View Full Version : Shoes

05-19-2013, 21:37
Did a rocky section on the AT this week and really felt the rocks poking through my Merrills. What do y'all recommend with a stiffer sole and still somewhat light in weight?

05-19-2013, 22:29
Did a rocky section on the AT this week and really felt the rocks poking through my Merrills. What do y'all recommend with a stiffer sole and still somewhat light in weight?

Feeling the rocks isn't bad unless they hurt. I wear Vibram FiveFinger Shoes everywere I hike. I feel the rocks, but they rarely hurt.

05-19-2013, 22:33
Merrill makes more than one shoe. Which do you have?

I wear Inov8 Flyroc 310s. I feel the trail thru my shoes pretty well under my forefoot.

I wouldnt have it any other way.

My feet can get sore at the end of a long day, they are always 100% the next morning.

05-20-2013, 07:28
Take a look at Lowa, I think they have the stiffest sole of any lighter shoe.



05-20-2013, 07:37
use Superfeet insoles. green.

05-20-2013, 09:14
which Merrells? MOABs? many other AT hikers use Merrell MOABs, they are good hiking shoes. How much your feet bother you after hiking AT rocks depends on many factors, including:

a. how many miles/day you hike.... the longer and further you hike, the more like ly feet will get sore
b. insoles: Superfeet inserts can help foot support for most hikers on the AT and reduce feet pain over longer distances, there are other after market inserts that can also help. Factory inserts in most running and hiking shoes are just a cheap piece of thin foam
c. shoes: obviously some shoes are stiffer and provide more support to the feet over rocky terrain. Many AT hikers use trail runners and have conditioned their feet to the miles and terrain and prefer trail runners. Other AT hikers prefer more shoe support and use hiking boots (mid-cut or higher), or low-cut hiking shoes. Some suggested other brands and models: OBOZ Sawtooth or OBOZ Traverse are good hiking shoes with great feet support. Merrell makes several hiking shoes. KEEN is a popular hiking shoe brand on the AT, including the KEEN Targhee II and KEEN Alamosa.

My suggestion is go to an outlet store, try different brands and models, see what feels best to you. You will most likely end up shelling out some bucks to try different models and brands of shoes/boots before you find what works best for you on the rocky terrain of the AT. I hike the Florida Trail a fair amount, and it is primarily flat, sandy terrain, mixed with tree roots and mud. The shoes that work best down here don't do it for me on the AT.

good luck

05-20-2013, 11:29
Praha4 hit the nail on the head. What we don't know is whether you're trying to go for a minimalist/barefoot approach or for a more traditional running shoe. When I started hiking extensively, I wore garden variety Reebok outlet store running shoes and the rocks of Pennsylvania killed me. Now I hike with minimalist shoes and don't really notice them that much at all. The difference I found was not the shoe but how I was walking on the rocks coupled with the miles I was doing. If you're doing 18-25 miles per day over Pennsylvania rocks then you're going to be plowing your way over them and your pads and ankles will let you know. If you slow down to smell the roses a bit, take your time and look at where you are placing your foot your feet will be much more happy regardless of shoe style.

rusty bumper
05-20-2013, 18:17
When I began my transition to light-weight backpacking, I tried hiking with New Balance trail runners. I found that there just wasn't enough sole thickness to protect the bottom of my probably way too sensitive feet. I switched over to Merrell Moabs with the thicker vibram soles, and they were just the ticket for me. I'm now on my 4th pair of Moabs.

06-01-2013, 20:33
Currently I am using New Balance 789 Trail Runners, but will likely be shifting to a La Sportiva Raptor or Wolverine. The only reason I am switching from the NB's is that they have a small indention under the heel that likes to catch small rocks.