I can uncomfortably feel every thread in my socks whilst hiking.

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Silverclaws2

Nomad
Dec 30, 2019
255
124
53
Devon
So today furnished me with my first proper hike this year out on the moor, Dartmoor to be precise , to have prior had the usual problem with what to wear on my feet, to know it was going to be difficult and it was, to say it, it always is to experience the same problem every time I hike to now be sitting here typing this with somewhat ragged and sensitive feet.

The problem concerns the subject of footwear and what might be going on to cause such discomfort during, to be in a position to '' uncomfortably feel ever thread in my socks whilst hiking '' to be so tender afterwards.

As today given I have not yet glued up my Raichle Mountain Trail boots for the third time due to a disintegrating midsole, (I am getting rather fed up with this), was forced to wear my mid eighties combat, high's, yeah DMS boots, of which although are tough and water even Dartmoor bog proof are not the best in terms of comfort over long distances, yay the indestructible one piece hard rubber sole, to wonder about this '' ability to feel every thread in my socks '' is it related to the boots through them being bog proof and so not breathable?

Not breathable so as to create somewhat of a swamp in the boot, to soften skin, to be in a position to feel the weave of the outer socks through the thin Coolmax inners? The outers that I can feel through the Coolmax inners are HJ Halls HJ3000 socks of which I have always used since my mob days and yeah I hammer them to the point of having to break out the darning mushroom, but these I wore today were new to be the best they can be to think the problem might not be the socks?

Am I right in thinking the problem I am experiencing might be boot related or is there something else going on I am unaware of, to ask does any other experience the phenomena I have described to suggest it's normal or is there a way through?

As is I struggle with footwear given contrary to the industry idea, I do not have the width of feet my foot size suggests I must have to always have the problem of what fits in length does not fit in width to always experience a mobile fore foot of which can give rise to friction and the blistering that can come of that and did before I discovered the Coolmax inners to wonder could the problem I experience be due to my boots being always too wide for my feet?

Any ideas folks?
 

nigelp

Full Member
You may need to stabilise the foot using foot beds like ‘superfeet’. Since using those many years ago I have never had blisters in any well fitting boots or trails shoes. The feel of the socks is more likely to be because the foot is ‘moving’ around in the boot. The boots the may not be a good fit and your foot shape may have changed as you have aged? I would go to a decent outdoor shop and have your feet measured and get some sales advice for the correct make and model of boot for your feet and the activities you want to do.
As an outdoor instructor I’d say combat style boots are probably the least suitable footwear for anything other than combat, and wearing by young men in the army who quickly after using them for any length of time buy there own ‘Altbergs’!

I stopped wearing liner socks about 20 years ago and now wear good quality socks. My currant favourites are ‘Darntough’ ones that come in various weights and styles.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,403
2,391
S. Lanarkshire
Modern boots are like modern clothes....one size fits nobody very well but it'll do, usually.

Unfortunately, unlike clothes that one can alter easily, boots need extra fittings, but you can only put those in if the boots are roomy enough in the first place.

Personally I prefer two pairs of thick socks instead of orthotics. Two pairs of the same socks seems to actually work better than even using a thin silk pair inside the wool ones.

I have little feet, and I need an adult's fitting boot, not a child's even if most 4's are now considered among the child's range. (I did finally find a pair of side zip Magnum's in a 3.5 though :) and they fit better than the 4)
Anyhow, the adult boots are too wide at the heel and if I don't layer up I end up a blistered mess.
Since part of my working life involved weeks on end of field work, my boots were in constant use every day.
Double socks :)

This is anectdotal from an elderly uncle who spent six years in the British army in WW2.
He fought right across Europe and North Africa, and never once had a blister, trench foot, athlete's foot or damaged nails. He said wear 'slightly' roomy and always wear two pairs of socks.
I was young and daft and thought it an old man's war tales, until I had to be on my feet in heavy boots for 12 to 14 hours a day.
The Old Boy was right :)
At first it feels like the feet are getting a real work out, but then the muscles and tendons all kind of fitten up and your feet actually move and flex as they are supposed to, it's just that they're protected inside the socks and boots.

Sorry; bit long winded there :blush:
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
738
451
Ceredigion
So today furnished me with my first proper hike this year out on the moor, Dartmoor to be precise , to have prior had the usual problem with what to wear on my feet, to know it was going to be difficult and it was, to say it, it always is to experience the same problem every time I hike to now be sitting here typing this with somewhat ragged and sensitive feet.

The problem concerns the subject of footwear and what might be going on to cause such discomfort during, to be in a position to '' uncomfortably feel ever thread in my socks whilst hiking '' to be so tender afterwards.

As today given I have not yet glued up my Raichle Mountain Trail boots for the third time due to a disintegrating midsole, (I am getting rather fed up with this), was forced to wear my mid eighties combat, high's, yeah DMS boots, of which although are tough and water even Dartmoor bog proof are not the best in terms of comfort over long distances, yay the indestructible one piece hard rubber sole, to wonder about this '' ability to feel every thread in my socks '' is it related to the boots through them being bog proof and so not breathable?

Not breathable so as to create somewhat of a swamp in the boot, to soften skin, to be in a position to feel the weave of the outer socks through the thin Coolmax inners? The outers that I can feel through the Coolmax inners are HJ Halls HJ3000 socks of which I have always used since my mob days and yeah I hammer them to the point of having to break out the darning mushroom, but these I wore today were new to be the best they can be to think the problem might not be the socks?

Am I right in thinking the problem I am experiencing might be boot related or is there something else going on I am unaware of, to ask does any other experience the phenomena I have described to suggest it's normal or is there a way through?

As is I struggle with footwear given contrary to the industry idea, I do not have the width of feet my foot size suggests I must have to always have the problem of what fits in length does not fit in width to always experience a mobile fore foot of which can give rise to friction and the blistering that can come of that and did before I discovered the Coolmax inners to wonder could the problem I experience be due to my boots being always too wide for my feet?

Any ideas folks?
Turn your thick hiking socks inside out! That way you'll have the smooth knit stitches (the little 'v':s) against your foot rather than the purl bumps. Knitters sometimes knit the soles like that to creat what's called princess soles. :)

More long term, you want to find sock with more stitches per inch If the bumps are sufficiently close together, you wont feel them.
 
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Silverclaws2

Nomad
Dec 30, 2019
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Devon
Fitting yes, the boots I wore yesterday are slightly wide, but then so are my Raichle's, in fact the only boots that I ever had that fitted me perfectly were the ones I was supplied in the mob as the MOD does take a bit of a special interest in making sure things fit, to have a number of width options in the same shoes size. To remember why I prefer high leg boots as what combat boots are is because aside from narrow feet I have a high instep of which if am not careful with shoes and boots can lead to a numb cold foot and I have tried numerous lacing options in an attempt to combat this problem, none of which work well, but high leg boots I never get the numb cold foot problem. So yeah I was considering a pair of Altberg Defenders for questions concerning those to come later.

And the insole that is currently in my 80's boots is a pair of Viper foot beds of which are a composite foam, so yeah will try gel and see how I get on with that, leaving the socks problem.....

I know perhaps best to get a new pair of boots that fit and take it from there. I know the Altbergs have some sort of insert fitting system for 'difficult' feet, to investigate a bit further.

Thanks folks.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,699
760
Vantaa, Finland
I have gel insoles in my Haix military boots and in all outdoor shoes where I can fit them. In many cases it requires some cutting to fit them properly into the shoe. There are no such things as too soft gel insoles!

Gel works very differently from foams and at first they might feel a bit hard but after 10 klicks ok. Toddy's idea of double socks work well if there is enough room in the shoe and it is of a proper shape to start with.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,729
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Berlin
Instead of messing around with non fitting boots it might be a good idea to get well fitting ones.

Buy once, cry once, get boots that are custom made in your individual measures!

What is the meaning of "new socks"?

New socks need to be washed and afterwards worn a day before you start a 60 kilometres March.
Fresh socks are a bad idea and really new ones the worst one can do.

And it's recommended to change them from time to time and dry them.

Socks should contain approximately 70 % wool and the rest may be some kind of structure giving plastic mesh inside of it.

Cotton doesn't kill but is pretty
uncomfortable if you plan to move.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,729
1,063
Berlin




There are surely a few Brits who can do that as well.
 

SSGN_Doc

Tenderfoot
Jan 26, 2021
61
99
51
WA, USA
Footwear fit is going to be critical. Every shoe manufacturer builds 5heir boots on a shoe last (foot shape) that they create. Took a long time to find a boot that “just felt right” right out of the box. It is a fine line between having a boot that has ample room to accommodate foot swelling throughout the day and does not create a fit so tight that it creates pressure problems on the skin. Then the boot must fit close enough that it can keep the foot contained well enough to prevent the foot slipping round inside, creating shearing forces that create blisters.

Next, socks will be important as the interface between skin and the boot. I found three brands of socks that I like very much for outdoor activities. Top of the list is Darn Tough, then Thorlo, then Smartwool. These socks all feature padding where you need it and reduced thickness where you don’t need padding. The feature tighter fit in the instep and lower ankle to prevent bunching and sagging. The Darn Tough socks feature a lifetime warranty.

the more layers a person crams into a shoe, the more problems get created by having differing materials that can bunch and rub, plus reducing the volume inside the shoe can create excessive pressure.
 
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Silverclaws2

Nomad
Dec 30, 2019
255
124
53
Devon
Instead of messing around with non fitting boots it might be a good idea to get well fitting ones.

Buy once, cry once, get boots that are custom made in your individual measures!

What is the meaning of "new socks"?

New socks need to be washed and afterwards worn a day before you start a 60 kilometres March.
Fresh socks are a bad idea and really new ones the worst one can do.

And it's recommended to change them from time to time and dry them.

Socks should contain approximately 70 % wool and the rest may be some kind of structure giving plastic mesh inside of it.

Cotton doesn't kill but is pretty
uncomfortable if you plan to move.
And that is my plan, to purchase properly fitting boots, but because I am coming at Hiking/Bushcraft from a low income perspective what I find I need to purchase has to be well thought out and saved hard for, to in that need to save be totally sure I have found the correct solution to the problem experienced. To in that respect be ready to ask questions of others and observe suggestions to see if the problem can be solved or at least mitigated in the saving interim.

Where I am currently of the mind to try what has been suggested with reference to different sock arrangements and better foot beds as they are things I can afford to attend to now, where who knows what has been suggested might solve my problem to render a happier bunny, to be able to take that solution forward to the new boots when I get them as how gutting would it be if the problem being experienced persists after one has shelled out perhaps more than one can comfortably afford on new boots.

The socks I use are the HJ Hall 'Commando' HJ3000 NATO spec. socks of which comprise a warm and hard wearing 60/40 wool /polyamide construction, to when I say new I am not meaning straight out of the packet, but worn and washed a few times to be 'broken in', yesterday socks I think I bought in January.

And as regards the new boots, yeah I have an idea how much I have to save up given I have observed of the Alt-Berg website they do a factory fitting service for 'problem feet' of which given my experiences of more high street brands to include; Scarpa, Brasher, Karrimor and now Raichle and so I would guess Mammut, I would say I have problem feet in terms of what brands I have thus far tried to need to think smarter this time around as I would hope given age and whatnot these boots could be the last pair of boots I buy given I further know Alt-Berg also repair what they make.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
There are 10x10cm non-woven pads used as wound dressings.
I wonder if worn inside your socks of choice, might they set your feet just far enough away from the irritating weave?
 
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oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
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Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
I have the same problem and have tried a range of insoles with a limited result. I also have trouble walking barefoot on shingle beaches, something that never bothered me when I was a lifeguard in my teens, so I put it down to an effect of aging. For the last six months or so I have gone barefoot in the house and garden in an attempt to harden my feet. It does seem to be helping., but has not fully cured the problem so I am following this thread with interest.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,403
2,391
S. Lanarkshire
That might fitten up your feet, but the thinning of the fat layers in the feet will still be an issue. It happens to us all, it's just part of the way we change as we age.
The gel insoles are a very kind way to deal with that inside boots and walking shoes though.

There's something else though that we just don't talk about.

Most folks are inclined to keep their 'boots' for specific outdoor jaunts.

Just wear the blooming things, wear them out and about.
Wear them daily, walk in them, have a wee run, stand around in them, wear them on the way to work, doing the shopping, out for a dawdle, cutting the grass......and you'll get used to them, they'll move enough over time to shape to you and your wear patterns, and by the time you need them for a 30 miler then you'll know exactly how to make them comfortable.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,680
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Canada
I wonder if you just need to walk more, Silverclaws2 :) Toughen 'em up.

I shifted to trail runners in place of boots a while back. My feet seem to be getting wider ... too wide for the shape of the insoles of my boots. Trailrunners don't last as long but are more able, forgiving and comfortable. At least for how I get about. Better adjustable.

Look at Darn Tough socks too ... especially their light hikers. I am a big fan of these ones:


Also, I found the Curex Prorunner insoles to be pretty good.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,002
1,870
McBride, BC
I've been told that my foot pain sensitivity is a consequence of steadily deteriorating blood circulation. My heels in particular. I have got to put on slippers every morning. Even the seam transition of the edge of a carpet is painful to step on.
 
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