View Full Version : Shoes vs. Boots
What are some good hiking SHOES or lightweight boots? I've heard good reviews for Solomon (Pro Sticky Mids), Merrill (Reflex), and New Balance (805s).
I have the Vasque Sundowners and they're built like a tank, but are hot and feel burdensome in warm weather. If I start the AT in Maine in July (next year or '05), I'll probably put up with my Sundowners until I get through Vermont because of the greater need for ankle support in that area. After that, I'd like to wear something much lighter until the snow flies down south in early winter.
Only concern is a low cut shoe/boot will provide NO ankle support, so ideally it would have to be high-cut. Comments/experiences/recommendations?
This has probably been covered in other gear areas, but we had really good luck with the Montrail Hurricanes (Goretex trail running sneakers) and New Balance 804s. We didn't switch to low-cut shoes until after Damascus, and truthfully, I still had a few minor ankle rolls, and I wouldn't have started with them if my ankles hadn't been "broken in". They were great shoes with good grip, and I'm still wearing mine (although admittedly, they are wearing out). Good luck!
I have "bad" ankles and could never understand the "ankle support" concept. I can painfully roll my ankles in the most heavy stiff leather boots made. When I went to an othepedic doctor he told me that what holds your knees and ankles up is your knees and ankles. There is a clear placebo effect to hightops and braces, and if they make you feel better by all means go with the heavy, hot, days to dry, blister maker, leather/concrete boots. I believe the lower weight allows me to not become tired, step where I should step and I hurt my ankles and feet far less.
You might actually be a pronator, in which case you will have a tendency to roll your ankle inwards. You might want to try motion control running shoes. These actually force you to walk in a certain way. Very popular for running shoes, don't think that i have ever seen this in a trail runner though. Seems like a lot of the technology for runners doesn't seem to make it to the trail.
The disadvantage to running shoes is that they won't have the traction. But the gain can be a lot less pain when hiking.
I've used a pair of NB904s for a year now. They are not coming with me on the PCT. I had good luck with a pair of Salomon Raidsports last summer, but these are not made anymore. If you are not carrying a pig of a pack or crossing very rough terrain (NH does not qualify), trail runners should be fine for you.
I have been a strong proponent of medium weight hiking boots for the AT for many years. But, I recently began hiking in Merrel Chameleon Ventilator mid height shoes. They offer plenty of support and protection, though they aren't even remotely waterproof, a bit chilly in cold weather too since the wind blows right through the mesh panels. But on hot days, they are the next best thing to wearing sandals.
Lowering my hiking weight has also helped a great deal.
Originally posted by chris
I've used a pair of NB904s for a year now. They are not coming with me on the PCT. So what do you plan to wear on the PCT? Do you switch shoes once you reach the Sierra's?