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Hiking boots caused blisters can they be stretched?

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Bella2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014,2015,2016.
March 2017 Oct 2018 Camino ingles june 2019
I wore my new walking boots to walk from Leon to sarri a despite training in them i had the worst blisters ever. I have had to repair my ancient boots and have walked again with no blisters. Can my new boots be stretched or made o k or do I have to get rid of them. They are leather and waterproof breathable lining
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
The waterproofing causes a heat buildup inside because, although breathable, the boots are not as breathable as the non-waterproofed kinds. That heat buildup may play a large part for the reason for the blisters.

I'm guessing that if you have the boots stretched you will cause a tear or separation somewhere in the waterproofing fabric. Then the boots will not be puddle-proof but they won't be significantly ventilated either. Maybe someone who has stretched their boots can give you a more favorable story.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
Hi Bella2017
I have to take great care of my feet for many reasons, and be selective about my footwear - especially hiking boots for long distances. I have recently purchased new - my old ones were like gloves but falling apart, I am sorry to have to give them up. I have new leather and waterproof boots. What I have to do is:
  • Have the heals 'tapped-out' by a cobbler/shoe maker: they tap the inside of the heel with a special hammer to soften and stretch the leather. A cobbler knows how to do this without damaging the stitch or leather. It works and helps.
  • On all seams, for three-four days over-night, I rub a 'neutral' (non-bleach or chlorine, organic), washing-up liquid into the threaded areas and leather (inside) on the heels. This softens the leather, takes away that new hardness they have.
  • Wear them regularly for a couple of hours, even if just shopping or something, untill they are good (you've probably done this anyway, walking them in so to speak).
  • I wear two pairs of thin, light socks when hiking, or one good, medium thick pair plus a thin, light pair. If its very cold, I put a thin pair on first, then a thick. A thin layer, always first, acts as a flexible 'skin' that takes the friction away.
I do this tapping and soaping with all my new footwear. I'm not allowed to wear shoes, only boot-style footwear that cover the achilles. My general footwear and hiking boots last years, they do not get damaged by these techniques.
Everyone's feet swell one size bigger when hiking long distances, so check your new boots are not too small. Check how you fasten the laces - I was taught a special technique on Camino, which really helps. Its difficult to describe, but one loop is called the 'French Loop', maybe you can ask someone experienced or check on Camino in a hiking supplies shop.
Good luck, and a painless Buen Camino. I hope something helps.
Keith
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I wore my new walking boots to walk from Leon to sarri a despite training in them i had the worst blisters ever. I have had to repair my ancient boots and have walked again with no blisters. Can my new boots be stretched or made o k or do I have to get rid of them. They are leather and waterproof breathable lining
It is doubtful that stretching will accomplish what is needed, but it is cheap enough to try.

You do not specify HOW the boots were creating the blistering; were there specific pressure points? You also did not mention how much you had trained or walked in your new boots prior to camino, giving us some indication if they had any time for breaking in.

It would be helpful to know what types and thicknesses of sock(s) you were wearing. Also, did you choose your boot size based on a measurement, from your known shoe size, and how did you try them out in the store for fit?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I have to agree - stretching is not going to work. One question - did you buy these boots in a store or on-line? When I go to buy new walking boots/shoes I always try them one wearing the socks I usually walk in (one thick one or a thin liner/thick outer). If buying on line I always go a half size larger (or compare size with previous shoes by same manufacturer).
A tip when walking - especially during very warm or hot days - when you stop (oh and you should stop every 90 mins/two hours) take of the boots/shoes and if wearing two socks take of the off the outer sock. This allows your feet to breath, cool down, socks dry, boots breath and dry. If you feel a "hot spot" coming on, stop, take off all foot coverings and check the hot spot. Let it cool and dry and then apply your usual tape or blister protection. Cheers
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I think the first question to the OP here should be "are your new boots the same type/model as your old ones"?

And from here on we can start the discussion otherwise it would be like exchanging recipies for plum and apple and pear etc. jam... All are jams but very different in preparing, structure, tastes and so on.

All I can say from the info the OP gave is that the training in new boots wasn't sufficient. Either because it was without a backpack (or different weight as on Camino), or not few days in a row, or just on shorter distances etc. My mountaineering friends are regularly mocking at me about my Caminos like there's no problem to walk 30km a day. Yeah maybe not but do it everyday at least 6 days a week. All I say is "go there and try". ;)
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I recommend you follow the above recommendations and observations, especially those of Davebugg. My assessment is that you likely bought your boots too small. Stretching will not be enough to correct that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
I wore my new walking boots to walk from Leon to sarri a despite training in them i had the worst blisters ever. I have had to repair my ancient boots and have walked again with no blisters. Can my new boots be stretched or made o k or do I have to get rid of them. They are leather and waterproof breathable lining
Buy a decent pair of running trainers, Adidas, Nike etc with nice thick padded soles. Get a padded insole to replace the ones that come with the shoes and post the boots to Santiago. Use them for gardening or hardcore mountaineering. Boots are perfect for climbing the alps but horrendous on the tarmac and concrete you find on the caminos. They cause blisters and soft tissue damage. Horses for courses.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I recommend you follow the above recommendations and observations, especially those of Davebugg. My assessment is that you likely bought your boots too small. Stretching will not be enough to correct that.
Always yes ALWAYS listen to the Bugg man for equipment questions. He is without a doubt the King of Feet. For me I think trail runners are always a better option for my battleships!!!
 

Bella2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014,2015,2016.
March 2017 Oct 2018 Camino ingles june 2019
It is doubtful that stretching will accomplish what is needed, but it is cheap enough to try.

You do not specify HOW the boots were creating the blistering; were there specific pressure points? You also did not mention how much you had trained or walked in your new boots prior to camino, giving us some indication if they had any time for breaking in.

It would be helpful to know what types and thicknesses of sock(s) you were wearing. Also, did you choose your boot size based on a measurement, from your known shoe size, and how did you try them out in the store for fit?
I wore my bridgdal e thick socks which with my old boots didn't cause blisters. I developed blisters under the ball of my feet which I think happened when walking along hard round without enough breaks. When I put the boots on they feel good but after 6 to 10 km my feat feel a bit sore. I did train with rucksack but On grassy hills not hard roads
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Can my new boots be stretched or made o k or do I have to get rid of them. They are leather and waterproof breathable lining
With due deference to advice from others with more experience than I - two suggestions:
  1. try thinner socks - easy to do now?;
  2. I have heard a tip (third hand) purportedly from a Gurkha - walk in water with the boots on for a period to allow the leather to soak and stretch, and when they dry out, hopefully the leather casing will be more to the shape of your foot.
Given that you are already walking, I would be inclined to simply get new footwear (trail runners would be my preference) and post your old footwear home for future experimentation, use in the garden or just retirement, and get on with enjoying the camino.

Rule #1 for me: "happy feet make for a happy pilgrim"




 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I wore my bridgdal e thick socks which with my old boots didn't cause blisters. I developed blisters under the ball of my feet which I think happened when walking along hard round without enough breaks. When I put the boots on they feel good but after 6 to 10 km my feat feel a bit sore. I did train with rucksack but On grassy hills not hard roads
The balls of my feet are my blister prone area. I put some Omnifix or Hypafix tape on them daily to protect against blisters.
 

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