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My shoes don't fit right anymore

Time of past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022, april 2023
So I've always had the same size hiking boots/shoes(Keen ) but during last weeks 4 day practice thru hike, it felt like my boots were too tight. Last Camino was 4 years ago and they worked great. Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
 
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Former member 91017

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Short answer for now is: yes.

More:
Most of my boots and shoes are still fine, but my new Keens (same as years and years worth of model/size) gave me a massive blister at 6km a few weeks back, and I don’t think it’s my foot size per se that is the problem. My older boots in same size and model are still OK, but haven’t enough tread left for serious use on long hikes. I suspect the older boots have very slowly altered with my feet over the last 2 years of walking around my neighbourhood.

I think it’s the extra 10 pounds over my usual winter weight on my body, causing my foot to widen *just enough* when weight-bearing.

One might not think it’s much to carry the extra 10… but that’s an extra 15 over how I usually start out on a camino, in warmer weather after a season of outside exercise…

My other thought is that various strains of 2 years of relative sloth compared to my usual life may have influenced foot mechanics.

Don’t know, but I’d not chuck your boots. Look for the other possibilities first.

Good luck!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, @duchwalking pilgrim.

The Cleveland Clinic‘s website is one of my go-to places for questions like these, because of the unbelievably great treatment they provided a relative years ago.


Bottom line is, yes feet change over the years. I think a lot of us have found that our feet have widened, usually not dramatically from one year to the next. But there is a tipping point, when you just have to change your footwear. I had always used Solomoon hiking shoes, but my toe box was widening, and I made the happy transition to Altras a few years ago. Anyway, you should not be surprised to learn that you need a longer and/or wider shoe.

So much info on the forum about shoes, overwhelming in fact, but I hope you can get yourself to a good store and get some professional advice in addition to all that you will find here! Buen camino, Laurie
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022, april 2023
Hi, @duchwalking pilgrim.

The Cleveland Clinic‘s website is one of my go-to places for questions like these, because of the unbelievably great treatment they provided a relative years ago.


Bottom line is, yes feet change over the years. I think a lot of us have found that our feet have widened, usually not dramatically from one year to the next. But there is a tipping point, when you just have to change your footwear. I had always used Solomoon hiking shoes, but my toe box was widening, and I made the happy transition to Altras a few years ago. Anyway, you should not be surprised to learn that you need a longer and/or wider shoe.

So much info on the forum about shoes, overwhelming in fact, but I hope you can get yourself to a good store and get some professional advice in addition to all that you will find here! Buen camino, Laurie
Thanks so much. Glad I discovered it now instead of closer to my next Camino. It does make sense I guess. I had the same size since my first Camino 7 years ago. Now at almost 60 I think I need to reevaluate my shoes.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Hah, welcome to another age - group.
Our feet do splay out later in life.
My eighteen yearold size was 43EU and is efter year 40 grown to 45.5 !
Now at 65, my feet have sensibly stopped oversizing...

Another hypothesis is that if your last trip ended in wet boots/shoes and they were left to dry without expanders and the material is leather, this will invariably shrink them when left to dry out....
If so, you must rehydrate said footwear and lather with ample leatherwax or your preferable remedy.
Happy trails !
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
For 55 years I bought shoes in US size 10. Three years ago I went to size 11. I can cram my foot into the size 10 "dress up" shoes but I have only three pairs of comfortable shoes, size 11 sneakers, size 11 boots bought for my size 10 camino and size 11.5 walking shoes. My feet may have gotten wider too but since I was a narrow and never finding a narrow size 10 I'm fine with the width anyway. The size increase may be due to fallen arches.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
I would go so far as to say that most of us experience this over the years. It may also be that the shoes were always a bit tight, but your tolerance for that has decreased. Cushioning fat pads diminish and other little things happen.

Also, are you wearing exactly the same socks as before? The sock thickness can make a significant difference in the fit.
 

RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
So I've always had the same size hiking boots/shoes(Keen ) but during last weeks 4 day practice thru hike, it felt like my boots were too tight. Last Camino was 4 years ago and they worked great. Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
Beg, borrow, or buy (cheap discount store) a pair if shoes one size too big. At first they will seem like clown shoes. But after a few days they might feel like the right size. Then you might have a better idea what a good fitting shoe feels like.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
For 55 years I bought shoes in US size 10. Three years ago I went to size 11. I can cram my foot into the size 10 "dress up" shoes but I have only three pairs of comfortable shoes, size 11 sneakers, size 11 boots bought for my size 10 camino and size 11.5 walking shoes. My feet may have gotten wider too but since I was a narrow and never finding a narrow size 10 I'm fine with the width anyway. The size increase may be due to fallen arches.
Or, as we get older, comfort becomes more important than vanity. Yes, we are a big foot size 11. Why did I squeeze my foot in a size 10 all these years?

I buy a new pair every Camino and have them fitted for size by an expert like you find at shops like REI. Buying new boots online is a huge mistake!
 

RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
I buy a new pair every Camino and have them fitted for size by an expert like you find at shops like REI. Buying new boots online is a huge mistake!
I found that if you want a good fitting go to a store that only sells shoes, particularly work safety shoes. In my area they are the Red Wing stores. I found REI to tend to up sale. They are patient but not necessarily "experts". The "Red Wing" type stores carry or can order shoes in all sizes. In many cases we don't pay for the pair, our employer pays for them. They have an account. So you walk out with a shoe that fits correctly for the purpose intended.
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021, 2022
I'm not sure what "up sale" means, but I have found that REI sells quality shoes. I've always received good guidance from the people in their footwear department.
Good luck, @dutchwalkagain ! May you and your feet have another Buen Camino! :)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
One or more times each year from 2014 - 2022.
I agree with everything previously mentioned. I'm surprised only one person mentioned socks. I would like to expand on that.

I (just now) walked up to the entry closet and I have 9 pairs of various hiking shoes and boots. They are all 8.5 wide or double-wide. The oldest is a 36-year old Eddie Bauer, cold-weather boot but the rest of them have been purchased over the past 6 years. None of them have the same fit. I believe my feet have more "spread" than they did 36 years ago.

Since I have a collapsing arch, I always replace the manufacturer's insert pad with a separately purchased pad/arch support. These "supports" are available in various degrees of arch and thickness of the pad.

Therefore, when I go for a hike I build my footwear to meet the need. For example, yesterday I went for a hike with a 20-pound backpack for 5 miles in -17 degree (F) temperature. (I live in MN). I chose the old, cold weather boot and a thin pad so I would have room for a silk liner sock and a medium padded Smartwool sock.

Tomorrow I am planning a 14-mile hike in a -27 degree (Wind Chill). I think I'll use the Keen "clown boots" which have enough room in the toe box for thick insert support, an Injinji toed sock, a thin Smartwool liner, and a medium Smartwool padded sock. If it turns out there is enough room for a heavily padded sock, I'll use it rather than the medium. Or maybe I'll sacrifice the Injinji so I can use the Heavy sock.

The moral of my story is that in light of the environment, the trail, and pack weight, all you can do is use an appropriate shoe or boot that has a reasonable fit. Then adjust the fit the best you can with a liner-support insert combined with the right sock or combination of socks. Of course, we all know there is more to the foot care story and that good foot care on the trail is very important.

Buen Camino!
 

Larry E

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September-October (2020)
From age 15 to 55, I wore a US size 10 1/2. Between 55 and 65, I gradually moved up to a 12. When I asked about this at an orthopedic shoe store, the clerk said my "foot wasn't getting bigger, my arch was just losing tone and my foot was getting flatter." Which seemed like a nice way of saying, 'old peoples feet get bigger.' In addition, if you have been inactive, and start walking 5-10-15-20 miles a day, you can also get a bit of flattening and swelling and gain another 1/2 to 1 full size. For what it's worth, I have walked 5+ miles/day for decades, I'm now 67, and I did the Camino Frances in Sep 2021 (just under 20 miles/day). And I'm still a 12. Larry E.
 
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cathal Ferris

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
29th April to May 31 2014
April to May (2015) starting in Burgos on the (27th April 2015) completing in Santiago on the 10th May flights booked from Dublin into Madrid and alsa bus up to Burgos
12th August 2015 Starting at Croagh Patrick Clew Bay to Downpatrick known as Camino Way of St Patrick
So I've always had the same size hiking boots/shoes(Keen ) but during last weeks 4 day practice thru hike, it felt like my boots were too tight. Last Camino was 4 years ago and they worked great. Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
Would consider looking at socks use a liner with a lighter sock have you left your boots near heat if thier leather may shrink you coud put them on and go through shallow streams up to your ankles to see if that helps them swell just a few options the main thing is if their not right dont wear them on long hikes such as the camino 4 years is good for a boot i may be lucky if i get 2 years just through mountain use but i would be a bit rough on them Keep Safe
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I've always found that after a summer of wearing lightweight footwear/sandals and then going back into more formal "office wear" in the autumn my feet always felt restricted for a while but soon recovered so maybe a seasonal effect?
Now I'm retired and wear Skechers 90% of the time it doesn't seem to be a problem any more.
I don't use shoe sizes as anything more than a first guess and so have footwear that ranges from 10 - 12 UK (45 - 47 EU) depending on brand!
 

Eleonore

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese
Ingles
I buy a new pair every Camino and have them fitted for size by an expert like you find at shops like REI. Buying new boots online is a huge mistake!
I do the same, not just for Camino. I change my walking shoes almost every year, depending on usage. Yes, feet change. Your body “settles” as you age (info from my doctor). I have gone from size 5 to size 7, now 80 years young, have scoliosis. Hooka are my most favorite walking shoes.
 

RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
I'm not sure what "up sale" means, but I have found that REI sells quality shoes. I've always received good guidance from the people in their footwear department.
Good luck, @dutchwalkagain ! May you and your feet have another Buen Camino! :)
Google has a number of definitions of "up sale". Some may or may not apply. It depends on your experience.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
I'm not sure what "up sale" means, but I have found that REI sells quality shoes. I've always received good guidance from the people in their footwear department.
Good luck, @dutchwalkagain ! May you and your feet have another Buen Camino! :)
Got my Keen sandals at an REI. Also backpack. Was there in the store a couple of hours as the salesman tried several shoes, and more than one backpack, to find the right item and fit for each. Still using the sandals, though the straps are wearing some. Haven't done a trip with the backpack in to long.




g
 
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Mycroft

Veteran Member
So I've always had the same size hiking boots/shoes(Keen ) but during last weeks 4 day practice thru hike, it felt like my boots were too tight. Last Camino was 4 years ago and they worked great. Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
Ah, yes. I was a runner for a quarter century, and my US women's shoe size went from 7 to 8 or 8.5.
The other thing is I have found repeatedly that as shoe manufacturers seek ways to increase their profits, they cut corners and/or redesign shoes resulting in a particular style no longer suiting my feet.
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
I'm not sure what "up sale" means, but I have found that REI sells quality shoes. I've always received good guidance from the people in their footwear department.
Good luck, @dutchwalkagain ! May you and your feet have another Buen Camino! :)
If we take it as a misspelling of "upsell", that's a common technique in sales generally, where the customer is encouraged to try and hopefully buy the more expensive item. Though in REI's defense, they don't pay commissions to the store staff.

I will say that I have not been discouraged from foolishness on shoes but the helpful young lady went along with me since she thought I knew what I was doing....and on a later trip I tried out the first pair of Hoka One One Speedgoats. These have turned out to be the most comfortable shoes I have ever walked in. The Speedgoat 4 has a slightly bigger toe box than the 3. We did find a local dealer and ordered through them. And DH ordered the Wide size and loves it.

YMMV of course.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
So I've always had the same size hiking boots/shoes(Keen ) but during last weeks 4 day practice thru hike, it felt like my boots were too tight. Last Camino was 4 years ago and they worked great. Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
Muscles get bigger when they get stronger. My feet are two and half sizes bigger than when I first walked the Camino in 2015. :)
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021, 2022
Muscles get bigger when they get stronger. My feet are two and half sizes bigger than when I first walked the Camino in 2015. :)
Brilliant, @kelleymac ! Hadn't thought about my feet developing muscles! Of course! Time for a little chat with the feet -- why didn't you TELL me? WE could have been a lot happier a long time ago!! ;)
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Brilliant, @kelleymac ! Hadn't thought about my feet developing muscles! Of course! Time for a little chat with the feet -- why didn't you TELL me? WE could have been a lot happier a long time ago!! ;)
I had very weak feet before I walked. I visited a sports doctor before I went on the Camino, and he was the one who pointed this out. (I had previously seen podiatrists and physical therapists.) He also suggested I buy a new pair of shoes half-way through as my feet would change.

-- Once on the camino, I met a pilgrim who had started from Le Puy, and he told me that after the first 500 miles his feet didn't bother him at all at the end of the day!
 
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Kategorical

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
So I've always had the same size hiking boots/shoes(Keen ) but during last weeks 4 day practice thru hike, it felt like my boots were too tight. Last Camino was 4 years ago and they worked great. Is it possible that due to age or so, my feet got a bit bigger and so I need to increase my hiking boots size ? Has anyone experienced this over the years?
Sometime in my early 50's, feet went from narrow size to wide. :-( Had to get all new shoes, boots. Feet do change with age!
 

RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
Got my Keen sandals at an REI. Also backpack. Was there in the store a couple of hours as the salesman tried several shoes, and more than one backpack, to find the right item and fit for each. Still using the sandals, though the straps are wearing some. Haven't done a trip with the backpack in to long.




g
And that's what leaves me puzzled. With all the expert assistance provided why does it seem that the ability to return merchandise so important. My preference is to make my purchases at independent stores with the goal of getting it right the first time.
 

longwayhome

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
I buy a new pair every Camino and have them fitted for size by an expert like you find at shops like REI. Buying new boots online is a huge mistake!
Not always. I bought a pair of discounted boots sight unseen online (knowing I could return them) and they walked me in total comfort 800km (Frances). They fitted much better than the two "expert"fitted pairs I had already purchased.The thing is not all of us live near hiking /outdoor gear suppliers or athletic shoe stores. Buying online is fine if you do your homework about size and fit and have a free return. So , of course, as soon as I was home I ordered another pair which lie in wait for another Camino. They have been very disappointed the last two years.
 

KCP

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2022
@kelleymac , Interesting - I saw a few podiatrists, physical therapists, and even a surgeon - none mentioned feet muscles ... Thanks!
Had a physio appointment yesterday during which I got exercises to waken and strengthen my feet and other related leg muscles as I am preparing for my first Camino. I'll be doing them alongside my distance training.
 
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