What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

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BurnEm
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What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by BurnEm » May 09 2010 7:46 am

Hi all, i was wondering what kind of footwear everyone prefers for hiking? Any recommended brands of hiking boots? I ask because my boots aren'y doing the trick. I have a pair of Wolverine hiking boots, and they seem allright if i keep the hike under 5 or 6 miles. But if i go on say a 10 or 12 mile hike, my feet get thrashed. Usually end up with 2 - 6 blisters on each foot, and can barely walk at all for the next day. My last hike i tried buying a decent pair of gel insoles to put in them but that didn't seem to help at all. Not to mention the boots seem kind of low cut for my preferance so i end up twisting my ankles alot while hiking on rocks, and if i go off trail they end up filled with burrs and other plant materal that stab my ankles constantly. It gets quite obnoxious having to pull all the burrs and things off my socks or completely remove my boots to clean them out every 10 minutes or so. So i need some suggestions of a good pair of hiking boots, something that laces tight at the very top. And preferably comfortable too. Thanks...
"Hiking Is Just Walking Where You Can Pee..."(Demetri Martin)

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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2010 1:48 pm

Good point.

Just wish they all came in my size.
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MtnBart01
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by MtnBart01 » May 12 2010 2:24 pm

Rick Vincent wrote:Has anyone chimed in about their experience with Vibram Five Finger KSO Treks?
te-wa wrote:Joe, you may find the vibrams a very great choice in your collection. i love mine, but cannot hike in places like the Supes for more than a few miles, still need to toughen up my girlie feet. find them on sale like i did for $50 and youll wear them every chance you get. (i have the "sprint" model)
I agree with Te-wa on the ankle support. I have a pair of Treks and a pair of Sprints. I tend to workout and wear the sprints (got cool tan lines to prove it :) ) in town like on Camelback and Papago and wear the Treks on longer hikes. Although I have hiked 7+ miles at a time in the sprints.
Just an Fyi Te-wa the treks are a couple ounces heavier, :sl: :sl: but you would notice a huge difference in what you could hike and how far with the extra 2 mm of padding and the more aggressive sole. They also don't let as much stuff in. They dry extremely fast as I found in the snow filled fun of the Mazatzals although they were a little cold as I was wading through the snow. The kangaroo leather is tough and very resistant to those stickery cactus things we have in the area.
The most important thing is strengthening the feet and ankles regardless of the footwear you choose. Every body needs to run around barefoot more often! :y:
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RickVincent
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by RickVincent » May 12 2010 3:01 pm

The overall theme here seems to be...."It's all about the socks." And that, I couldn't agree with more.
This is my gym. I have to travel down a bumpy road to get there. There are no treadmillls, no machines, and no personal trainers. I walk..I run..I breathe the fresh air. I can go any time I want, as much as I want and there is no membership fee.

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JimmyLyding
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by JimmyLyding » May 12 2010 4:09 pm

If your boots keep your ankles from moving then you're either wearing them wrong or have the wrong boots. A good pair of boots keeps your ankles from rolling to the side, and thus becoming injured. Of course some of us grew up playing sports, and repeatedly injuring our ankles, so we have to deal with things a little differently.

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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2010 4:22 pm

I have worn Tevas on long fairly tough hike, from Havasupai campground to river and back on a couple of occasions. Wore wool sox and taped areas that would receive abrasion from the sand. It worked fairly well.
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big_load
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by big_load » May 12 2010 6:37 pm

I like lightweight mids for sidehilling and protection from bangs and bumps. Fit is more important than anything else, and it's too individual for a blanket endorsement of any particular boot or shoe.

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cordell_rogers
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by cordell_rogers » May 14 2010 8:58 am

nonot wrote:Trailrunners or tennis shoes. Consider adding to them a sturdy insole. The key is to let your feet breathe and not have them slide around in your shoes. Most advice stresses huge thick socks and an underlayer sock, which doesn't work in the desert. I'd recommend for the desert you go with a thin synthetic sock and shoes with light/mesh uppers.
What he said. Trail running shoes with upgraded insoles & synthetic socks.

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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » May 14 2010 6:15 pm

I wore the big heavy Vasque Wasatch clodhoppers on a hike today, which included some very steep, very loose scree. Ok, they were awesome, what can I say? The thing is, that type of boot was probably designed with Sierra scree slopes in mind.
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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » May 28 2010 6:30 am

Yesterday someone handed me a promotional coupon worth $110 on the Merrell website. (I volunteer with a youth search and rescue group, and the director gets us all kinds of freebies.)

I said to him, "But Merrell doesn't make shoes in my size!" He said, "Well, don't you want the coupon?"

So, I ordered a pair of Moab Ventilators, because a lot of folks on here said they are good. I also ordered their thickest footbeds to take up all the width and their thick socks. All of which came to exactly $110. Free shipping.

I will let you know if I can make them fit me with the installation of the footbeds plus the thick socks.

Meanwhile, I am hiking in the Vasque giant Wasatch clodhoppers, which continue to amaze me on steep scree.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » Jun 10 2010 5:18 am

OK, I have gone on an 8 mile hike, two days ago, wearing my brand-new (freebie!!) Merrell Moab Ventilators, with thick insoles (Merrell brand) to take up the volume. I have to say these shoes have very little arch support, seem very flat-footed, and offer little comfort in the footbed, compared to my Vasque boots. The bottoms of my feet got sore pretty quickly. The soles are not that thick, so you can feel the rocks. On the good side, I liked having very light shoes on. I think I will look for another brand next time, though, such as Salomon, (or??) I am also going to look into a better insole for the Merrells, better than the ones I bought with the shoes from Merrell's website. Spenco, maybe. Not Superfeet--they are not very cushy. These Merrells are very wide shoes, and even with thick socks and their extra-thick insoles, I still have to pull the laces in tight.

I will probably use these for dayhikes of 10 miles or less. Yesterday I hiked 13 miles, was glad to be wearing my boots instead, although they are heavy.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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trekkin_gecko
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by trekkin_gecko » Jun 10 2010 10:52 am

E:
when you are in flagstaff, check out the three outdoor stores in town
they all carry a different selection of trail runners and hiking shoes, different than REI in phoenix anyway
i think they have la sportiva and montrail models
i'm partial to salomon myself - have had several pair of the xa comp 3
at least you could try some things on
i find it difficult to order shoes on line
just purchased a merrell midcut moab with my dividend
think i'll like them, but haven't hiked in them yet

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te_wa
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by te_wa » Jun 10 2010 11:23 am

xa comp 3 are the best trail shoes ive ever worn. they do seem to run a 1/2 size big, so keep that in mind if ordering sight unseen
fwiw, the discount store Marshall's sometimes carries Saloman and Merrel shoes, about 50% off
:D

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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » Jun 10 2010 7:02 pm

Well, I will check out some stores if I have time, in Flag. Try some on, see how they fit, etc.
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Canyonram
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by Canyonram » Sep 02 2010 5:57 pm

Yo Burnem,

Good question. One that can take forever to find the right solution since your feet and yours and yours alone.

Some guidelines for selecting the right boot for what you want to accomplish:
http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/article ... twear.html

http://www.abc-of-hiking.com/hiking-boo ... atures.asp
Be sure to scroll down for the other three related articles

Some videos on selecting gear including boots:
http://www.ehow.com/video_2358761_choos ... shoes.html

Great reference for feet/blisters: "Fixng Your Feet: Prevention and Treatment for Athletes" by John Vonhof. Covers runners, hikers, etc. including blister prevention methods, boot selection, etc.

And, to answer your question about boots: For multi-day hikes carrying lots of water, I use Lowa Banff's with Spenco Blue inserts, Wigwam wool socks, hiking poles. These boots are over 5 lbs, enough to make any ultra-light fanatic gag. They are also the most comfortable hiking boot I've had. For lighter trips over better trails, I wear my Vasque (Renegade I think), ditto on the footwear accessories.

As to the blisters, you may just be reaching the max of what your skin and physiology can tolerate. If it is the boot, chances are you'll start picking up hot spots early in the hike, not after lots of miles. Six miles may be what your skin can handle, regardless of gear. The Vonhof text points out that hydration and electrolyte status is important in blister prevention.

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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 02 2010 7:32 pm

I recently was fitted at Summit Hut in Tucson. What a great thing it is to have a knowledgeable salesman helping you! Anyway, I have extremely narrow long feet. He was able to find a pair of Lowa Renegade GTX's in a narrow size. I am still going to get either Spenco or Superfeet to put in them, since they actually are not quite narrow enough. I am wearing 2 pairs of sox, which pretty much takes up the volume. I wore them the day after I bought them hiking 11 miles in the Catalinas. They never bothered me. Although they are an all-leather hiking boot, they are pretty light. I am very pleased with them.

Those Merrells I was talking about earlier turned out to be really horrible. That was the pair I got for free--they were the Moab Ventilators. I am sure they are fine for people with wide feet, but what I had to do was put super thick insoles in them and lace them really tight. Very quickly they started to roll over and curve in, becoming sort of misshapen. Actually dangerous for me to wear them anywhere but on very flat trail. Any other type of terrain and they just roll right over. Ankle breakers.

I also tried on a pair of Salomons, and the salesman wrote down the name of them and the size, etc. They were pretty decent lightweight trail shoes. Didn't buy them, but I might later on.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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joebartels
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by joebartels » Sep 02 2010 8:03 pm

Canyonram wrote:The Vonhof text points out that hydration and electrolyte status is important in blister prevention.
Duct tape too!
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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 02 2010 8:04 pm

Blister prevention can also be achieved by staying home! ;)
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juliachaos
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by juliachaos » Sep 02 2010 10:36 pm

joe bartels wrote:Duct tape too!
The answer to all life's problems!
azbackpackr wrote:Blister prevention can also be achieved by staying home! ;)
I'd rather have blisters. :D

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azbackpackr
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 03 2010 3:55 am

When I was about 18 I went on my first backpacking trip. Yeah, there were dinosaurs and stuff like that. Anyway, the usual shoe for hiking back then was an Italian leather boot, Pivetta. Unlined. I had a packet of moleskin, and when the trip was over my feet were covered in it! Interestingly, too, the moleskin at that time would actually STAY ON. Today's moleskin is useless unless you cover it with duct tape.

I rarely get blisters any more. In fact I can't remember having one in the past several years at all. Shoes are better now!!!!
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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Canyonram
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Re: What Do You Wear On Your Feet?

Post by Canyonram » Sep 03 2010 9:13 am

Backpacker Magazine does an annual review of gear and offers both tester and reader reviews. You can do a search at their website. Use the left-hand column to list your criteria and what kind of boot you are looking for: http://www.backpacker.com/gear/gear_fin ... r_results/

Also, the past issues of Backpacker Magazine going back to 1973 are posted here:
http://books.google.com/books/serial/IS ... &start=180
To get to the first issues, scroll to the bottom of the page and go to the end.

It's a hoot to look back at the advertisements---the sport of backpacking is relatively new and evolved out of mountaineering. It used to be for your horse or mule to carry your stuff, certainly not a bag hanging from your back. If you look at the boot ads in the early Backpacker magazines you can see the evolution of the hiking boot from the mountaineering boot. Also, the external frame backpack ruled for years until replaced by the internal. (You can tell when old Baby Boomers began their backpacking----just look at their external frame Kelty pack or clunky leather boots!)

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