Toe jamming is an expression we use for having foot problems with your hiking boots when trekking long distance. Especially when hiking downhill. In doing research on the subject I found that 85% of the people hiking have this issue! That’s terrible to have so many folks suffer like that. They say more than half lose their toe nails. I started to research this because one of us had been suffering from this for a long time. After purchasing the 3rd set of hiking boots you come to the realization that maybe it’s not the boot. Well it’s not; it is the person’s foot structure. If you have a flat foot or lower arches than normal you may fall into this category. If you add a 40 pound pack on your back it makes it even worse. The more weight on your back the flatter your feet become. As we age our feet tend to get flatter also.
There are a couple of things you can try before having to buy another pair of boots. First try lacing your boots differently when the lacing comes to the base of leg part tie it off with three lace overs instead of crossing it. This is the area just before it starts up above the ankle. This helps lock the base of your foot in place so your heal remains back. Then at the top when you are finished lacing tie off with three lace overs. By lace overs I mean when you are tying your regular shoes you do a lace over before you make the bow.
Next thing to try is boot inserts. In order to get the right ones you will need to go to a competent hiking boot outfitter that has the proper equipment to measure your feet and actually have you walk on an incline in the establishment. There are too many types of inserts to know for sure what you need. The outfitter will ask you how much hiking you do and how much gear you are carrying. These are important questions to determine exactly which one is needed.
Lastly change your socks! You won’t believe the difference a sock can make! I know the thought of paying $20.00 or more for a pair of socks sounds ludicrous. But it makes all the difference in the world. I was getting heat rash from my socks as well as rubbing on the side of my foot. I changed to a wool compression sock and the difference was amazing. I will never go back to regular socks again when hiking. Just remember if you do change to the wool socks wash them inside out so they last longer.