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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    04-15-2016
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    North Carolina
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    Default Hallux Limitus & Backpacking

    Anyone have any experience on backpacking with Hallux Limitus? I was recently diagnosed with it and am planning a long backpacking trip (3-4 weeks). So far I have learned that shoes with a wide toe box are the best for my condition. But I've also heard some information about shoes with a rigid sole and I really don't want to switch to a heavy boot and would prefer trail runners.

    What kind of shoes work best for you? Do you have any other advice to deal with the condition as a backpacker?

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    03-06-2016
    Location
    stuart, florida
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    69
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    Default

    In my opinion you should definitely see a podiatrist. I don't have Hallux Limitus (big toe pain), I have other foot issues. Before professionally prescribed orthotics my feet were basically a basket case.

    I have been using orthotics from thetaorthotics.com for over 10 years. The results have been nothing short of fantastic. I also have orthotics prescribed from a local podiatrist which have been only ok at best.
    In any case you need to educated yourself, if you have not already done, so on all the causes and treatments of Hallux Limitus.

  3. #3
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    07-01-2005
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    Freeport, Maine
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    51
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    Default

    I had a surgery back in 2008 to correct this problem. Since that time I have found that a stiff sole boot with a wide toe box works the best to minimize the pain. I went through many boots and finally settled on the Vasque Seabreeze. I have tried trail runners but my foot would always be sore by the end of the day. My podiatrist strongly recomended limiting as much movement in the joint as possible, which now is not too much of an issue seeing that it will only bend a little bit. My doctor also said I would have to have a redo in about 5 years but I see no need yet. Since the surgery I have hike serveral long distance trails with minimal issues. I do find if I take some time off from backpacking the toe stiffens up some.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4

    Default

    If you simply want to limit movement with a stiff sole, why not try carbon fiber inserts? For $100 to $150 bucks for a pair, they should work in (almost) any shoe you own. Find them in a good shoe store, and if you have a prescription and the right plans, you can get them tax free.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    06-13-2013
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    Boonsboro, MD
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    Default

    I have the stiff toe. I wear altras and prefer flexible soles for running and backpacking. I wear minimalist casual shoes to work and go barefoot when possible. Obvously this goes against the mainstream but it seems to work well for me. Additonally I believe a low inflammation diet rich in omega 3s and low in processed carbohydrates is a smart move for a lot of reasons beyond helping control joint pain.

    Also don't kick rocks.

  6. #6

    Default

    I have very stiff big toes as well, but only occasionally have pain. When I do, it's acute, but rarely lasts more than a minute or two, so my situation may be different. I wear trail shoes (Merrill Moabs at the moment) for hiking and regular running shoes when running. I used to wear boots, but only wear them in snow nowadays. There is no difference in the toes whether I wear boots or trail runners.

  7. #7
    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    05-26-2010
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    greeneville TN
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    Default

    3 years ago I had surgery to fuse my big toe joint.It was beginning to point to the inside several degrees.After another surgery to remove the plate I am once again having pain and all the other toes are jammed up against the big toe.After seeing a second podiatrist,he said no more surgery because it wouldn't help much and might even require more surgery.Long story short,I have a carbon fiber insole for my work boot,I'm down to part time only.I've been a tree climber and tree service worker for 30 years.I've found that stiff soled shoes and boots work well but hiking big miles is no more.A boot like the Merrell Pulsate which is not a heavy boot but does have a fairly rigid sole works well for me.I'd stay away from trail runners due to their lack of a stiff sole even with the expensive carbon fiber insoles.Everybody is different and you should try several options but hiking more than 8-10 miles a day may cause pain no matter what you're wearing.Getting old kinda sucks but low miles are better than no miles.
    Sleep on the ground, rise with the sun and hike with the wind....

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