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Water

swamp feet/blister in touring boots

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First season of spring/summer climb/skiing and wondering about some feedback from the more seasoned:

 

1) I tend to get a blister on my left arch when skinning/hiking in my AT boots. I have flat feet. to my knowledge my feet are the same size and shape (no dramatic diff/half size issues). My right foot is fine through this. I can power through it for a day but a day #2 would be tender/painful.

 

2) The above seems in large part aided by the fact that after say 3-5 hours in my boots my foot in living in a proverbial swamp. When I take off my AT boots after having them on for 8-12 hours my foot is the most I ever see it wrinkled/saturated. Looks like I put them in a warm water bath for 5 hours straight.

 

 

Thoughts/solutions...one is reduce moisture (change socks after 5 hours? I'm only wearing the thinnest liner sock, so nothing thick to begin with. I've worn heavier though.

 

With wearing more sock I still got the arch blister. I'd rather avoid having to put tape on my feet or whatnot pre-emptively. Is this something I can return to the shop and have them make any mod on the boot or...suggestions specifically for the arch blister on the one foot? I keep the liner tied to my foot as tight as possible.

 

Maybe upgrade the liner? I have some mellow/soft insoles that work for me in there.

 

Thanks

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I have flat feet too and was having a similar problem when I first started with my AT boots. Ended up going and getting them re-fit and they added a foam wedge under my heel that positioned my foot in the boot better. I also noticed the arch blisters/soreness were worse when I had the clips really loose. Now I keep them all clipped down on the loosest clip and tighten the strap over just the liner, seems to work for me. Other thing is it seemed to get better over time as I broke my boots in more, and this took longer than any other footwear I've owned.

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My first pair of AT boots were too big and I fiddled around with new liners and various fitting adjustments while enduring horrible blisters almost every time I wore them. Went in to a boot fitter who informed me those boots just didn't fit my foot. I was able to pick up some new boots over that summer and never regretted it. I'd suggest you start with a boot fitter.

 

I would think that it's pretty rare for someone who just started backcountry skiing to not go through this process of refining boots. Hope that helps.

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any recommendations for a portland boot fitter? I didn't order these boots online. I spent about 2-3 weeks going to 3 different stores trying on about 16 different pairs of boots. They felt the best of all I tried on in terms of comfort and fit out of the box, fwiw.

 

When I bought them US outdoor said they'd do punching them out or other help with boot-work, recommend I start there or do I need more specialty?

 

between skinning and some lift-served days I've probably got around 40-50hrs in them.

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try foot powder if you haven't already - and a custom footbed (superfeet - around $150 at a good ski shop -- and worth every penny! I've been using them in ski boots and rigid alpine climbing boots since 1988, and they make a helluva difference...

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Thoughts/solutions...one is reduce moisture (change socks after 5 hours? I'm only wearing the thinnest liner sock, so nothing thick to begin with. I've worn heavier though.

 

Wear a thick sock over your thin liner sock. More fabric to wick moisture away from your foot and absorb it. More layers to slip and have friction dissipate before it gets to your foot.

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One of my ski partners is a doctor. Her first aid kit consists of one item. It works for everything. Medical emergencies, equipment repair...

 

[img:center]http://blog.craftzine.com/hellokitty_ducktape.jpg[/img]

 

Don't leave home without it.

 

No, I am not overstating her qualifications or underestimating her first aid kit.

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Thoughts/solutions...one is reduce moisture (change socks after 5 hours? I'm only wearing the thinnest liner sock, so nothing thick to begin with. I've worn heavier though.

 

Wear a thick sock over your thin liner sock. More fabric to wick moisture away from your foot and absorb it. More layers to slip and have friction dissipate before it gets to your foot.

 

Thanks for the advice folks. G-spotter, I had worn a thicker and found the same symptoms/issues. Assumed the additional layer just made more sweat. Maybe I'll try back again. For climbing boots I do the liner and then a regular sock of whatever thickness depending on the expected temperature.

 

Hit Adams on sunday and I did not do anything but keep the lower 2 buckles (4 buckle boot) tighter--tight enough that I felt slight compression on the problematic foot. No acute hot spot on my foot, though my week prior blister, the skin lifted and looked bad due to the swamp footage. But no pain from road walking, climbing in them, or skinning. Its gettin there.. The gels/anti-antiperspirant/powder maybe I'll try though I'd like to ultimately find a way to not have to deal with that gunk on my foot.

 

appreciate all ya'lls responses!

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That does remind me of something that took me some time to figure out, I tend to keep my lower boot buckled very snug while skinning and if detecting a hot spot on my feet, will buckle even tighter.

 

If you can ski Adams (that's a lot of vert) with no blisters, you're doing pretty good. I have a lot of ski partners who'd be pretty happy with that.

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thanks for reviving this with the season coming upon us. I'm considering going down the vapor barrier direction--a sock or just a bread-bag around the outside of my foot for any winter-tours. Last year was my first year and it was mostly spring-stuff. The boot liners get absolutely swamped, keeping them dry in winter on a 1-2 night thing seems like a higher priority.

 

on the hot-spot front it seems like locking down the two lower buckles really made a difference. I'm going to try to stick with my heavy (3.5lbs/boot) boots this season before i throw more cash down, it'll make some TLTs or Vulcans that much more appreciated.

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