Spurs and Arch Pain

What do you do to alleviate arch pain when in spurs for a long period?
I have flat feet, which likely doesn't help and I also climb with Blundstone boots which aren't much better than landscaper standards (I should mention that they are great quality boots, just not Arborist specific).
Up until now I'd gotten by with grit, dealing with the intense ache however this is clearly not advisable as on the long pole climbs my feet can become near on numb and force me to rest them.

As such I'm really quite keen to sort this out.
Are there flat footed Arborists here who have discovered an effective remedy? Boots?

All help is appreciated.


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The secret to that is the arch support... gotta get boots with a steel arch support shank. I've got a pair with a thick nylon arch support in them, and those are good, too. My linesman boots also have steel toes and the steel arch shank. I'm telling you, I have the same problem... and I feel your pain.

Once the weight is on those support shanks instead of your foot bones, the pain magically goes away.
Cheers JeffGu
Based on that, the ArbPro Cervino boots, while good for pruning, don't mention anything about a support shank.
Am looking in Meindl's Airstreams, not cheap but if it works...


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Or maybe these might help too. There are foot plates you can get for some spur types that take some of the pressure off your arches
As above, full shank boots are a must too - with a steel plate not composite .
And really good footbeds - you can get them custom molded for example in good ski shops - no kidding - in Chammonix there is a boot fitter named Amanda in a shop named Sanlgaards - I've said I am sure she must get proposals for marriage for the job she does fitting ski boots and footbeds. Nothing short of amazing. It's an art. In fact I am surprised a bit that folks who work in spurs or on the ground all day don't pay more attention to custom footbeds than we seem to - it must just be the younger demographic of the arb business.


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Boots intended for spurs. Problem solved.
Hoffman Powerlines, Pole climbers, or their modified Meindles are all killer. The La Sportiva Makalu is probably my favorite. A mountaineering boot made for ice climbing with crampons. Incredible arch support while also being super comfy when spur climbing.
You also need to spend more time in spurs and toughen up. Sorry bro.
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I totally echo Rico above with the La Sportiva Makalu! Mountaineering boots are the way to go in my personal opinion. They offer the arch support, but unlike leather logger/work style boots, the offer a TON of cush to them as well & are still nimble/not bulky enough to toe wedge themselves into climbs without spurs. Somewhat related I did much damage to my shins racing downhill bikes for years & eventually started wearing BMX shin pads with spurs... not only did it help keep my shins feeling better by distributing the pressure across the whole shin instead of just on the cup of the spur... over time I started to realize that it also helped somehow with how my arches felt at the end of a long day in spurs too :)
The La Sportiva Makalu is probably my favorite.
Just thought I'd toss this out there Rico... over the past decade I've blown through many pairs of Makalu's myself and can't rave about them enough.. but last time I had to lay down the scratch for a pair I decided to pick up a pair of Boreal Maipo boots... I dare say they come in several notches above the La Sportivas in comfort, and have stunningly held up way way longer than any Makalus I've owned.. that toe cap that always seems to lift, just doesn't happen with these!



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First let me say welcome to TreeBuzz. Some great post already!

You were much more articulate describing your love for Makalu's then I ever was. They are a killer spur boot no doubt. I am always looking for the perfect spur boot, and these Boreal boots peaked my interest. Killer arch support? What kind of shank is in the midsole? Nice big heel for your stirrup to settle into?

Where you at in Ak? I spent 7 seasons logging on the mainland between Ketchikan and Juneau back in the late 70's-80's. Amazing time, and amazing country. One of my favorite places in the world!
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Appreciate all the feedback folks.

Definitely true Rico. We have plenty of Palms to climb here so no problems spending all day in them.

I'm going down a rabbit hole of potential boots, admiring what these craftsmen are capable of.
I'll holla back and let you's know what I side with.


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I totally echo Rico above with the La Sportiva Makalu! :)
I'll be showing my age here, but these are the original Makalu boots, by Galibier. I've had a pair for over 40 years. Never wore them as they are a tad narrow for me. And, I no longer do winter mountaineering... I also have my very well worn Trappeur Professionals, a trad single mountaineering boot, also with a rigid sole. Never used them in the trees, as I always climbed in Wescos or Whites. No more. I simply use Asolos, which I get for about $125 at Sierra Trading Post. They have all the arch support I need for gaff work, and are far preferred for pruning or ground work.


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I spent 7 seasons logging on the mainland between Ketchikan and Juneau back in the late 70's-80's. Amazing time, and amazing country. One of my favorite places in the world!
Before I became a tree climber/arborist, I worked for a few weeks in the summer of '72 for a gypo outfit based on a floating log camp, in the islands outside Ketchikan. Set chokers, water chased, and chased on a landing (two donkeys, one to work the side, one on the water to yard the logs down the permanent skid road to the water.). Slipped carrying a 55 lb moving block. My wrist ended up between it and a stump. They sent me home, no airfare or workman's comp. I went back to my landscaping job in the Seattle area, where I learned proper pruning and only did a bit of tree climbing. Didn't learn any climbing skills until my first job for a tree service in late '75. Still at it, going into year 44, soon!
Very cool that you're still at it, Roger.
Those Makalu Boots look good!

I narrowed my preferences down to the 6 Inch San Ramon Meindl Lineman, looks like a good boot, solid steel shanks and not too much sole lip to interfere as a pruning boot. Although I have yet to find an Australian vendor that stocks them and Hoffman won't deliver to Australia.

Onward and Upward!


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These Hoffman modified Meindl boots are absolutely killer. Expensive, but one of the nicest spur boots i have ever worn. I had a pair a few years back that along with a few saws, were stolen by some fucking tweakers. Looking for something a little cheaper I bought the Makalu's, which I have enjoyed them since.
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@Roger_Barnett . I found a pair of those in a free box on the side of the road. Not shitting you! BEST BOOT I EVER OWNED. I have narrow feet and chicken ankles, a custom pair of Wessco's cost me a arm and a leg. They don't even fit right, so I can't wear em more than 4 hours. Let me know if you'd like to get rit of the boots you never really used. I love em old school mountaineering boots. See you at chapter conference?


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I also have pancake flat feet. I am wearing a pair of Georga boots right now with a logger heal and a tempered steel shank. They do pretty well. I've had Wesco' s linesman boots, they are great, just a bit pricey. Timberland Pro's with a steel shank are pretty good too and readily available at local stores where I can try them on first which is important for me because If a shoe or boot has much arch my pancake feet can't take it. Also it got better for me when I switched from old steel buckinghams to new aluminnum geckos that are a bit wider across the bottom. But still, after a whole day on spikes, my feet hurt.
and these Boreal boots peaked my interest. Killer arch support? What kind of shank is in the midsole? Nice big heel for your stirrup to settle into?

Where you at in Ak? I spent 7 seasons logging on the mainland between Ketchikan and Juneau back in the late 70's-80's. Amazing time, and amazing country. One of my favorite places in the world!
So far as the Boreals go.. literally noticeable more support than the La Sportivas, and several other high end mountaineering I've worn over the years. In between seasons I've driven tow trucks, TONS of pavement running around etc... and I can honestly say spending up to 14 hours in them, don't even notice they are there! I actually find myself wearing them just to run around town since they are so comfortable.. and since boots are the best tool I own both for the tree biz, as well as playing outside in general, I miss when I'm not wearing them & often go to kick things & wind up hurting my feet when I'm wearing other footwear! Cost is a drawback to them but I am literally going on 3 years in my first pair of them.. and holy hell do they hold up! They are sized a bit small though so if you do consider them, go at least 1/2 size up & try to buy from a vendor who offers a return/exchange... mine were just a tad too tight in the beginning & I assumed they'd break in that half size for me but really haven't, which of course is a good thing since that means the padding inside, is built to last... but they were broke in feeling right out of the box, unlike the Makalu which take weeks of working in to get them settled... seriously as a total gear junky both for work & play, I cannot talk these boots up enough! The heel is perfect for spurs, never had any kind of slippage from them whatsoever & I don't know that they are shanked or not, but flex has never been an issue at at....

So far as Alaska.. left boston in 97 as a greenie for here, wound up meeting a gal in Oregon & never left until I met another girl a few years ago who shattered me... so I just ended up here on the Kenai Peninsula last winter & am loving it so far.. but really really missing my Pacific NW big tree climbs! What these guys call "big trees" up here are about the size of the last half of most of the climbs down south lol... but since I'm not exactly a kid no more I don't mind not spending 7 hours in spurs taking down one tree :)