Smartwool Classic Toe Burning

I picked up a pair of the now discontinued Smartwool Classics in M42. For the record all my other VFF are M41 (KSO, KSO Trek, Trek LS, Bormio, Flow). I've comfortably worn these for 12+ hour stretches at work with no problems. I wore the Classics for part of today and my little toe (only left foot) is burning like crazy! I read on an old post about inverting the heel to help fit which I am trying.
Is this normal with Classics or a sign that Smartwool Classics (I understand the regular Classics have a different sole?) and my feet just aren't meant to be? I had read that the Classics go up a size from KSO fit and the M41 definitely felt too tight in the store. Any thoughts?
Thanks, AndyB, NH.


  • Explain what you mean by burning like crazy.  I had irritation (pain) at my pinky toes when I first transitioned to VFFs, because my pinky toes were accustomed to hugging their neighboring toes rather tightly.  Being forced over and rubbing against a toe pocket caused aggravation.  This went away after wearing VFFs exclusively during the summer, and only resurfaced slightly after switching back to regular mono-toed shoes.  I wore STEMs instead of VFFs and I guess old habits die hard.  My pinky toes went right back to hugging their neighbor.  When I went back to wearing VFF Classics this spring, I had the same irritation back again at first.  I have not noticed it to be any more prevalent in the Smartwool Classics over the traditional Classics.  I do not wear my Smartwools much though.  I think it might just be that your feet need to adapt to the shoe a little and also the shoes do break in, although the Smartwools are notorious for taking longer to break in which is why many have ended up doing heel inversions to stretch and soften them up. 
  • It felt like a burning pain. It's probably like when I first started breaking my feet into VFF but I didn't expect to have to go through it again. I wear only VFF every day at work and home so I figured my feet were pretty well broken in. I guess the different sole and shape and material may have something to do with it.
    I haven't tried the STEM/Lemming shoes. How are they as far as transitioning from VFF to them and back? I'm afraid I'll have to wear something that looks more like normal shoes at some point.
    Thanks, Andy.
    PS After inverting the heels for a bit I put them back on and the toe is burning painfully again. Sigh.
  • I do think the adjustment period differs depending upon which model.  I know that I had the pain gone when wearing Classics and it resurfaced briefly when I got my Speeds last June.  Different fabrics with different levels of stretchiness.  Just keep wearing them for as long of periods as you can stand and eventually you will not notice any pain. 

    I really like the Stem shoes.  I am wearing them now actually.  They have plenty of room for toe splay, are super comfortable, seem to be pretty durable.  I have a little wear on the soles, there is a post on this forum somewhere on it, but they are by no means wore out.
  • If ya wanna get rid of those super uncomfortable discontinued classics, I'll take 'em off your hands ;)
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