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Re: [AT-L] Boots w/ narrow heel

I have a narrow heel and a high volume, but not particularly wide, forefoot
and have more or less given up on finding properly fitting, non-custom,
hiking boots.  I looked into the issue alot, and have a couple of
suggestions for you though:

Boots: the ONLY off the shelf boots I've ever found that even come close to
fitting me are from One Sport: the Trail Runners are comfy, but much too
wide in the heel, and the Moraines are a touch wide in the heel *** FOR ME
*** and a little low-volume in the front *** FOR ME *** (but their design
allows alot of compensation there... they are nice boots and worth trying).
Believe it or not, even though my feet measure right in the "medium" width
range, I cannot even get them into most boots!  In absolute terms, the
Moraines are highly adjustable in the front, and fairly narrow in the heel.

One source (unfortunately, I cannot remember who... probably either
Backpacker or Outside Online) suggested taking your boots to a good cobbler
and having them add some leather to the back of the boot... effectively
making a narrower heel.  They said it worked better than pads.  I haven't
tried it.

Another idea: one repair place I go to sometimes said that it was possible
to shrink leather as well as stretch it.  They CLAIMED (no verification
here) that they could shrink the heel of an all leather boot.  One caveat: I
think that many boots have a plastic insert at the heel and toe -- these
obviously won't shrink!

Finally, I'd be concerned that the problem might be with your orthotic.  A
1/2 inch gap is big, and you may be having problems because of that.  While
expensive, you might consider having an orthotic made to fit your boot (as
well as your foot).

-- Jim Mayer

At 03:46 PM 9/12/96 PDT, you wrote:
>Does anyone know of a good hiking boot that would have a narrow heel?  When
>I hiked th trail in '95, I used a pair of Fabiano Rio's for the first 1000
>miles - they felt pretty good, but still a bit wide in the heel - plenty of
>room in the forefoot.  Then I hiked in a pair of Merrell McKinley's, which
>still had too much room in the heel.  I wear orthotics and when you put the
>orthotic in the boot, there is about a 1/2" of space on the side of it in
>the heel area.  I think my left heel tends to slip off the orthotic a bit
>and I end up getting a badly bruised heel.  Any suggestions?? (I put heel
>cups, pads, etc. in the boots - helped some, but didn't fix the problem.)
>Mark and Janet Holmes 
>Full Moon and Celestial Spirit (Ga-Me '95)
>Fox Hill Inn - Innkeepers
>VA 16
>Troutdale,VA  ( 4 miles from Dickey Gap on the AT)
>AT Hiker stopping point in the Grayson Highlands!
>540-677-3313 or 1-800-874-3313 (for reservations)
>email - mholmes@netva.com