by xtina89 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:08 am
After lots of research, I bought a pair of SL Activ - felt great when I tried on in store and the reviews were all really good.
Now, I have started wearing them 'in the wild' (only a few times prelockdown and a few the otherside now) - they are giving me the worst blisters I have ever encountered! Painful lower ankle rub (esp on ascents) and toe rub (on descents).
I initially thought it might be a case of breaking the shoes in but they've been on their 5th or 6th outing now and it isn't getting easier!
Would anyone be able to recommend some life changing socks/liner socks/ inner soles they've discovered - would especially welcome any recommendations if you have the same shoes (my partner is in the exact same boat - went from the terras to the SL activs and is getting blisters in all the same places).
Also if you have any good blister remedies please let me know!
by jacob » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:25 am
-Let the insole be high and sturdy around the heel (f.e. Sidas 3D Outdoor or Quechua Hike 900)
-Treat feet with Lanolin or Gehwol
-Wear 1000 mile socks
-Next time focus on lighter and less rigid boots (as you don't seem to weigh much, you're more effected by rigid soles)
by larry groo » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:21 pm
I use this stuff. Doesn't come off with sweat.
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by davekeiller » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:38 pm
It also sounds like the SL is made on a different last to the Terra, so it's possible that they simply don't fit your feet unfortunately.
by kenncunn » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:59 pm
Compeed blister plasters are great for treating them.
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by rockhopper » Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:11 pm
by xtina89 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:34 am
I have ordered a few new bits based on your advice (a couple of pairs of 1000 mile socks, a tube of Gehwol and some zinc tape). I will also order some insoles – just having a think about which seem like the best fit for me.
Rockhopper – really useful info about shoe tying! I think my issue with the SL Activs is similar to yours. I had them fitted in store and am sure it is not a case of a bad fit, but there is definite slippage around the heel when I am walking – even when they are tied so tight my toes are going numb. Will definitely look at some youtube techniques for securing my ankle without cutting the bloodstream off to my toes!
Thanks again everyone
by davekeiller » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:05 pm
Zinc oxide tape will provide an additional layer to protect the skin, but is literally a sticking plaster solution. Gehwol will toughen the skin, but won't actually prevent the boots rubbing.
Thicker socks might help, but it sounds like heel lifts or volume reducers might be what is needed.
by Alteknacker » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:10 pm
Then I changed to walking in trainers (quite cheap and cheerful, as well as more expensive). That stopped most blisters. And I did long walks in them (eg Welsh 3000ers). Then I discovered and tried 1000 mile socks, and have not had any blisters at all since, even on pretty long walks over demanding terrain - eg, Mullardoch Round, Cuillin Ridge, etc. - and on boggy walks in which I've had wet feet all day.
So I second what Jacob says.
Something I discovered more recently is that I've been buying shoes that are too small - ie my nominal size - which often resulted in loss of toenails, mainly as a result of descending steep slopes quickly, even though the shoes feel comfortable when I try them - and I didn't get blisters: just toenail loss. I've sorted this by buying larger sizes, and then taking more care with the lacing so that my toes don't get jammed into the toe box on steep descents.
So I also second what Rockhopper says.
But: do you really need boots? What made me try trainers/approach shoes was noticing that fell runners seemed to be able to traverse 30, 40, 50km without getting blisters. I only wear boots now in deepest winter, when I may need to put on crampons. And in moderate winter conditions I have worn approach shoes with crampons, which worked quite effectively. My doctor brother also wears the same approach shoes/1000 mile socks combination, and my doctor son suspects that one suffers less from turned ankles because one builds up the supporting muscles rather than relying on ankle support from the boots - certainly before I swapped to trainers I used regularly to turned one or other ankle; this hasn't happened in at least 20 years.
Caveat: there have been many WH threads on this subject over the years, and my impression is that feet vary enormously, and what works for one person superbly may not work at all for another...
by xtina89 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:33 pm
Alteknacker wrote:I always wore boots for walking until about 20 or so years ago, and always got blisters on longer walks.
But: do you really need boots? What made me try trainers/approach shoes was noticing that fell runners seemed to be able to traverse 30, 40, 50km without getting blisters.
To be honest, I have been thinking about switching - especially during Summer. I've done a few smaller hills in trail running trainers and absolutely loved the agility and freedom of them. Howeverm I've been brought up walking with my dad who is an absolute boot purist and has given me a right talking to about my ankles every time I have raised the topic - but it is something I have been giving some serious thought recently!
by Manwaeadug » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:36 pm
rockhopper wrote:One of my pairs of boots is SL Activ. I have broad feet and need to go up about 1 - 1.5 sizes. I use special metatarsalgia insoles but also found that my heel rubbed sometimes. Solution for me was to keep the laces around the ball of the foot not too tight but then to put a locking extra twist before going up the ankle then take the laces right to the top lugs bypassing the second top lugs then back down to the second top lugs and tying really tightly. That way I keep the ball of foot not too tight but really lock in my ankle so that it doesn't rub. I also always ear liner socks. Blisters are caused by friction - lock in the ankle by trying different lacing techniques may help. Try googling walking boot lacing techniques.
I got the idea of different lacing techniques from a video on You Tube. My boots were a good fit in the shop but rubbed slightly when I walked in them. I pretty much bypassed the mid-foot and locked in my ankles for a few weeks until the boot had worn in a little. Definitely worked for me.
by Alteknacker » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:28 pm
xtina89 wrote:... However I've been brought up walking with my dad who is an absolute boot purist and has given me a right talking to about my ankles every time I have raised the topic - but it is something I have been giving some serious thought recently!
Well, I'm 67 and have been running and walking in the hills for 20 years plus in trainers/approach shoes without turning my ankles (as I said, in my boot days it happened quite frequently), and my son (40+) wears boots and regularly turns his ankles.... Whereas my brother (60+) also wears trainers/approach shoes, runs down often steep hills, and doesn't turn his ankles. Also, you have to ask: how do fell runners do it if it's a problem???? I suspect you strengthen your ankle musculature if you don't wear boots.
by jacob » Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:16 pm
So I second what Jacob says.
Well, in fact it was you who pointed 1000 miles socks out to me. And I've been happy ever since. Grand merci for that.
by Marty_JG » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:15 pm