Author Topic: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots  (Read 787 times)

spenthompson

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Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« on: 19:24:21, 16/08/20 »

I have an unusually shaped foot (wide knuckles but narrow heel and mid-foot) which makes it hard for me to find well-fitting walking boots. Recently I've found a couple of boots which are based on a running shoe design, namely the Solomon Quest 4D and the Alt Berg Yan Tan. These fit me really well.


The problem is that both of these boots also have a 'rocker' design. Basically they have a curve in the sole, which naturally tilts your foot forward to initiate gait. This works great on relatively flat and even paths, but I've found it to be a nightmare on more technically challenging terrain (when you really need to be stable on your foot, not propelled forward) and also when going downhill (as the heel-lift effectively make the incline even steeper than it already is).


Does anyone know of any boots which have a similar fit (e.g. running shoe design) but not the rocker bottom?



Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #1 on: 19:35:59, 16/08/20 »
I have a wide forefoot and a narrower heel. I have Altberg wide fitting leather boots that are awaiting an improvement in fitness to get a real workout. I also have Merrel Moab 2 boots. These were the only boots of this kind I could find that were wide enough in the toe box. I also find them no problem for my heel. I have no idea if the are based on a running shore design, although there are walking shoes and lower boots under the same brand. They do not have a rounded sole. I found I needed a size bigger than normal for me. I donít know if these would be suitable for you, but they might be worth trying on.

spenthompson

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #2 on: 22:09:47, 16/08/20 »
Thanks for the suggestion. I have a pair of low-rise Moabs which I really like. I didn't realise they come in high-rise boots too. Will have to check them out!

Dodgylegs

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #3 on: 22:32:19, 16/08/20 »
I have a couple of pairs of Merrel MOAB 2 boots and find they are perfect for similar shaped feet, agree need to go up a size or two!


Tried loads of different boots, bit of an issue when after size 13 -14 boots, but found these and bought online as so much cheaper.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #4 on: 22:56:55, 16/08/20 »
I have a couple of pairs of Merrel MOAB 2 boots and find they are perfect for similar shaped feet, agree need to go up a size or two!


Tried loads of different boots, bit of an issue when after size 13 -14 boots, but found these and bought online as so much cheaper.
Actually I think I went up 2 sizes now you mention it to a UK 13 (normally 11 wide or extra wide fitting).

gunwharfman

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #5 on: 09:31:29, 17/08/20 »
I owned a pair of Quest 4D's once but I never noticed the 'rocker' item, for me just a pair of very comfortable boots which I replaced because they leaked badly. I now have a pair of Ultra-X's, do they have this 'rocker' built in? Sorry but I don't understand what it is?

I had feet problems once, especially blisters on toes and heels. I was told that my problem was narrow ankles so from then on I have always bought womens boots. Since then no problems at all.

I don't know whether its relevant but I always wear inserts in my boots. Do inserts affect or get rid of the 'rocker' item that you write about?

kinkyboots

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #6 on: 11:24:40, 17/08/20 »
I own and use both the Altberg Malham and the Altberg Nordkapp which are both built on the same A-Forme Last as the Altberg Yan Tan and have never found the "rocker" sole to be a problem at all (the increased toe spring design was lifted from the old classic Shepherd's hill boot). I suppose it's something you either notice and just get used to or like me you don't even notice it at all.

https://www.altberg.co.uk/the-altberg-factory/our-lasts/aforme-fitting-development

Depending on the type of walking you do the following models may be better models for you to consider as the Altberg Yan Tan is not known for it's waterproof qualities being a fabric/leather combination construction. If the Altberg Yan Tan fits you then the following boots will also fit you as they're built on exactly the same last.

2-3 Season Boots
Altberg Malham Men's 1344g RRP £189.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/aforme-boots13/malham

3 Season Boots
Altberg Nordkapp Unisex 1460g RRP £234.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/boots/aforme-boots13/nordkapp

I also have quite narrow feet and like a roomy toe box and I also own the Oboz Sawtooth Low B-Dry shoes and the Oboz Sawtooth Mid B-Dry boots and find both very comfortable and excellent value for money if you can buy them at the right price but they are now becoming scarce and very hard to find. It may be worth doing a search or two to try and find somewhere with stock left.

spenthompson

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #7 on: 11:31:30, 17/08/20 »
Thanks gunwharfman and kinkyboots. It is indeed the toe lift that I'm referring to - in practice, combined with an elevated heel, this 'rocks' the foot (or at least my foot) forward onto the balls of the feet. This has advantages and disadvantages. Interestingly Salomon say theirs is derived from a running shoe design whereas Altberg say it comes from a shepherd boot.


I tried on the Malham as well as the Yan Tan. The assistant did mention the waterproofing issue, but I generally find fabric boots to be a better fit out of the box and prioritise this over waterproofing.


Will check out the Oboz boots - never heard of them before.


Thanks again.

gunwharfman

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #8 on: 11:44:23, 17/08/20 »
I found the Keen Targee boots really comfortable and are designed with a bigger toe area. I hiked for three weeks in them with no problems other than they leaked. As I was walking in central France at the time it was no problem because it only rained about twice. For me, getting wet feet was more likely from dew in the mornings.

Ronin83

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #9 on: 23:44:57, 18/08/20 »
The toe spring, rocker design is what worries me about the a forme Altbergs. Essentially the nordkapp is my dream boot, theoretically, but I'm not a fan of aggressive toe spring. Wish they'd make it without. I've found that toe spring in general makes my toes ache after a while. Forcing your toes up unnaturally for hours on end is... Well unnatural, and uncomfortable.
The thing is if you make a stiff boot without toe spring at all then it has to either not move and you walk like frankenstein or it folds and crushes the top of your foot and creases the leather a lot.
With a softer boot which bends easier its not so much of an issue, however you do sacrifice support which may be needed for harsher terrain I guess.

spenthompson

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #10 on: 23:51:48, 18/08/20 »
The toe spring, rocker design is what worries me about the a forme Altbergs. Essentially the nordkapp is my dream boot, theoretically, but I'm not a fan of aggressive toe spring. Wish they'd make it without. I've found that toe spring in general makes my toes ache after a while. Forcing your toes up unnaturally for hours on end is... Well unnatural, and uncomfortable.
The thing is if you make a stiff boot without toe spring at all then it has to either not move and you walk like frankenstein or it folds and crushes the top of your foot and creases the leather a lot.
With a softer boot which bends easier its not so much of an issue, however you do sacrifice support which may be needed for harsher terrain I guess.


Yep, exactly this. The Yan Tan and Solomon Quest both fit me perfectly but the toe spring ruins them for me. But on the other hand I've had a pair of Scarpas which crushed the top of my feet, particularly when walking on concrete, because they were stiff and didn't have any toe lift. My ideal boot has a flatter but more flexible sole, but I've struggled to find ones that fit as well as the Yan Tan or the Quest.

gunwharfman

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #11 on: 10:41:05, 19/08/20 »
Sorry but I just can't work out what this 'toe spring/rocker design/toe lift' thing is? I'm reading the words but in my head, I can't get them to mean anything? Never mind I'll carry on reading the comments, maybe enlightenment will come?

Ronin83

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #12 on: 10:44:11, 19/08/20 »
Have you tried lowa renegade boots? I've found they are the best all round, multi terrain boots with some support, but some flexibility too. They're nubuck and suede, lots of panels, so the waterproofing isnt as good as a full grain one piece leather boot, but better than a lot of others. Theyve worked well for me on mountains, mud and Country roads.

Ronin83

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #13 on: 10:44:35, 19/08/20 »
Sorry but I just can't work out what this 'toe spring/rocker design/toe lift' thing is? I'm reading the words but in my head, I can't get them to mean anything? Never mind I'll carry on reading the comments, maybe enlightenment will come?


Google toe spring.

spenthompson

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Re: Annoying rocker mechanism on walking boots
« Reply #14 on: 10:59:32, 19/08/20 »
Have you tried lowa renegade boots? I've found they are the best all round, multi terrain boots with some support, but some flexibility too. They're nubuck and suede, lots of panels, so the waterproofing isnt as good as a full grain one piece leather boot, but better than a lot of others. Theyve worked well for me on mountains, mud and Country roads.


Thanks, will have a look!