuitive. Unfortunately "intuitive" derails a lot of people. That's where we come in. We're not saying we're perfect. Far from it. What I will say, is I am 100% confident I can look at a foot and within 10 seconds tell you what you DON'T want. There may be a shoe out there you have your eye on, you heard something good about it and you bought into it. You spend 3 months beating your feet up in it to find out it was a bad decision. A good fitter might have been able to tell you the moment you fell for it that it is a bad choice. You just saved yourself 3 months and $150.

    #3 Toes play piano… I appreciate the retention of the lesson, but that's not always for everyone. More often than not, it has some truth. But this is a testament to individual fit needs. That's the case when we see inconsistencies in met-head measurements and overall toe box size/shape. I happen to have a proportioned met-head and toe box. If I was looking to make sure I needed "piano" room, I could throw my foot in a Keen Targhee 1/2 size down from what I need and I'll get "piano" room. Unfortunately, so much else would be wrong, I'd be in a bad place with my footwear choice.

    Hope this helps, everyone. Give me a call at the shop if any of you have specific questions or want to set an appointment. We love being able to help!

  19. #19
    Registered User
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    05-23-2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoor76 View Post
    First off, wow, wow, wow. Thanks for the accolades guys (and girls).

    So you guys have thrown a couple things out that could be touched on and will help clear up a LOT of confusion. I'll go over some basics, then hit the bullets points in posts above.


    First of all fitting is all about YOU, YOU ,YOU…not anybody else. The glasses that give me good eyesight may not work for a single one of you. Shoes are no different. When anyone comes to us and say "OK, you guys know feet - do your thing", I need to do 2 things. I need to make sure fit is as close as I can get and I need to make sure YOUR orthopedic needs are met. The two are very different but the combinations of how we attend to both is different for everyone. If you guys look back, you'll see we've posted numbers of tutorials trying to help people understand what's important, how to avoid bad advise and how to get on the path to the best footwear arrangement possible. The very next day, someone would post a thread "What kind of shoes should I get?" and the flood gates would open up with so much bad advise, we would just bury our faces in our palms. We kind of left it alone and have let the importance on this subject spread organically. So to recap, FIT and Biomechanics.

    So, lets hit on the thread:

    #1 Insoles …There is no such thing as an insole battle. Sole vs Superfeet vs Powerstep vs Dr Scholls… BLAH BLAH BLAH!! The problem isn't the insoles. Its how we buy them and what we're buying them for (over pronation, lateral stability, fatigue deflection, etc..). #1 insoles ARE NOT shoe size. (Call me for more explanation, too long to type out). #2 Just because it has lots of arch support or cushion does not make it good. You could buy the best insoles on earth but if you aren't matching your biomechanics needs, biometrics and volume distributions you straight up wasted your money. We LOVE Sole only because Soles allow us an incredible amount of dynamic range. I've walked into outfitters that sell Sole and do not fit ...and my blood pressure goes through through the roof. Brands like super feet do great because there are so generic. They aren't dumb, they're foot people. Offer a size range based on a letter, put a moderate amount of posting in it and you just covered a lot of peoples basic needs. Take someone who's a 7 on a scale of 1-10 and and the best Superfeet insert might yield a 3 or 4. Is it better than nothing? Sure, but is there a void? Possibly. You can do more damage to your foot by improperly or overcorrecting your foot than not correcting it at all. You also need to make DAMN sure your shoes are orthotic compliant. Just because your shoe has a stock insole that slides out doesn't mean you're free to put an orthotic replacement in. I've seen no less than 10 bus tickets bought to head home from Franklin because someone thought putting Superfeet in a Salomon XAPro. It may work for some, but few people know that shoe already has a remarkable amount of medial post, and adding an orthotic just sent that shoe into a very dangerous package. People don't teach this anymore, sad.

    #2 Gotta find shoes that work for you (Trial and error). Yes that's true, but that's when experience kicks in. What the general public has been taught about buying shoes is intuitive. Unfortunately "intuitive" derails a lot of people. That's where we come in. We're not saying we're perfect. Far from it. What I will say, is I am 100% confident I can look at a foot and within 10 seconds tell you what you DON'T want. There may be a shoe out there you have your eye on, you heard something good about it and you bought into it. You spend 3 months beating your feet up in it to find out it was a bad decision. A good fitter might have been able to tell you the moment you fell for it that it is a bad choice. You just saved yourself 3 months and $150.

    #3 Toes play piano… I appreciate the retention of the lesson, but that's not always for everyone. More often than not, it has some truth. But this is a testament to individual fit needs. That's the case when we see inconsistencies in met-head measurements and overall toe box size/shape. I happen to have a proportioned met-head and toe box. If I was looking to make sure I needed "piano" room, I could throw my foot in a Keen Targhee 1/2 size down from what I need and I'll get "piano" room. Unfortunately, so much else would be wrong, I'd be in a bad place with my footwear choice.

    Hope this helps, everyone. Give me a call at the shop if any of you have specific questions or want to set an appointment. We love being able to help!

    Wow!! I will be stopping by on my way to springer for sure. Thank you for the post, very informative.

  20. #20
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    Just a quick update. I had a great phone conversation with Rob at outdoor 76 today. All I can say is wow! What a great person to have in the hiking community. He talked to me at length about some things he didn't mention in the thread. And he also shared with me some of the top physical reasons he thinks cause some to leave the trail early and, he also gave me some advice that should help me reach Franklin for which I'm very grateful. Now one of my short term goals is to reach Franklin and meet him in person. I can't wait to spend some $$$$ in his store.
    Thanks Rob for taking the time out of your busy schedule to help a inspiring thru hiker.

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