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Haglund's Deformity/lump on back of heel

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
Hi there,

My father has a large lump on the back of his heel, we think it is probably Haglund's Deformity. He bought a pair of Oboz Sawtooths, causing quite the painful, deep blister on his morning walks. The Sawtooth seems to be quite a rigid shoe. We wonder if anyone could recommend a shoe, perhaps something a bit softer with more give in it, for the Camino this April 2019, that might be better for his heel? Or any ideas how to manage the condition on the Camino?

Thanks so much :)
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi there,

My father has a large lump on the back of his heel, we think it is probably Haglund's Deformity. He bought a pair of Oboz Sawtooths, causing quite the painful, deep blister on his morning walks. The Sawtooth seems to be quite a rigid shoe. We wonder if anyone could recommend a shoe, perhaps something a bit softer with more give in it, for the Camino this April 2019, that might be better for his heel? Or any ideas how to manage the condition on the Camino?

Thanks so much :)
katie, Is he using the Sawtooth mid height or low?
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
Thanks @davebugg - pretty certain they're low height...looks like a shoe, not a boot.

We've encouraged him to see a podiatrist/physiotherapist but being a 72 year old man living in a rural area, he's not the best at seeking help! He does like Compeeds which I introduced him to in December for a terrible blister he got from them.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Thanks @davebugg - pretty certain they're low height...looks like a shoe, not a boot.

We've encouraged him to see a podiatrist/physiotherapist but being a 72 year old man living in a rural area, he's not the best at seeking help! He does like Compeeds which I introduced him to in December for a terrible blister he got from them.
I do have some thoughts on your concerns, send me a PM if you'd like to discuss it further. :)
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
How about some type of sandal, like Keens?
We'll start walking from Leon in mid-April, so I fear it might be too cold for sandals for this Aussie country guy with very limited long-distance hiking experience... ;) He did find the sandals that he wore after he got the huge blister in December comfortable...but that was during a 35 degree dry Aussie summer. Have you experience walking in sandals in cold, wet seasons?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
We'll start walking from Leon in mid-April, so I fear it might be too cold for sandals for this Aussie country guy with very limited long-distance hiking experience... ;) He did find the sandals that he wore after he got the huge blister in December comfortable...but that was during a 35 degree dry Aussie summer. Have you experience walking in sandals in cold, wet seasons?
I don't, but one of the moderators here @Kanga has worn sandals on many Caminos. Perhaps she will chime in here or you can send her a private message.
 

malandlyn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
November 2012 Frances
April 2015 Portuguese
La Plata from Cadiz planning 2020
Thin socks, loosely laced then walk in water or rain until soaked. Keep boots on as much as possible while they dry, I have lumps both heels and this does work with perseverance. Also do calf muscle stretches which eases tension on heels. Happy walking.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
Thanks @davebugg - pretty certain they're low height...looks like a shoe, not a boot.

We've encouraged him to see a podiatrist/physiotherapist but being a 72 year old man living in a rural area, he's not the best at seeking help! He does like Compeeds which I introduced him to in December for a terrible blister he got from them.
My advice to you is to listen to Davebugg!!!!!
 

Phoenix

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF: SJPdP to Burgos/Leon to SdC
2018, CF: partial
I have had a partial Achilles tendon tear on each heel where the tendon attaches to the bone, resulting in scar tissue after healing and a rather large bump in the area of the tear. The injury to the left heel actually occurred while on Camino in 2014. Although not Haglund's Deformity, the result is similar: a wearing of/pressure on the area resulting in pain and blistering.

I wore Salomon Quest boots on two Caminos since and found that the irritation was less than wearing other boots. However, I get the least irritation from wearing runners with adequate padding in the heel cup area. In either case, I've found that preventative measures prior to walking have helped the most. For example, applying moleskin or other lightly padded, durable covering like Omnifix tape. I hope this info helps.
 

weradln

Member
Due to enormous heal spurs I can only wear sandals year round. Have twice walked from SJPDP to Santiago and last fall from Le Puy en Velay to SJPDP. First used Keen Newports with wool socks but found the Keen soles don't grip wet rocks very well so switched to ECCO sandals. Also use Sealskinz in snow or cold, wet weather. System really works well for me in all kinds of weather. Experiment with different wool socks to find thickness and tightness of weave that works for you.
 

Gretel Schuck

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francigena
Hi there,

My father has a large lump on the back of his heel, we think it is probably Haglund's Deformity. He bought a pair of Oboz Sawtooths, causing quite the painful, deep blister on his morning walks. The Sawtooth seems to be quite a rigid shoe. We wonder if anyone could recommend a shoe, perhaps something a bit softer with more give in it, for the Camino this April 2019, that might be better for his heel? Or any ideas how to manage the condition on the Camino?

Thanks so much :)
There are some oval shaped, “liquid” pads that are sort of like a band aid, that you can apply , to protect foot heals etc. They worked for me.
If you can’t find them, ask the pharmacist
Gretel-USA
Francigena
 

Matthew Merten

What yellow arrow?
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances (2021)
Hi there,

My father has a large lump on the back of his heel, we think it is probably Haglund's Deformity. He bought a pair of Oboz Sawtooths, causing quite the painful, deep blister on his morning walks. The Sawtooth seems to be quite a rigid shoe. We wonder if anyone could recommend a shoe, perhaps something a bit softer with more give in it, for the Camino this April 2019, that might be better for his heel? Or any ideas how to manage the condition on the Camino?

Thanks so much :)
Katie,
I had both heels operated on at age 40 for Hagland's Deformity. It took about a year to learn how to walk correctly after the surgeries, and another two years before I could jog without losing my balance. I've had to wear shoes that are 1.5 to 2 sizes larger than my feet, and use orthotic inserts since then because of the huge lumps on the back of my heels. Fifteen years later I did the Camino Frances and discovered that my hiking boots, broken-in with 200 miles on them, were worthless for me. Midway through the 500 mile walk, I switched Keen sandals with smartwool socks. My blisters vanished, my feet stopped swelling and with the exception of the occasional pesky little rock I'd have to stop and remove from between my sock and the sandal, I enjoyed myself more than with the hiking boots. Even in the cold and in the rain, my feet healed as I walked. I will be wearing Keen sandals in 2021 when I return for another Camino.

Just my two cents worth.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
Thanks for all your advice and ideas everyone - sandals are an excellent idea, except i'm not sure how supportive they'd be? My Dad's overpronotion on the foot he has the HD is very pronounced (possibly the cause of the HD in the first place) and I believe he really needs a stabilising shoe. We've just ordered a pair of Hokas - we'll see how they go (can return new or used) and if they're not quite right, we'll explore sandal options. I really appreciate everyone's contributions X
 

cherrys

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct (2013), Finisterre/Muxia Oct (2013), Camino Frances and on to Finisterre Sept/Oct (2016)
We'll start walking from Leon in mid-April, so I fear it might be too cold for sandals for this Aussie country guy with very limited long-distance hiking experience... ;) He did find the sandals that he wore after he got the huge blister in December comfortable...but that was during a 35 degree dry Aussie summer. Have you experience walking in sandals in cold, wet seasons?
I walked the Norte/Primativo in sandals. Started April 20. We hit some very wet slogs and one cold, nonstop heavy rain day. I wore liner socks and then merino ones over them. They worked basically fine - that is my feet were no colder than the rest of me that day. I will never walk in anything else. As Kanga told me when I was worrying about the wisdom of only taking sandals, when it rains, you just muck through it (think I got that right). I also have a lump on the back of my heel, it’s been there for years, my ortho guy has no idea why! Maybe it’s what your father has. Anyway it’s gone on four Camino with me. Wishing him good luck - Cherry
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
Burgos to Santiago, May 2019, D.V.
I've got the same deformity, my GP called it "pump bump". After obsessive research & ordering/returning a few pairs of walking boots, I ended up with Altra Lone Peak Mid-Mesh Trail Runners, 1/2 size larger than usual. But I had to order them from the US & pay the import tax. Completely worth it though, combined with the Injinji sock liners and a good foot cream, only had one little blister on the side of my bunion. Took my Keens just in case, but never wore them on the trail. I agree abut the stability/ankle support, sandals can't really cut it. Came back and ordered the winter equivalent from the same store in Florida for the next leg this spring. Had to get a whole size larger as that was the only size left, but I'll be able to wear socks over the liners.
 
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Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Please see a specialist. To be able to walk with as little pain as possible is a question of life quality. If he has not been diagnosed proper. If soft walking like walking on pine needles is helpful I recommend hoka one one . To prevent blisters I use paper tape. All the best.
This supposed to help with problems prosthetic. Maybe someone has some experience with
ShearBan Self-Adhesive PTFE Sheets ?
 
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MtAiry

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
safd
I want to echo gerip's post. I also have Haglund's deformity and have struggled trying to find hiking boots that don't destroy the back of my heels. The answer, for me, is to find hiking boots that are really more like supportive sneakers, with soft, cushioned heel counters (the part of the shoe that goes around your heel).

The best I've found are the Altra Lone Peaks (any version of them). I've worn them for many long backpacking trips now, and I've never gotten a blister. I can't say that about any other hiking boot I've ever worn. I strongly encourage you to check them out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
Burgos to Santiago, May 2019, D.V.
I want to echo gerip's post. I also have Haglund's deformity and have struggled trying to find hiking boots that don't destroy the back of my heels. The answer, for me, is to find hiking boots that are really more like supportive sneakers, with soft, cushioned heel counters (the part of the shoe that goes around your heel).

The best I've found are the Altra Lone Peaks (any version of them). I've worn them for many long backpacking trips now, and I've never gotten a blister. I can't say that about any other hiking boot I've ever worn. I strongly encourage you to check them out.
Yup. Might I add, after ten years of wearing leather boots (Timberland White Ledge), I discovered after ordering my third pair that the bump on my heel had grown to the point where I couldn't tolerate them any more. That nice soft pillow at the back of the Altras make it possible for me to walk. The Hokas look nice, but damn they're expensive.😮
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
Hi there,

My father has a large lump on the back of his heel, we think it is probably Haglund's Deformity. He bought a pair of Oboz Sawtooths, causing quite the painful, deep blister on his morning walks. The Sawtooth seems to be quite a rigid shoe. We wonder if anyone could recommend a shoe, perhaps something a bit softer with more give in it, for the Camino this April 2019, that might be better for his heel? Or any ideas how to manage the condition on the Camino?

Thanks so much :)
Hi Katie - sorry your father is experiencing a painful problem. I can only go on persoanl experience, as I have the same condition on both heels. Your father has my sympathy and best wishes:
  • My specialist doctor advised me never to wear shoes or back-strapped sandels again. I always have to wear soft backed boots and hiking boots. Breaking-in new boots of any kind can be painfull - I rub a pure soap liquid into the seams inside the heel to soften the leather. I do this several times before regular use. I also get a cobbler to tap the inside leather of the heal with a light hammer - if you're lucky you'll find one that knows why and is carefull (this should not be over-done).
  • I have new insoles made-to-measure by a professional, to fit the boots too, not just the soles of my feet.
  • The condition also causes inflamation of the Achilles tendon (at about 40 yrs old we have about 40% less blood flow in our Achilles!) - your father probably already has this. There are some special ways to tie boots laces so that the boots work with the feet and not against them - the knots take away a lot of discomfort and pain. I know one knot/loop is called the 'French Knot', I don't know the other names, but they were shown to me by Maribel Roncal at her Cizur Minor Alberque [Camino Francés, 5 km west of Pamplona]. They are difficult to explain in writting, but perhaps you can seek them out. I had to rest a Cizur Minor for a couple of days after an ankle injury. She took me to the hospital and was extremely kind and considerate. I could not find a www link for these special knots, but they work for me and others to whom I have shown them. I hope you find them.
  • After a hot shower or bath, I always (in winter too), stand and shower my feet, ankles and legs gently with cold water, for as long as you can stand it. This cools the blood and reduces swelling, and helps with circulation. We even have public Kneipping pools here, part of an Austrian technique called Kneipping - you can find this in the www. It helps too, and I do this all over now after bathing or showering, not just my ankles and legs, as it helps the immune system and organs. Believe me, it works.
I do hope these tips are useful and help in some way. Very best wishes to you both. Keith

PS Here is an example of the type of boot I wear every day now - I'm not advertising, just showing you the quality of the soft leather and type of recommended footwear for the condition. I have mine tapped and rubbed with pure liquid soap before I use them (the shop does the tapping to order) and I order pairs pre-made without removable soles - just flat but finished inside, so that my special, made-to-fit sole will fit perfectly:


People do actually go on the Camino in these, although for rugid walking/hiking terrains I would not personally recommend them. Stiff low healed shoes or trekking shoes are a killer for the condition and will inflame the Achilles too - I have an excellent specialist sports injury doctor. Good luck
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
katie, Is he using the Sawtooth mid height or low?
Hi Davebug - yes, low healed shoes are a pain for this condition, and will inflame the Achilles too. See this link


as an example of the type of everyday boot I would recommend - and read my message to katie@camino above. I can only wear hiking boots too, and never shoes nor back-strapped sandles.
Best regards, Keith
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi Davebug - yes, low healed shoes are a pain for this condition, and will inflame the Achilles too. See this link


as an example of the type of everyday boot I would recommend - and read my message to katie@camino above. I can only wear hiking boots too, and never shoes nor back-strapped sandles.
Best regards, Keith
Hi, Keith. Most of my communication with Katie was through a series of PMs. We were able to come up with a great resolution for her dad. Because the issue of Haglund's has various differing causes and associated complications, there is no one-size-fits all solution, as can be seen with your specific case.

During the course of the private messages to help narrow down his various complications, a few footwear suggestions were made and one solution worked very well. During a couple of followup consultations with her dad's podiatrist, we found a combination of footwear and insole/orthotics that are working well for him.

Yours is one reason that this Forum is so wonderful; the people who are willing to use their experiences and knowledge to suggest solutions, and who take the time to help others. Thank you.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016; CPort (Central) from Porto 2017;
CPort (Coastal) from Porto 2018.
Wow guys, I'm so thankful for your input and care. Thankyou so much for taking the time to make such great suggestions.

My Dad's feet are going great guns in Hoka Bondis. Because he has a serious, rather scary-looking pronation problem and Haglund's, these were a godsend with their soft back-of-shoe and stability. Unfortunately he rolled his over-pronoting ankle and tore some liaments a few weeks ago son after consulting a physio, he had to add in there an ankle guard too! But, like the trooper he is, he soldiered on and we start walking the Camino Frances from Leon on Monday.

@MtAiry and @gerip - i completely understnd your love for Altras. I'm a total convert. So happy for you that theybwork for your Haglunds.

@Redhead Keith it sounds like you have an excellent doctor looking after you. Thankyou for your advice, really appreciate it

😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
Wow guys, I'm so thankful for your input and care. Thankyou so much for taking the time to make such great suggestions.

My Dad's feet are going great guns in Hoka Bondis. Because he has a serious, rather scary-looking pronation problem and Haglund's, these were a godsend with their soft back-of-shoe and stability. Unfortunately he rolled his over-pronoting ankle and tore some liaments a few weeks ago son after consulting a physio, he had to add in there an ankle guard too! But, like the trooper he is, he soldiered on and we start walking the Camino Frances from Leon on Monday.

@MtAiry and @gerip - i completely understnd your love for Altras. I'm a total convert. So happy for you that theybwork for your Haglunds.

@Redhead Keith it sounds like you have an excellent doctor looking after you. Thankyou for your advice, really appreciate it

😊
I hope you find the best sollution to the problem :)
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
54965


- one of the suggestions on net for a solution for the said heel problem. Rather drastic !
Some boots have a V shaped cutout to help the Achilles tendon ( Hanwag)...
...depends how high or how off center the said bump is...
Have you tried a shoemaker for orthopedic shoes ?
Or is there any chance of experimenting with outdated shoes/ boots to find out what it will take - shoe-wise as per example - to alleviate the pressure in that area..,.?
 
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