/ Help with choosing good boots for Gold D of E Raynauds Walker

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Rams - on 05 Apr 2013
Hi,
Am a new forumite and already need some of your expert help.

My 17 year old daughter is about to embark on her Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Snowdonia. However I am concerned that over the past couple of years her Raynaud's syndrome has worsened and the last time she was out in her walking boots her Raynauds got pretty bad (she wasn't climbing but simply walking on a geography fieldtrip).

We need to get her new walking boots in any case as the ankle support is not great and, she needs a boot that is comfortable(obviously mother),but not too snug as the foot needs a good supply of air around it so as not to restrict blood flow to the capillaries.

Any expereince of buying good boots for Raynaud's sufferers out there? Best makes, best fitting companies, opinions on heated boots,socks etc would be more than welcome.

captain paranoia - on 05 Apr 2013
In reply to Rams:

My experience with Raynaud's is that it's not about magic boots or magic gloves, but about managing your core temperature with clothing and good hydration and nutrition. Obviously, people are different, but Raynaud's usually kicks in if I let my core get cold (standing around for too long, not wearing enough insulation), or hungry and thirsty.

For my hands, I've found that keeping my wrists warm helps a little.

For boots, I'd suggest thick socks and boots that will accommodate them; too tight boots will compromise good circulation. And, again, keeping the legs warm will help, even if this means wearing a base layer under walking trousers in 'summer'.

It might also be worth investigating different boot lacing techniques; using a surgeon's knot to lock the laces below the ankle cuff, for instance, means that the boot can be tightened where needed, and not over-tightened elsewhere, or have the lace tension slip from where you want it. This can also help with blisters, too.

Then there's the classic mountaineer's maxim: "got cold feet? Wear a hat"; core temperature management again.

It's very hard to recommend specific products because boot fit is so personal.

It's been a pretty bad winter for Raynaud's; I've had chilblains from sitting using the computer or watching the TV for too long, and getting very cold feet. So it may not be that her condition is getting worse. May be worth checking with your GP, anyway.
Snoweider - on 05 Apr 2013
In reply to Rams:
Some really good advice from Captain Paranoia above- I'm ot a raynauds sufferer but I have fitted boots for living and I now supervise Gold DofE. Make sure she goes to a reputable shop for boots, you don't say where you are based but a lot of chains/discount shops will not have staff trained to the appropriate level (Cotswolds, Brighams and Tisos usually ok, and some branches of Nevis Sport), so go for a specialist independent store.
Novice expeditioners such as Gold DofE students are not so good at keeping their feet dry as they can be a bit random about falling in to puddles etc. Wet feet will definitely make it worse so encourage her to pay attention to this, and splash out on some decent gaiters (no pun intended). Also, I find I'm endlessly coaching my students on diet, esp the girls. On a gold exped I'll eat minimum 3000 calories a day, and make sure that 1000 of this is for dinner before go to bed. Essential for keeping the core warm.
the real slim shady - on 05 Apr 2013
In reply to Snoweider: with regard to keeping feet dry and warm I would definitely advise sealskinz, Ive had a pair for a year and a bit now, and Ive never had wet feet since, they are really breathable so to keep feet warm I think you could put a ski sock or similar on with them, this would also help with blisters if that is a problem.

Another thing to keep warm overnight is to change clothes before bed, especially socks, so you are in no risk of sleeping in sweaty clothes from the day before.

I will echo the calorie advice too, I am also a DofE leader and do pretty much the exact same.

I know this isnt what you asked and you might know this already, but HTH :)

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