I figure maybe bearpaw can answer this one for me..
Here's the deal - I'm really a "just walk through it" in the summer kind of guy, wet feet don't bother me much. However, I'm typically wearing a well loved set of raichle boots - size 10.5 wide. They just fit. I don't have hobbit feet, but perhaps first cousin, or illegitimate child of hobbit feet....
Now while I'm not about to go becoming a card carrying member of the trail running mafia, I've been keeping my eye out for a nice comfortable, light and well ventilated trail runner - the kind water drains out of. Please no gore tex, etc. etc.
However, I'm more an more of the opinion they don't exist, at least not for my feet. It's quite hard to find wider than the standard width in the first place, however I've gone through the local running shoe joints, and now went through three outlet malls in the states with "outdoor" shoes, and an REI. everything I put on scruntches my little toe in, or is so long it's a ski, and I want these things to fit.. I've probably tried 5 or 6 different new balances, asics, nike, and montrail.. bleah! nothing fits good, and I've spent literally hours trying on shoes.. even bought a couple pairs of NB's that I thought might fit the bill - nope...
So, any of the trail runner mafia out there with *wide* feet?
Montrail has a wide size. Did you try the wides or the regulars? I did not come close to fitting the regulars but the wides fit very well. I got my Montrail Hardrocks (13W) at REI. You can also get them online for example: HERE
I'll skip my "all shoes are bad" rant, with some reluctance. Suffice it to say that wider shoes were part of the cure for my plantar fasciitis, and I've spent altogether too much money on almost-wide-enough shoes.
The New Balance "wide" widths are a little phony. In the models I've tried, 4E's are actually the same width as D's, but have a bit more vertical toe room. Still, they feel a bit better. 6E's do appear to be wider, but the heel is so wide that they're not practical for me.
Try removing the insoles, or using the green Spenco flat insoles, unless you actually need arch support. Not everyone does, contrary to the makers of arch supports. My feet feel better and are stronger since abandoning Superfeet. The change requires a period of adjustment, though.
I found that a pair of Merrell Radius (Radiuses?), sized one size up from what I measure on a Brannock device seem to work. The Radius is similar to the Pulse II, but with a slightly more rounded toe. They're leather, though, so may not meet your needs.
Keen makes some shoes that are shaped like feet (novel idea). They do tend to be either sandals or waterproof/breatheable, though. I have a pair of the Targhee's, and they're not perfect, but not too bad. You said no w/b, though. They may have a model that would work for you.
I've decided that not hurting is more important than not looking like I have big feet.
Well, I guess I could qualify as a trail runner, maybe even a card carrying member of the mafia. But I don't have exceptionally wide feet, although they have plenty of other problems.
But......sometimes........certain shoes fit me perfectly..........except for that "scrunched" little toe. If I go to the next width, the whole shoe is to wide. Alas, there is a fix. At least one that works for me.
Check this out. The little "ortho plug" thingy is a recent improvement I don't have. I just use bits of wood or plastic to create a real custom fit. This little goodie has injected new life into several pairs of trailrunners that I was ready to relegate to casual wear.
I know what you may be thinking. Synthetic shoes, unlike leather, can't be stretched permanently. They can. If you're careful and patient.
_________________________ If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*
* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.
I'll echo what others have said. Montrail, best know for the narrow heel, also makes excellent wides that really ARE wide, not just wide compare to their narrower models.
I've been happily using the Montrail Hardrock in an 11 wide since last Spring. You should be able to order them through REI if MEC doesn't offer them. If neither has your size, try Zappos.com. They WILL have them. I'm not as familiar with the other offerred Montrails, but SOME wide-cut Montrail would be my best recommendation.
And I thought I was alone in this quest. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
I am looking for the exact same thing. My feet are really wide. My military boots are always XW. I want a trailrunner (never tried them before), and I want it to shed water fast, no waterproofing. In fact, I want more of a water type shoe. I want a shoe that I can take to the lake, but also have the thicker sole of a real shoe. There are water shoes, but the soles suck. There are tennis shoes, and trail runners with good soles (vibram), but they take too long to dry, and sometimes you ruin them if you get them too wet.
Sorry, can't help you in recommendations. I am in the same boat.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
I have a pair of New Balance in 13W that are amazingly comfortable. However, I've been looking for a light, waterproof hiking shoe forever because once those get wet, they smell awful. Anyone know any comfortable waterproof low cuts in 13 EE ? I found the most comfortable hiking shoe ever for $20 at Walmart, but after the first trip, they were pretty tattered. However, I had not one blister or sore spot, which has never happened to me on such a long trip.
Loc: The State of Jefferson
I've had good luck with New Balance. The wide sizes are hard to find in stores but New Balance Web Express has everything they make and a free return shipping policy that makes it easy to return shoes that don't fit.
I have the same problem and finally ended up buying another pair of new Vasque Sundowners in 10 W because they were the only boots which I have ever had which fit. I tried several others with no luck, but lots of sore feet and blisters. I wonder if people with wide feet gravitate to hiking or they have wide feet because they hike. It looks like it is a fairly common problem at least in the hiking community.
My foot easily changes width and length by 2 sizes when hiking. Combine this with different temperatures such that you will need a thicker sock on some days and thinner socks on another day-- or even different times of the day. How are you supposed to pick the right size shoe with that kind of moving target?
Plus I would like a shoe that dries practically instantly so I can minimize wet feet. And on hot days, I want my feet to never sweat (that invites fungus, smell, and blisters).
And while my foot is growing, and have a fat sock on, I donít want to be hammering my toes going down hill. And when I have my fat sock on for warmth, I donít want my foot to feel squished. Likewise, on 70F days and using a thin sock, I donít want the least bit of foot slippage (invites blisters).
I would also like a very cushiony heel to eliminate foot bone(s) stresses. A nice arch would help on long walks with weight on the back.
If my foot gets sucked into mud (which it did last June for 3 days in OK), I would like to walk through the nearest stream and, wala!, the shoe is clean with no hand scrubbing. Talk about saving time!
If the above wish shoe doesnít fit right, I will feel it in my lower back and my knees---- BAD.
I need a semi-sturdy sole because this helps in going up hill. It also cushions the foot on scree.
Iíve hiked in boots for 10+ years and trail runners and just lived with the above mentioned problems. About 5 years ago I took the plunge and tried the sandal. Low and behold, all my footwear wishes were solved. My feet misery vanished. I am particular to Teva sandals because I love their wide soles. This makes it hard for ankle turns. And they feel great to me (not all the models though). Iíve been wearing the Tera Fi 2ís for over a year now.
And because of wearing this sandal and sock, the following joys were also met: 1. no need to wear blister treatment. 2. no need to carry blister treatment. 3. no hammer toes 4. lighter footwear gave me way more energy. I noticed that right off the bat. 5. wiggle room for the toes. 6. much harder to roll an ankle (vs a trail runner) 7. excellent traction on wet rock. 8. Maybe once/day I have to get the twig out between foot and sandal (it used to be every hour; but not this design). 9. Instant slipper for camp. Just loosen the straps; no extra weight needed. 10. Shoe smell is gone. 11. Donít have to stop and change socks or take off boot 12. Theyíre cheaper than the boots and shoes I bought 13. Excellent tread and ARCH life. Iím getting 500-1100 miles per Teva. It depends on the terrain. 14. Can expand or contract with different socks without squishing the foot.
Other notes: 1. On 30F days, I just plow through the streams. I first take off my socks. At the other side, I hurry and dry my feet and put my dry socks back on. By then my sandals are dry. Somehow, surprisingly, that process warms up my feet. 2. On warmer days, I plow through streams with my coolmax socks. The sandals dry after a couple of minutes but my socks take about 30 minutes to dry-- which I can live with. 3. Is wearing a sandal risky? Initially, you would think so. It is now more risky for me to wear a shoe or boot because of the above mentioned foot problems. 4. The sandal needs to be worn with a sock, or the feet will sweat and blisters will form. 5. The sandal needs to be cinched snug (not tight) when hiking. I even have to cinch it tighter 15 minutes into the hike because, for some reason, my feet shrink. 6. Iím size 8 and I buy a size 9 (which is big in a Teva). The extra length gives toe protection. In the last 5 years, I donít remember of ever stubbing my toes (knock on wood) and Iíve bushwacked several times in sandals. There are some areas that I would refrain from (prickly needle bushes), though Iíve done that too. 7. Depending on weather, I can use the following with my sandals w/o squishing the foot: a) 2 wool socks b) thin sock c) down booty (that is comfy!) d) sealskins with wool sock (cold days only) - that is versatile footwear! 8. I still feel guilty walking in the woods with my sandals. I think thatís from my youth. But the ability to wiggle your toes while backpacking erases the guilt <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> 9. I play basketball, handball, and tennis in the same sandal. I just love them. I go canoeing in them and later on-- hike.
Is sandals for everyone? I donít know. My wife is a convert after she watched me. One of my hiking buddies is a convert. Ironically heís using cheaper sandals and I hope they hold out on our trips. Another hiking buddy stays with his boots because he was born in boots. And he has foot problems on almost every trip <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
Montrail has a wide size. Did you try the wides or the regulars? I did not come close to fitting the regulars but the wides fit very well. I got my Montrail Hardrocks (13W) at REI. You can also get them
I've tried the Hardrocks - but only in regular - I was at REI reno a few weeks ago, alas, no wides there for me to try ;(
If you order from the Running Warehouse (the link in my first post) your order comes with a pre-paid return label. If they don't fit just put them back in the box no questions asked and your original purchase price is refunded in full. You have the option of returning for refund or having them send something else (different size, item whatever). Their size availability varies quite often but when you see the size you want to try just order it up and see if it works.
I almost forgot. Shipping both ways is free from Running Warehouse. So the price for the shoes is all you pay and if you need/want to return them you are out zero.
You've converted me, Barry! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Everything you described is exactly what I am looking for.
Actually, I have one complaint for sandals. But first, the precursor.
Right now, I have a cheap knock-off of Keen Newport H2 sandals that I got at Pay-less for $15, I think. They are exactly what I want, except for two things. The soles are MUCH better than cheap water shoes, but not good enough. This, however, is probably because they are cheap. A better pair from a good brand, like Teva or Keen, would solve this problem. The other problem, when I walk in water, rocks likes to get stuck under my toes, feet, and between the sole and my foot. It is pretty annoying. The same happens when I walk through anything that is loose and small, not just in water. This is my only complaint with sandals. Some of Teva's water shoes might do it, if they are wide enough.
So, how do I get everything you described with the sandal, but eliminate debri getting between my feet and the sole?
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
ďSo, how do I get everything you described with the sandal, but eliminate debri getting between my feet and the sole?Ē
Actually, I also thought this was typical and lived with it for several years. But the problem was practically eliminated when I switched to the Terra Fi2 over a year ago. I was surprised. It seems the lip around the heel and-- cinch it tight --kept rocks and twigs from going under the feet. Whatís ironic is my hiking buddies stop and dump out rocks out of their shoes more often than me getting a rock stuck. I may have to stop once every 4 hours.
ďThe other problem, when I walk in water, rocks likes to get stuck under my toes, feet, and between the sole and my foot. It is pretty annoying.Ē
When walking in a super sandy creek, there will be sand that flows up, in, and around the foot. But it didnít bother me while in the water. Itís when I get out of the water is when it starts bothering. Again, just keep that sandal cinched tight. Before coming out, wiggle the foot in the water and usually all the debris washes out. Plus the sandal looks clean. If Iím going to be in the water a lot, I donít wear a sock; but the other 99% of the time, a sock also helps keep debris out, blisters gone, and feet cool (in hot weather), and feet warm (in cool weather).
One other pointer, I have about 1/2Ē from my big toe tip to the top edge of the sandal (when my foot is shrunk). This also helps in keeping debris out and protects against the stubbed toe (knock on wood).
The back strap only needs to be adjusted once so that your arch rests perfect. Actually, it will take a little bit of playing on the first day.
Iíve tried Keen sandals but was disappointed in their weight. They made my feet sweat more than trail runners. My pinky always rubbed.
Barry, you got me thinking alot. The thing I don't like about the Terra Fi2 is the lack of toe covering. However, Teva's Toachi has one, and looks like it would perform similar to the Terra. Their other sandal with a toe covering doesn't look like it has the size range, ie, I can either wear no socks, or three socks with the same sandal. The only question is, is it wide enough, and does it have a good enough sole. I guess my next step is buying a pair, and trying them out. If they don't work, I don't think it would be a big loss, I would probably still wear them, just not hiking.
As far as wearing socks with sandals, I do it all the time, and my wife cringes every time. She especially doesn't like it when I wear leather sandals to church with dress socks. I guess it is good I am married. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I am also forbidden to pick out the clothes for the kids. Apparently I have failed everytime. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
ďBarry, you got me thinking alot. The thing I don't like about the Terra Fi2 is the lack of toe covering. However, Teva's Toachi has one, and looks like it would perform similar to the Terra. Their other sandal with a toe covering doesn't look like it has the size range, ie, I can either wear no socks, or three socks with the same sandal. The only question is, is it wide enough, and does it have a good enough sole. I guess my next step is buying a pair, and trying them out. If they don't work, I don't think it would be a big loss, I would probably still wear them, just not hiking.
As far as wearing socks with sandals, I do it all the time, and my wife cringes every time. She especially doesn't like it when I wear leather sandals to church with dress socks. I guess it is good I am married. I am also forbidden to pick out the clothes for the kids. Apparently I have failed everytime. Ē
Too funny! As you get older, comfort wins. Trying them out is the best. Iíve tried on the Toachi and they totally felt like a shoe. But now Iím so used to having my toes free, that I prefer open toe. Itís like walking barefoot in the woods but with comfort and support.
I wear my black terra fi2ís with black socks around work 100%. People rarely notice. It seems the black ones never go on sale. On the trail, I wear some weird orange/brown color terra fi2. I got them on sale for $50. At church, I also wear a nice black leather sandal; not Teva; some JC Penney brand. My wife wears a womanís Teva sandal to church but they actually look nice.
To minimize the embarrassing look, in the summer when I wear shorts, I wear low cut black ankle socks (coolmax) with my terra fi2ís. For some reason they donít look as bad as crew length <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />.
I figured I'd let everyone know from this thread, after about a month - looks like the consensus was right - I did end up finding a pair of wide width Montrail Hardrocks - size 11 Wide seems to work out very well for me.
(Still haven't received my membership card from the trail runner mafia though.. I suppose that'll have to wait for better weather here and an overnighter in 'em )