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Help!!! Boots suddenly seem too small.

hannajo

Member
I am horrified to discover that by boots suddenly seem to be too small. I bought them last year when I was in Canada....they are a Keens brand but I didnt know about liner socks then and only tried them on with one wooly pair....they are half a size bigger than my normal size. They have been so comfortable even since walking out of the store but now it seem I am conscious of pressure on my little toes. I think it is something to do with the nails which I have trimmed as far as I can. They are comfortable in every other way...no friction on heels or on the soles.

I have only ten days to go now before I leave for St Jean and having nightmares about blisters and every other foot malady I can think of. Has anyone had to buy boots at the last minute.....my work situation prevents me from doing a new boot hunt in the city and there is only one outdoor shop in Cambridge city that I know of.

I think I may need a little more toe room or will one pair of socks suffice....I will only be walking for two weeks. Any ideas would be really welcome.

Jo
 
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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Jo - i'd try one pair of socks and perhaps vaseline. Go for a full day's walk if you can and try that out. If they are in any way uncomfortable with your toes bumping against the front of your boots particulary going downhill then it is likely you will encounter problems. If so buy a full size bigger. Modern boots/shoes don't need to be broken in to the same extent as hard soled leather boots so buying a new pair and wearing them as much as you can before you go may be the solution.

Regards

John
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Against all advice and all the rules I´m one of those who only wear one pair of socks and are doing fine, no blisters (well actually only one small one on top of the middle toe, the toe nail was too long, and this when coming down the Pyreneés). I use these socks SEGER TREKKING LIGHT (69%wool, 30% polyester, 15 lycra)- I´m sure you can buy similar ones in your coutry.
It is really hard to find boots/ trail shoes (very personal question) but if yours are too small maybe reconsider the shoe issue before your camino. Remember also that feet have a tendency to get swollen during the day.

During a long walk and the day was hot (over 30°C) we took off our boots a couple of times, inpected our feet and let the sun take care of the boots and the socks - it was so refreshing.

Buen camino to you and I hope can solve the problem!
annie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Jo,
I'm not one of the shoe experts here, having had my own fair share of problems with shoes/boots, but if it were me, I would experiment with reducing the thickness of the sock/s to give your foot more breathing room. Changing footwear so late in the game, without too much time for experimenting, would be my last resort. I agree with Johnnie Walker that the "breaking in" aspect is really not an issue with the type of materials used nowadays, it's just a matter of making sure you've got the right size.

Like annie, I gave up on the liners long ago and since then have just walked with one sock and it hasn't caused me any problems. And I also wholeheartedly agree that it is a very good idea to take off boots and socks at least once or twice a day. On my first camino, I was afraid to do that because I thought I'd never be able to get my feet back into the boot -- well, the reverse was true -- with a 15-20 minute breather my feet felt 100% more comfortable back in the boot, and frequently the socks were totally dry by then as well so I didn't have to change pairs.

Buen camino! Laurie
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I tried the 2-sock method and just didn't like it. I'm a smartwool fan and only wear the one pair over a thick layer of vaseline. No problems.

So I agree with the preceding advice from John, Annie and Laurie - give the one-pair method a try and see if that makes a difference, and remember: boots and socks off, feet up a a couple of times a day..

As we've said so many times, these are all personal preferences and there are sure no two pair of feet the same. I hope you find the best solution for your feet!

Buen camino.

lynne
 
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AJ

Guest
hannajo said:
I am horrified to discover that by boots suddenly seem to be too small. I bought them last year when I was in Canada...
Any ideas would be really welcome.

Jo

I had this problem last year. My boots were fine whilst I was training, but after a couple of days on the camino they were too small. My feet had swelled up. I got blisters and the nails on both little toes went black and dropped off. The solution: bigger boots.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
One more vote for the one sock layer! Walked 5 hrs last Sunday and 7 hrs both Sat and Sun and only have 1 tiny blister on my heel (always the same spot). Didn't use vaseline though.

Use Falke (ergonomic right/left) TK2 Cool Trekking socks. Don't know if you can get them where you are, I see that they are made in Germany (http://www.falke.com).

Good luck!
LT
 

jelle

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues 2009
Camino Frances 2010
Aire Sur L'Adour - Fisterra 2014
Kumano Kodo 2016
Via de la Plata: Sevilla - Mérida 2016/02
Via de la Plata: Mérida - Canaveral 2016/10
First and foremost: I'm also a one sock guy :).

-The feeling you are having could be a result of the fact that your feet are swelling a bit more now. The weather is probably turning up a bit, its getting warmer as a result when you go walking your feet swell more.
There is a huge difference with hiking in cold weather and hot weather when it comes to swelling of the feet.

- You could also try loosening the front lacing of your shoe just fiddle around with it. This can make a huge difference. The top of one of my shoes was pushing down on my big toe. I loosened them a bit and know bammm no more problems.

-Two socks: If you are using 2 socks trie changes to 1 sock because the two socks method make your feet wider. Changing to one sock may give you a bit more room in your shoes.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Hi Jo,
Try the single sock and vaseline route. But above all 'release the Camino Ten' (aka your toes) every two hours at least and wriggle them about for 10 minutes of so, air your boots and socks (in fact I changed my socks at every break so I always had two pairs on the go one on and one pair pinned to my pack airing ready for the next change). By the way this system also means you have 'legitimate' break times on a regular basis :D
Nell
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Hello Jo. Last year I had to buy new boots just 10 days before leaving for Spain. This was totally unforseen, because the boots that I had used the previous year were great and I had put them away, so as not to overuse them too much during the Winter. A couple of weeks before leaving, we did a long hike, so I used my Camino boots. When we returned, I found to my horror that the side of the boot had spilt just where it is attached to the sole. No way to mend it. We don't have much choice here in Costa Rica, so I bought the only pair of waterproof ladies boots available at that moment. I had no other choice. They are Merrells. For the following week, I clocked up 95 kms (by my reckoning). I walked out morning and afternoons (always rain in the afternoons - we were in the rainy season). I have never used 2 pairs of socks, but I do put vaseline on my feet and always take the boots off when we take a break. We walked from Roncevalles to Santiago and I got just one blister, (through my own fault), on the whole journey. Personally, I think that if you have the possibility, I would buy a larger pair of boots and wear them as much of the time you can. I think that just one half size larger than your normal shoe size is not enough - after 6/8 hours walking, with pack, your feet are going to be swollen by the end of the day. Better be safe (or sure) than sorry. Anne
 
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hannajo

Member
Thank you so much for all your ideas and encouragement. I had the bright idea yesterday of taking out the inner sole and putting in a thinner sole (BIG MISTAKE) I put on one pair of socks with some Vaseline and came home near crippled after only 7 kms walk. I ended up with a blister on my little toe...first blister ever. I went right into panic mode and rushed into the city today and bought a pair of The North Face boots one size bigger than the ones I've got. Now I cant break them in cause of the blister. What a circus. Glad to hear I am not the only one who has had to buy boots so late in the scheme of things. It just goes to show that no matter how prepared we think we are.....Murphy's law turns up.

Anyway I am feeling a bit calmer now - I think I had a panic attack. I remember you said Nell somewhere 'just keep breathing'. I think that's just about where I am at and I'm not even at St Jean yet. Are we all mad who do this or what? Thank you Johnny Walker for your promise that I will make it up the mountain.....watch this space!

Still breathing
Jo
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Hi Jo

I won't forget the 30-something Aussie lass who I met on the camino in 2008. She had M.S. and so was doing it tougher than just about anyone. She never complained, and was never anything other than cheerful. The camino, she said, was the best thing she had ever done [although getting lost in a hailstorm as she and her husband walkes in the Pyrenees was a bit of a trial]. I last saw them in Burgos after they had walked from Roncesvalles.

You will make it.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi Jo, my Keens wore out last year after only 1,200kms and so I was faced with having to buy new boots without any time to break them in! To eke me through to the point where I could get to a big enough place to buy boots I inserted Gell innersoles. This gave me enough "bounce" to get through the next 150 kms or so, and then when I got to Oviedo I bought new boots (Merrells this time) and wore them the next day. I had absolutely no problems with them and indeed, although I kept the old ones in case I did have a problem, I ended up binning the worn out ones after about 3 days because it was evident the new boots wern't going to casue me any problem at all. I think you can be fairly confident that your new boots will be fine - it is only the old fashioned stiff leather ones that need extensive breaking in these days. Good luck, Janet
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Hi Jo,
Yes breathing can't be recommended too highly as the Pyrenees are literally and metaphorically breathtaking! :D
I always had a sort of tight chested/hyperventilating stage (now this sounds a lot worse than it was I was just sorta puffed up) at the start of each day but I'd just have to walk with my pack straps a little loose for the first kilometer or so and then I'd start breathing properly and be able to tighten the straps. I think it was sort of excitement/nerves.
Frances, rather unhelpfully, suggested that she knee me in the tummy as this works really well with ponies when they blow themselves out to prevent their girths being pulled tight :evil:. I demurred her offer and was happy enough to sound like a Thomas the tank engine for the first 20 minutes of each day.
I was reading something about a technique called 'Afgan Walking' that's meant to really help with long distance walking it involves, in part, breathing through your nose at all times-has anyone experience of that technique?
Nell
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Thanks for that reference, Nell. Here's an article. I have tried this intermittently while running but never walking, and plan to try it out!

Zenth heaven – from Bnet.com

OUR mountain guide must have lost the plot. Here we are in the French Alps on a perfect August day, snow tipped peaks glinting under azure skies, crystal clear streams carving through carpets of green pastures, a chorus of twittering birds, clicking crickets and tinkling cow bells. But Cathy Gallioli is telling us to close our ears and eyes to the wonders around us while we learn to walk. Learn to walk? Haven't we managed that already? Why on earth would a group of developmentally normal, healthy women, and one male doctor, want to re-learn such a basic skill? This is no ordinary uphill hike. We are to master the art of "conscious walking" - a sort of mobile meditation in the mountains.
Morzine is a charming French Alpine year-round resort, with varied summer attractions drawing almost as many visitors as the vast Portes du Soleil ski area. Although mountain biking and hiking are major draws, the Zen weeks every summer and spring are becoming very popular, too.
Forget about chanting, om-ing and high altitude yogic flying. This is more of a down-to-earth approach to meditation through walking. And, without exception, it puts a spring in our step while eliminating the huff, puff and weariness of the long-distance hiker.
Conscious walking requires concentration, and while you concentrate on the mechanics of each step and each breath, you leave everyday worries and concerns behind.
We learn to listen to our bodies and tread softly to avoid jarring. We don't rush. The walk itself is our only goal, not how fast we've attacked the steep slope.
Nomadic tribes as far afield as Afghanistan and Kenya can teach us a thing or two about walking. Their breathing techniques allow their bodies to be efficiently oxygenated so they can walk better, for longer, and without tiring.
It works. You are so busy concentrating on matching your breathing - always through the nose so there's no gasping and heaving of chests - to your strides, the ground just flows beneath you.
 
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annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
I ended up with a blister on my little toe...

Hello again Jo. You can buy toe protectors made out of foam. Why don't you try and find some (they come in various sizes) and you could put one on you blistered toe, so that you can get a bit of walking done in your new boots? Now that you have larger sizes boots, a protector on your little toe should do the job. Anne
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
You will want to find what works, but the Vaseline on your foot will be incompatible with bandaids, foam applications, etc. Once the thing you have tried to stick to your toe/foot comes loose, it becomes a friction source somewhere else. That is why Compeed is oval shaped, and why it is recommended that the corners of moleskin be rounded, to try to prevent the application from coming loose. The Vaseline will prevent anything from adhering as it should. Your solution to the friction needs to be very focused. You can apply a Compeed patch to a dry, clean foot, then apply the Vaseline. The Compeed will protect against the friction better than moleskin or foam.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Further to what Falcon has offered, I carry the little individual packets of alcohol swabs just in case I need to remove all trases of petroleum jelly from an area that I want to apply compeed to. Then the next morning, the compeed is well and truly stuck and I can apply the jelly right over it.

lynne
 

hannajo

Member
I am just blown away by all the support and encouragement on this forum...you are all amazing. Thank you. Well my little toe blister seems to have had a speedy healing and I have the boots on and walking around the house with them.....will venture out later with back pack. Certainly seems to be more toe room but a bit stiff round the ankles but am sure that wont be too much of a problem.

All your input on blisters is safely filed in my memory box as no doubt I will need to recall it on the way somewhere.....but maybe not!

I see the ground flowing beneath my feet as I breath my way up the mountain :lol: .....I am much more relaxed now. Hallelujah....

Jo
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Good to hear your feet are happy again Jo. We are just about packed and ready to go. Being very careful of our feet this week!!!
One comment about Compeed. If you can keep waterproof plasters on it will probably stick OK. If, like Terry, waterproof plasters fall off in 5 minutes then it probably won't. Hope you don't need it anyway.
Have a great Camino for as far as you are going this time.
'Tio Tel' and 'Tia Valeria'
 
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annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
annakappa said:
I ended up with a blister on my little toe...

You can buy toe protectors made out of foam.
I just want to make clear what I meant by a foam toe protector: They are tubes of foam, lined with a sort of gauze, closed at one end and you slip them over your toe. They come in 3 sizes. You can also find a similar tube of foam that you cut to the required length. These tubes will not slip off the toe, even when vaseline or other cream has been applied.Anne
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Ahh foot fetishes, nothing like a discussion over foot wear to get pilgrims going!

Our advice (hard earned) is throw your boots away! If you are having problems at home these are only a sign of problems ahead. A single pair of socks high tech wick ones if you like, but what ever you take check that you can wash and dry them overnight. Stick with the Vaseline or similar (you can get tubes of foot cream in Spain from the farmicia - check that they are "slimy" as its the waterproofing and lubrication you are after) put it on morning and night - you look after your feet and they will look after you.

As to the footwear, our first camino in well used tramping boots was a nightmare (foot wise) your feet swell in the head and with the constant ponding. Being kiwi's we wouldn't dream of tramping without boots and were amazed at those on the camino in sneakers and sandals. They were right though, light weight comfortable is the way to go - we now swear buy Murrell's trecking shoes and use Kean sandals as a back up - get em with toecaps though or you'll stub you toes - while socks and sandals isn't a good look - it's better then blisters!
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
hel&scott said:
Ahh foot fetishes, nothing like a discussion over foot wear to get pilgrims going!

- while socks and sandals isn't a good look - it's better then blisters!

Now steady on socks with sandals is a look I'm particularly fond of, it brings back happy memories of 'robust' (aka freezing) summer days and hypothermia inducing seaside jaunts beloved of my parents :D .
Nell
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
The Teva pusher here.... great sandals (TerraFi by Teva) with socks. Walked several caminos with them. Light, airy. Maybe they can be your back ups.
I hear boots mentioned and I cannot decide what each of you mean by them. I think leather. And heavy. Walking or trail sneakers look like boots but act as sneakers. They have higher tops. And sneakers have less of that ankle support. They are both lighter weight than boots. I found that sneakers break in immediately.
I believe some people call sneakers, trainers.
Lillian
 

hannajo

Member
Hi Everyone
I have to report that I did 7.5 km hike with back pack and new boots were sooooo comfortable I fairly flew along. With only three days to go I am still trying to reduce weight and wonder if I really need gaiters (375 gms) and will plastic bags and elastic bands do instead :lol:

Jo
 
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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hi Lillian -

I wish I had good feet and could wear the TerraFi - unfortunately have got post-surgical multiple bone spurs and lumps and bumps on my feet which preclude strapped sandals. I love my Keen boots which are among the lightest boots, and are only ankle-high. For comparison, the TerraFi is .48 kg and my Keen boots are .85 kg (weights from rei.com). I have seen incredibly heavy boots, but their wearers certainly like them despite their weight. So all kinds of height, weight and materials for boots but all have their fans. For low shoes (trainers, sneakers, and in Canada - runners), I wear Vasques both for the gym and for walking at home. They are great as well.

Have you tried the Teva Toachi? I might give it a try this summer (not for hiking though), just casual walking.

lynne
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
nellpilgrim said:
Now steady on socks with sandals is a look I'm particularly fond of. Nell

Your a pom right? Anyway, yes it's one way to go and actually comfortable.
 

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nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
hel&scott said:
nellpilgrim said:
Your a pom right? Anyway, yes it's one way to go and actually comfortable.

Hi Hel and Scott,
No, wonderful though that neighbouring isle is, I'm not actually a citizen of Britain. I'm Irish...... which is not quite the same thing, a difference some of my countrymen took considerable pains to prove earlier in the last century(ies)! :wink:
Nell
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
My apologies, almost as bad as calling a Kiwi an Ozzie.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi Jo, I have never used gaiters or plastic bags, my feet only got wet in Columbia boots I bought because my Teva boots fell apart after only 150 km on the Le Puy Route, very stressful! The Columbia boots ( the only ones available in Figeac in my size) were not waterproof and the inside of the shoes were awash in torrential rain, no blisters though, I wore Merino socks that day. I dried the boots out over a fire in the evening and the next day all was well again.
If you have waterproof boots, I would not bother with gaiters, especially if you have a raincape or poncho rather than a jacket, as they give more protection from the rain being longer and wider. Gitti
 
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