I need some advice and/or reassurance about which size to pick. Pictures are below, but for the record, I have hammer toes and my foot sizes are:
Left: 10-3/4" long
Right: 10-13/16" long
Both: 4-3/8" wide
I currently have a pair of TrekSports in champagne/red that I picked up about 18 months ago on sale. They are my first FiveFingers and I love them. They're size 43; they don't fit perfectly and no matter how tight they are, I get a fold at the heel. There's also a tiny bit of space in the big toe (my longest toe), so I assume that they're just a teensy bit too big. I only wear them at the gym 3 times a week, for no more than an hour at a time on an elliptical, so it's never been a big deal.
REI recently had (well, still has) the FiveFingers KSO Trek Multisport in kangaroo leather for $31. I go backpacking a lot, and while leather may not be the best choice, I thought they might be pretty durable (if not especially breathable) and I'd give KSOs a shot. Vibram recommends 42 (exactly) for my left foot and 43 (rounded up to 11") for my right. I got both sizes.
I wore the 42s out on a walk and they felt fine, so I wore them to the gym. By the end of my workout, my left toe (for which the shoe is supposed to be "perfect") hurt a bit at the tip...but they felt like they fit better and I didn't get the fold at the back. I wore the 43s around the house and while they felt okay, they're just like my TrekSports in that they fold at the back. There's also a teensy bit of room at the tip of the big toe on each.
I know sizing is a big deal and somewhat difficult...and rarely perfect. So what do y'all suggest? My other ones are probably too big, so there wasn't any discomfort during the breaking in. But these are a different style, and leather instead of mesh.
Do any of you have an experience similar to this?
Any experience with the leather KSOs and whether they will stretch?
If you have a larger size with a fold at the heel, have you found it problematic?
I feel like the general suggestion is to go bigger if there's a question, but given that I'm so very close to fitting one size perfectly (rather than being squarely in the middle of sizes), I wonder if I should hope/plan on a tiny bit of stretching and going with the smaller size.
Also, anyone here tried hiking/backpacking in KSOs, specifically the leather ones? What was your experience?
Sorry for the small novel and thanks for any and all feedback!
Where I'm pinching is the empty space past the toe tip on the size 43s
Fold on the size 43s
My hammer toes (normal on the left, "clenched" - which is how I walk a lot - on the right)