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Thread: Haglund's and boots?

  1. #1
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    Default Haglund's and boots?

    I think I've read every archived post on boots three times. My feet are indeed my Achilles-Heel, no pun intended. I just cannot get a pair of boots that won't tear up my feet. I was working with Lathrop & Sons, and while great guys we just couldn't get the Hanwags to fit - I have a wide fore foot, high instep, narrow heel, and what's killing me now is I have what's referred to as Haglunds deformity on the backs of my heels. I thought I had ill fitting boots. I just was testing a nice pair of Zamberlan boots, and everything felt good but after a short hike near my house today they completely ripped up my heels. No heel slip,nothing. Just the pressure and friction. I will start using Glide and I have bursa pads that are little gel pads on a sock I can wear to help. I won't go out without those again. My question, anyone ever deal with this and have any recs or specifically models of boots that worked? I think staying away from a rigid heel is advised which really bums me out as I'm looking for the extra support and protection a traditional hiking boot provides.

    I tried on a Lowa Renegade which felt more like an athletic shoe than boot to me and in the store I couldn't wrap my mind around this lightweight of a "boot" but maybe that's what I go for. Anyone put these to the test? I also have about 4 pairs of the Tibets coming from Zappo's to try those.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    "Wild country has the power to remind civilized people that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men." - Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    You may also look at White's. Made to your foot measurements.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    I know this thread is about a year old, but mgutman, did you ever solve your boot problem? I, too, have Haglund's deformity (it's slight, but bad enough that finding boots is tricky). I have two pair of Kenetrek boots, one insulated, one not (both the same size). One pair is the best-fitting pair of boots I own, and the other is the worst-fitting pair. I'm trying some Asolo FSN 85s right now, and they cause immediate heel pain. I recently found a product that I just tried today, and it seems like it may be just what I needed, although I have not hiked wearing them, yet:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ZHE2OS

    They're not cheap (over $40 for a pair), but if they take away the pain and last for a season or so, they might just be what I've needed. I'll keep you posted.

    Regards,
    Scott

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    sab,

    I empathize with you dilemma. And while the thread is over a year old I haven't really solved my problem but I have learned how to manage it better. I've become a real student of my feet. Sounds weird I know, but I now know my feet better than I thought I ever would. In my opinion this is the best/#1 way to address any foot issue - once you know what you're problem spots are then you can move to fit. Since this post I have spent far too much money and time on this. I've tried Danner, Vasque, Hanwag via Lathrop and Sons, Lowa, Meindl, Zamberland...I feel like I'm missing some and you get the point.

    I've mixed and matched different socks, footbeds, and remedies. I've tried blister powders, friction pads, heel lifters - and even those heel pads you mention. As an aside, I actually have those that I wear when I play hockey - the haglund's doesn't like me cramming my feet in hockey skates. I've tried hiking in them and depending on the brand they either take up too much volume in my boot or start to shift and slack over the day and bother me more than help. They also tend to get damp and hold moisture which I didn't like. I'm curious to hear your results and hope they work for you.

    Now before any long hike in my boots I always follow this simple protocol. First I rub some Tincture of Benzoin (it's a medical adhesive) on my heels. Then I put a strip of Second Skin adhesive knit over that. I've tried every fancy and non-fancy tape, pad, moleskin type product and I find these simple Second Skin Adhesive Knit sheets to be far and away the best. I cut my own strips and round the corners so they are less likely to catch. I find when hunting or backpacking as long as I'm not going barefoot in streams these can last days. I bring extras in my FAK and even found portable ampules of the Benzoin. But this only helps to prevent blisters on that haglund's. The other problem is direct pressure which causes some serious pain and thus your bunga pads.

    Over this last year I've come to the theory that soft is good. And what I mean by that is anything with a real stiff sole or real stiff heel cup just won't work. The stiff sole will drive your heel back into the heel cup causing unnecessary pressure. I don't know if you're like me but I can wear running shoes no problem. Soft sole, soft heel cup. So what I then did was look for boots that had a softer heel cup since I still wanted a real hiking boot. This led me to LOWA and the Baffin Pro (might have a pair of broken in US 10's if you'd like to try 'em - I really liked them but they were the wrong size, maybe not the wrong boot). The Baffin has a glove leather lining which is noticeably softer than any of the GoreTex models I tried previously. This was almost the perfect boot for me and the soft heel cup countered the stiff sole really well. The heel cup didn't fit me perfectly but I thought it was as good as I was going to get. What I didn't realize is that my forefoot was just on the border of wide in the store so I was fit for a regular but on the trail it swells nice and wide so that was the fit issue I had. Not a fault of the boot. I love the construction and they'd be worth a look. I saw that they really expanded their line in the leather lined models so there are plenty of options from LOWA.

    Which brings me to my current boots. As I was looking into the LOWAS last year I was also talking to www.ajbrooks.com in Vancouver. I liked the guy there - Poul - so when I needed a new pair of boots I figured before I go the $1600 Van Gorkum custom route I might as well try one or two more pairs at a fraction of the price. Like you, my haglund's is minor and I just couldn't believe I couldn't make a stock boot work. I sent in my tracings and talked it over with Poul and he sent me the Meindl Island Pro's. Only available in Canada and Europe. Cabelas' makes similar boots but I actually compared them head to head and they are similar but not the same. In addition to fitting me in a wide boot, the Island Pro is a little less stiff in the sole than the Lowa Baffin Pro. Also Meindl uses memory foam in the heel cup and ankle. So nice and soft both in the sole and ankle (and to clarify, when I say soft in the sole - these are still a classic full leather boot. The sole isn't "soft" but it flexes and isn't super stiff like an Italian made Zamberland for example). Out of the box this was the best boot I ever tried on and so far I've been on a few scouting and backcountry trips and love them. The memory foam really surrounds the ankle and heel to form a custom pocket. The real test will be hunting and I get to go for 4 days over this long weekend to help a buddy with an archery hunt.

    Lots of words but that's where I am right now. Keeping with my "soft" theory, my next pair to try after the Meindl's was going to be a light hiker. There's a pair of Solomon's that I know Sawtooth likes that I was going to try. Looks like a beefed up running shoe -- but right now looks like the Meindl might work - for me.

    Unfortunately the moral of the story is that some people's, i.e. mine and yours, feet are very particular and you just have to search for that perfect boot. Now if my feet get all mangled this fall during my hunts, I may just have to sell my spotting scope and get some customs. But I'm optimistic that the Meindl's are the last stop. If I had a wide in the Baffin Pro I probably would have been okay there too.

    I've also played alot with lacing and good timing as I came across this article today:

    http://www.hitthetrail.com/boot_lacing.php

    I've also found that a really good lock in the heel pocket alleviates most of the pain as long as the sole isn't so stiff that it drives the heel back into the cup.

    Sorry for the long ramble but you can see I've spent a lot of time on this and have gone through a lot of pain as well. If just one thing I've mentioned helps you it's been worth it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    Wow! You're post is a wealth of knowledge for me. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. I've seen Sawtooth's Solomons, and I've thought about going that route, but my ankles are prone to rolling over with a heavy load in my pack. I have a pair of Danner Acadias, which I assume are stiffer than light hikers, and I find them to be right on the edge of stiff enough for me. I'm afraid that going with a light hiker may result in a sprained ankle in the backcountry - not a good situation to find oneself in.

    Like you, I know that I can find stock boots to work, simply because I have a pair of Kenetreks that have given me no trouble since the day I received them. I didn't even have to break them in!

    Regarding that lacing link you posted, my wife learned of that technique when purchasing boots from REI. The saleswoman called it "lock lacing", and my wife found it to be very effective.

    Keep me posted on your season with the Island Pros, please. I'll let you know if these heal pads work for me.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by sab; 08-30-2011 at 08:30 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    Wow, I thought I had problems!!
    What ended up being the perfect boot for me is noninsulated Kenetrek's with Lathrop and sons Senergy footbed(I think that's what it is called).

    If your thinking soft, try looking at the new Stegar Camluks http://shop.mukluks.com/Camuks/productinfo/CAMUKS/ I don't know what they would be like in the mountains.

    Hope this helps
    We had to have Obama to get Ron Paul

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Haglund's and boots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lab-Roamer View Post
    Wow, I thought I had problems!!
    What ended up being the perfect boot for me is noninsulated Kenetrek's with Lathrop and sons Senergy footbed(I think that's what it is called).

    If your thinking soft, try looking at the new Stegar Camluks http://shop.mukluks.com/Camuks/productinfo/CAMUKS/ I don't know what they would be like in the mountains.

    Hope this helps
    I wasn't talking that soft. sab, I too am wary of going the light hiker route. Not so concerned on day 1 of a hunt but day 5-10 when I'm worn out and stumbling in the backcountry I worry about rolling an ankle.

    I too use the high synergy footbed and so far so good.
    Last edited by mgutman; 08-30-2011 at 08:55 PM. Reason: iPad autocorrect is ridiculous

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