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Thread: Boot reforming

  1. #1

    Default Boot reforming

    Any way to reform a boot & get the leather to bend in a different spot? The boots seem to fit but on one boot, the bend is crushing down on my toe.

  2. #2

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    Probably not. We'd need a picture to really know what your talking about.

    Boots typically bend at the bottom of the tongue area, which should be behind the toes. So, it could be this which is pushing down on top of the foot as it flexes.

    I had a pair of leather boots where a sharp edge of a seam where the tongue was attached pushed down behind my big toe. Actually dug a hole in the skin. Part of the problem was I have a bunion sticking up right there which reduced the clearance.

    Are these a new pair of boots? Getting them soaking wet and then walking them dry can help make them conform to your feet.
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  3. #3

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    This may be hard to hear, but it will be soft on your feet: ditch the heavy leather boots and buy a pair of trail runners!
    Springer to Katahdin: 1991-2018

  4. #4
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    If you want to keep your leather boots, you may try:
    - grease them up and let them absorb on a very warm place several times until the leather doesn't absorb any more
    - there are stretchers specifically for leather boots. If you can't get some, stuff the boots very tight with paper when in storage
    - bring the boots to a good shoe repair most likely they have a mechanical stretcher where they put them in for a Weekend to re-shape them
    - if the aforementioned soaking them wet and walking them dry does help a bit but not enough, you might even try to soak them in alcohol, this should work even better than with water

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kisco Kid View Post
    This may be hard to hear, but it will be soft on your feet: ditch the heavy leather boots and buy a pair of trail runners!
    Sometimes full leather boots are what you need at 10F in snow for both foot warmth and keeping the socks dry.

    TRIP 107 025-L.jpg

    Trip 190 (158)-XL.jpg
    And don't try this in trail runners---as 85% of all our creek crossings in the mountains of TN/NC are 1 inch to 6 inches deep---easy wading with gtx boots---instant soaked socks in tennis shoes. Not important in the summer---critical in the winter.

  6. #6

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    If the boots are full leather uppers there is a trick that may work for you. We used to take a new, never worn pair of army boots and submerge them in a bucket of water over night. In the morning we put on a thick pair of socks and put on the wet boots, lace them up tight and walk them dry. Over the course of the day they will get loser on your feet as the wet leather stretches. When they get loose, stop and tighten them and keep at it till they are completely dry. This is best done in warm weather! The leather will mold to your feet like a glove, just make sure they are totally dry before you apply waterproofing. I haven't done this with an already broken in pair but I would be willing to give it a try if I had a pair that was creating a hot spot from not flexing where I need it to.
    "I love the unimproved works of God" Horace Kephart 1862-1931

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCF View Post
    If the boots are full leather uppers there is a trick that may work for you. We used to take a new, never worn pair of army boots and submerge them in a bucket of water over night. In the morning we put on a thick pair of socks and put on the wet boots, lace them up tight and walk them dry. Over the course of the day they will get loser on your feet as the wet leather stretches. When they get loose, stop and tighten them and keep at it till they are completely dry. This is best done in warm weather! The leather will mold to your feet like a glove, just make sure they are totally dry before you apply waterproofing. I haven't done this with an already broken in pair but I would be willing to give it a try if I had a pair that was creating a hot spot from not flexing where I need it to.
    I remember this advice from back in the 1970s---thanks for the reminder.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    I remember this advice from back in the 1970s---thanks for the reminder.
    I was pleased to find that Corcoran boots are still around, though they are just about priced out of my range these days. Danner and Redwing are still around in name only, the boots they are putting out now don't hold a candle to the ones produced before 1990. Do you know if anyone makes an all leather boot that can be re-soled? Edge dressing, Kiwi wax and mink oil used to keep my feet dry and toasty in all leather non insulated boots. Now I don't even know if you can find a light weight boot constructed that way. Mountaineering boots and logger boots tick every box except weight and they are pricey to boot.....pun intended.
    "I love the unimproved works of God" Horace Kephart 1862-1931

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCF View Post
    I was pleased to find that Corcoran boots are still around, though they are just about priced out of my range these days. Danner and Redwing are still around in name only, the boots they are putting out now don't hold a candle to the ones produced before 1990. Do you know if anyone makes an all leather boot that can be re-soled? Edge dressing, Kiwi wax and mink oil used to keep my feet dry and toasty in all leather non insulated boots. Now I don't even know if you can find a light weight boot constructed that way. Mountaineering boots and logger boots tick every box except weight and they are pricey to boot.....pun intended.
    There's a guy in Seattle that resoles all modern boots---Vasque, Zamberlan, Asolos ETC.

    https://www.davepagecobbler.com/index.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    There's a guy in Seattle that resoles all modern boots---Vasque, Zamberlan, Asol

    https://www.davepagecobbler.com/index.htm
    I used Dave Page to resoe a pair of Vasque St. Elias GTXs, and he did an amazing job. Even wilder is that the replacement soles seem much more rugged and are wearing better than the original ones. I highly recommend him.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Probably not. We'd need a picture to really know what your talking about

    Are these a new pair of boots? Getting them soaking wet and then walking them dry can help make them conform to your feet.
    48C7938B-E60C-444F-8596-198BADA5AF2A.jpeg

    Sort of new, walked around town a few days, last 40-50 miles of Shenandoah, NP & I had to get off trail. About to start a section in a week or two. Iíd try the trail runners, but Iím not sure about the cold if it snows & how well they match up with the gaiters.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCF View Post
    I was pleased to find that Corcoran boots are still around, though they are just about priced out of my range these days. Danner and Redwing are still around in name only, the boots they are putting out now don't hold a candle to the ones produced before 1990. Do you know if anyone makes an all leather boot that can be re-soled? Edge dressing, Kiwi wax and mink oil used to keep my feet dry and toasty in all leather non insulated boots. Now I don't even know if you can find a light weight boot constructed that way. Mountaineering boots and logger boots tick every box except weight and they are pricey to boot.....pun intended.
    Hanwag Yukon Leather Lined model. I picked them up in a shop in West Jefferson, NC. They arenít Norwegian Welted heavy. Minimum seams: Like one up the rear of the boot. Made in Hungary. A good looking boot.
    Wayne

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Time View Post

    Sort of new, walked around town a few days, last 40-50 miles of Shenandoah, NP & I had to get off trail. About to start a section in a week or two. I’d try the trail runners, but I’m not sure about the cold if it snows & how well they match up with the gaiters.
    You've got anything like this?
    https://www.google.at/search?q=schuh...=1573113072338

  14. #14

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    Tipi Walter, Pheral and Venchka, Thanks for the info! I'm in Merrell Moab mids right now but looking for something more traditional. Ill see if I can track down the Hanwag Yukons online.
    "I love the unimproved works of God" Horace Kephart 1862-1931

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCF View Post
    Do you know if anyone makes an all leather boot that can be re-soled?
    I wear the Liberty model by Allegiance Footwear. Mine are semi-custom in that I have them add a padded collar like they have on the Heritage model. I also replace the insoles with either Sole or Form heat moldable insoles. I have over a thousand miles on mine and they're still going strong. They weigh almost 1.5 pounds per boot, just under 3 pounds for the pair, for my size 9.5W.


  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Time View Post
    48C7938B-E60C-444F-8596-198BADA5AF2A.jpeg

    Sort of new, walked around town a few days, last 40-50 miles of Shenandoah, NP & I had to get off trail. About to start a section in a week or two. I’d try the trail runners, but I’m not sure about the cold if it snows & how well they match up with the gaiters.
    It looks like that's where it wants to flex and I guess that's where it's pinching your feet. You could try using Neatsfoot oil to soften up the leather (which will also waterproof it) It may still want to flex there, but might not pinch as much.

    Did you have to get off the trail due to the boots?
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    I wear the Liberty model by Allegiance Footwear. Mine are semi-custom in that I have them add a padded collar like they have on the Heritage model. I also replace the insoles with either Sole or Form heat moldable insoles. I have over a thousand miles on mine and they're still going strong. They weigh almost 1.5 pounds per boot, just under 3 pounds for the pair, for my size 9.5W.
    Thanks for the link. I really like the look of the Freedom boot. It's going to be a little heavy for hiking but I may have to have a pair of those. The three lbs on the Liberty would be acceptable to me for hiking and American made is a big a plus for me! Looks like everything is under $200.00, another plus. I'm going to be a customer for this one and Ill post some impressions when I get a pair.
    "I love the unimproved works of God" Horace Kephart 1862-1931

  18. #18

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    Most people dont have the same size feet. Right handed people tend to have their left foot be larger and vice versa. Pick your hiking and work shoes(if work has you on your feet ) based on the size opposite of your writing hand if this is the case and at the end of the day when feet are larger than when first getting out of bed. This was painfully obvious to me as one who physically matured at a younger than normal age having things like my heart, one foot, etc grow faster than the rest of me. At one time I wore a size 11.5 shoe on one foot and 12.5 on the other. You really don't want overly tight shoes especially heavy leather boots. Too loose or otherwise ill fitting shoes can be just as problematic. At one time my parents were buying two different size shoes in the same model OR just going to the larger size foot shoe model sticking some tissue in the smaller shoe.

    If accustomed to longer duration hikes using conventional or heavier TPW load outs, hiking in heat(summer, desert hikes, etc particularly), doing long MPD avgs being on your feet for long periods, or expecting wearing thicker heavier socks feet and foot systems(yeah I said foot systems) will increase in volume. If we don't allow for this those brand new $$$ boots or latest greatest low cut trail runners that fit in the store might no longer fit some miles into a hike. This has happened through my ignorance.

    The condition you speak doesn't just occur in leather boots. In a pr of low cut LaSportiva Wildcats trail runners with the older original smaller area toe bumper overlay style, that I otherwise loved, the overlay edge ended and pushed down unmercifully right where my big toenail ended on JUST ONE FOOT. Same with a pr of Solomons XA Pro 3D with a toe bumper overlay but different toe nail. I had this occur in a pr of Herman Survivors(mid cut leather boots) used for hunting long ago. It can happen with shoes with a steel toe too. This bruised the top of my nail and created a troublesome hotspot and later abrasion at the cuticle. Interestingly, reviewing three separate pr of new Wildcats in the same style and yr one pr had this toe bumper pushing down feature while the other two pr didn't. Point is there can be some variation even one's we miss that can cause issue. The Outfitter let me switch out to the new pr ...no more cuticle or nail irritation. If anything at all is the least bit irritating in the store it overwhelmingly tends to increase in severity on trail.

    The other point is that although you can find someone to possibly stretch the leather(if it's not a steel toe) in that place or put something thin over that area inside the boot over your toes or to keep the leather from pushing down on your toes even after it's stretched(I see that rarely working) it may be that some aspect of the boot's design or fitting choice was not optimal. Some leather boots also have toe overlays for example.


    As backpackers were either in our shoes or sleep system. IMO we better get those dialed in.

    Have BOTH your feet measured at a reputable outfitter than is willing to spend time with you when you can discuss the types of hikes and conditions you hike asking details about your physical health offering appropriate shoe options. Dont assume any outfitter that immediately pushes you in the direction of heavy leather boots or the lightest wt popular zero drop trail runners knows what's best FOR YOU because that's what you may have walked into the store wearing. If they dont carefully look at shoes, particularly worn ones, before offering recs that's another sign of a pump and dump mass shoe outlet. A good idea is bringing worn but not smelly older hiking shoes to the outfitter if you're not wearing them when seeking new shoes and insight. Remember, it's not just shoes you're buying but also the quality of someone's knowledge and wisdom.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 11-07-2019 at 18:28.

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    Why not look at some military surplus boots if cost is an issue? They were designed for marching and I've personally walked hundreds of miles in them (I much prefer trail runners now.) Ditto on getting them wet to break them in - we soaked in hot water, scrubbed them down with saddle soap, rinsed a few times them tied them on and wore them around the barracks until they dried. Always fit nicely after that but you'll most likely still get some hot spots (sock liners are great.)

    These look pretty like pretty functional standard leather boots for $50 (and I didn't really shop around at all - you may find something better and cheaper elsewhere
    https://colemans.com/austrian-military-combat-boots

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayne View Post
    Why not look at some military surplus boots if cost is an issue? They were designed for marching and I've personally walked hundreds of miles in them...
    I love that you mention this.

    When I first started getting into this AT hiking thing several years ago I started by going out and buying proper "hiking" footwear -- even though I had very comfortable military boots for several years and many miles (not the same pair, obviously.) After years of trial & error (LOTS of error and lots of money) trying multiple types of boots and shoes and becoming frustrated because I couldn't find anything that was comfortable, sturdy, durable, and did I say comfortable, it finally dawned on me that I HAD footwear that checked all of those boxes all along. Last spring I went back to what I knew worked for me, and I haven't regretted it for one minute. Yes there are short, light hikes when I just like my Inov-8 trail runners, but for distance and carrying my usual load of about 38-42 pounds, I love my tried and true military boots.

    The only downside has been constantly trying to explain my choice to a lot of well-meaning but annoying people who tell me that I shouldn't be wearing these boots and how I would be a lot happier if I got myself some "real" hiking shoes....
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