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All Elk... All The time => Hunting Gear => Topic started by: phin16 on February 22, 2021, 05:11:36 PM

Title: I need help with my Kenetrek boots!
Post by: phin16 on February 22, 2021, 05:11:36 PM

I'm the FNG.  ;D

After reading a million reviews, I recently shelled out for a pair of Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400's. I'm impressed. Hands down, these are the highest quality footwear I have ever owned, and, for the price, they should be. I have broken in several pairs of hiking boots in my life so I know it's not always pretty, but this has been something else.

I wear liner socks and thick socks over them, having learned many years ago that this helps to reduce friction/blisters. Right out of the box, the left boot feels absolutely incredible. Comfortable, no movement inside the boot, amazing ankle support (so much so that they feel a little weird to walk in at first as I have seen other people comment, but not too hard to get used to). I feel like I could hike 100 miles in it without a blister.

The right boot is a complete nightmare. No matter how much I tighten it, it feels like there is a bit of extra room and the heel kind of feels like it pinches my foot differently. Immediate friction. I went for a walk and I could immediately feel a hot spot after a few steps. After a one mile walk up the street and back I had a huge blister on that heel. I chalked it up to breaking in new boots or my feet being soft because I haven't hiked in a long time.

I waited a week or so for the blister to heal and tried again. Same result. I started wondering if maybe, for the first time in my life, I was learning that my feet are two different sizes (as I think is the case for most people) and if it was becoming a problem for the first time ever. I waited another couple of weeks for that blister to heal and callous up pretty good. Today I decided I would add a third sock to see if that would help. I could tell right away that wasn't going to make a difference. I tried going without the liner thinking maybe that would help my foot not shift around as much and create friction. At first it actually felt a little better and maybe I was on to something. So I went for my mile walk again. Worst blister so far.

Again, the left foot feels better than perfect. I could not be more impressed with how these boots are treating my left foot. The right, though, is completely unusable so far. I have not been in yet to have my feet measured by someone who knows what they are doing so I can't say, for certain, if/what my sizing issue is, and that is likely going to be my next step. I got these on sale from Sportsman's Warehouse, though (even on sale they were over $400). Maybe I'm just being judgmental, but I have a hard time believing I am going to luck into a true footwear expert at Sportsman's Warehouse.

My guess here is that my right foot is maybe a half size smaller than the left and results in too much movement within the boot no matter what sock configuration I am using and that leads to friction and the heel blister I immediately get. Maybe it's possible that the boot itself is defective and is squeezing the right heel too much, though? I'm not sure. I know that if the only solution is to shell out for a second pair of boots that are a half size smaller, well, I would actually consider it because I am that impressed by the left boot...but I also value my marriage.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this or have some other suggestions I haven't considered?
Title: Re: I need help with my Kenetrek boots!
Post by: sjl2012 on February 23, 2021, 07:43:24 AM
Kenetrek has a youtube video on ways of lacing for different issues, I'd highly recommend watching it. I have similar issues, 13 wide on the left, 12.5 wide on the right, I buy 13 wides. I lace each boot differently and it works for me. That works for my Lowa's. In my snakeboots I wear in the spring I had to put heel padding in my right boot to tighten up the fit.
Title: Re: I need help with my Kenetrek boots!
Post by: phin16 on February 23, 2021, 12:30:27 PM
Thanks! I had watched that Kenetrek lacing video a few times already, but I went back again and there was a quick part I missed about lacing that helps lock your heel in. I dug around some more and found that was a common trick and also using a surgeon knot in the same area. I tried it out and, while it certainly helps and targets the area where I am having an issue, I am even more convinced now that my right foot is smaller than the size boot I purchased, but the left is not.

The heel padding you're talking about...was there some sort of particular insole you found or did you just improvise something?
Title: Re: I need help with my Kenetrek boots!
Post by: sjl2012 on February 24, 2021, 08:57:35 AM

I don't remember the name of it, we picked it up locally and it raised my heel enough to lock it in. Basically foam padding about a quarter inch thick.
Title: Re: I need help with my Kenetrek boots!
Post by: Western Bowman on March 17, 2021, 06:55:28 PM
Like sjl2012 (https://www.elk101.com/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=76827) said those lacing videos are awesome and helped me out over the years.