[pct-l] Shoe size

Jim & Jane Moody moodyjj at comcast.net
Sat Jun 4 18:22:17 CDT 2016

My opinion is different than Bob's. I like larger shoes, by at least 1 or 2 sizes. I like to be able to wiggle my toes inside the shoes, and I also tie a "surgeon's knot" in the lower laces to impede my foot from sliding forward in the shoe. I wear toe socks under a longer pair of "oversocks", which also reduces the likelihood of blisters. 

I had bad blisters on the AT in the Smokies, from boots that became too tight and from wet feet from snow. On the PCT and the CDT (only partially done), I've had no blisters with this strategy. The larger size also allows me to put in 2 sole cushion pads, which is heresy to some hikers (cue Shroomer) but works for me. 

The overall best advice is to try out what you plan on wearing under extreme conditions before you start out. 

Good luck. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Bob Bankhead" <wandering_bob at comcast.net> 
To: "xx xx" <snchrs at gmail.com>, "PCT List Forum" <pct-l at backcountry.net> 
Sent: Saturday, June 4, 2016 5:14:49 PM 
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Shoe size 

+1 yes 

+2 no, unless you know from experience that you'll need it. Too big is as 
bad as too tight. 

The reason for the larger size is to accommodate any foot swelling that may 
occur, especially through the hotter sections of southern CA. The extra 
space also relieves some friction between your feet and the sides of your 
shoes. Personally, I buy my hiking shoes in my normal everyday size, but 
insist on a WIDE version. If a wide is not available in my chosen model, I 
go to a model that does. Merrell Moab Ventilators come in a wide and breathe 
superbly and dry fast after crossing streams. I just change socks 
afterwards, letting the stream rinse my current socks perhaps well ahead of 
my planned rinse. Flexibility is key to long distance hiking. The downside 
is reduced protection for the forefoot area, but good after-market insoles 
(Merrell's suck) can improve that. 

One of your best blister prevention techniques is to change socks 
religiously during the day. Dirty socks have moisture, fine grit and oils 
that facilitate friction and thereby blisters. Clean dry socks do not. 

Decades of experience have taught me to change my socks every 2 hours if I'm 
primarily on level or ascending terrain; every hour if going mostly downhill 
(more foot slippage and friction). I always carry at least three pair of 
socks - one being worn, one spare for periodic changes, and one for sleeping 
only. In a pinch, the sleeping socks get demoted, but only until I can get 
a new pair. Whenever possible, rinse your socks, wring dry, and hang to dry 
on your pack as you walk. Lacking a rinse, just hang the damp socks on the 
pack to dry. At least every other day - preferably daily, wash your socks in 
warm water and a bit of soap. Rinse well and hang to dry. Your feet will 
thank you. 

Wandering Bob 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Pct-L [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of xx xx 
Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2016 1:39 PM 
To: pct-l at backcountry.net 
Subject: [pct-l] Shoe size 

Is it better to buy hiking shoes 1 to 2 sizes larger than my measured size 
to help prevent blisters? 

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