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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Comfortable Hiking Boots - Podiatrist Recommended

My husband, who is an avid hiker, has been raving about the "Arizona Hiking Shack" for several years. He has been after me to stop in but, to be honest, I was always a little intimidated because it looks like a serious "guy-ish" hiking place and I was a little shy, which -- was stupid! I finally stopped in and they were so helpful, nice and friendly that I feel rather silly ever being shy about it and I definitely will be going back!  

The Arizona Hiking Shack has been in business since 1972 and call themselves "Boot Fit Specialists" and the owner was kind enough to educate me on his two most popular hiking boots. I was very impressed with both of them and I think that the Five-Ten is going to be my next hiking boot!


The Five Ten "Camp Four" is an excellent women's hiking shoe with a thick, rigid protective sole, a wide toebox and wonderful rearfoot control. The insert can be removed for a Custom-Molded Orthotic to add more biomechanical control of the arch. 

**2014 Addnedum: This article was written in 2011. I would still recommend the older model of the 5-10 Camp Four (as seen above), but this older version of the hiking shoe can only be purchased online. The new, updated 2014 model has a more flexible sole and is not nearly as good. I do not recommend the 2014 5-10 Camp Four. 

This Hiking Boot is Recommended For:

* Mild to Severe Metatarsalgia
* Mild to Moderate Bunions and Hammertoes
* Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (Decreased range of motion of the 1st toe     Joint) 
* Mild to Moderate Tendonitis
* Mild to Moderate Hypermobility
* Morton's Neuroma
* Capsulitis
* Mild to Moderate Osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease
* Rheumatoid Arthritis (I recommend an Accommodative Insert to allow for more cushioning) 
* Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
* Mild to Moderate Achilles Tendonitis (I recommend a Heel Cup to slightly elevate the rearfoot to put less tension on the Achilles Tendon where it inserts into the calcaneal bone - you can place this on top of an insert/orthotic or you can place this on top of the insert that is in the shoe - whichever is more comfortable to you!) 
* Knee, Hip and Lower Back Pain 
* Fibromyalgia
* Chronic Pain Patients 
* Patients healing from Foot Fractures who need a protective shoe as they ease back into hiking activities 

This Boot is NOT Recommended for:

* Diabetic Patients with history of Ulcers (They need Extra-Depth Shoes with Accommodative Inserts. Many people don't realize this but Medicare has a wonderful program where they pay to get their Diabetic patients into one pair of extra-depth shoes and three sets of accommodative inserts every calendar year. See your local Podiatrist to see if they participate in the program!)
* Charcot Patients (They typically need Custom-Molded Shoes) 
* Patients with leg weakness and fatigue as the shoe may be too heavy. 
* Moderate to Severe Ankle Instability (although the boot will work for patients with this condition if they have a proper brace or Ankle-Foot Orthosis).
* Drop Foot
* Moderate to Severe Neuropathy (Nerve Damage) 


I am equally impressed with this excellent boot which comes in women and men sizes. It also has a thick rigid sole that is very protective of the foot as well as a wide toebox, excellent rearfoot control and the added benefit of ankle control. 

This Boot is Recommended For:

* All of the same things as the Five-Ten "Camp Four"
* Plus:
* Mild to Severe Hypermobility or Instability of the Ankle Joint
* Patients with a history of an ankle fracture or sprain
* Ankle Osteoarthritis 

This Boot is NOT Recommended For:

* All of the same as above. 
* Anyone with leg fatigue or the elderly (too heavy!)

**If you live in Phoenix, I highly recommend a visit to the "Arizona Hiking Shack" - they were awesome and very helpful!

Arizona Hiking Shack

Have a great day!

Dr Cathleen A McCarthy