A couple of friends and I are going on a road trip this summer, and we're planning on hiking the Grand Canyon, Half Dome, Observation Point at Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Longs Peak. I've been trying to find a pair of boots for this juggernaut and I've been out of luck so far- at least, I've made it hard on myself in my pursuit.
For starters, I have a small foot. I'm a tall guy, six feet, but my feet are 9s in most shoes. My foot is narrow, too, and definitely low-volume. That probably has something to do with my dilema.
I picked up the North Face Storm Mid, and it was nice. I liked it. Felt right on my foot, except when I tried to crank it down to lock my ankle in- it was too short. My toe hit the front on downhills. To tighten it enough to attempt to stop it meant my sole just felt... pinched. Hot. I can't really describe it, it was just uncomfotable, and it didn't help the toe knocking. So I went back to the store and went up a half size, and the slipping was gone. But, another problem arose; my ankle started lifting in the boot. Again, trying to lock it in meant pain for my sole, so I decided to take those back too. This time, I got the Teva Raith mid, and as soon as I got home I realized I made a mistake. The ankle slipped worse, something I had noticed in the store but tried to tighten to mitigate. The tightness required to keep the ankle semi-solid was painful, again, and the boot just doesn't feel right on my foot. The last isn't the right shape for me. So I'm taking those back, too.
What do I do?
The store I've been going to has a no questions asked return policy, so I've been lucky in that regard. However they only have four makes of boots- Teva Raiths, Keens of some sort (I didn't try them, they're apparently very wide inside), North Face Storms, and a Salomon that was nice but had a little heel slip and was kind of wide in the toes.
Should I take back my boots for store credit, use that on something else, and head to another outfitter? One south of me has a slightly wider selection.
Should I go back to the Storm (which I liked, it was a nice fit- or so I thought) and try new ankle lacing techniques? I read about some that reduced the pain in my Tevas and helped the heel problem a little, they may be of help. Would an insole help with heel lift? Is the general sole soreness an artifact of tightness or a misfit boot? I've never had hiking boots before, so I'm not sure what to expect totally.
I don't want to seem like a Goldilocks of shoes, but I figure that whatever I settle on should be semi-comfortable given the use they'll see.
- I can't find a boot that fits and this may be my fault.
- Should I go back to the TNF Storm, which fit but had heel lift, and use an insole/lacing techniques?
- Is general the general footbed pain I had from the Storm caused by overtighness or a sign that the boot just isn't right?