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Toe Banging
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Paul Dalley
(pauldalley) - F

Locale: Gulf Coast
Toe Banging on 08/08/2011 15:00:32 MDT Print View

Hello All,

I just finished hiking Isle Royale, MI with my sub-30lb full weight pack. Really awesome. I used trail running shoes, my old Go Light Sun Dragons. My only complaint is toe banging. I have blisters on the tips of a couple of my toes. Anyway to prevent this? Also my shoes are shot. Any recommendations for new ones?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Toe Banging on 08/08/2011 17:11:48 MDT Print View

Use a half inch longer shoe or tie shoes differently to prevent the foot from sliding forward.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Re: Toe Banging on 08/08/2011 17:29:54 MDT Print View

You could just stop wearing shoes and be careful with your foot placement. Just an idea.

Good luck!

Justin Reigle
(jreigle) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: Re: Toe Banging on 08/08/2011 17:40:55 MDT Print View

I would agree with this assessment. Any footwear I've used where the toes were able to touch the inside front of the shoes caused me nothing but trouble.

I found with trail runners, my stride and foot placement changed such that me feet became a little more "eager" with my toes more splayed out than I was used to. Going up a half-size fixed the problem for me.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Toe Banging on 08/08/2011 18:51:03 MDT Print View

I've always preferred shoes that laced up a little higher on my foot such that there is no gap left between the top lace and the vertical part of my ankle. Typically, most New Balance shoes do this for me. YMMV

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Toe Banging on 08/08/2011 22:01:46 MDT Print View

Paul, your shoes are too small. First, go to a quality shoe store and have your feet measured using a brannoc device. You'll want to do this from time to time, because your feet continue to grow throughout your lifetime (along with your ears and nose; not only that, but a veritable forest of hair will sprout out of your ears and nose, but that's normal. If hair sprouts between your toes, then you've got problems). Now, because each shoe manufacturer uses different lasts, shoe sizes are not consistent. That is to say that the industry is not standardized, which can make fitting a shoe a challange.

Here's what I do: after having my foot measured I select a shoe that is a half size larger. Then I loosen the laces, and while standing, insert my foot wearing hiking socks and push it forward into the toe box until I just contact the end. Finally, I bend my leg slightly at the ankle and insert my index finger into the space created behind my heel. If the shoe is the proper size my finger slips in quite easily...that's the equivalent of about a 3/4" space. If I have to jam my finger in then the shoe is just too small.

You'll want all that space because your feet will swell as the day progresses - especially when carrying a 30lb pack. Also this allows your foot to slide forward somewhat on the downhills without banging into the toe of the shoe. So the point is don't go by the numbers stamped on the box; put on the shoe and determine how much toe box space it affords you. Happy trails!