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Triangular Shaped feet, Wide Toe box and Narrow/Average Heels. Pain!


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TLDR: I have big triangular feet which , tried wide sizes but my heel is far too narrow for them. Being in the UK restricts trying out any wide sized footwear in the flesh. 

Hello all, I am having some troubles finding the right type of footwear. 

I am a wannabe coastal hiker, based in England. I have size 12 feet, but with horrendous looking paddle feet with a narrow/average heel and claw like toes that constantly rub against each other. 

Last year I attempted a week long coastal walk from Dartmouth to Whitsand bay and only managed 33 miles in one and a half days before I was in complete agony, my pinky toe had turned into a hard sharp blister due to the narrow Karrimors I had been wearing. I had to cancel the trip and consign myself to a campsite. 

This year I would like to attempt this again. I purchased sets of Injinji toed socks, which are absolutely fantastic. However this means my already wide feet an even wider toe box. Purchasing wide shoes has been an absolute minefield. Unlike in the US there are very few stockists of wide footed shoes. I did try one stockist but they tried to rip me off really badly (4 times the price the shoe is in the US).

So going blind I ordered a set of New Balance 703 Country Walkers from the US. US Size 13 4E width (UK 12.5) and a set of New Balance 610V5 Trail Runners in US Size 13 2E Width (UK 12.5). I am a UK Size 12, but New Balance wide fittings only seem to jump from UK Size 11 to 12.5. 
The 4E Country Walkers were actually narrower in width then the 2E Trail Runners and the heel and middle portion of the boot was far too wide for me to be comfortable in. The 2E Trail Runners have a far roomier toe box. The left shoe fits about right, but this is where I discover my right foot to be of significantly less volume then the left. 

Last Sunday I decided to go on a solo walk 15 miles from Seaford to Eastbourne on the famous Seven Sisters route. I used the 2E Trail Runners with Injinji Sock liner and Injinji Mid-weight Outdoor socks. I also lace up using the Heel lock method. I got no blisters at all, however I had to tie up my laces so tight on the right boot that by the middle of the walk the top of my foot was quite painful due to the laces cutting in through the tongue. As the material on the Trail Runners is very thin I didn't feel like I got a huge amount of traction. 

I can’t help shake this loose feeling from my right foot, pivoting on the heel makes it feel even worse. As the foot expands mid walk it feels less loose but I still need the laces to be really right.  I have ordered a Superfeet Tongue Depressor to put another layer between the lace and the top of my foot and hopefully push my foot into my heel more. It seems pretty obvious that I have mismatched triangle shaped feet, which are probably the worst feet to buy for. 

I am sort of at a loss of what to do next, it was great that I didn’t have blisters, but I don’t trust the Trail Runners to last a week of intense walking with a 9KG camping pack. They are very breathable but very little toe protection and are not waterproof. The Country Walkers are being sold on (Imported them from the states off of Ebay so cant really return them), i'll keep the Trail runners because they are literally the best pair I have had used even though they are still far from what I desire in a hiking shoe). 


So my questions!

Did a Tongue Depressor help you at all to push your foot into the heel and cut into the top of your foot less?
Is there anything else I could do to help the Trail Runners be more comfortable? 
The current insoles are… OK. Do custom insoles actually make much of a difference in comfort? I can’t see how spending £60 on some would actually make much difference. 
What brands or models of lightweight mid hiking boots would you recommend that could cater to my triangular feet? I have tried Keen Kovens before which felt fine on the heel but the toe box was not quite wide enough with the Injinji’s on. 
Should I just suck it up and accept that I will be in pain regardless of what I do?


(Awesome photo of the Seven Sisters that I took.)

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try Altra.. They are coming out with a mid boot/shoe this July I believe.  Foot shaped toe box.. Love mine!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not sure how their boots are, but Merrill has a line called the Trail Glove that is specifically that shape. 

That at being said, there is a caveat: they are minimalist shoes with a great deal of flex in the sole. If you like to feel the ground, like me, great. If not, they might not be for you. 

I do do have an older pair of Merrill Canteen shoes that feel like they have a larger toe box than other shoes, but again I'm not sure about their boots. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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