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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a pair of Vans Aura that I love everything about, other than they're too narrow and as a result, beat the shit out of my big toes. Is there anything I can do to create a little extra room, or do I just cut my losses at this point?

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I have wide-ish feet and my big toes get victimized if the boot shape isn't right. I would do a shell fit to see what type of room you really have. Remove the liner, put the insole in the boot shell, and then put your foot in the boot. Move it all the way forward and all the way back. Try to get an idea of how much room you have in every direction, especially width. If things feel overly snug in any area, you might have to get new boots. If there is ample room, you may be able to manipulate the boot liner to allow for more comfort. BUT if its the Vans liner that is comprised mostly of Neoprene in the toe area, you might not be able to achieve much.

To stretch out the big toe area of the liner: Put your foot in the liner. Use something to mark the area you want to improve. Use a broom handle (with rounded end) to stretch the marked area. A heat gun helps, but use a low setting because it can shrink the surrounding area if overheated.

My feet measure around 27.1L and 27.6R. Width is between D and E. I tried on some 2020 Vans and the best I could do is a 10US without feeling like I would have big toe issues. I could tell the toe box shape isn't for my foot. I ended up with Ride Fuses in a 9.5US .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BUT if its the Vans liner that is comprised mostly of Neoprene in the toe area, you might not be able to achieve much.
Those are the ones alright. Considering trying different liners, is that crazy?

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Those are the ones alright. Considering trying different liners, is that crazy?

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If you have access to other liners (old boots, friends boots, etc) it could be worth experimenting. But I would buy new boots before new liners.

When there is not enough space with a neoprene liner, you probably won't be able to get enough room with full Intuition. I learned that with Adidas Sambas. Day 1 with neoprene is as good as it will get. Theres not a lot of molding that can be done. And it is arguably thinner than Intuition foam.

Burton Avengers videos will be helpful, he has a lot of knowledge and experience. In addition to the heel wedge you may want to try ultra thin socks. I use Smartwool Ultra lights, but wool dress socks are a cheap substitute. Packing out the heel pocket of the liner can also help to draw the foot back.

I know it sucks but you might want to look at new boots. Using heel wedges and insoles with high arches to pull your foot back may achieve the goal of giving you more room. But it may create new problems, compromise your balance, and hinder your riding. I went through all of the above trying to fix my big toe pain. Trial and error with boots is expensive, but with every pair you get closer to knowing what works.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you have access to other liners (old boots, friends boots, etc) it could be worth experimenting. But I would buy new boots before new liners.

When there is not enough space with a neoprene liner, you probably won't be able to get enough room with full Intuition. I learned that with Adidas Sambas. Day 1 with neoprene is as good as it will get. Theres not a lot of molding that can be done. And it is arguably thinner than Intuition foam.

Burton Avengers videos will be helpful, he has a lot of knowledge and experience. In addition to the heel wedge you may want to try ultra thin socks. I use Smartwool Ultra lights, but wool dress socks are a cheap substitute. Packing out the heel pocket of the liner can also help to draw the foot back.

I know it sucks but you might want to look at new boots. Using heel wedges and insoles with high arches to pull your foot back may achieve the goal of giving you more room. But it may create new problems, compromise your balance, and hinder your riding. I went through all of the above trying to fix my big toe pain. Trial and error with boots is expensive, but with every pair you get closer to knowing what works.
Yeah, I've got other pairs so it isn't a big deal. Just don't want to give up on these because I love everything else about them. Think I'll try pulling the liner from my old Malamutes and seeing how that is.

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smelly post up pics of your foot in the neo liner (out of the boot). Put a piece of blue tape or sharpie mark/circle right where the issue is with yer big toes. I got an idea.

Just came back from a 2 hour appt with my boot fitter...soooo worth it. Btw, I always keep my old liners and one set with new boots (same models but .5 size smaller, used the old liners...95% perfect and no break-in pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
smelly post up pics of your foot in the neo liner (out of the boot). Put a piece of blue tape or sharpie mark/circle right where the issue is with yer big toes. I got an idea.

Just came back from a 2 hour appt with my boot fitter...soooo worth it. Btw, I always keep my old liners and one set with new boots (same models but .5 size smaller, used the old liners...95% perfect and no break-in pain.


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At the exact point where your toe has pressure, with a razor blade or better an exacto just make a smallish "+" shaped cut, that cuts all the way through the liner. Then go out and ride, you might need to make the cut a tad bigger...or...cut it into a circle/hole for more space. Then go and ride again...see how it works. Once you got it where you want it, then use some a smear wet suit repair, aqua-seal or maybe of free-sole...on the outside of the liner to help bind the edges so that it will help to prevent it from tearing out more. Anyway, that's what I'd try.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At the exact point where your toe has pressure, with a razor blade or better an exacto just make a smallish "+" shaped cut, that cuts all the way through the liner. Then go out and ride, you might need to make the cut a tad bigger...or...cut it into a circle/hole for more space. Then go and ride again...see how it works. Once you got it where you want it, then use some a smear wet suit repair, aqua-seal or maybe of free-sole...on the outside of the liner to help bind the edges so that it will help to prevent it from tearing out more. Anyway, that's what I'd try.
Thanks man, I'll give it a try.

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Thanks man, I'll give it a try.

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Hey, just thought, I presumed that the pressure was at the end of your big toe, but is the pain on the outside edge of the big toe because the toe box is too narrow? If it is, you might be able to take your boots to a shoe maker to see if they can stretch or blow it out a tad wider...or you could shave some off the outside of the liner (I'd use my bench top sander and just take a bit off).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey, just thought, I presumed that the pressure was at the end of your big toe, but is the pain on the outside edge of the big toe because the toe box is too narrow? If it is, you might be able to take your boots to a shoe maker to see if they can stretch or blow it out a tad wider...or you could shave some off the outside of the liner (I'd use my bench top sander and just take a bit off).
Outside because they're too narrow.

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Discussion Starter #16
Depends on how much they are getting squeezed...a tad or a vice?
This is what my toe looked like by the end of the season last year, this was at most 10 days in the Vans, so if say more than a tad. Haha


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