Petestack Blog

13 August 2015

Cheap boots and bunions

Filed under: Walking — admin @ 10:40 pm

No, it’s probably not what you’re thinking! Not cheap boots blamed for bunions, but in this case given credit for accommodating same in some comfort…

I’ve had this stupid bunion playing merry hell with an already (naturally) abnormal right foot for many years. It’s now eight years since my doctor told me it was a question of ‘when, not if’ I got something done about it, though he did also say that ‘might not be this year or even this decade’ with the podiatrist simultaneously advising to maybe ‘wait till your athletic career [his words, not mine!] is over.’ The same podiatrist who devised the wonderful 8°-sideways-sloping-squint-Achilles-correcting insoles I’ve not run without since and told me he’s rarely seen feet like mine ‘in someone so active’. So the bunion (which doesn’t really like any footwear) has had this particular ‘hate-hate’ relationship with mountain boots, rock shoes and true hill running shoes (which I’ve long rejected in favour of do-it-all trail shoes) for years and, having now said I’m done with (serious) racing but still seriously frustrated by things on my feet, I’ve finally made an appointment to discuss it again with the doc. Tomorrow.

And the cheap boots? Well, I’ve already got three decent pairs of mountain boots I rarely wear (like only when I absolutely need them for winter climbing etc.), wanted something lighter/softer now and had doubts about spending money on quality when things may change again if we decide to get it fixed and will certainly still give me pause for thought if we don’t. So I was making this west-to-east tour of the Fort William outdoor shops on Monday to check out Cotswold etc. on my way to Nevisport and Ellis Brigham when I found these really cheap Karrimor boots (Mount Mid 7 at £34.99) at Field and Trek that really fit. So I bought two pairs, reckoning them as ‘disposable’ at the price as the more expensive trainers I trash on a regular basis. Then got home to discover that 1. you can get them online for £23.00 from Karrimor or SportsDirect (so how can they make them for that and, perhaps more disturbingly when I’m guilty of buying them, what poor devils are slaving away to do it?), 2. the soles might wear really quickly or fall off (which I could have guessed), 3. they might or might not stay ‘Weathertite’ (which I could have guessed), 4. some folk have ridiculous expectations at this price (sending back for refund after nine months’ wear and tear… really?) and 5. others were complaining about them fitting small for their size whereas I found completely the opposite with a Euro 45.5 being perfect where I’d normally take a 46 or 46.5 in most things (NB UK size seems right at 11.5, but oddly equated to Euro 45.5!).

So how do they perform? For me with my feet (but not necessarily you with yours), comfortably on a Tuesday wander along the central spine of the Mamores from Na Gruagaichean to Stob Ban and again today (Thursday) over the three ‘Auch Glen’ Corbetts of Beinn Odhar, Beinn a’ Chaisteil and Beinn nam Fuaran. For sure, the grip’s no more than adequate (poor on smooth, wet rock, but what’s not?) and there’s some visible sole wear already (like enough to see they’ve been used, not falling apart!), but so far so good on the ‘Weathertite’ thing with my feet staying dry on ground that would have quickly soaked trainers and even allowing me to splash through puddles and ankle-deep burns. Beyond that, I have no great expectations. If they last for a few weeks of regular use it’s probably money well spent. For now. And sometime I’ll probably still be looking for some better-quality fabric boots with better sole units (like the Vasques I bought in San Francisco in 1997 and subsequently loved to death), but not with the bunion question unresolved one way or the other. And that’s mostly what I meant to say here, despite now taking a late dive into some non-news with the old observation that Beinn Odhar looks for all the world like Beinn Dorain’s little brother from some angles (notably from the road), and just about remembering to add that, while I saw some folk on the track (all but one on the parts where it’s West Highland Way), I saw precisely no-one on the hill all day! ;-)

2015-08-11map 2015-08-13map

2015-08-13van1 2015-08-13beinndorain

2015-08-13van2 2015-08-13benlui

2015-08-13glencoralan 2015-08-13railway

2015-08-13crianlarichhills 2015-08-13lochlyon

2015-08-13beinnodhar 2015-08-13beinnachaisteil

2015-08-13nationalpark 2015-08-13van3

1 Comment

  1. No change in the doc’s advice yet… which, given what I’ve done and continue to do with the foot as it is, is still basically just keep living with it for now because surgery (undoubtedly complicated by the congenital deformity) may not give me what I hope/want/expect. So mixed feelings of relief and frustration at the continued implications either way, but no argument with that conclusion when some kind of resolution may still eventually become unavoidable.

    Comment by admin — 14 August 2015 @ 10:06 am

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