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RTHo

Sweaty/Wet Feet

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My feet run hot and after a long summit day they will be wet enough to become pruned and down climbing like that is killer. I just summited Rainier last weekend and by the time we got back to Muir my feet were destroyed. I took my boots and socks off for a bit to let them dry and changed socks and that made the hike down from Muir much easier but obviously I can't do that mid climb.

 

So what's the solution? Gold Bond foot powder? I've tried different socks and it's the same issue. I'm using Darn Tough Mountaineering socks now and they are by far the best but again, after a long climb they still cause my feet to sweat.

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Diligent boot moisture management is an age old problem. Here are some things that have worked for me:

 

Bring extra footwear to wear around camp so the boots can dry out.

 

I haven't done this in a while but using oven bags between the liner sock and wool sock can keep your boots dryer and supposedly stops the foot from sweating once it's wet. Kind of a PITA if you ask me but on a multi day trip could be useful. Also keeps your boot from getting wet from the inside.

 

Changing socks occasionally and using some baby or gold bond powder helps.

 

Trying to find a leather boot without a goretex liner might also be worthwhile. I hear Scarpa makes one.

 

If you're walking around on wet snow all day, there's really not a lot that will keep your feet dry except a plastic boot.

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What boots are you wearing? Double plastic? Heavily insulated single leather? If so, you may want to consider

lighter, more breathable boots. Also, changing socks on the summit does not sound that unreasonable to me if your feet require it.

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Diligent boot moisture management is an age old problem. Here are some things that have worked for me:

 

Bring extra footwear to wear around camp so the boots can dry out.

 

I haven't done this in a while but using oven bags between the liner sock and wool sock can keep your boots dryer and supposedly stops the foot from sweating once it's wet. Kind of a PITA if you ask me but on a multi day trip could be useful. Also keeps your boot from getting wet from the inside.

 

Changing socks occasionally and using some baby or gold bond powder helps.

 

Trying to find a leather boot without a goretex liner might also be worthwhile. I hear Scarpa makes one.

 

If you're walking around on wet snow all day, there's really not a lot that will keep your feet dry except a plastic boot.

 

I changed into my approach shoes when we got to Muir, but my feet were not wet at that point.

 

I only wear one pair of socks so not sure the oven bag idea would work. That also seems counterintuitive, no? Seems like that would warm my feet more.

 

My boots are La Sportiva Nepal Cubes. I'm a big fan of them. I'll try the Gold Bond next time and see if that helps. Don't think I'll be wearing my boots for the rest of the year though, just trying to get ideas for next season. Thanks.

 

 

What boots are you wearing? Double plastic? Heavily insulated single leather? If so, you may want to consider

lighter, more breathable boots. Also, changing socks on the summit does not sound that unreasonable to me if your feet require it.

 

La Sportiva Nepal Cubes.

 

I suppose I could bring an extra pair and change them on the summit or wherever we stop for a lengthy break. It was incredibly windy on the summit on Sunday so we didn't stay long but at the top of the cleaver we stopped for some food and it was calm enough that I could have done that and let them air out for a little bit.

 

 

Use fans:

 

bootwithfan.jpg

 

lmao, must have missed this model when I picked up my Cubes

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Sounds like you may want to try an un-insulated boot? The Cubes are touted as being "warm".

 

 

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Start putting antiperspirant on your feet daily. Your feet wont sweat as much. Special Forces guys do it...

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Start putting antiperspirant on your feet daily. Your feet wont sweat as much. Special Forces guys do it...

And special forces guys are well known for having very dry feet.

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Sounds like you may want to try an un-insulated boot? The Cubes are touted as being "warm".

 

 

I honestly don't think that would make a big difference. My feet sweat (though not terribly) on a day to day basis. I think a 12 hour summit day will result in my feet wet regardless if I have a warm boot or not, but what do I know lol

 

Start putting antiperspirant on your feet daily. Your feet wont sweat as much. Special Forces guys do it...

 

I spent several years in the infantry and even lived with a Special Forces team for several months in Afghanistan. Never once heard of this. I'll Google it and check it out, thanks.

 

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I second the antiperspirant. It works. Gold bond too. It's not great putting aluminum in you body, but worth it in this case.

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I am in the same boat as you in regards to feet.

 

The feet sweat so much I get blisters due to the wetness. I have found the antiperspirant in combination with the foot powder does improve slightly--but does not take it away at some point. Additional socks yes, does help. Gotta hang the dry socks on the outside of the pack while you are moving. Then...change again. At some point you have to realize this is your life and it is a pain.

 

I have gone to ankle high Injinji socks with separate toes for a liner and Darn Tough outer socks.

 

I wear breatheable running shoes as an approach/return and carry the climbing boots. This does some to help I have found. Then when the climbing boots are required, I slip into them. Then when in camp, I wear the running shoes as camp shoes.

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I deal with this exact issue as well. I have found the boot is not much of a factor, unless you are grossly over-insulated for the objective or conditions. For reference, I wear Batura Evos for all my ice and winter stuff now. Yes, they are on the warm side, but I have had good results with the below practices:

 

Anti-perspirant on the feet is a great trick. My go-to is Mitchum Gel Unscented: powerful active ingredients, easy to apply to feet, dries reasonably fast. Just be careful when packing, as it can ooze from the tube under certain temps/orientations. Double bag.

 

I have tried various combos of liner socks, vapor barriers, etc. Just results in more sweating or more sweaty socks to pack out. I stick to one pair of mid-to-heavy weight, high quality wool sock (Darn Tough or Smartwool).

 

I don't do much mountaineering anymore, so I am mostly dealing with this on all-day ice climbing outings. My practice is to apply anti-perspirant in the AM and change into dry socks after the approach.

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This may not be your issue, but if your boots are wet at all on the outside, try coating them with Nikwax or something to add some water repellency to keep the outers dry so they breathe better.

 

I only get blisters when the outside of my boot gets wet, even with a goretex boot. The goretex liner keeps the water from seeping in, but with a wet leather outer, the boot doesn't really breathe anymore since there is little to no gradient (difference in moisture content) from a damp foot to a saturated leather boot outer that is required for moisture transport to occur. Keeping the nikwak coating up has helped keep the outside of my boots dry, which in turn has cut down on pretty much all my blister issues. As will others suggestions about antiperspirants, sock changes, drying your boots, etc.

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