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Boot size / swollen feet?

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Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby AllDownhillFromHere » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:33 pm

Hello all, I'm looking to start in Campo next May, and I'm looking at new boots. I've heard that due to the desert heat your feet swell, so people start off with bigger boots and wear double socks, peeling off the socks as the feet swell.

Is this urban legend? If not, what's a typical 'stretch' to the foot? I'm a hair under 10 1/2 in the Brannock device, I was thinking of doing 11s. They're roomy on me (now).

Boots are full leather LL Bean Crestas if that matters.

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby Gary Schenk » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:36 am

I'd start with roomy shoes and by the time you get to Idyllwild you'll know what's going on.

Double socks? Starting in May it's going to be smoking hot.
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Re: Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby AllDownhillFromHere » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:46 am

Thanks - I'm not sure how to do both 'roomy' and 'tight enough so no blisters'.
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Re: Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby Leo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:41 am

Honestly, I would discourage using Gore Tex leather boots for this late start.
Why not start the desert part with trailrunners or other light shoes, and go for the boots later in the Sierra?
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Re: Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby AllDownhillFromHere » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:33 pm

Because I need the ankle and arch support of a proper boot.

As an aside, how is May 1 late? 5 months to Canada @ 18 miles per day.
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Re: Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby Leo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:47 pm

Sorry if I've mixed anything up, thought May would be late and hot.
I'm doing lots of desert hikes and so far used trailrunners and similar with mixed success, and just recently switched to boots, not full-leather boots but mixed canvas and leather.
Still hot and sweaty at times. It helps taking a short break every hour and take off the shoes at every break.
What I did in preparation of the desert hike is wearing the boots as often as possible in everyday use. After the first few hours of wearing them I realized a problem with a middle toe of the left foot not having enough space, so I took the boots back to the shop and they put the left one into a machine widening them just on this exact spot. This gave me just the ~1mm more space to feel comfortable now.
Thats one big advantage of leather boots.

One little trick to have roomy boots and not getting blister could be, to tie them in a way that the heel is stuck tight, but the toebox is loose.
Thats exactly why the 6th hook on your Crestas has a locking function - to be able to tie the laces differently for the lower part than the upper part.

I still would discourage using Gore Tex boots for the desert stretch. The water proof material doesn't help any in the desert but just makes your feet more sweaty, and by the time you reach the Sierra they might already fail in being waterproof.

BTW, boots providing ankle support is kind of a legend. The same way the boot is supporting the ankle, it hinders the ankle getting stronger. Our body is designed in a way that parts you use more become stronger, parts you don't use get weaker. Best preparation for the ankles is to walk barefoot as much as possible.
(OK, thats just my personal opinion - tried and proofed just for myself).
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Re: Boot size / swollen feet?

Postby AllDownhillFromHere » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:44 pm

The breaks seem like a good idea, thanks. I'm also thinking of something to keep the feet dry (desert sand, or powder).

I really need the ankle support, having torched my ankle (hearing, and feeling the 'click') I need it. Thanks for the tip on the lacing too.
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