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Hiking boot recommendations for foot drop

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  • Hiking boot recommendations for foot drop

    My girlfriend was in an accident about 15 years ago and she has fairly significant nerve damage in her left leg. She's active and very strong, but she wears a brace for running. I had never seen one before but it looks like a soccer shin guard that's connected to a plate that goes underneath the insole of her shoe. There is a link that connects the two parts along the outside of her ankle. Without the brace, her toes point to the ground when she raises her knee. I've seen her trip over roots, speed bumps and sometimes nothing at all if she's not wearing the brace.
    she hikes and runs on smooth-ish trails in running shoes, but she wants to start getting further afield in the Backcountry and would like to find hiking boots. If anyone has any experience with this issue, I'd love to hear what you've learned.

  • #2
    I'm not sure how far you are from eastern Upstate NY/VT, but you may want to have her check out Outdoor Gear Exchange or someplace similar that has a massive selection of hiking and trail running footwear. Naturally, bring the brace along.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


    • #3
      We live in Rochester and she tried on a lot of boots at a few specialty stores. This weekend we hiked up Wakely Mountain to see how things went. She did well and wanted more of a challenge so we hiked Algonquin Sunday. She was very cautious as she doesn't trust her bad leg. Any hard pushes that had to be made were always done with her good leg. She napped on top of Algonquin while I zipped over to Iroquois and back. I watched her a lot and I have to say that having a pair of functioning limbs is luxury I will stop taking for granted.
      The brace she uses does not allow for any ankle flex at all. Navigating steeper angle rock looked very difficult because her foot had to be 90 degrees to her leg. She's looking into different types of braces but there don't seem to be many options. Most of them seem to be made for just walking, not running or hiking.


      • #4
        Look up your local PT. Dime store and outdoor store braces may not be the best solution.


        • MediumChris
          MediumChris commented
          Editing a comment
          It came from a PT but I'm not sure how creative they were. It seems like a lot of the braces available are for people who lead more sedentary lifestyles. It works well enough for flatter terrain but I think being able to move her ankle a little would really help her confidence on steeper rock.