Hate to dig up an older thread, but I couldn't resist putting a few cents in on this one. (It's amazing the things you miss in a few short months of being busy!)
While the leather does conform to your feet, you should be aware of a few things:
1. You don't need hot water. I always used whatever came out of the tap (I've done two pairs now), and never saw any kind of glue separations.
2. It helps if you have something that can stretch the leather for you. I used empty bottles of Vitamin Water, after getting the shoes wet, I shoved them in and let them dry.
3. It also helps to dampen the leather when you're planning on wearing them out for an afternoon...especially if you're going to be active, as the shoes will be exposed to more flexing and movement than just sitting in an office or something.
As far as your toes and tops of feet go, I have had a similar issue before, but I noticed that these problems went away when I went up a size. This helps a lot, the more space you can get, the more comfortable you feel.
For my Treks, I also went with a 42, even though 41's were much closer in length. The bottles I used to stretch them out were the larger bottles that they usually sell at most gas stations and convenience stores. This gave them a lot more room and makes them the most comfortable pair I own.
For my classics, I wear 42s that are pretty roomy, and I still had to cut the strap out, since it pushed into the top of my foot.
Now that there are more places in Phoenix that sell these, I'm probably going to be in the market to check out how Treks work with socks for me. They've always been a little tight, even with the added size of the 42, so I am curious if I need to move up to a 43--in which case I would have a pair for socks, and another for no socks...not an entirely bad thing. haha
Interesting idea. I might give it a try sometime, if for nothing else, to see how well it works.
I was actually doing quite well in my Injinjis and Treks, but the Treks had to be returned to Vibram for QC problems and they're out of stock right now. So once I get them back, I should be just fine...until summer hits, then I'm a little worried.
The only way I've been able to make my KSO's work lately is to actually put anti-perspirant on my feet before putting them on. It definitely works, but feels pretty weird.
However, some of the smart wool Classics look very promising with the felt insole. I can't wait for these to come out so I can try a pair. Something about black leather Treks with black Injini socks tells me I would be in for one very uncomfortable desert summer.
I guess I'll just hit every hurdle as I have so far--as I come to it. It would be great to see Vibram switch to something that doesn't get the way the microfiber does when it's wet/dirty/sweaty/etc.
I think it might depend on which shoe you're wearing.
I had the privilege of changing a friend's tire on a sunny Arizona afternoon back in early August. I believe it was around 110f (or a little over 43c) outside and I noticed that while my feet didn't become overly hot, they did get quite warm and a tad uncomfortable. I was wearing brown classics, for what it's worth.
However, I'm reminded of my dog and when he first came out to Arizona, from Kansas.
He was brought out here in the middle of the summer and the first thing I wanted to do was take him to a local park and let him run around for a little bit, so he could get an idea of the heat. On the walk back home, his paws got too hot and he was in some obvious pain--I had to pick him up and carry him the rest of the way home.
Over the course of that summer, I took him out more and more and his paws built up a tolerance to it...he thinks nothing of running around outside on pavement and dirt alike for long periods during the summer now.
I haven't experienced a full Arizona summer in five fingers yet, but I'm pretty sure that my feet will acclimate themselves the same way my dog's paws did (at least, I'm hopeful).
As far as foot powder, I've tried Gold Bond, which has some zinc in it, but is there another kind I should maybe give a try?
One thing I've found that I read about online is rubbing alcohol, sprayed or wiped onto my feet, then letting them dry before putting the shoes on, helps quite a bit. It tends to work for a couple hours on a good day (so far, it's only been in the 70's during the day, so my feet haven't gotten too hot), but I would like to find something more permanent.
I'll probably buy a pair of Injinjis this weekend to give a try. It would be nice if they worked, and I'm pretty confident they will--however if I could just find something that works without an extra level of padding, I would be thrilled.
I also thought about antiperspirant, and while I don't want to turn into some health nut, I will say that I've read that the aluminum zirconium in antiperspirants can cause health issues in the long run. Although, I've also seen things to dispute this, so I'm not positive. Perhaps it's something I'll try.
I guess until I get the socks, I'll keep up with the alcohol, which seems to be working for the moment.
I would love to hear from those of you out there that have sweaty feet (a sensitive topic, I know).
I have sweaty feet and the problem with it is it makes the yellow soles get dirty very fast (during a long day, my feet even stick a little). This is is more annoying than anything else, but all of this even happens in the Treks to a degree.
So, what ways are there around this? I'm open to any suggestions someone has that doesn't involve me buying injinjis, which would just be way too hot once the summer hits.
I've tried Gold Bond, it works for an hour or two, but on a slightly active day, it's a nightmare.
P.S. - I still haven't received the slip to mail my Treks back. I'll certainly update on that when it happens.
When I tried on a pair of 41's, they were so tight that I had to flight to get my foot in the shoe. They were uncomfortable and just an overall pain.
So I got some 42's and they were still snug, but the leather relaxed quite a bit.
Also keep in mind that you can get leather shoes to stretch quite easily. There's that old "ziplock bag of water in each shoe overnight in the freezer" trick (just saw Get Smart the other night--ha), but I would never recommend that with anything but heavy duty boots as the seams could easily pull apart.
My Vitamin Water trick worked nicely, all you do it slide a couple of empty water bottles in and wet the leather slightly. This will promote a bit of stretching, and make the shoes comfortable enough for you to get your feet into so that they can properly conform to your individual feet.
For wide types, I would suggest the Treks as they seem to have the most stretch ability. Besides, I find the leather insides are a lot more comfortable than the microfiber.
I thought for a while that the Treks I got in a 42 might have been too small, but with the way they fit now, I'm kind of digging them. I can let the straps loose to "relax" and they feel like a million bucks with the leather all over.
When I first got them, this was not the case. The leather was so snug that I couldn't keep my foot forward far enough and my curved pinky toes would slip out of their pockets...not fun.
Now on the other hand, the leather has freed up quite a bit and I can slide my foot all the way forward and just tighten the strap so my foot doesn't slide around. A beautiful thing.
I wonder how differently the Treks would fit if they had the two strap system that the Sprints have...
I actually used the 120 character thing with a simple message and got a reply the next morning from someone at Vibram.'
My message was very brief, but to the point; "I'm having some sizing issues with my Treks and one of the sole lugs is coming off. Please call 480.XXX.XXXX."
By the next morning I had a received both a voicemail and an email from someone asking to go into more detail. I didn't have time to respond right away, but since then, every time I have emailed (haven't had a chance to call during decent hours), I have had a reply in my inbox by no later than 8am Eastern each time.
Their customer service is nothing short of amazing, I would use the 120 character thing because I'm sure it only routes your problem to the correct person so that no time is wasted in getting you through to the right person.
Hey guys, just noticed that Justin asked me a question in the post with the picture he did for Kev (WAY delayed reaction).
This is actually a bit different from mine. In talking recently with Vibram, they wanted pictures of the problem I had so they could not only get a better idea, but so the design department could take a look too.
Upon going over the shoes, I noticed two more problems and sent pictures of that as well. They told me to send the shoes into them for inspection.
Attached are pictures of the problems I had. The first is the original noticed problem, a lug coming loose from the sole itself (left foot). This wasn't a big problem by any means, but I had only emailed them and asked about it as an afterthought to questions about sizing.
The second is a picture of a section where the sole is coming away from the fabric/leather body of the shoe, on the instep of the right foot, just back of the big toe.
Lastly, the heel cup was pulling away from the rest of the shoe on the right foot as well. I don't know how this could have happened, save for maybe in the way I put them on...sliding my feet into them like they are some type of clog and then pulling the heel over my foot once my toes are in their pockets. However, this problem has never happened with either pair of standard KSO's I've owned, or with the left foot of my Treks.
I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it goes, right now I'm waiting for a UPS slip from them so I can mail in the Treks at no cost--I should also mention that their customer service has been nothing short of stellar and the lady I've been emailing back and forth has been quick to reply, in addition to being extremely kind and helpful.