This July I attempted a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. I was well equipped, lightweight (TPW 22 lbs for ~4 days, including 3L of water) and I was well trained. I trained in the shoes I hiked with and yet, about 60 miles outside Durango - I was heading eastbound - what started as a couple annoying yet manageable blisters quickly turned into a nightmare. Blisters under the ball of each foot, under toes, between toes, on the sides... Compensating just made more form. After 30 more miles I had to make the tough choice to get off the trail. It was totally unexpected because, as I said, I'd been training in these shoes with my full pack weight and never had any problems.
I took about a week and a half off to let me feet heal and went back out. Same pack weight but different shoes. I had also done some training in these ones and never had any problem. I did my full planned trip for this outing - 72 miles - but still had awful blisters. Worse was that they were in completely different places! This time they were all over the backs of my heals. I was able to loosen the shoes and drive through the hike, but still...
Now, the reveal:
1st attempt: Inov-8 RocLite 295 (2013 version)
2nd attempt: Inov-8 RocLite 295 (2012 version)
Same shoe, different years, blisters both times but in totally different places!
Clearly, this shoe and I were not meant to be BFFs. I think what I need is a shoe with better rigidity. The CT, especially in SW Colorado, is extremely rugged. Lots of scree and rock, heavy ups and downs and these shoes have almost no torsional rigidity. I think maybe my feet were getting tired and I was flexing more than I planned.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a different shoe?
Update: I was wearing Darn Tough CoolMax mesh socks. They are thin socks, but also the ones I was training in.