Going over to the Dark Side

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JimmyLyding
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Going over to the Dark Side

Post by JimmyLyding » Jul 15 2010 1:05 am

Just acquired a pair of low tops. We'll see if they don't injure me on my Kachina Trail hike on Friday. I hold no one responsible other than myself, and I most assuredly don't want anyone taking credit for sending me in this dangerous direction! :roll:

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azbackpackr
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 15 2010 5:49 am

What...have you been a die-hard heavy leather boot freak? Me, too!

Ok, I can tell you my experience with this venture so far. I got that free pair (via my volunteer work) of Merrell Moab Ventilators, a lowcut hiking shoe. The longest hike I have done so far in one day in them is 17 miles, and that was after I told everyone they weren't much good after 10 miles.

And, I was right: 10 miles is really about the edge of their capability. They have NO support. My left foot still hurts, and that was a week ago, so all this week I have not hiked, I have only biked.

So, unless I can find some insoles with arch support, or perhaps a better brand, such as Salomons, I am going to have to stick to the leather clodhoppers when hiking that far. I am looking at some Vasque Breeze boots that Campmor had in my size (a very rare size to find--narrow width) and hope they still have them in stock when I get my student grant money in August. I am going back to clodhoppers, but need a lighter pair.
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sirena
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by sirena » Jul 15 2010 7:05 am

I too have recently gone over to the dark side. It happened sort of accidentally- I bought some cheapie gym shoes to wear at Aravaipa, (with a pair of green Superfeet insoles) and realized how comfortable I could be backpacking without a heavy boot. Aravaipa was the perfect place to test them out because of the uneven terrain. Then my regular boots started giving me problems where the high-top hits the front of one of my ankles. So every time I've gone out recently, I look at my big, heavy boots and decide to wear the low-tops instead.

When I backpacked up the Old Baldy Tr. recently, I tried the low tops and was really happy with the way they felt, even on steep slopes. I have really tight calves, and I can never stretch them enough during or after a hike. With the low tops, my achilles tendon seemed to have full range of motion, and my calves weren't as sore. I already have strong ankles from yoga and dance, and I also work barefoot. (a perk of being a massage therapist- I don't have to wear shoes when I work.) I can tell that using the low tops have strengthened the stability, rather than exposed me to more injury. The only thing that I have not tried them on is off-trail bushwhacking.

Interesting note- since wearing low-tops, I have had several people remark that if I am hiking alone, that it is riskier to wear low tops in case I twist my ankle in a remote place. After not wearing a heavy boot for the last couple of months, I have to disagree.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 15 2010 7:10 am

I personally like the low tops because they are so light weight. I just need to get a different brand of them, I think. I am going to be in Tucson in August and will stop by the Summit Hut for sure.
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PaleoRob
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by PaleoRob » Jul 15 2010 7:10 am

I've been primarily using a pair of Chaco Redrocks for my hiking over the last year, unless it is cold, where I'll switch back to my Merrill thinsulate boots. I even did The Ropes trail, a sheer descent to the Colorado River, in them. My only complaints is with my own decision - I didn't get Vibram soles. I definitely notice that the Redrocks are not nearly as "sticky" as my Merrills or my old but still alive Vasques (going on 10 years now with them!).
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PLC92084
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by PLC92084 » Jul 15 2010 7:27 am

I tend to alternate between a pair of Danner High-Tops and Montrail Mountain Masochist trail-runners. I can't really say I have a preference except that some days I don't feel like wearing boots... I definitely feel more protected with the boots but they don't breathe as well as the trail-runners (and aren't as light). The boots are more water proof so they get favorable consideration when shallow water-crossings are anticipated.

I've done 12+ mile treks with both and not had any foot/ankle problems.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by JimmyLyding » Jul 15 2010 2:38 pm

I got a pair of Garmont Eclipse 3 XCRs, and they seem to have a lot of support. My old Merrell Ventilators had zero support, and luckily a dog chewed them to shreds and consequently the dog's owner had to pony up some cash that enabled me to buy the Garmonts :) . Full report after tomorrow's Kachina hike

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te_wa
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by te_wa » Jul 15 2010 2:44 pm

crap Jim, i thot u meant getting a hammock. the "true" dark side. its nice here, we have cookies.

also, ive seen some nba guys switching to low tops. hmm..
:D

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by JimmyLyding » Jul 15 2010 3:03 pm

I have a hammock, but I've only used it in the yard.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 15 2010 3:16 pm

Don't despair, Te-wa, a hammock is on my eventual list.
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MtnBart01
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by MtnBart01 » Jul 15 2010 6:50 pm

@Jim Lyding
You haven't completely embraced the dark side until you put on that first pair of foot gloves. :sl:
LET IT SNOW! Let it SNOW! Let it Snow!

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by JimmyLyding » Jul 15 2010 9:12 pm

@bart01:
I am seeing more and more of those at my LA Fitness. I foolishly committed to being part of the Phoenix Children's Hospital marathon team for the next PF Chang's Marathon, and I'm seriously considering getting a pair of those foot glove thingies for running.

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MtnBart01
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by MtnBart01 » Jul 15 2010 10:53 pm

They just added a model called the bikila. They were designed specifically for running. Haven't seen them in person but evidently rei carries them at least on line. Guess they have a little more padding in some places (darkside light?) Wouldn't recommend any vff without trying them on first.
LET IT SNOW! Let it SNOW! Let it Snow!

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azbackpackr
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 16 2010 4:37 am

I am pretty sure I couldn't wear those for very long. I finally did see someone wearing a pair. I get sore feet just thinking about going barefoot with no padding or arch support. Just gettin' old, I guess. I remember dayhiking on the Appalachian Trail one year when I was seventeen, barefoot. We never did much of that on hikes around San Diego, though--too many rocks and cacti. But nowadays I don't even walk around barefoot in the house or on the lawn.

I would like to get some Chacos, though. My Tevas don't have enough support for me for hiking any more, but the Chacos seem to have more in the arch. Maybe get the kind that goes between your toes, and get colorful toe socks! :D
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by paulhubbard » Jul 16 2010 5:59 am

I love my Chacos, they are snug enough to go trhough water and not slip-n-slide around afterwards, and they have good arches. You just end up with funny tan lines.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 16 2010 6:01 am

Hey, now, but those funny tan lines are COOL! Right?
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by fotogirl53 » Jul 16 2010 7:35 pm

I have always used mid-low hikers (Merrill, Vasque) due to a very high instep. I got a new brand this summer--Ahnu Tilden II for hikes in/out of water. Apparently the developers of this line used to work for Teva and went of to form their own line. The Ahnu's did well at Horton Creek--great stability, handled the rocky parts of the trail, great tread, no blisters for a sandal type shoe. They make men's and women's shoes.
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JimmyLyding
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by JimmyLyding » Jul 23 2010 11:49 pm

My first report on the low-cut Garmonts is very positive. I did the Woodchute trail today, and while that's not a tough trail they performed admirably. I'm still getting over stepping on top of sharp rocks like I'm used to with my big daddies so my feet are a little sore. My feet aren't too sore, however. I wouldn't want to use them on a hike with a lot of downhill. Going down Icehouse in these puppies isn't in my short-term future.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 24 2010 3:25 am

Those Merrell Moab Ventilators I have, after probably only about 50 or 60 miles of trail, are sort of starting to twist around and will start to have the tendency to roll to the outside pretty soon, I'm sure. They have sort of started to curve, though. Kind of weird. They aren't very stable. Partly it could have to do with the fact they are so darned wide for me I had to put thick insoles in them. Oh, well, they were freebie swag.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: Going over to the Dark Side

Post by JimmyLyding » Jul 24 2010 2:04 pm

Tomorrow's hike is supposedly about 16 miles, and I'm assuming that it will be tougher than Woodchute. Much tougher test

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