[pct-l] Shoe size

Scott Williams baidarker at gmail.com
Mon Jun 6 14:21:21 CDT 2016

Yup, for me, bigger is better.  I was a size 9.5 all my adult life, then I
hiked the PCT and am now a permanent size 12.  I also wear them so loosely
they flop around and my feet move from side to side and fore and aft.  The
only time they are uncomfortable is when I've laced them too tightly.  Many
long distance walkers use very loose floppy shoes.

Sox don't matter so much for me and I got by with little girls cotton sox
for one section when that was all that was available in Sierra City.  They
lasted 2 days and were in shreds and I walked 2 days with no sox and no

Part of the issue with blisters is simply having tender feet.  The more
miles you can put on your feet with a pack before you set out, the better
for your foot health overall.  Also, start the trail slowly so your feet
can toughen naturally over the first few weeks.  There's no need for
blisters if you take it slow at first.  The speed and distance will come on
of themselves over
the summer.  Many of the problems this spring have been cau sed by folks
simply starting too fast and hard.  I keep seeing terrible blister pictures
posted on the PCT and CDT fb pages from folks hitting 20s right from the

Good luck and have a wonderful hike.


On Sunday, June 5, 2016, DayLate07 . <dthibaul07 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I find myself in the same category as Mango, a little bigger and wider
> sure.  I just finished up 400 miles on the Arizona trail and when out
> was thinking the whole time how weird it was that my shoes felt a little
> tight, especially at the end of the day.  These were brand new shoes and I
> had worn this model before.  Come to find out, I noticed just after I got
> home, that they were 2E instead of the normal 4E's a usually get - I must
> have picked up the wrong size at the store.  I don't really notice the
> width difference very much until I start hiking a lot of miles over
> days.  Then it makes a huge difference for me.
> Shoes are the hardest piece of gear to get just right.  And once you do
> manufacturer will invariably stop making that model shoe or worse change
> its fit on you.  I sometimes buy 4 or 5 shoes at a time when I find one I
> like and yet it seems like as soon as I run through those I'm back to
> evaluating new models....
> I believe most people in general wear shoes that are too small for them,
> if you are not on your feet a lot you probably won't notice it as much.
> During a thru hike you will.  Be flexible and if what you have doesn't
> try something else.  This is expensive but I haven't found anything that
> works better than plain old trial and error.
> Day-Late
>> 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
>> 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.
>> Mango
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