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Old 03.06.2011, 00:34
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Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

I've got a pair of nice, apparently comfortable walking boots (felt extremely comfortable in the store, still do whenever I first put them on) but after about 90 minutes of walking it starts to feel as though the tops are bruising my ankles. I never get actual purple-the-next-day bruises, but ankles are sore and "bruised-feeling" for several days after.

I assumed I just needed to break the shoes in and/or toughen up my ankles a bit, so have been wearing them to work occasionally as well as weekends. Been doing that for several months though, and it's not helping. I just come home with sore ankles every time.

Hiking in low shoes isn't really an option as I have fairly weak ankles... will invariably put a foot wrong on a stone at some point, turn an ankle and be limping for a week.

Again, I've absolutely no complaint with how these fit my feet, in fact they're some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn apart from this ankle business, so if anyone has any suggestions that don't involve several hours traipsing round shoe shops (again) looking for a new pair, I'd be especially grateful.

Or is this just normal, part of the expected pain of long walks over rough Wanderwegs? Am I too late to the game, having spent all my skeletally formative years in a flat country wearing low-cut sneakers? (High-tops always hurt my ankles and so I never ever wore them... fashion or no fashion.)

Thanks for any advice you can give me.
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Old 03.06.2011, 00:34
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Re: Walking boots bruise my ankles: what can I do?

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Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Stay at home and make me a cup of tea?
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Old 03.06.2011, 00:42
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

If they are leather tops you can stretch them, and oil them with Johnson's baby oil.

Otherwise have you considered adding a layer of material so the boot doesn't rub your skin, or even not doing the laces up so tightly?

If that doesn't work, take DB with you and he will just have to carry you after 90 minutes, just like your parents did when you were tiny.
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Old 03.06.2011, 00:46
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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I've got a pair of nice, apparently comfortable walking boots (felt extremely comfortable in the store, still do whenever I first put them on) but after about 90 minutes of walking it starts to feel as though the tops are bruising my ankles. I never get actual purple-the-next-day bruises, but ankles are sore and "bruised-feeling" for several days after.

I assumed I just needed to break the shoes in and/or toughen up my ankles a bit, so have been wearing them to work occasionally as well as weekends. Been doing that for several months though, and it's not helping. I just come home with sore ankles every time.

Hiking in low shoes isn't really an option as I have fairly weak ankles... will invariably put a foot wrong on a stone at some point, turn an ankle and be limping for a week.

Again, I've absolutely no complaint with how these fit my feet, in fact they're some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn apart from this ankle business, so if anyone has any suggestions that don't involve several hours traipsing round shoe shops (again) looking for a new pair, I'd be especially grateful.

Or is this just normal, part of the expected pain of long walks over rough Wanderwegs? Am I too late to the game, having spent all my skeletally formative years in a flat country wearing low-cut sneakers? (High-tops always hurt my ankles and so I never ever wore them... fashion or no fashion.)

Thanks for any advice you can give me.
I had orthotics made which was the solution to my foot pain that began after long walks with the dogs. The foot specialist first scans your feet and from this they make custom orthotics. If the doctor prescribes them they may be covered by your health insurance, depending on the policy.

I can also recommend an excellent orthopaedic doctor near Stadelhofen. Might be worth seeing him (you don't need a referral) to make sure there is no underlying problem.
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Old 03.06.2011, 00:47
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

Have you been using proper 'Wandersocken'? (Hiking socks)

They make a huge difference compared to normal tennis/cotton socks - you can get them for around 30 francs in any sport shop.

In addition, you could use some bandage at the spots where your feet get sore before you go on a trail, that should help too.

Happy hiking.
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Old 03.06.2011, 01:57
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

I have a different problem with mine, ankles usually no problem but my heels kill me later / the next day if I've spent some good time walking.

I've seen some socks that would probably be a good solution for us both, they help provide some more arch support while also being a bit thicker on the soles but still thin on the top and around the ankle (but still snug).

Something else I'm wondering if it may help you is if you use two sets of laces, tying one at the tops of your feet and using the other around the high-top part of the boot. My thoughts about this being helpful are with the idea that perhaps the proper tension over your foot doesn't work so well for your ankle and vice-versa.
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:12
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

When you say 'ankles' do you mean the ankle bones, or the leg (sort of hand width) at the top part of the boot. I nearly always get slightly 'swollen looking' legs after a day's hiking but it doesn't hurt - at least, not much. Compared with my shins after playing hockey in my youth....

What Peg-A says about double laces can (and is by all the experts I know) done in a different way. The 'foot part of the lacing' is done to the correct tension, then, instead of just lacing further, a single knot is made in the laces, then the one lace is put round the other again, (just looks as if they are twisted together twice flat across the tongue) then one hooks them into the other hooks in the 'ankle part' as usual and they are tied in a normal manner.

Another method to get a similar effect is to put the laces round this pair of hooks 'the wrong way' over the top first, which also means that the laces don't slip. The tight parts stay tight and the loose parts stay loose. I very often relace mine after going uphill if we have a lot of downhill to do. Tighten up the couple of lacings which hold the foot 'back' in the heel, so that the foot itself cannot slip forwards and allow the toes to slam into the front of the shoe with each step. (Easily lose a toenail that way and its agony).

It might be worth trying different tensions to see if it helps. I suppose in reality, the leg 'hits' the shoe with every step. tightening the ankle lacing might do the trick. Certainly proper hiking socks make a lot of difference too.

By the way - you should have learned to ski forty years ago when the feet had to learn to 'fit' ski boots and not the other way round. At the end of the ski season, the first time in hiking boots (which one also had to 'break in' as they, too, were rock hard when new) was paradise on earth.

Good luck - it's a great sport and a pity for it to be spoiled by feet/ankles which hurt afterwards.
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:16
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

how far are you walking?.. what terrain ?

any distance, or un-even paths you want to look at a good stiff upper..

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/3...for-Women.html
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:21
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

I had ankle troubles when my boots were either too tight or not tight enough. I think you have to experiment, with insoles as well, that makes a difference.

Lat time my ankles were killing me was when I power-walked too fast and my shoes were loose. I think if you aren't used to doing it, too, you have to pace yourself, give your feet time to adjust. 30min, 45min, etc.
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:37
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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I think if you aren't used to doing it, too, you have to pace yourself, give your feet time to adjust. 30min, 45min, etc.
50min, 60min, 90min, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours, 6 hours..
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:39
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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50min, 60min, 90min, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours, 6 hours..
Hahaha, yeah. I did 6km in 45min, and couldnt' walk next two days, because I forgot to tie my laces. Doh.
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:40
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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50min, 60min, 90min, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours, 6 hours..
7 hours, 8 hours, 9 hours, 10 hours, 11 hours, 12 hours...
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:44
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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I've got a pair of nice, apparently comfortable walking boots (felt extremely comfortable in the store, still do whenever I first put them on) but after about 90 minutes of walking it starts to feel as though the tops are bruising my ankles. I never get actual purple-the-next-day bruises, but ankles are sore and "bruised-feeling" for several days after.

I assumed I just needed to break the shoes in and/or toughen up my ankles a bit, so have been wearing them to work occasionally as well as weekends. Been doing that for several months though, and it's not helping. I just come home with sore ankles every time.

Hiking in low shoes isn't really an option as I have fairly weak ankles... will invariably put a foot wrong on a stone at some point, turn an ankle and be limping for a week.

Again, I've absolutely no complaint with how these fit my feet, in fact they're some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn apart from this ankle business, so if anyone has any suggestions that don't involve several hours traipsing round shoe shops (again) looking for a new pair, I'd be especially grateful.

Or is this just normal, part of the expected pain of long walks over rough Wanderwegs? Am I too late to the game, having spent all my skeletally formative years in a flat country wearing low-cut sneakers? (High-tops always hurt my ankles and so I never ever wore them... fashion or no fashion.)

Thanks for any advice you can give me.
From what I can tell, you're either not used to walking for 90min. or the shoes do not provide enough support to your ankles and therefore allow lateral movements which can strain your ligaments.

If I were you, I'd make sure to double sock it, get one of those fancy therapeutic socks that athletes wear or maybe tape your feet (also like athletes do). If you're still feeling sore after taking preventative measures, I'd look for some new shoes, as clearly the ones you just bought do more damage than good.
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Old 03.06.2011, 10:53
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

I had the same problem with my last pair of ski boots and nothing I tried worked. The foot part was comfy but the ankle part caused such pain after about 40 minutes skiing I was once reduced to tears on a ski-lift.

I took them back to the shop and they recommended insoles, they heated the boot up and tried to mould the ankle to my form, placed the ankle section over a wooden baton and tried to reshape the ankle section with a hammer.

I tried them again with a top-notch pair of ski socks and the new insoles - same problem. I then tried them with thin socks - no change.

In the end I had to bite the bullet and replace them with a new pair which the ski shop very kindly let me test out for a couple of day sessions before I had to commit to them.

Now, 5 years later, I am scared to replace these boots in case the same thing happens again.

I know that doesn't really help you, Mathnut, except to say you might have to accept that they don't suit your form and perhaps you need to get another pair.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:14
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

And there was me hiking in Vibrams 5-fingers while on holiday!! No support at all - on surface which were well beyond basic trails

Support is all relative - if you are on Wanderwegs the chances of you needing ankle support are minimal. Going further, every article I have read on the subject highlights that the main reason that people have weak ankles is because they are used to too much support - and that they need to toughen up their ankles - more hiking in low shoes seems to be the message.

There is a reason while trail runners suffer FEWER twisted ankles than road runners when then terrain gets tough.

As for orthotics - unless you have a height imbalance NOT caused by a misaligned spine/hipbone - you should avoid them like the plague - IE a genuine mismatch in the length of your leg bones.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:25
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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And there was me hiking in Vibrams 5-fingers while on holiday!! No support at all - on surface which were well beyond basic trails

Support is all relative - if you are on Wanderwegs the chances of you needing ankle support are minimal. Going further, every article I have read on the subject highlights that the main reason that people have weak ankles is because they are used to too much support - and that they need to toughen up their ankles - more hiking in low shoes seems to be the message.

There is a reason while trail runners suffer FEWER twisted ankles than road runners when then terrain gets tough.

As for orthotics - unless you have a height imbalance NOT caused by a misaligned spine/hipbone - you should avoid them like the plague - IE a genuine mismatch in the length of your leg bones.
Agreed

The only times I tend to wear boots now are:

1. When I require the extra rigidity that boots require when wearing crampons or snow shoes.
2. When I require the waterproofing/snow proofing of boots when wearing in conjunction with gaiters/overtrousers.
3. When I'm walking in a particularly rocky area with piles sharp edged rocks.
4. When I'm carrying a really heavy pack over rough, rocky terrain.

Otherwise it's walking shoes with no ankle support.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:28
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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Support is all relative - if you are on Wanderwegs the chances of you needing ankle support are minimal. Going further, every article I have read on the subject highlights that the main reason that people have weak ankles is because they are used to too much support - and that they need to toughen up their ankles - more hiking in low shoes seems to be the message.

There is a reason while trail runners suffer FEWER twisted ankles than road runners when then terrain gets tough.

As for orthotics - unless you have a height imbalance NOT caused by a misaligned spine/hipbone - you should avoid them like the plague - IE a genuine mismatch in the length of your leg bones.
Completely agree 100%, couldn't have stated it better. No need for all that support and stuff, let your body walk in the way it was designed to, using the muscular spring in the foot and calves to absorb the impact, not the bones and ligaments. Although is an exaggeration, walking 5kms in flip flops is better for your body than 20km with shock absorbing, gel-filled, artificially contoured foam sprung boots.

I'd recommend looking at Merrell they produce great shoes for hiking and barefoot style too.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:30
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

What about if your ankles are already buggered, though?

I've got a really weak right ankle after a couple of very bad sprains in my youth. It has never really recovered, and even slipping off a kerb results in agony and obscenities.

The thought of scrambling over tree roots and jagged rocks without any support for that ankle would send me back to bed with a cup of tea.

Surely some support can be justified in such a situation?
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:31
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

Actually when seriously hiking in taller hiking boots, like to Dents du Midi, etc., I unlace the ankle support. So, the ankle is relatively supported on the lower side, but the top two holes I leave unlaced and there is no pressure. It worked for me. I so didn't want to go get new hiking boots, most of them are offending my refine taste of fashion
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:36
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Re: Shoes 26, ankles 0, and I'm about ready to throw in the towel

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What about if your ankles are already buggered, though?

I've got a really weak right ankle after a couple of very bad sprains in my youth. It has never really recovered, and even slipping off a kerb results in agony and obscenities.

The thought of scrambling over tree roots and jagged rocks without any support for that ankle would send me back to bed with a cup of tea.

Surely some support can be justified in such a situation?
Certainly it is...and the vibram crowd are just a bunch of contrarian hippies. Because of sports, I've torn my ligaments 9 times and I know exactly what you mean. Whenever you get the chance, check (xrays at the Dr.) whether you have some calcium deposits in your ankle resulting from the incidents. I've got some, but it isn't bad to the point where I need surgery as yet.
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