Why are my Heels Eating my Shoes?

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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Why are my Heels Eating my Shoes?

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  • #1325843


    Locale: Southeast

    What causes my heel to eat the padding out of the back of my shoes? Shoes too big, or too short? Or am I buying shoes with oddly shaped heel cups? Any suggestions would be great appreciated!

    First pair were Inov8 Rocklite 295 size 10s. Loved the shoes but ultimately had to get something with more support. (I have fallen arches and now use orthotics, but these were never used when my heels were eating my shoes.) They were used when I got them but the heel cup did not show much wear. I wore them for 60 miles hiking and a few short runs. My heel wore through the fabric on the heel cup and was working on the padding when I quit using them.

    Second pair were La Sportiva Bushidos size 42.5s (US 9.5). After wearing these for two months, including multiple day hikes, my heel had completely worn all the fabric and padding out of the heel cup. Looking into the shoe you would see the plastic frame of the heel cup through a hole the size of a quarter.

    In both shoes I could usually tape my heel to prevent blisters, but the shoes and socks still wear out.

    jimmer ultralight


    Loose fit around the heel of your foot combined with eccessive heel striking?

    Mike Henrick


    Locale: Boston

    You need a different shoe, one that doesn't slip in the heel. It's usually a combination of the shape of the heel cup and the lacing.

    Kate Magill
    BPL Member


    Are you tying a lace lock? Take a look at the first picture on this page to see what I mean:

    I'm sure there are some youtube videos, too, if you search "lacing shoes to prevent heel slippage" or something like that.

    It's worth a shot if you like how the shoes fit otherwise and don't want to give up on them just yet.



    Locale: Southeast

    Thanks Kate, I have not been tying them that way, but will try that on my next pair. I have already gotten rid of the pairs I had.

    Does any one know how to pick out shoes that won't cause heel slip? I tried on multiple pairs in the store and never notice any problem with the fit. I guess I should be looking for a shoe with a narrow heel cup?

    Anyone have suggestions for a well venilated shoe with good arch support?

    Peter Bakwin
    BPL Member


    My shoes always get those "holes" at the heels just as you describe. So what? It doesn't impact the comfort or function of the shoes in the least.



    Locale: Southeast

    It wouldn't bother me that bad if it was only the shoes, but when my heels are eating the shoes, the shoes are eating back at my heels.

    In the La Sportivas it only took about half mile rub a blister. The Ivon8 weren't quite as bad, usually started getting a blister about mile 3 or 4. And that's with medium weight wool socks on. I could usually prevent the blisters by taping, but there has to be a better fit. I Hate to have to tape up everytime I walk out the door.

    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Right there

    You can steam custom mold those Innov 8 heel cups. Helps, but they wear fast in that area for me as well.

    Buck Nelson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Alaska

    My shoes always wear out there as well. It's rarely a problem for my feet, though.

    Larry De La Briandais
    BPL Member


    Locale: SF Bay Area

    Maybe try putting some moleskin in the shoe? Trim it to fit the back of the heal cup.

    Ross L
    BPL Member


    Locale: Beautiful BC

    During a 4 day trip with my wife, she developed blisters on her heels from the worn out holes in her light hikers. I patched them up with Tenacious Tape (and moleskin on her heels). Worked beautifully and the Tenacious tape lasted for many more hikes.

    Jason G
    BPL Member


    Locale: iceberg lake

    I find that i get less fatigued and blister less when i try to focus on my stride. I try to use each muscle in unison to take a nice, flat, balanced stride and land evenly on each foot. I think heel blisters are caused mainly by overuse of the calf muscles. the calf and foot, i find, should be more of a pivot point that a thruster.

    Of coarse footwear can be a major issue but if this is happening in every pair you try then balance your stride! Don't overuse one muscle…use all in conjunction

    Derek M.
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    I have pretty substantial bone spurs on my heels. This causes me to almost always wear through the heels of my shoes before anything else. This may or may not be relevant to you, but I just thought I'd let you know that this can be factor.

    Either way, there is nothing to really do about it. I tape up the holes as best I can and just keep wearing the shoes until everything else falls apart too.

    There's no perfect solution to this problem.

    Kate Magill
    BPL Member


    Wearing two pairs of thin socks may reduce heel chafing.

    If the heel-shredding is your number one problem, you could always switch to something leather-lined, but then you're looking at boots and a weight penalty. Lowa Renegade comes in low-cut and mid-cut leather-lined versions. Very comfy, not UL.

    G H


    Locale: Midwest

    I have bone spurs on my heals that wear a hole in my Nike road running shoes almost immediately. Unfortunately, my feet prefer the Nikes over anything else.

    I found that if I put a square of duct tape a little bigger than a postage stamp on the inside of my Nike's when they are brand new, I never wear a hole, I never notice the tape, and it never falls out.



    Locale: Southeast

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions! I am definitely going to try all these when I get my next pair.

    So what shoes should I get?

    I need a footbed that won't completely collapse. I had to get rid of the Inov8s because they were not stiff enough.

    Ventilation is a close second priority. I dont want waterproof. All most all my hiking is between 40-80 degrees F and very humid.

    I think I need a wide heel. From what I can find online the La Sportivas have a narrow heel so I assume I should try the opposite. Someone comment if you think this a bad idea.

    I already have orthotics, so a neutral shoe is preferred.

    I know everyone is going to say I need to go try some on but I honestly don’t have time to travel anywhere to look, so I am going to have to order them from REI or somewhere. Probably will order a couple of pairs and try them on around home and the office.

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