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Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

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Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby Mhowlett » Sun May 08, 2011 10:53 pm

I've tried three different boots with no luck on a blister-free design. I have very narrow heels that inevitably start pulling out of the boot heel by mile 5 of every excursion. So far, I've tried several methods for preventing blisters to no avail (different sock thicknesses, double socks/single socks, moleskin) I haven't tried Vaseline or body glides, but I prefer to just find a boot that's bombproof. I have used the following boots:

1. Kayland Vertigo High ($225.00)

2. Asolo Fugitive GTX ($215)

3. La Sportiva Trango ($290)

I've used the Sportiva's on three excursions and have blistered my heels every time. Does anyone have suggestions on a solid mountaineering boot that is waterproof, crampon compatible, insulated, and does not allow a narrow heel to pull out and blister?
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby AdamsKerr » Mon May 09, 2011 12:48 am

i have long narrow feet as well.

try these..

Scarpa Phantom Guides (or ultra's if you can find them but they're only sold in europe). There is also a phantom 6000 meant for 6000M peaks if you need something warm

La Sportiva Batura EVO

La sportiva Nepal EVO
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby peninsula » Mon May 09, 2011 2:33 pm

The color is not my choice, but the boot is. I'd say they are worth trying for the fit:

http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/ShowBo ... y=1&Type=M

Another option, which I have done myself years ago when I could not find a heel-blister-free boot, is to have a boot master modify the heel. It is not all that difficult to do, but it is not one of those do-it-yourself jobs.

Best of luck
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby phlipdascrip » Mon May 09, 2011 3:15 pm

peninsula wrote:Another option, which I have done myself years ago when I could not find a heel-blister-free boot, is to have a boot master modify the heel. It is not all that difficult to do, but it is not one of those do-it-yourself jobs.

Indeed! Get the boot that fits best and have an experienced boot fitter do their magic. Do some research or ask around where to find a good one.
It often also helps to use insoles (like Superfeet) that are thicker underneath the heel.

I don't know how my heel compares in respect to narrowness, but I have heel problems with all brands except Asolo - when I angle my foot upwards (heel low, eg. walking uphill) I have a nasty pressure point at the upper heel that starts to hurt quickly in every hiking and mountaineering boot that I have tried on, except Asolo (I have the 520 TPS and Cholatse GV - love em both and would buy either again right away!).
Last edited by phlipdascrip on Mon May 09, 2011 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby SKI » Mon May 09, 2011 3:16 pm

You may need to rethink your strategy:

Image
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby Dane1 » Wed May 11, 2011 5:22 am

Duct tape? Not a bad answer.

All three of the boots you have mentioned are generally considered solid backpacking boots. None of them are "solid mountaineering boot that is waterproof, crampon compatible, insulated".

Decent mountainerring boots aka:
Scarpa Phantom Guides
Ultra's
phantom 6000
La Sportiva Batura EVO
La sportiva Nepal EVO
Trango extreme

Will have a rigid sole and generally be much worse for blisters, if you have soft feet, than the boots you have already tried.

All will likely give unconditioned feet some heel blisters if the first 5 miles are a steep uphill on a good trail.

A lot depends on the condition of your feet, how you lace the boots and the conditions you are walking in. Rigid soled mtn boots with soft uppers (Phantom line /Baturas) are OK to walk in but appraoch shoes are much easier on your feet.

I have a size 12, B foot with a preteen girl's AA heel. I can get a decent fit in any of the La Sportiva line. The newest Batura, Trango Extreme and Nepal are great as are any of the Phantom series from Scarpa.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby Denjem » Wed May 11, 2011 7:22 pm

Try a tight fitting sock like the patagonia midweight hiking socks and then get the size down from what you should wear. I have narrow heels and a pair of Nepals sz.45 and I wear the midweight sz. medium. See if that works for you.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby dmnz » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:12 am

so how did you go?

?I've tried the Vasque range as well as Scarpa Omegas, Asolos (they were a really bad fit for me) and the first edition Batura and found issues...the Batura was the best and I went down half a size but I think DAne is right in saying the hardness/softness of your feet come into it. I need to wear thin socks and tape my feet and that's the best I've been able to get so far. FYI I wear a US14, EU48, heels not that narrow but fairly broad forefoot. Tried the Scarpa Freney XT's briefly too but again a fail
Be keen to try the new Batura's and Lowa's if I could get my hands on a pair. Or even go to the Dynafit for a winter boot as I've never had heel probs with ski boots-AT/alpine or tele.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby aglane » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:13 am

peninsula wrote:The color is not my choice, but the boot is. I'd say they are worth trying for the fit:

http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/ShowBo ... y=1&Type=M


Agreed thoroughly, I've been wearing the Lowa GTX for three or four years, with nary a blister despite very narrow heel, and find them remarkably adaptable for shoulder season. Good with new-matic crampons, fine insulation and padding for shoulder season at least, comfortable even cushy so good for longer days.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby DukeJH » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:00 pm

I have a wide forefoot and a narrow heel and have also found Lowa boots to be a good fit although I wear the Silberhorn: http://www.lowaboots.com/catalog/ShowBoot.cfm?StockNum=2103274120&Category=1&Type=M

I've found that if I combine a mid-weight merino wool liner (REI) with a solid hiking sock (also REI) it really minimizes the heel movement.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby JHH60 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:23 pm

I also have narrow heels, and avoiding heel lift is one of the big fit problems I've faced. Aftermarket footbeds, fiddling with adjustable tongues and/or tongue inserts, trying different sock combinations, and careful lacing and knotting above the ankle (look up surgeon's knot and heel lock knot here or elsewhere on the internt) all have been useful for me. And as other have noted, spending time in the boots is important - boots with leather components take time to break in, and your feet take time to get used to the boot and to toughen up in the right spots.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby ebkolb » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:48 pm

I have low volume narrow feet and wear a 12 A to B, depending on fit, and the Lowa Vertical has been a great boot for me. I'd imagine the Mountain Expert is similar. I bought a ton of boots and returned the rest, and the Lowa's were by far the best for me, especially with green Superfeet. I returned the La Sportiva Nepal, Trango Extreme, Batura, Scarpa Phantom, two Kaylands, and Mammut SomethingBlue. Cost me a few bucks in shipping here and there, but well worth it.

Anyone have any experience with narrow, low volume double boots? After my success with Lowa I would like to try the Lowa 6000, otherwise its probably the Spantik or plastics. On a related note, anyone ever take their Spantiks or similar to a bootfitter to tweak the outer shell, in addition to the liner?

Thanks!
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby Damien Gildea » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:42 pm

ebkolb wrote: Anyone have any experience with narrow, low volume double boots? ... otherwise its probably the Spantik or plastics. On a related note, anyone ever take their Spantiks or similar to a bootfitter to tweak the outer shell, in addition to the liner?


Asolos are meant to be narrow fitting, at least in their double boots, the 8000 etc. They're old style plastics, but a proven model.

I feel my size 47 Spantiks fit more narrow in the heel than my size 47 Nepal Extremes (and tighter overall), but I haven't worn them enough to pack down the inners much. I have an old pair of Lowa Civetta Extreme that I don't wear any more as they are too big and loose on me, in a size 14. Way too much heel lift.

The word always was that boots with a wide rubber rand, like the Spantiks etc, are hard for a bootfitter to stretch or tweak as they can't plastically deform the shell as easily. I'm not sure if this is still the case.
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby dmnz » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:21 am

Damien Gildea wrote:
ebkolb wrote: Anyone have any experience with narrow, low volume double boots? ... otherwise its probably the Spantik or plastics. On a related note, anyone ever take their Spantiks or similar to a bootfitter to tweak the outer shell, in addition to the liner?


Asolos are meant to be narrow fitting, at least in their double boots, the 8000 etc. They're old style plastics, but a proven model.

I feel my size 47 Spantiks fit more narrow in the heel than my size 47 Nepal Extremes (and tighter overall), but I haven't worn them enough to pack down the inners much. I have an old pair of Lowa Civetta Extreme that I don't wear any more as they are too big and loose on me, in a size 14. Way too much heel lift.

.


Don't like the Asolo plastics

Keen to try on the Civettas in the 14 if you're looking to get rid of them
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Re: Help! Mountaineering Boots for Narrow Heels?

Postby ebkolb » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:03 am

Good tips, thanks!
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