Zambleran 313 VIOZ LITE GT
What you see are a once-worn but almost brand new pair of Zamberlan boots. Purchased them from a great store called Up & Under in Cardiff. Great service and they know a thing or two about boots!

Anyways, after much deliberation, several pairs of boots  and one very patient employee, I was fully confident that I had found the boots for me. 

All sounds great. However, during the testing of the boots I had a bit of an anatomical revelation. The patient employee took the measurements of my feet and duly informed the group that my left foot was longer than my right, and in keeping with Murphy's Law that seems to apply to every thing we have done recently, my right foot is broader than my left. 

After following the advice that was given, I wore the boots for an evening around the house to search for those niggling problems that can only become apparent after the foot becomes warmer. I then made the next step knowing that any outdoor use and I would be unable to return these very expensive boots. I took them onto a long, uphill street and strode very carefully to the top. Again no problems. 

I was still able to take these boots back but at that point, had no reason to. It was then I put the boots on and tackled my favourite mountain, Pen y Fan, to continue my training. The terrain on the route I take is uneven which I though would be perfect for putting the boots through the final paces.

Almost to the top, and after the boots taking some very minor, aesthetic scuffs to the front I felt the rubbing. Of course, no prizes for guessing how I felt... besides from the sore heel. I quickly turned back and got down the mountain, which is when I felt the minor pressure on my right foot. 

THE PROBLEM: Whilst on flat, slight up hills and most terrain the boots are near perfect, prolonged, uneven up and down hill walks pose the following problems;

  • Uphills - The left (longer) foot presses into the heel of the boot causing a painful rub. 
  • Downhills - The right (broader) foot is pushed forward and creates too much pressure on the inside edge of the ball of the foot, which isn't particularly painful at the moment but can imagine will become more so after prolonged pressure. 

THE QUESTION: Understandably the main problem is anatomical. The financial problems are less of a worry cause I can always sell the boots at a slight loss (which isn't great considering at the moment we are funding ourselves but isn't a disaster either). 

Do I sell the boots and hunt for a new pair? Bearing in mind that the anatomical problem may always be there and the time and effort spent in this endeavor may be wasted.

or Do I try to customise the boots? If so, how? 

or Is there a third option? 

So this is our dilemma at the moment. Any help would be appreciated and if the humorous yet quite serious story has missed anything, I'll be on hand to fill in the blanks.


The Help Us Learn: Wales Coast Challenge Team 

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