Guys I need help. I am soon to be 69 yo. I have bow hunted elk hunted OTC in CO. for the last 20+ years. I have always had some problems with my feet hurting, either blisters or some other problem. It's not that I am not used to walking in boots. I worked as a timber cruiser for a paper mill for 25 years, and still do a little timber consulting. I walk a lot in the hills of west KY and TN, but not in the mountains out west. I can still walk with most of the younger guys I hunt with.
I started out with the boots I already had, I don't remember the brand. Next I went with the Danner Pronghorns, they were great for a few years. Then the quality went to crap. I couldn't get 3 months out of a new pair. Then I wore Irish Setters for a few years. Comfortable but not durable. Next I went with a Meindl light weight, also good (they also didn't last very long) for a few years, now discontinued.
For the last 3 or so years I have been wearing Meindl Denali boots mostly for elk hunting. The boots have been a pain to break in, but after several hundred miles and 3 trips to CO. they do fine on relatively flat ground and up hill. Down hill kills my toes even tin the rolling hills of west KY. I think maybe a different insole might help. What can I do?
If downhill is the main problem it may just be a size issue. For steep ground, especially with a weighted pack, most boot manufacturers recommend sizing up a half or full size so your toes can't hit the end of your boots.
I agree with the sizing and lacing recommendations. Especially when you say your toes hurt going down hill. That is usually a fit issue. Lacing techniques allow you to customize the fit since it is difficult to find a boot that perfectly fits everyone's sole, instep and ankle dimensions.
Leukotape can help if you are prone to blisters. Put on typical hot spots beforehand for prevention. I always carry leukotape in my pack when hunting or backpacking in the mountains. Although it won’t help with the downhilling issues.
I had problems with a few boots killing my toes downhill....it was ALWAYS because of a hard cap on those boots. Specially Danner High Ground. They were great until I tried to go down hill with a pack on my back.
I would look for for some boots that have great support and soft toe cap area. I found a few pairs that I love.
Jamming your toes is the WORST! That’s usually either a booth that’s too big letting your foot slide forward, or a booth that isn’t laced tightly enough or doesn’t allow you to lace it right.
Maybe the boot is too wide so you slide forward. Danner makes a narrower boot which is why I can’t wear them. But buy a heavier boot. I hate to say it because I see you prefer the lighter weight models. I call those hiking shoes! Maybe look at the Danner Elk Hunter. They break in really fast and aren’t nearly as heavy or bulky as boots like Kenetreks or others with that kind of support.
My Denalis are pretty heavy and they are above average in weight.
I will try the lacing method on the video. I had hoped there would be an insole that would save my poor toes. The insoles were not what I had expected for a $300+ pair of boots they are pretty thin. Have any of you had any had good experiences with the Super Feet insoles and if so what color do you think will help?
Do yourself and your feet a favor and talk to Lathrop and Sons. It was the best investment I have ever made. I'm 51 with a bad foot and similar problems with walking down hill. I ended up purchasing boots and custom foot beds from them. PM me if you would like more information on what they provide.
Well, since I saw the video on alternative lacing, I tried the it. It WORKED. My wife and I walk about 3.5 to 4 miles most mornings. While there are no steep slopes my boots have not hurt my toes. On Wednesday I walked almost 7 miles in hilly terrain that would have had me limping to my truck. No toe pain. I thank you sir, cnelk, for attaching the video. I love bowsite.