Stiff, wide trail runners?
Sep 23, 2018 at 6:18 am #3556932
I am continuing my progression towards lighter and lighter, and my next step (hopefully) is moving from boots to trail runners. However, I’m not super optimistic of finding what I need.
I have a wide forefoot and a narrow ankle. I need footwear in a wide size, which eliminated 80% of shoes on the market. When trying wides, most of them leave my heel swimming. Complicating things further, I need a stiff sole because I have hallux rigidus, an incurable, progressive condition where the large joint of my right big toe barely bends at all, and hurts with every step. Not pleasant, but it doesn’t stop me hiking, though it does make footwear even harder to find.
After a long search, I found that Vasque Breeze boots work well. They got me around the Wonderland Trail a couple months ago without a single blister, hot spot or other feet issues, and the big toe pain wasn’t too bad. But they weigh twice the weight of, say, Altra Lone Peaks (2#7 vs. 1#3).
The Breeze is also available in a (heavy) low cut, though unfortunately only in a Goretex version, something I don’t want.
Anyone know of a trail runner or light hiking shoe that’s:
- Available in wide sizes
- Has a narrow heel
- Isn’t waterproof
- And has a stiff sole?
I know I’m asking a lot, and I’m sort of thinking that maybe I’m best off sticking with what I know works, but thought I’d test the wisdom of the BPL crowd before giving up… I have this crazy idea of maybe doing the PCT next year or the year after, and gather that trail runners really help on long through hikes…
Thanks!Sep 23, 2018 at 7:43 am #3556933
Ah the Ozzzie curse-wide forefoot and narrow heel! I’m with you brother/sister.
All that time as kids wearing thongs or going barefoot. Doesn’t help there are no longer shoe makers in Australia catering for our feet.
Remember (or are you too young) when a size 9 1/2 was the same length as a 9 but a bit wider? The half size was the wide version. Now it’s all this Euro/UScentric sizing that doesn’t help us at all.
I tried the Lone Peaks 3.0 and found them mushy BUT strangely comfy -not good for technical walking or rough bushwalking . I had to put some gel inserts under the heel which gave a nice 1-2 mm drop and a proper SOFSOLE (thinnest one linked below) over that. I am looking at the newest iteration of them now again-it looks much more robust.
Also wearing (on my fourth pair) INOV8 Trail Talon see below
which has a wider forefoot (not as wide as the Altras) and nice narrow heel-pretty stiff as they have a really good rockplate and the tread is stellar for hard tracks and rocky paths and tough as nails.The other INOV8 models used to be wider but seem to have narrowed over time. I have about 800 ks on one pair- they will not die, the Lone Peaks started falling apart after 400ks-but are still very wearable.
this inner sole is also excellent –
https://www.sofsole.com/product/Thin_Fit thin but never compresses, and I mean never!
CheersSep 23, 2018 at 9:45 am #3556936Andre BuhotBPL Member
Maybe the La Sportiva TX3 or TX4 they are from their approach shoe line so they are a little stiffer. And they work for my wideish feetSep 23, 2018 at 5:18 pm #3556982Bob BBPL Member
I had the Altra Lone Peak 3.0’s for a hot minute and while I loved the toebox space they felt sloppy to me in the mid and rear.
I ended up in a pair of Topo Athletic Terraventures and I love them. The toebox is roomy but the mid and rear are snug. This is my goldilocks “just right” shoe. Not sure I would describe the sole as being “stiff”, but I wonder if you could augment that w/ an aftermarket insert.
The new Terraventure 2 model comes out in a few weeks and I’m excited about those as well, as they seem to be addressing the few minor downsides of the current model (new: vibram bottom, gaiter trap, rock plate), and it doesn’t look like they’re changing (wrecking) anything I like. Point being, you may even want to wait a few weeks for them to come out.Sep 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm #3557079Peter TreiberBPL Member
+1. I needed a wider toe box for my metatarsal issue; started with Altra, ended with Topo.Sep 24, 2018 at 4:54 pm #3557110
I’m lucky enough to have a New Balance outlet near me and they make many of their sneakers and trail runners in wide widths. I can’t comment about the heel, but you might want to look at NB. My last pair had Vibram soles and were great.Sep 24, 2018 at 7:17 pm #3557121
Hi I am familiar with the topos -not as wide as the lone peaks but tougher. I know of the New Bals also but struggle to find the right ones. Kevin which model did you have? Choice in Australia for wide feet given nearly everyone has them is pitiful.Sep 24, 2018 at 8:55 pm #3557127
Mine were the NB MO889GR – I bought two pairs but they are sadly no longer available. Here’s an example of what they currently offer with Vibram soles: New Balance UX20v7Sep 26, 2018 at 5:19 am #3557381
Thanks for the tips – will definitely check these out. Didn’t know mine was a national affliction, Graham, but your explanation makes sense – that’s me!
Unfortunately, none of the Inov-8, La Sportiva or Topo come in a Wide size. I know they have a wider-than-normal footbox, which allows normal-width feet to splay and swell – bravo; but wider feet need to be able to do the same, too…
Will look further into NB Vibram options. Got a chuckle from the pair linked – after recovering from the, um, arresting color scheme, I see that it’s called “Light Petrol/Flame”. Which is a pretty good way of lighting petrol… Maybe this is what the drummer from Spinal Tap was wearing when he met his demise?Sep 26, 2018 at 8:56 am #3557389
Thanks Kevin I am onto them. Gumbo not correct, the ones i linked are wider than normal. Try them if you can. See if they work out, you need wide but not sloshy unless you mainly want them for casual short walking. Then you can wear just about anything. Cheers boyo.Sep 26, 2018 at 10:45 am #3557393
Good luck – I’ve been really happy with my NB hikers. I mostly hike in Pennsylvania and there are lots (and lots) of sharp rocks on the trails and I’ve never had any problems with the stiffness. For what it’s worth, I’m a big guy: 275 lbs (125 KG to you guys down under).Sep 26, 2018 at 4:18 pm #3557425Greg MihalikBPL Member
“… because I have hallux rigidus, an incurable, progressive condition where the large joint of my right big toe barely bends at all, and hurts with every step.”
Same here (right and left). I’m in a New Balance that fits my foot, and these rigid carbon insoles easily fit under the OEM insole. (Maybe a millimeter thick.)
They are “Contour Firm”, and fit Very tightly toe to heel to prevent slippage (nearly impossible to extract). They do not flex. Kicking a “tombsome” in the trail has no effect on my toes. Standing on a knife edged rock is like standing on a table. I just spent 10 days in BWCA carrying a 50# canoe plus a 20# pack across hideous rocky portage trails with no ill effect.
They cost $60 per insole, available only at an orthopedic office. Unlike the carbon insoles on amazon, these come in half centimeter sizes, and your ortho guy could grind one down if “29.5” is a hair to long. Call Wymark (800-969-3668) customer service and have them locate offices near you that dispense these.
Then you can buy any shoe that fits.
Note: Shoes sizes are inconsistent, but industrial strength double-sided tape will hold the plate if the next shoe is longer than the current one.Sep 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm #3557441
Glad to hear these work so well for you, Greg. I tried a pair of these carbon stabilizer plates for a few months. I measured them at 2.2mm thick, and 4.7 oz/pair for a size 11. I had two problems – first, they took up too much room in my shoes, doubly tough because I have pretty high volume feet. And second, I found their hardness pretty brutal on my feet, even under an aftermarket insole, and ended up carrying them the last half of the way on the last backpack I did with them (in low Merrell Moab Ventilators).
The ones you picture look to be thinner. Do you have calipers or a means to measure their thickness? How much do they weigh? The also have some curve to them; mine are totally flat. If they’re thinner and lighter, I will give them a go.Sep 26, 2018 at 7:31 pm #3557443WHGSpectator
I’ve had reasonable luck with Asics in wide sizes (4E). Not just that they’re wide, but seem to have a curve to the last that work for me. For example:Sep 26, 2018 at 7:38 pm #3557446Greg MihalikBPL Member
Size 11 (29.5) – 3.8 oz per pair, and no calipers. Eyeballing to a metric rule I get 2mm. I’m sure Wymark can provide a definitive answer.
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