By: randosteve|Posted on: July 25, 2008|Posted in: Gear | 16 comments

Still growing my toenails back after four months.

Throughout the winter, while working at the shop, I do a lot of heat molding of liners for customers buying new AT and telemark boots. Often, when asked whether they want to use toe-caps to allow for some extra room in the toe box, the customer says they want a ‘performance fit’…which typically means molding the liners without them. Most of the time I’m able to talk them into using them because touring in boots that fit too tight up front can be a pain…literally!

losing toenailsCase in point. This past season I substituted the stock liners that came with my Dynafit Zzero 4 CF’s with some Intuition liners I had lying around. The liners added a bit more performance to the boot and some extra padding around the shin area. The liners were molded without toecaps a few years ago and half the time I liked the tighter fit. However, the other half of the time my toes were numb from the lack of blood circulation, or in pain from getting slammed into the front of the liner/boot during long tours or long bootpacks in firm snow. Needless to say, I’m making sure I mold my boots with toecaps in the future.

I’ve lost some of my own toenails a few times over the years, both from trail running and skiing. I think the skiing ones have been during the 2006 24 Hours of Sunlight (3rd overall), as a result of a long, rugged and hot walk out the Tasmin Glacier in New Zealand, and this year, when I attempted to ski the Skillet Glacier on Mount Moran in a day. The trip to the Skillet was on March 23rd, today is July 25th…over four months later and I’m still trying to grow back my toenails.