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Boots

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Boots

Postby Beavis » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:55 pm

Questions on boot selection:
Are the heavier hiking boots necessary for carrying a 45 lb pack around the sierra? Or can I get away w/ trail running shoes?
It seems that there is a school of thought that the heavier boots do not add additional support (i.e for the ankles) and just add weight. How true is this?

Thanks



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Re: Boots

Postby trav867 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:11 pm

IMO, 45lbs is probably too heavy for trail runners. I use trail running shoes with loads of up to about 30lbs. Beyond that and for off trail, I'd say stick with a real, light weight hiking boot.
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Re: Boots

Postby fishmonger » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:52 am

I've tried lighter shoes but since I carry loads around 45-55 pounds when hiking with my kids, I find boots with more support much more comfortable and especially safer (ankle protection).

I use the La Sportiva Trango Evo (red) boots, and find them rather light compared to traditional boots and very supportive. They are just as tough as my old 6 pound leather mountaineering boots, could handle crampons, but still have some slight flex for easier walking. They simply eat up rougher trail sections where you have to step on fist to football sized boulders without wearing out your feet. They weigh 58 ounces in my size, about twice that of a trail runner.

Now, the ultra-lighters will tell you that your pack is too heavy and that you should change that first, then you can walk around in those trail runners. I think under 25 pounds, trail runners are probably alright for a person who doesn't weigh a lot to begin with. However, if your'e 6'4" and weigh 200 pounds, I don' think you'll find trail runners tough enough to work well.
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Re: Boots

Postby markorr » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:55 am

It depends more on the terrain to be encountered. If I'm on trail I'll wear low cut trail runners regardless of pack weight (up to 55 lb for a week) but I also use trekking poles. I feel like the poles reduce the likelihood of rolling my ankles. If I'm going cross country or anticipate snow then I'll switch to boots. not sure if that helps.
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Re: Boots

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:33 pm

Depends on terrain and your ankle strength.
On trail yes, if you have been training with 45 lbs at home on the trails, and have built
up adequate foot/ankle strength in the weight room (calf raises, reverse calf raises,
stair stepper, ect.)
Each pound on the foot adds 5 lbs on the back, but if your planning off trail than
there are a lot of boots out there that way a lot less than they did yrs ago, and give
the same stability as boots twice their weights did several yrs ago.
I do not go over 35 lbs (10 days) so I wear my Montreal Hardrocks, and if I plan
to go when there will be snowy terrain than I use my boots begrudgingly.
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Re: Boots

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:25 pm

I've a friend who weighs 210 lbs, carries a 65lb pack all the time (god knows why, but if you need something, he has it), and wears NB tennis shoes.. Wherever we go.. Oh, and he also brings along the boots, but never wears them.

He's been known to wade in those same tennis shoes the day before a long hike out.

I think genetics plays a part here in how your feet respond to shoes, weight, etc. I know since i first lost my right big-toenail after accidentally kicking a tree stump on the trail out of Glen Aulin, I will lose it now on every trip. I've come to expect it, regardless of boot selection. I know my boots fit, but i also have high arches and i guess my right foot "pronates?" more than my left and jams itself into the boot.

You have to know your feet, pick the right insoles for support, and go with it.

Russ
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Re: Boots

Postby Cloudy » Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:14 am

It seems that there is a school of thought that the heavier boots do not add additional support (i.e for the ankles) and just add weight.
IMHO, this depends on YOUR ankles. I've found that as my pack weight goes up, my feet get clumsier and I've whacked my ankles on rocks or bent them at unnatural angles any number of times and have been happy for the extra protection and support - especially as I usually hike alone.

Alan
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Re: Boots

Postby Beavis » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:59 am

"Each pound on the foot adds 5 lbs on the back..." This is one of my concerns, why I was considering trail runners.

I am also tired of going through expensive boots. Paid a lot for a pair of Vasque's which fell apart in less than one season. It seemed like trailer runners would be lighter, cheaper, and easier to fit.
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Re: Boots

Postby Take-a-Hike » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:51 am

I've tried to find a boot that I can wear...can't. Thank God For REI to take em back. Then I went to the Asics trial runner shoe...wore out two pair. Really like them, but the tread will wear out in a hurry...I have no ankle problems, really no leg problems at all to speak of. Carry a heavier pack due to wife coming along and I ease her load as much as possible, but mine is no more than 45 lbs on day one of a week trip. I do believe that if you spend a lot of time in wet conditions mesh trail shoes aren't advisable. I'm due for a new pair this year and am thinking about a low cut shoe w/boot sole just to see if it'll work for me otherwise back to more Asics..and I'm a New Balance fan for most other athletic shoes.
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Re: Boots

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:33 pm

As noted by others the ruggedness of the boot is a function of how you need to use it. I have two grades of boots: my mesh uppers for trail hiking and easy off trail dayhiking and a medium duty pair (heavy duty by today's standards) that I use for backpacking off trail (I once had 3 grades I 'd use). I find that the medium duty pair gives me much better lateral support; this is particularly notable when sidehilling a steep slope (this includes grassy slopes at low altitude while doing geology). Even with strong ankles (I have them owing to regular strength and flexibility exercises) I find the support aspect of more rugged (ie my "medium" duty) boots while sidehilling off trail is very noticeable. Also having some protection against hard side impacts is nice when one is doing a lot of scree and talus. The medium duty boots of today are lighter and more comfortable than the monster boots I took until 2002, but I sure feel those rocks (no amount of weight and flexibility training can armor plate my feet). In the rare event I have to use crampons, my current ("medium duty") boots wouldn't cut it, whereas my older ones (the likes of which I have great difficulty obtaining today) had the sole rigidity to accept crampons. One thing I will say about my medium duty pair--they're cheaper as well as lighter than my old tanks. They did fine on the Tunechuck trip last year (49 of 51 miles off trail; packweight at start was probably 50 plus), so I figure I won't worry about finding a bruiser boot unless I really get the itch to do some hiking involving crampon work.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Boots

Postby hikerduane » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:31 pm

I've used some Montrail Hardrock, trail runners the last three years, no problems. I even used them for a partly offtrail bp trip last summer over talus etc. and a couple drops with my pack still on, while maintaining my balance on a ledge. I have heard that the quality isn't what it used to be the last few years though, so I will look elsewhere when replacing them. I have heard good things for some time now about New Balance shoes.
Piece of cake.
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