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Friday, August 26, 2016

Wide feet? Best hiking boots and running shoes

I have foot problems because I have wide toes!  And I'll be you do too, or your wouldn't be here.  The urban dictionary says we have "Elite Feet" because of our long BTs.  (BT=big toe)  If you have a wide foot, you may hit those problems more quickly than most.  I had a slip and fall a few years ago that really brought attention bunions and hammertoes, and made them activate.  In my effort to protect my foot, I started wearing Dansko and Sanita clogs.  And while those are great for wide feet, they aren't so great for wide toes because the toe cap is rounded and will push on your big toe - unless you have a short big toe, or your other toes are longer - these foot types will tell you something - and I've mentioned these before.
 which foot type are you

I remember searching incessantly one day for more information.  Sure, I could find something that was wide (like Danksos), but couldn't find something that was wide in the toes.  And finally, I did find it. And I realized that all of my sneakers, though they were reputable brands, did not allow my toes to spread out and act the way feet should - which is to grip and to stabilize.  Basically, if your big toe is the largest & longest toe on your foot, and all the rest taper down, you need footwear that accommodates that.  I think this image from the ALTRA website says it best.  And this goes double for hiking or trail running.

FootShaped™ Design

I bought a pair of Altras and I am very happy with them.  I can't walk very much because of the problems I have been having, but I am hoping I can keep walking more and more to get used to it, and work my way back up to being able to walk without pain.
So when my hiking boots fell apart after 16 years, I knew where to look - ALTRA again. A lot of hiking boots are too stiff and too narrow in the toes.  And that's some real trouble for the downhills - not that I do them now, but I used to.  This makes toe space even more important.  Merril was a little bit better than others, but still problematic.  I was told that Keen was a great option because they were wide in the toes, but they were a bit tight and pressed into my bunion.  I have to pass on that kind of pressure.  Altra's new Lone Peak 3.0 Mid Neo shoe comes with Polartec lining and is waterproof.  This makes them great for all kinds of cold weather trail running issues - as well as slogging in the slush.  But in comfort for your big toe with their patented FootShape toe box.

I'm super-excited about these shoes!  Now, if you want a trail running shoe without the ankle support, they have that in other versions of the Lone Peak 3.0.  They have a summer shoe in the plain Lone Peak 3.0 Trail Runner, and greater protection in the Lone Peak 3.0 Low Neo which has that Polartec lining and, but no ankle support.  And, of course, the greatest protection in the Mid Neo.  They have running shoes of all kinds.  I wear the Provision for just walking around and am quite happy with it.  Whatever pair you get, consider also getting some Trail Gaiters to keep out the sand or snow.

I really think Altra is the way to go for everything - running and hiking or just walking around town.  It's like running barefoot, but with some really great cushioning and support.

This guy from Youtube has a pretty solid grip on how these Altra Provision shoes work and their stabilizing properties in his review.  Totally worth looking at.  They have both men's and women's styles.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment! Commenting is now open to everyone! (Write to me for advice! SavvySingleChristian@yahoo.com)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Wide-toed hiking, running and casual shoes by VivoBarefoot

Barefoot running has its charms.  But since those barefoot running shoes are often hard to put on, most people are opting for other things.  Since comfortable shoes that allow decent toe spread are my current obsession, I want to share what I have learned with you - other wise it's not much fun to find things out if I can't share them.

Oh, so that's why they have different shaped shoes...

First of all, there is the matter of foot shape.  Some of you might have a foot with a longer second toe.  That kind of foot has no problems with regular shoes because it gives them room for that longer toe with a rounded or pointed toe box.  I have something between Egyptian and Roman.  And that means trouble for shoes because they end up not fitting.  My foot is wide in the front and narrower in the heel.  I've decided to give up designer and fashion shoes for the sake of comfort.  Mainly, I've started to have bunions, despite wearing only modest shoes for many years since an ankle sprain sidelined me.

One of the problems with this new view is that you often miss out of some element of fashion.  But I feel that VivoBarefoot solves that problem by having some cute flats and some alternate designs beyond just running shoes.  They even have hiking boots, rain boots, and water shoes.  As per usual, I think Amazon is the way to go with being able to try them on and send them back if you don't like them.

UPDATE:  Tried the Vivobarefoot hiking boots - these run a size smaller compared to Birkenstocks.  And they are great if you are going to hit dusty, dirt or gravelly trails.  Maybe rocky.  I don't do any of that.  What I really need is more like a high top or something like that.  Street shoes with real ankle support.  Like I said, Amazon makes it really easy to return things through their online system.  If you know how to use the internet (of course you do!) and your printer, you are golden.

Please check out my other recommendations:
Best running shoes for wide feet & toes
More best running shoes for wide feet & toes

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment! Commenting is now open to everyone! (Write to me for advice! SavvySingleChristian@yahoo.com)

Olympic highs and lows for swimming - and what's with the team suits not being worn by all?

Maybe most people only have a passing interest in swimming, but having been on the swim team in high school, I actually get really into it.   It's amazing to see how things have advanced in terms of times and how swimming is different by these champions vs the rest of us.  But wait there's more...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

More best running shoes for wide feet & toes

Watching the Olympics really gets me wanting to jump back in there and try to get in shape again. I'm pretty sure it does that for you, too. One of the problems with has dogged me throughout the years is having to force my feet into shoes that don't fit right. And everyone thinks that if you are wearing flat and/or athletic shoes that you will not have the problems that many women have from wearing heels. Well, think again! If your running shoes are pinching your toes together, you can get bunions. It's not just from heels! So here is yet another recommendation: TOPO ATHLETICS. I've been obsessed lately with making sure I get shoes which allow my feet to expand properly. I have learned that there are different foot structures. Some people do not have a problem with pointy-toes shoes and don't need the room in the toe box that I need. And that's fine for them. I just know that I need room in the toes. But Topo takes it a little bit further than other modern shoe companies. In addition to offering support, their shoes encourage a more natural running stride. They have shoes which are graded from a zero heel drop, 3mm lower in the heel, and 5mm lower in the heel. These could be a game-changer. And, as usual, Amazon makes it easy to try them on with free return shipping if they don't work out. I'm ready to try them for myself!

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment! Commenting is now open to everyone! (Write to me for advice! SavvySingleChristian@yahoo.com)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Best running shoes for wide feet & toes

Have you ever noticed that most running shoes pinch your toes? Have you thought about trying barefoot running shoes to let your toes be freer? Or did you just give up and stuff your toes into your shoes anyway. I've seen women with horrible feet- huge bunions that made it difficult for them to walk. Just look at any podiatrist website and you'll see what I'm talking about. I was determined to avoid the problem by not wearing heels. But there is more to it than that! Your toes need room to spread - and most shoes get in the way of that natural toe spread. Even clogs! And I'm sure you've heard that Dansko clogs are great for your feet! I have decided to get rid of all of my shoes right away - even the ones I thought were sensible - in hopes of making it so I don't have a problem - even the running shoes. So here is my recommendation for a great running shoe that I had never heard of before - ALTRA. They have them at Amazon.com. I also have additional recommendations for every day wear below: