Question on Boot Fit

Elkfever

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
143
Tried on a pair of Crispi Guides today while wearing my normal hunting sock combo, First Lite socks with merino liner. Boots felt super comfortable in the store, plenty of room in the toe box but the heel area felt a little big for my heel. Re-laced a couple times and got the boots feeling ok but still had some heel slip up and down and could almost wiggle my heel a little bit if I tried.

Is it worth trying some insoles to lock my heel in a little better or do I need to continue the boot search?

Is a little slippage ok to keep my heel from being locked in place and rubbing?
 

couesbitten

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,492
Location
East Wenatchee, WA
For me, it depends on the comfort of the insole and how the boot fits. I've been happy with the Salomons and Salewas, but replaced the insoles in my Hanwags. If you already bought the boots, try a new set of insoles and see if it makes the difference. By your description, it sounds like you need an insole that uses up more volume than the stock insole does. Feet and boot fit are very personal, what works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for another.
 
OP
E

Elkfever

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
143
No, I haven't bought the boots yet, just tried on at a local bow shop. Maybe its worth buying them and trying out several insoles to see if I can solve the heel issue and returning if not.

I had a good fit with Schnee's Beartooths but after two pairs leaking, I got my money back. Was looking at trying Zamberlan 980 Guides and Kennetrek Mountain Extremes next. I'm not loving the search so far for good mountain boots.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,468
My low volume feet would slosh around in any crispis I've tried on because of the high volume last they are made on. I'd keep searching.
 
OP
E

Elkfever

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
143
Wind Gypsy, I definitely have some low volume feet especially in those Crispi Guides. Have you found any quality boots and/or insole that works for you?
 

couesbitten

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
1,492
Location
East Wenatchee, WA
For a low volume foot, I would definitely consider the Salewa boots, I have a pair of the Alp Trainer and MTN Trainer boots, love both of them. If you're a Amazon Prime member, you can order a few pair of boots from them, try them on, pick the one your happiest with and return the rest for a full refund.
 

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
11,935
Location
Colorado Springs
I don't know if boots have changed or if people's feet have changed. But I have never in a lifetime heard of so many problems getting boots to fit as I have in the last few years. Guys used to go buy a pair of boots off the rack, go hunting, and use them until they fell off their feet. Now it seems everyone gets blisters, no boots fit right, and there's a never-ending quest to find the perfect pair of boots.
 

topher89

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
705
Location
Colorado
I would mess around with thicker socks or an insole. Maybe different lacing techniques to get a better heel lock?
 

BuckSnort

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
1,042
Location
Central CA
I don't know if boots have changed or if people's feet have changed. But I have never in a lifetime heard of so many problems getting boots to fit as I have in the last few years. Guys used to go buy a pair of boots off the rack, go hunting, and use them until they fell off their feet. Now it seems everyone gets blisters, no boots fit right, and there's a never-ending quest to find the perfect pair of boots.

The problems were there back then.. Technology just makes it much easier to hear about them nowadays.. People couldn't jump online 30 years ago and discuss it..
 

Ashy Larry

Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
648
Location
Mount Airy, NC
I have a low volume foot and just got a pair of Zam 960s. I have very little movement inside but boy are they gonna take some breaking in. Got about 8 weighted miles on them and they are just starting to give a little.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
4,468
Wind Gypsy, I definitely have some low volume feet especially in those Crispi Guides. Have you found any quality boots and/or insole that works for you?

I have tried a pile of boots over the past couple years, lots of em work but none are perfect. La Sportivas in the trango last fit better than anything else for me but I would prefer a little higher upper and more cushion in the midsole. Hanwag ancash are prob my favorite all around boot. I'm not sure they even sell them stateside. I got them online from Europe for less than $300 shipped. They are similar to hanwag alaskas but lower volume, slightly taller upper, and a hair less sole stiffness. This is them and where I ordered from-> Hanwag Ancash GTX Brown – Erde - us

I use copper superfeet to take up additional volume where desirable. They are a little too thick for low volume boots like trangos and X ALP MTNs so I used the carbon superfeet there.

The salomon X alp MTN boots are a low volume fit. They are more supportive than quests but still have that light comfy feeling. Only issue I had was the first pair weren't even water resistant right out of the gate.
 
Last edited:
OP
E

Elkfever

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
143
Well, today I scratched a couple boots off the list that were at my local Cabelas and Sportsman's and found possibly a boot to go with.

The Miendl Denalis were comfy but not quite the robust boot I was looking for-didnt matter because they gave me horrible heel rub on the rock structure in the boot dept.

Miendl Alaskans seemed to be much better quality and more likely to keep my feet dry in October/November in the NW but the boot just had too much volume for my foot. Especially on the rock structure, my heel moved around like crazy, reminiscent of how the Crispi Guide felt on me.

I did find that the Green Superfeet insoles were ok but not super comfortable. The Sof Sole insole felt very good to me and made a difference in how both boots felt.

I stopped by the Kuiu truck that is parked in the area this weekend to try on their Scarpas but the line out the door didn't move in the 15 mins I was there and I didn't have the time to wait an hour or so in line.

The Kennetrek Mountain Extremes appear as incredibly well built boots that would keep my feet dry due to the construction. I also really liked the heel cup and stock insole. What made me pass on them was the boot lace pressure across the top of the anke. There is a break in the leather where a patch of cordura is found. I laced them up 4-5 times to adjust tightness the laces in that area but no matter what, the lace just cut into the top of my foot/ankle area. Any flexion by me made it really uncomfortable. This was a big disappointment because the fit felt good and I like the construction.

The Zamberlan 980 Guides are a really nice boot. I wear a 10.5 and Sportsmans only had a 10 but i tried them on anyways. I love the support, lacing, rocking feel as I walk, the heel cup and low volume feel of the boot. By far, these boots fit my feet the best so far even over the Schnees Beartooth that I tried to make workt the last two years (both pairs leaked). The size 10 toe box was short and narrow for me but I think I'll order the 10.5 and ship to Sportsmans to bring home to try out. So far, its the best lead I have on a 8-10", mostly leather, waterproof, randed boot for late October-November.

Thanks to everyone so far with your input. I appreciate it.
 
Last edited:

5MilesBack

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
11,935
Location
Colorado Springs
The problems were there back then.. Technology just makes it much easier to hear about them nowadays.. People couldn't jump online 30 years ago and discuss it..

Before the last few years, I had never met anyone that had boot problems. Unless someone has a really odd shaped foot, or overly wide, or super narrow.........I don't see how the correct sized boot won't work. My feet are pretty narrow and I haven't found a pair of boots in my size (13) that won't fit just fine. However, I will agree that the internet makes everything noticeable.
 

GotDraw?

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
880
Location
Maryland
Not a comment against the Original Poster, but I personally think a lot of folks expect their boots to fit like a glove or a pair of favorite tennis shoes as soon as they put them on.

Serious mountain boots often need serious miles of breaking in. Heel lift can easily be simply a result of the 1) a very stiff upper that has not yet fully conformed to the foot and not developed a crease where the toes join the foot and where boot creases or gives at the ankle. 2) the sole of serious mountain boots is often very stiff and needs to be broken in for 20-30 miles or more before it starts to flex enough and develop some rocker shape. Until then, they are like boards and heels can be prone to lifting.

When #1 & #2 are met, then the boot is hopefully optimized for the user.

My thoughts and YMMV
 
OP
E

Elkfever

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
143
Gotdraw, thanks for sharing your insight. Your points make a lot of sense to me and definitely something that I've taken into account in my boot quest. However, I have found that some boots just don't fit my feet as well as a couple others have that I recently tried on. Ive got the Zamberlan 980's on order- I think they may be the ticket for me.
 

GotDraw?

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
880
Location
Maryland
OK, so I have what I jokingly refer to as Platypus feet-- Fairly wide E to EE, low instep, w/a narrow heel. ASOLO and Lowa boots fit my feet well.

I switch between Lowa Camino GTXs, ASOLO Fugitives and Lowa Tibet GTXs. The Tibets took a lot of miles to break in and really did so on one hike in particular where they got soaked from wet grass (my feet stayed dry). I kept hiking and by the end of it (10 miles or so) they were a great fitting boot. Took about 30 miles total, including the wet hike to break them in.

The Asolos broke in in a day and I use them the most, because they're my lightest boot but still great in steep terrain (lacing system is not as good as the Lowa's but it works). Asolo's Goretex liner is durable has lasted me 3 seasons w/o leaking yet. The Lowa Caminos are a phenomenal boot for climbing steep terrain and side hilling. Caminos are my go-to boot if I know I'm going to be off trail in really steep, rocky terrain. I have two seasons in them and the Goretex still works, I fully endorse them and they are my best fitting boot (lacing system is excellent). The Tibets are sturdier than either of my other boots and have a big toe-box but they are the heaviest so I end up using them less (lacing system at the ankle lock is phenomenal, even better than Camino's system). Sole and uppers construction of the Tibet is absolutely bomber but takes a lot of miles to break in. I have to say that I had heel slip in my Tibets as well as an inability to get the lacing pressure dialed in until the uppers got broken in. Once broken in they were and still are great fitting.

I use Smartwool PhD midweight hiking socks and am a total believer in that sock. I do not use liner socks. Thus far I have not gotten a single blister from any of the above boots and use them all with 30-45+ pound backpack (depends of amount of food/water) w/no problem. If you are running a heavier pack (or are positive you'll be packing meat!), I'd lean toward the Camino boots for the stiffer sole/uppers. Tibets will absolutely work, but that weight penalty is a bit of a buzz-kill. I read somewhere once that each pound of boot weight is equivalent to 10 additional pounds in your pack and I agree with that math. Lighter boots make the miles easier, especially when every day of your hunt entails lots of climbing.

I use "SOLE/Dean Karnazes" brand/model insoles and absolutely love them. Trim them to match the profile of the stock insoles, heat them in your oven, put them in your boots, lace 'em up and voila! Custom insoles! (do one foot at a time). These insoles are magic, they comfortably lock your foot into position, support your arch and they simply will not let your foot slip forward when descending even the steepest terrain so you avoid the dreaded "Toe Jam" of lost toenails from hitting the front of the toe box.

I live on the East Coast, so access to Kenetrek, Crispi, Salewa is difficult at best and I never tried them even though I wanted to. I will tell you that if I had to do it over again, I'd try to get to my butt to a boot shop that offered a really broad selection and spend a day there or engage w/Lathrop and give them a shot since they'll know which boots are best for high/low volume feet and narrow/wide feet. If you buy online, the odds are high that you will buy boots and hike with them a while before you'll figure out if they work or not- this is especially the case for serious mountain boots that need a break-in period. If you ordered them online, you're hosed, they're well used and you now own them.

PM me with questions- if any.
 
Last edited:
Top