The Right Shoes: Day 8.2

I’ve been hiking four years now and have gone through five hiking shoes. In the beginning, I thought that they were all great, but time and experience has shown me that they were lacking in some way. I have yet to find the perfect pair of shoes for me, but I am getting closer.

My first shoes came from my daughter. Camazon bought them off of Amazon only hoping they would work for me. These turned out to be my second best pair of shoes yet. They were Nevados. They fit well and didn’t give me blisters. I hated parting with them. I would buy these shoes again if I couldn’t get my current shoes. Their only problem was that they were too narrow for hiking days on end.

The second pair was so bad; I don’t even remember the brand. They caused all sorts of blisters. I wasn’t experienced enough to know that I didn’t have to stick with the shoes once I bought them. They came from Big 5 and were cheap. I wore them on my first backpacking trip and my feet haven’t been the same since. I pounded through the soles within two days and bruised the balls of my feet pretty badly. It took me over a week to recover and started or sped up the neuromas in my feet.

My third pair were Oboz.  They were great. I got them right several month before we tried to thru hike the Tahoe Rim Trail. My feet were killing me after the first two days. Luckily everyone else’s were too. Since the shoes weren’t that old and they didn’t give me blisters, I decided to replace the insoles instead of the shoe. This worked and I was able to get through the season before replacing them.

But my feet never really recovered, and I had to see a podiatrist. That is when I found out I had neuromas and I needed to reevaluate my shoe choice for everything. I needed a wide toe box and cushioning under my toes as well. This turned out to be a difficult obstacle for backpacking.

For my everyday shoes, I ended up getting a pair of Altras and loved them. They have trail runners so I thought that I would give those a try for my fourth pair of shoes. I bought Lone Peaks and loved them. They were so light and cushiony. I was able to stop getting shots for a while. I even started trail running a bit. Then I pounded through the insoles and maybe even the midsoles before I reached 100 miles. My feet were bruising, but I kept putting off trading them out. I had never done something like that before. I still hiked going between my old Oboz and the Lone Peaks, but my feet kept getting worse.

Eventually I traded them in for a pair of wide Oboz. They caused blisters right away. So I went back and traded those in for Altras Timps. They were nice, but my heal slipped. I was afraid to get the Lone Peaks again because on the sole life. I wore the Timps for a while debating what I was going to do. Finally, the day before leaving for a backpacking trip I went in and bought a pair of Lone Peaks. I didn’t trade for them because I really didn’t know which pair I wanted to wear on the trip. By the morning of the trip, I decided to wear the Lone Peaks. I could wear them until I couldn’t hike in them anymore and make daily shoes out of them and wear the Timps around the county on my short hikes to help prolong the length of the others.

The Lone Peaks worked great for the three day backpacking trip. I now have 40 miles on them and my feet are starting to slip. I think this time, when I am ready to replace my shoes, I’ll contact Altras and let them know about my problems with their shoes.

My next trial is going to be Hoka. I tried them on when I bought my last pair, but didn’t want to buy an unknown just before the hiking trip. I didn’t have any time to try them out properly.



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