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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    7

    right hiking shoe size...

    So I have been reading lots of posts here and most of them say (Purchase your hiking shoes or boots one size larger due to swelling and walking downhill and not want my toenails to get injured). So I ended up purchasing a size 10 Keen Marschall hiking shoes while I have normally a size 9. I decided them on with my thick comfy Thorlo socks and my aetrex insoles and all felt good. Now I'm trying to break them in the first few 5 k walks all was well but now I suddenly am getting blisters on my heels. When I walk my heels go up and down a tiny bit but aside from that all feels well. Did I end up buying them too big & should I get a size smaller ( 9.5 which is only 1/2 a size up from my normal size)...or is this just part of breaking in hiking shoes and should I impale with them due to the fact that my feet will swell during the Camino? I still have five months to try stuff out etc so plenty time ....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Posts
    10,763
    They might be too big, they might be the wrong shoes for your feet.

    I personally think the "one size larger" thing is bullshit. Buy shoes that fit you well from heel to toe - your heel might just be narrower than the last for those Keens. With light or medium socks and a well-selected footbed, the shoe should fit you like a glove from the heel to the forefoot and have enough room in the toebox to prevent damaged nails. Try numerous brands on until you find the one that fits you.

    Buying online is the source of many hiking footwear mistakes. Ski boots too.
    Last edited by Meadow Skipper; 02-10-2018 at 04:32 PM. Reason: minor correction
    Jesus rides beside me, he never buys any smokes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Den/Baltimore
    Posts
    5,136
    ^^ Well said.

    Maybe give a Salomon or La Sportiva (amongst many others) a go and see if the heel fits better. Also: you needn't stick to hiking shoes. Most trail runners will work just fine for hiking.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    17,794
    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    They might be too big, they might be the wrong shoes for your feet.

    I personally think the "one size larger" thing is bullshit. Buy shoes that fit you well from heel to toe - your heel might just be narrower than the last for those Keens. With light or medium socks and a well-selected footbed, the shoe should fit you like a glove from the heel to the forefoot and have enough room in the toebox to prevent damaged nails. Try numerous brands on until you find the one that fits you.

    Buying online is the source of many hiking footwear mistakes. Ski boots too.
    totally agree ^^ its bulshit for touring boots and hiking boots
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,485
    Impale with them is usually the preferred option.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1
    I generally size my hiking footwear with a bit of extra room in the toe for exactly that, to prevent toe bang on descents, and that also depends a lot on the type of walking or hiking I'm doing. A whole size large might be too much, but I echo what an earlier poster said that they might not fit your shape well also. Also, if you aren't going to do a lot of downhill, you might not need the extra space anyways.

    Are you able to return them for a different size having already used them? It might be nice to try the half size down. Or another make/model.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Posts
    10,763
    Assuming you have normal, adequate space in the toe box, your feet won't slide forward if the shoe fits well in the heel and forefoot (across the mets) and you have an arch-hugging footbed.

    Edited to change the wording slightly.
    Last edited by Meadow Skipper; 02-20-2018 at 11:26 AM.
    Jesus rides beside me, he never buys any smokes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    21,387
    Get the size that fits and pit in a good foot bed. A proper foot bed makes a world of difference in hiking shoes, boots, approach shoes, et al.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    746
    *This is from someone who makes their living off of shoes*

    TLDR; You bought shoes that are too big if you are getting that kind of heel lift. Go back and get the 9.5's if you want to stay with that shoe.

    Unless you have an real wide (D or over) or narrow (A or under) most shoes can fit properly. That's not to say there won't be better ones for you (Nike's arch/ instep area for me is great, toebox not as much), but most times when you see reviews talking about "fit" unless they really know their foot dims take them with a huge grain of salt. Like gearinstitute.com posted a review of a shoe that claimed it fit way bigger than a "normal", which I know is not true based on knowing the people who developed and professionally fit it over a large range of fit models (and also wearing it myself).

    Most people and a lot of shops don't know 1/2 of how to properly size a shoe (ski boots are a little different).

    - Your foot has two important length measurements in shoe sizing, Heel to Toe AND Heel to Metatarsals.
    - Both of these measurements can and often do change with weight. If you aren't measuring when weighted these can be way off.
    -Your foot mostly "expands" length wise in two ways, your arch/instep "collapsing" and/or your met's "expanding".

    A good way to think about how this effects fit is kinda on a 1-10 scale.
    - At 1 you have a very "static" foot that does not change shape at all when it's weighted. An aftermarket insole isn't going to do much for fit but the cupping of the heel fat pads will make it slightly more comfortable. That foot doesn't need much extra support to help it, so putting that sort of foot into a stiff leather hiking boot isn't really going to do you any favors.
    - At 10, the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a foot that is incredibly "dynamic." So that when it's weighted the size changes a lot. I know my foot is about a 6 on this scale. So on my left (bigger of the two) foot goes from being a 9 unweighted to about a 9.5 weighted HEEL TO TOE. On the Heel to Met scale it's actually a 10. But I like my shoes a tighter so I normally get a 9-9.5 in shoes (btw Nike running shoes are usually the truest to the Brannock scale measurements). So a 10 is probably seeing at least a full size change going from unweighted to weighted. These people will definitely benefit from an aftermarket insole and shoes that offer lots of support.

    -In terms of controlling the fit of the shoe with laces (or velcro, straps, etc.) the most important spot for securing is the navicular bone. If you look at your shoe/ foot it's where the second and third from the top lace hole probably is on the medial side of your foot. But securing that doesn't do much for stopping the foot from expanding.
    -After that having a good heel fit is the next most important thing, which the navicular plays a role in. Securing the navicular bone helps to secure the heel in place. Having your heel slide around (i.e. be unstable) is one of the big things that causes fatigue. Having a Superfoot insert or even just a good Ortholite molded sockliner/ footbed definitely helps with this for a few reasons.
    -Securing the met's is the last thing in terms of hierarchy of securing the foot. This is how flip flops work. On say a running shoe having the laces over the met's tighter can help your foot from "expanding" length wise a little.


    Now all of this isn't taking into account shoe constructions...foot width...temperature...altitude...but it does give you a good base to start off of.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

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