View Full Version : Sandal concerns

08-15-2008, 09:09
I've searched hiking with sandals and found plenty of info on what sandals people use for hiking, and I just purchased some chaco z1s and love them. Now that I've got the sandals I want, I've got a few questions that hopefuly some veteran sandal users could answer.

What types of sock if any do you use in warm weather?
What socks do you use in rain?
What socks do you use during cold/winter (late feb springer start)
How do you prevent skin from drying/cracking?

And any other advice for hiking in sandals.

08-15-2008, 09:50
met a guy who hiked for god knows how many miles with chaco's on, his feet looked like there grew accustomed to it. I'd start out with the little black athletic socks, they dry out fast and the additional sweat would also help keep my feet from drying out. But that's my feet.... as always, try it on a shorter hike.

08-15-2008, 11:03
I'll speak to the cracked skin issue as I'm an habitual sufferer. The key to minimizing the problem is to put balm or vaseline on your heels to keep them as moist as possible. Also, give them a good rub down with a pumice stone whenever you can to remove calloused, dead skin. The goal is to keep the skin as pliant as possible. Once it dries out, the problems set in.

08-15-2008, 11:14
I met a young guy northbound above Neel Gap in June that started with some sort of sandal that really screwed his feet up. He bought some trail runners at Neel Gap.

08-15-2008, 11:18
I would definitely put in some miles around home or short walks before I headed out with a whole new type of footwear. Otherwise carry some trail runners to switch to if need be. I like to hike in shoes or runners, then switch to sandals once at camp.

08-15-2008, 12:02
Of course you need layers for warmth in cold weather, but in warm weather I don't understand why you'd want socks. The point of sandals is to give your feet as much exposure to air as possible. I love being able to wade a creek and have my footwear mostly dry in minutes. Why would you want to hold sweat in? Sweaty feet are more prone to blisters.

Appalachian Tater
08-15-2008, 17:11
This is the best stuff for problems with dry cracking skin:
or just use petrolatum jelly from the dollar store.

08-15-2008, 19:23
A couple of thoughts about sandals:

Socks are good in warm weather to prevent friction between foot and sandal, just as they do with regular shoes. For me, I also think socks can help keep the skin a bit more moist, helping with the dryness and cracking problem. Especially if I wear thicker, wool socks.

Sandals in general don't provide as much support for your feet as shoes and, especially, boots do. If you're going to ask the muscles, bones, and tendons of your feet to do what you've been asking your shoes, boots, or insoles to do, you need to work up to it. Wear sandals a lot and your feet will get really ripped--the tendons will stand out strongly.

Sandals also don't provide as much protection for your feet. They're not a great idea for clumsy types who are prone to tripping on stuff (the toes of sandals catch on rocks and sticks worse than the toes of shoes, at least for me), stabbing their feet with their poles, etc. (I got stung by a yellow jacket on the foot last weekend, on a place that would have been covered if I'd been wearing shoes.) Sandals work better for people who walk mindfully and carefully. I enjoy focusing on the act of walking and placing my feet, but not everyone does.

08-15-2008, 19:55
I just followed Vonfrick from Katahdin through NH and she hiked the entire way in Tevas. She used the same sock set-up as one with boots or trail runners (except her sock liner were the toey kind with a spot for each digit - very cute) and in the event of wet trail or a rainy day she simply put a pair of wet-socks (neoprene - Chola's) over the top to keep her feet dry.
Worked great for her and her feet were very comfortable.:)

08-15-2008, 22:51
Thanks for the responses guys and gals. I've been wearing my new chacos as much as I can and will be doing a lot of hiking in them this fall to break my feet in. I've seen a few pictures of people hiking in shallow snow in sandals and was curious if winter hiking is realistic. For a late February/early March start at Springer would sandals be appropriate? (assuming previous experience in similar conditions)