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Thread: Please help...

  1. #1
    Registered User Pickleodeon's Avatar
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    Default Please help...

    I cannot find footwear. Please help!! I can't decide on shoes, socks, can't find anything that fits properly.

    I know I don't want goretex after reading several other posts about it. I've posted a bunch of other things about socks/boots, etc, and I just cannot figure out what to do. I'm planning a thru for early-mid march start. I want something lightweight and pretty well ventilated, but sturdy enough that my feet wont get wrecked- I live in PA, land of the rocks. I blister really easily. I tried coolmax liners- poor fit and got blisters. I just got some Inijini socks, with the individual toes but they're thinner than I'm used to and I'm not sure about how durable/warm/cushioned they will be. I have smartwools that are ok, but getting worn out and like I said my liners don't fit. My heels seem to be pretty narrow and slide around which is why I cant wear the gore-tex, heavy backpacking boots I already bought (Asolo TPS520).

    So here's a re-cap, I want:
    no gore-tex
    well ventilated
    sturdy sole, but still relatively lightweight shoe
    I need something that will hold up on a thruhike with a 30lb pack, approximately. (I should mention that I'm female.)

    So socks, sock/liner combo, shoes- trailrunners, "trail shoes", boots?

    I've tried the Asolo TPS like I said, and I just got Merrell Siren Sport GTX XCR and I think I'll be taking them back. I also have superfeet inserts.

    I'll take any advice. I know everyone's feet are different.

  2. #2
    Registered User Pickleodeon's Avatar
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    oh, also, I dont know how to test the shoe out well enough to know if I wont get blisters, I cant wear the shoe out for 3 miles and then take it back, at least not at EMS, where I got the Merrell's.

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    My "local" EMS has limited selection. You are close to a couple big cities. If I were there, I would road trip to Cabela's, after I went to Campmor and about 5 places in suburban Philly. King of (?) should have a number of footwear stores.


    Alot of the standard styles will not fit my feet. You are not alone with a narrow heel. Someone who knows feet will be able to point you in the right direction, after they put an eyeball on you.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Registered User Wags's Avatar
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    pick i'd contact scott at yeoldebackpacker. he may be able to point you in the right direction for ladies footware. he has lots of thru's come by his store during the season and i'm sure a good bit of em were female.

    the 'thin' you mention regarding socks is not a bad thing. please don't equate thickness with padding or cushion. that will be taken care of by your shoes.

  5. #5
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Go to REI and every other outfitter in town and try on everything until you find THE SHOES. You feet will know them when you put them on. Do not buy at the first store you go to. I went to 3 outfitters here in Atlanta before I bought mine.

    Do not rule out gore-tex. Try them on end of the day when your feet are larger. Use Smartwool or Wright Sox. I bought mine a full size above my normal office shoes and still have a bruised toenail.
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pickleodeon View Post
    I cannot find footwear. Please help!! I can't decide on shoes, socks, can't find anything that fits properly.

    I know I don't want goretex after reading several other posts about it. I've posted a bunch of other things about socks/boots, etc, and I just cannot figure out what to do. I'm planning a thru for early-mid march start. I want something lightweight and pretty well ventilated, but sturdy enough that my feet wont get wrecked- I live in PA, land of the rocks. I blister really easily. I tried coolmax liners- poor fit and got blisters. I just got some Inijini socks, with the individual toes but they're thinner than I'm used to and I'm not sure about how durable/warm/cushioned they will be. I have smartwools that are ok, but getting worn out and like I said my liners don't fit. My heels seem to be pretty narrow and slide around which is why I cant wear the gore-tex, heavy backpacking boots I already bought (Asolo TPS520).

    So here's a re-cap, I want:
    no gore-tex
    well ventilated
    sturdy sole, but still relatively lightweight shoe
    I need something that will hold up on a thruhike with a 30lb pack, approximately. (I should mention that I'm female.)

    So socks, sock/liner combo, shoes- trailrunners, "trail shoes", boots?

    I've tried the Asolo TPS like I said, and I just got Merrell Siren Sport GTX XCR and I think I'll be taking them back. I also have superfeet inserts.

    I'll take any advice. I know everyone's feet are different.
    From what I have learned, people's feet are so unique that the shoes and boots that are produced are almost I guess one could say "universal" footware varying mostly in length and width, but it is impossible a lot of the times for some people to find "perfect" fitting footware. If you have the funds you could order custom boots or just check out the Limmer boots site. They have some good tips for fitting footware and what to do while attempting to purchase proper fitting boots.

  7. #7
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    You might be a good candidate for Montrail Hardrocks as they're supposed to be narrow in the heel, which far as I can tell is correct. They are a trail runner shoe with a firm plate backing up a sturdy sole and they tend to run a half size small. Other trail runners are often too soft for me, but I love the running shoe feel.

    Downside is that they have a lot of foam in the upper which soaks up a lot of water and doesn't dry quickly. But then, nothing really does.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
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    Registered User 2009ThruHiker's Avatar
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    Here is something that may help if you blister easily....but the shoe still has to fit right...Mix Blister Shield powder with Gold Bond Foot Powder in a 50/50 mix and put in your socks.

    As far as the shoes go....

    IF there is any way you can shop at REI, do it. They will take your shoes back as much as you need to get the shoes right. 100% satisfaction guarantee...i don't know where else you can get that with shoes. It is worth it...i hiked in 3 pairs for miles and took them all back until i found the right fit. They took them all back, no questions asked. For that matter, you have time to do the same thing through their mail order...but you'd be out shipping one way.
    You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.

  9. #9
    Registered User Greb's Avatar
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    I would even say hit up your local shoe stores. I found a pair of New Balance Trail Runners that I now use for my trail and running shoe. Every foot is different and I only found these shoes that work great for me after trying on roughly 30 pairs of shoes.

    I also tried to get my sock situation decided first. I used to wear liner, thick wool socks and hiking boots. Smartwool crew cut socks and trail runners now. Light as a feather and fit very nicely.

  10. #10
    Registered User jcazz's Avatar
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    Shoes: Sportiva Fireblades -light, well vetilated, fast drying, grippy tread
    Socks: Drymax -best socks ever -can only buy online -try Zappos.com

  11. #11

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    If you have unusual feet (like my wife and son) you may have a very hard time finding shoes that fit. As Greb says, try New Balance for a full range of sizes. If that doesn't work you may have to wear less than perfect shoes. Best of luck.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  12. #12
    Registered User RedDogPatch's Avatar
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    One advise I was given and, I also read this too.."To make sure that you get a boot fit that's one size larger than your foot is now. They all say that your feet will swell and, fill out the boot before the hike is over..Check out seal skin for sock as well..these are water proof and, you might find them to be worth while. Hope to see ya all on the trail.

  13. #13
    Registered User rambunny's Avatar
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    Great advice-my 2 cents- i wore Skettcher (cheap tennies) Trail Runners-men's (they hold up better) with Spenco liners and got 900 miles out of each pair. Your answer may not be at an outfitters. Also to toughen your feet don't use lotion, rub them down with rubbing alcohol. If the blistering problem comes from too much moisture then research wicking material. Good Luck

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