/ Sportiva Nepal Advice

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David Cowley - on 06 Dec 2012
Bought myself some Nepals and wore them for the first time yesterday. They worked great apart from skinning my heels. The size 45 1/2 were to small when kicking and walking down the board in the shop my toes were hitting the front and causing pain so I bought a size 46. However after wearing them for a full day they ended up skinning my heels. Does anyone else have this problem and what can I do to help stop it e.g. Tape up my heels, lace up techniques, 2 pair of socks etc. i pit volume reducers aswell as my own inner solesfor shin splints in, maybe i should take them out and use the original inner sole, any advice or help would be appreciated, cheers
martinph78 on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley: Take them back and try a different boot?

In my experience trying to "correct" a boot that has problems with fit from the off always ends in frustration.

You could try the Scholl Moleskin and stick it inside the boot (rather than your heel). It's worked for me on an old boot that started to rub (I guess as the leahert softened/stretched).

Personally I'd go back and try a diffferent make of boot to see if that's a better fit. Any good store should allow you to do this if you've only worn them in the house.
nniff - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:


They're heavy boots and will take a lot of breaking in, so be patient. A little and often is best - the 'hinge' at your ankle needs to form and that will relieve the pressure on your heel when you're walking.

I have volume reducers in mine and each lace is crossed over itself at the tape eyelet. That lets you snug the foot up using the locking eyelet, pull the heel back in with the next one, and have some flexibility with the rest looser. I also wear two pairs of thick socks - some would therefore say that they're too big (volume reducer and two pairs of thick socks), but it's the length of the boot that is the non-variable dimension.

Anyway - blisters after a full day in new heavy leather boots - no surprise there. Be patient. Take the dog for a walk in them every day for a fortnight and you'll get there.
David Cowley - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to nniff: thanks good advice basically what I was thinking. If I can pkaster up thicken the socks and ware in the fabric a bit should be fine. Would rather a bit of discomfort than braying my toes off the fronts and loosing my toe nails. Suppose the dog will be sick of walking over the next few weeks
davidbeynon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:

One thing that may help a bit is lacing them differently. If you lace to the top as normal, but then run the laces back down and tie between one of the lower pairs of hooks then you can hold the boot more steady.

Failing that, 2 pairs of socks and tape over the heels.
CurlyStevo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:
I get this problem to some extent with every stiff pair of boots I've owned! Some boots are worse than others for me though and these boots may just not be for you!

I find having the boots done up quite loosely on the walk in so my heals can move a bit actually helps! Also being careful on uphill sections as this is when the boot rubs hardest against the back of the boot.

It could well be that the volume reducers have moved your heal too high in the boot, defo try without them!

Another good tip is to Vaseline your heals before putting on your socks. If this doesn't work then zinc oxide (wide finger) tape helps.

Also I find one good pair of socks is best, these are the best I've used http://www.amazon.com/Smartwool-Mountaineering-Heavy-Mid-Calf-Crimson/dp/B000P8D40A/ref=sr_1_5?s=app...
The Ex-Engineer - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley: It sound like it is heal lift that is the primary cause. If so, then it there is a decent chance of solving it.

I'd try pretty much all you've suggested; padding your heal, reducing the overall volume and tightening the lacing over the middle of your foot. You can also influence the fit a bit by moving the removable tongue down into the boot by perhaps a cm or so.

Good luck. I've certainly found my Nepal one of the best and most comfortable boots I've owned.
Kirill - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:
This is normal. Use compeed patches preemptively. Expensive but last all weekend, or longer if you don't shower :) And only needed until the boots are broken in properly. Tape also works, but compeed is the best.
dek - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Kirill:
+1
Wouldn't dream of using my Nepals without them, until well broken in!
CurlyStevo - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
I can see you think the solution is reducing the potential movement in the heel . My experience for my heel problems (mine are particularly prominent and bony) is that when walking any distance in a B3 boot the foot will not stay as rigid as the sole of the boot and tightening the laces increases the pressure of the heel against the rear of the boot and also generally decreases the area of heel that is rubbed so actually makes the problem worse. I find keeping some movement (but not too much) around the heel for the walk in often helps and then tightening the boots before climbing.

I buy material B3 boots now as I find the problem is reduced as compared to leather ones.

I ended up giving my Nepals away in the end after 4 years use. I cracked the plastic toe welt twice and found the base of the boots really didn't agree with the balls of my foot far too un-ergonomic and hard. Gel insoles helped and I tried lots of other solutions. The heals weren't actually too bad on me for a stiff boot, but were still not ideal. The problem is I never really know how good a boot is for sure until I've used it in anger.

Freneys are just so much better on me!
David Cowley - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: All great advice cheers everyone. defo gonna get rid of the volume reducers and see if my heel fits better and keep patching up until they break in a bit. To be honest the pain is all worth it when you get those grest climbs in but it would be much better to have it more comfortable. These are my first B3 boot so was just hoping that there was other people with similar problems and it wasnt just me. Curlystevo i also have boney ankles all of my previous B1/B2 boots have caused me discomfort though previous sportiva boots have always fitted me better so will perservere with these for a bit. I defo know i havnt bought a size to big as the smaller size hurt my toe when kicking. I like the idea of loosening the boot a bit walking in as we all know these boots are for climbing and not the long walks in. Maybe i should carry a more comfortable pair for the walk in and let my climbing partners carry all the gear haha looks like i'll be going to bodycare for some compeeds they were only 1.59 for 5 for anyone that needs them
nniff - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:

Be careful with them slopping about too much - the laces came undone on a pair of Scarpa Cumbres I had, but I had a tight pair of gaiters on. I was walking down hill - didn't really notice anything far enough amiss to stop. When I got to the bottom, I'd worn a hole all the way through the lining. That was the walk off Creagh Meagaidh. Expensive error.
gear boy - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley: Nepal or nepal Evo?

Evo is narrower in heel

You can try repositioning the internal tongue to adapt volume, if your footbeds are moulded to you then use them, or are they just spongy ones?

ultimately even though lots here have said its normal for lift and blisters, it isnt.. its just a bad fit..

a good shop/boot fitter would tell you all you need to know to make sure you get the right boots

hard to say exactly what is causing the problem apart from the fact it doesnt fit your foot, sorry

Go back to shop you bought them from and ask for refitting help, but as you have used them outdoors its unlikely they will swap them
CurlyStevo - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to gear boy:
"ultimately even though lots here have said its normal for lift and blisters, it isnt.. its just a bad fit.."

Ok I've spent ages over the years trying on many pairs of B3 boots. I've even bought boots on ebay second hand and resold them on just to try them out! I've also owned three different models of B3 and three different models of B1.

With my heels the cumbres reduced the heel lift by the most as they have a very shaped heel that doesn't give. These boots gave me the worst blisters out of any boots I've ever worn, despite fitting the shape of my heel perfectly!

I think for my feet it is normal to get some heel lift if I don't want blisters WHEN WALKING (not CLIMBING). The foot naturally launches off the ball of the foot and toes when walking, this puts pressure on the heel if you have a rigid boot as it naturally wants to lift, it is impossible to get zero (I mean zero here) heel lift IMO, adjusting the way I walk does help a bit IMO. As mentioned doing up the boots tighter just increases the pressure on the bony heel and reduces the area rubbing. This in my experience with my heels is actually more likely to produce a blister as a smaller area is getting rubbed harder.

For your heels what you are saying maybe true, but don't generalise for everyones feet!!!
ben b - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: Agreed. I slop around in my walking boots and have never had a blister from them, but my old Nepal Tops absolutely killed my feet for the first few hundred miles (i.e a lot of painful weekends) but seemed to fit quite much better...

Big boots are often warmer and those of us with hotter, damper feet probably get more foot swelling and soggier socks. I now have some more trad 3/4 shanked uninsulated leathers and no longer get blisters, but my feet get flipping freezing instead. They also weigh a ton, but are indestructible which is handy in these parts.

Maybe I should dig out the old grey / orange 101s out the cupboard to remind me how winter boots should feel :-)

b
nniff - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to gear boy:
> (In reply to David Cowley) Nepal or nepal Evo?
>
> ultimately even though lots here have said its normal for lift and blisters, it isnt.. its just a bad fit..
> >
> hard to say exactly what is causing the problem apart from the fact it doesnt fit your foot, sorry
>
I've heard some rubbish in my time and I'm not past spouting some myself. However, you are effectively saying that the fit and shape of a leather boot doesn't change over time. Well, that is the most self-evident and arrant nonsense that I've heard in quite a while. It's called 'breaking in' and is both necessary and inevitable for substantial leather boots.

The one dimension that you will struggle to change is the length of a boot, although a skilled boot-fitter with the appropriate stretching tools can tweak the fit at the heel, toe and elsewhere to accommodate eccentricities of foot shape. Other elements can be adjusted with volume reducers, tongue depressors and socks. There's therefore a substantial difference between 'fitting' a boot and picking the right size and shape out of a box. Taking a three foot long pair of tongs to a boot and stretching a specific point is something best left to when a distinct problem has been identified and the boots broken in as far as they go. The most evident indicator of that having happened is when the curves have formed around the ankle and the original smooth profile of the leather in that area has gone.
Dave B on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:

B3 boots all day for the first time is blister heaven... I usually have to start with 30 minutes a day for a week, then an hour to two a day for a but .. Then I can wear them for extended periods like a week in the mtns.

Worst story for this was my wife got some new boots. I had reminded her to wear them in for about 4 weeks before we were due to walk the tour de mont Blanc. You know 30 minutes a day etc. She wore them for the first time the day before we left for 3 hours straight. Got massive blisters. S much so we couldn't do any walking in our holiday more than a few flat mile. Had or buy more shoes that were soft enough for her to walk at all and ended up doing bimble day walks. I was not impressed.
David Cowley - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Dave B: well thanks everyone for taking your time out to give the advice. I knew boots needed breaking in but wasn't sure how and if B3 boots did but now I do. Gonna tape up and take the dog on plenty of walks over the next few weeks to break and soften the heel area. I bought the bots on tues and wore them wed so to be fair I should have expected it. Well most on here have gave me hope and reassured me that it happens to them and does get better so now I won't worry the boots are to big and can concentrate on breaking them in. On the 2 socks area I was thinking my thick bridgedale summit socks but should I buy a thin wool/summer sock to wear underneath or go 2 thick pairs? I've only ever wore 1 pair!!

Cheers all and all the best for the winter, lets hope it's a good 1

David
nniff - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:

I wear one very thick pair (inner) and one slightly less so (outer). That does for two days. Third day, original thick pair becomes the new less thick pair and a new thick pair goes on the inside.

Toasty. Usually a very snug fit for the first half hour and then it settles down nicely.

My preferred thick socks are Thorlo - prefer them to smartwool.
Dave B on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to David Cowley:

Its not just the boot - its also you need breaking in.

I wear Thorlo outer socks and lighweight wool inner socks. I change the inners socks every 1-2 days, but the outer socks typically stay on for the duration of the trip. Dry them overnight on my chest in the bag, special spare socks to keep toes warm at night (small woolies). Spare socks a must, but generally not used. This is for high level hut to hut. If you are winter climbing UK, then id imagine fresh socks each day are easy.
gear boy - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to gear boy)

> For your heels what you are saying maybe true, but don't generalise for everyones feet!!!

fitted a fair few pairs of boots in my time, not being specific to my feet, in fact I have experimented on my feet and been through blisters, lost toe nails and all sorts in the past.

I have a skinny boney heel and that can be a problem, but there is footwear out there that fits or will fit with minor adjustments
gear boy - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to nniff:
> (In reply to gear boy)
> [...]
> you are effectively saying that the fit and shape of a leather boot doesn't change over time

No I am not.. Where did I say that? leather boots do change shape, so do feet, i have refitted boots due to breaking in of boot, and foot shape changing and customer wanting to keep old boots as they are well loved

Agree with other comments too, if length of boot was wrong I usually recommended new boots, other tweaks are easier to make.

nniff - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to gear boy:

"hard to say exactly what is causing the problem apart from the fact it doesnt fit your foot, sorry".


Well, frankly, they're not broken in is the primary candidate with a base assumption that they're the right size. If one size down casued stubbed toes, then he should be about right. Once they're broken in they'll fit a whole lot better. If by that point they're still not right, then there's a problem. If you go into a shop and say 'I bought these big heavy boots and they gave me a blister. I've only worn them once, for a day' they won't be entirely surprised.
gear boy - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to nniff: OK

OP said nepals,my first question is nepal or evo, as different shape, narrower heel and lower volume, if you had heel movement in nepal then Evo may be better fit, heel lift rarely cured by "breaking in" as boot is too big in volume in the first place

You dont buy a boot just on correct length, and ideally you can buy a winter boot and not get blisters, it is possible.

like I said its too much to go into here, but question remains has OP got the best boot for his foot?

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