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Backpacking Shoes Needed

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Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:59 pm

Montrail Vitesses and the Montrail Hardrocks where as near perfect as it gets
for me, though both of these shoes lasted maybe 2 trips and were shredded.

My Patagonia Drifters, though tough and looked promising, did not fit well
enough, especially on crosscountry routes.

Have been putting the La Sportiva Ultra Raptors to the test for the last few
weeks, their fit is perfect, but once a 30 lb pack goes on they are not very
stable, and the soles do not have enough cushioning for backpacking.

So back to my quest to finding the perfect or near perfect shoes/not boots.

Be a sales person and convince me that your hiking or trail running shoes are
the perfect ones for me.

Looking for normal to narrow fit (mid to ankle), roomy toe box, can handle
rigorous cross country, and has reliable traction on all or most terrains.

Waterproof is not required, but if it has great breathability then why not.

Durability would be nice but I understand that most shoes in this category
aren't really made to stand up to the vigors of crosscountry, at least not
like boots.

No boot recommendations please, I cannot wear them.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby sparky » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:07 pm

What can I say...moab ventilators fit me best, great breathability, dries fast, great grip, great manuverability, , they just dont hold up to cross country. All the other pluses though and I just live with constantly replacing shoes. Otherwise, its the perfect shoe for me.
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:19 pm

Merrell's unfortunately are to wide for me Sparky, thanks.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby overheadx2 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:38 pm

Mav, did you ever try the Zamberlans?
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:58 pm

Only tried on a boot from them a few years back, just to see the fit, it was
okay but did not lock down my heels very well. Have not tried any of their
hiking shoes, unfortunately our REI's does not carry a large assortment of hiking
shoes from companies that make mid to narrow shoes.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby freestone » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:36 pm

I have gone through two pairs of Zamberlan trial runners, they are narrow, but also narrow in the toe area as well, and quite heavy compared to other shoes of similar price and construction.
I have a long narrow foot, but a bunion on the left foot so I need a wide toe box as well. In the spring I purchased a pair of Brooks Cascadias. No slippage in my narrow heel area on the uphill, or toe bang on the down hill. Easy to put on and take off, and the shoe laces stay tied. I have not been in the Sierra with them yet, so the jury is still out in that department. My former go to shoe was the Vasque Mindbinder, and still recommendable, but side by side, the Cascadia won out.

If all else fails and you want to escape the traditional, give these a try...
http://www.lunasandals.com
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby RichardCullip » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:18 am

I love my Inov8 Roclite 295's. Very sticky rubber. Sticky enough even on wet rock that I wade right thru stream crossings with them. They give me plenty of room for my toes and I don't feel any slippage around my heels. Unfortunately, Inov8 keeps making minor changes each year in the shape of the last and general shoe design. The Roclite's I bought a few years ago are slightly different from the ones they sell this year. Not sure why they have to mess around with a perfectly good shoe but it leads me to wonder if I can get something as nice when it's time to replace mine.

I don't do much cross country travel so I can't speak to how well theses handle the tougher off trail conditions you move thru but mine have handled everything I've hiked thru in the Southern Sierra.
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:34 am

Richard wrote:
Unfortunately, Inov8 keeps making minor changes each year in the shape of the last
and general shoe design.


Yes, this tendency of companies changing the shoes shape every 2 years(or less) is very
annoying which is why I had to stop wearing the Montrail Hardrocks version 2. :\
This is one of the reasons why I usually buy 2 pairs of a shoe if something works for my feet.

Vasques unfortunately don't fit right, neither do the Cascadias, tried the Cascadias
before the current La Sportiva's because of all the hype about them, nope not for
my feet. :\

Thanks for the recommendations so far. :thumbsup:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby BrianF » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:13 am

The Salomon fit tends to be narrow. And the contrgrip sole has always been good traction for me. I have a pair of their boots that I love and wore their trail runners when I was running and found them to be perfect for me. I don't know their line now so no specific model to suggest
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby markskor » Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:07 pm

FWIW, try Brooks Cascadias...a favorite among the PCT crowd but if carrying over 30 pounds and off trail - maybe a bit too light.
Personally, been sporting Moab Ventilators for the last few 100 miles this summer - no problems...light but not waterproof (probably not much of a problem the rest of this year)
Sort of sworn off anything heavy and costly as whatever chosen, seldom lasts over 300 miles anyway.
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Re: Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby maverick » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:27 am

Mark wrote:
FWIW, try Brooks Cascadias...a favorite among the PCT crowd but if carrying over 30
pounds and off trail - maybe a bit too light.


Thanks Mark, but as mention earlier they were tried for that exact reason, but they did
not fit, and were to light as you mentioned.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Backpacking Shoes Needed

Postby maiathebee » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:05 pm

Did you try the Salomon Quest 4D GTX? I think they're what you're looking for and they are stocked at REI. They are light by sturdy backing boots standards, but heavy compared to the general "light hiker" category. Since I've been going off trail more lately, I wanted to get a sturdier boot than my Merrell Sirens. I tried the Salomon Quest at REI for about half an hour and when I put my Merrells on to leave the store they felt like street shoes! I bought the Salomons and am testing them out this week. If it goes well, I'll be wearing them on a 5 day in Yosemite next week.


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