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  1. #1

    Default Feet Experts please

    To start off with, I have found this forum to be awesome and has put me light years ahead in gear just by reading posts.....so with that I need expert help. After reading trail runner vs hiking boot theories I ran and bought a pair of trailrunners (NB 510 V2 $49.00 at Dicks Sporting Goods) with little cushion. I have REI light merino socks. Starting APRL 1 NOBO and im freaking that when my feet get wet my feet will freeze. One wrote on a forum just to wear thin socks (not wool) cause they will dry faster and keep you warm. I thought wool keeps its warmth properties even when wet.

    Im also using a compression base layer from ebay that comes from Korea. Any experience with them?
    (Sportsskinworld)

  2. #2
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    Default

    If you keep moving with wet feet in the April cold, your feet won't normally freeze. The heat you generate will keep them from freezing. Now, if the temp goes below zero or you walk in deep snow it's possible to freeze your feet. if this bothers you bring some extra wool socks. If your feet get wet in cold weather keep moving.

  3. #3

    Default

    While the forums have good information, yadda, yadda, yadda, you really seem to be asking if YOU will be safe and comfortable in this footwear. Since you now already own the shoes, why not try an experiment? Go somewhere cold for a weekend, get the shoes wet, and hike in them. Take a few different pairs of socks, and see which work best in the cold and damp. Some questions can really only be answered by experience, and your answers may be very different from mine.

  4. #4
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Default

    Here's what I recommend as an experienced cold weather hiker who hikes in lightweight, minimalist trail runners (read: gets wet easily). When hiking in the snow, rain or standing/flowing water your feet will get wet. In snow or rain it will take longer than a step in a puddle or stream. You will notice that it is much colder when you step in the stream than when walking along, even with your feet soaking wet. Your body heat will warm your feet, the socks and the shoe, even below freezing. Wool socks in this scenario are a must as cotton socks will offer little comfort and will not dry quickly when you're back on dry ground. For winter hiking (heck, even for summer) I recommend Darn Tough wool socks and not the thin ones. I have hiked miles in soaking wet feet with temps below 30 and, as long as we were moving, my feet were warm and reasonably comfortable. Have a second pair or at least a dry pair for when you get into camp and remember to untie your shoes and pull the tongue out to keep it from freezing so tight you can't get your foot into them.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

  5. #5
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    Default

    This is Alpha am planning a thru hike 25 feb at springer. I'm a big trail runner guy and currently doing heavy training in the trails of Utah 13 miles a day with 30 lbs. Believe it or not I use trail runner shoes with good inserts. Yes even in the snow and rain with light high quality runner toe socks. I have absolutely no probs. The key to all this stuff is to train now no matter the weather conditions so when you get to the AT your feet will be ready and no surprises. Also ultra runners shoes are one full size larger for toe room, also I lube my toes with baby rash lube it stays on longer. Also when you start using a pack you will get hot spots, I just use duct tape. I know some of this sounds strange but it is proven. I do wear out my shoes every 350 miles so on a thru I will go thru 5 pair of shoes. The most important thing is comfortable no blister feet!

  6. #6

    Default

    I thruhiked this past year and made it the entire way without a single blister. Here is what worked for me:

    Brooks Cascadia 8 (used three pairs, one pair lasted 1200 miles!)
    Green Super Feet insert
    InjiInjji toe liner socks
    Darn Tough wool sock (the ATC ones )

    I would ALWAYS switch into my camp socks when finished hiking for the day. I would also let my feet breathe for about an hour before putting the camp socks on.

    I knew a few hikers who started with thin trail runners and they switched out to regular trail runners by NC. I'd be surprised to hear of a thruhiker going the entire way in a thin soled shoe. I'm not saying it is impossible, but I cannot imagine the pain your feet would be in.

    By the time I reached Maine, it was torture to get out of my tent and stand up. My feet felt bruised, almost as if Mike Tyson had gone a couple rounds on the bottoms of my feet.

    Before my hike I walked a lot with my pack on. I would walk around my neighborhood, climb stairs in a parking garage or go for a hike on the weekend. I would also do a few laps around my block barefoot but with my pack on.

    I also read a book called Fixing Your Feet before my thruhike. I learned so much about foot care for the endurance athlete.
    http://www.amazon.com/Fixing-Your-Fe...xing+your+feet


    Best of luck!!
    Out of step with the world...

    My trail blog:
    http://saladdaysonthetrail.wordpress.com/

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you all...it makes a little more sense. I'm gonna take Bobp's advice and go for a walk with wet shoes and Moreno socks. Also the advice of walking barefoot. I will report back with my findings. I will check out those sock you all are raving about if my REI Moreno socks don't cut it.

  8. #8
    Garlic
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    Default

    One trick I used in wet snow on my AT hike (several days worth) was "bagtex." A couple of bread bags or plastic grocery bags, over the socks and under the shoes, can improve a cold morning considerably. You need to be careful about hiking all day in plastic--your skin might macerate.

    I've found in some dry winter conditions my feet are actually warmer in trail runners than in leather boots. I usually have improved motion and circulation in lighter shoes. I make quite a lot of winter trips in light shoes.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #9
    CF97 > Everything Else.
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    Not exactly on topic but has work for me..... throw on a pair of nylon liner socks (think cycling socks) to cut down on blisters.
    "... I know it is wrong, but I am for the spirit that makes young men do the things they do. I am for the glory that they know." --Sigurd Olson, Singing Wilderness.


    AT '12, LT '13, CT '14, PCT '15

  10. #10
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    Default

    A lot of good info already here. I can't tell you what you'll see in terms of weather (I was SOBO starting in July), but I can tell you my experience after Superstorm Sandy...I got pinned down in Pearisburg for a couple of days, there's a good climb coming out of there. By the time I was at the top, there were 2-3ft snowdrifts! I was in trail runners and boardshorts! That had to be one of the most uncomfortable 20miles ever! My feet were wet and frozen all day! I switched into camp socks for sleeping at the end of the day, but I didn't sleep with my hiking socks in my bag, so putting on frozen socks in the morning hurt like hell! Those first 5 miles were almost unbearable, I just kept going. Now, I had 3 pairs of socks. Basically one to sleep in and 2 to hike in, but I learned early on that you don't want to sacrifice a pair of socks on the first day out of town! Save those puppies for day 4 or 5! On the flip side, that was really the ONLY day that I wished I had gortex runners or boots. Look, every choice you make is a trade-off. It's all risk vs reward. The reward was 2164 miles of lightweight shoes that dried fast...the risk? 20 miles of the most painful hiking ever! IMO, if I were to see more snow then just a day, I would have had gortex or maybe lightweight boots. But, that day after Sandy is really the only one that I wished I had something different. Yes, there was snow and ice in the Smokeys, but it had been blazed, so my feet didn't get soaked.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Elastic knee highs as liner socks, The support helps a lot with leg fatigue.

  12. #12
    Registered User SunnyWalker's Avatar
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    Default

    I found this a very helpful book: Fixing your feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes, by Jon Vonhof. I bought it on Amazon.com for my Kindle.
    "Something hidden. Go and find it. Go, and look behind the Ranges. Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you . . . Go!" (Rudyard Kipling)
    From SunnyWalker, SOBO CDT hiker starting June 2014.
    Please visit: SunnyWalker.Net

  13. #13
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I always wear wool socks. They keep my feet warm even when I step into a puddle or when it's raining all day. When I stop I change into dry wool camp/sleeping socks.

    Yes, your feet will get wet in the trail runners. But they'll dry quickly, too, much more so than full leather boots. Both trail runners and boots are viable options for a thru-hike, so it really comes down to personal preference. You could try wearing them around in the cold rain this winter at home.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cro-Mag View Post
    I thruhiked this past year and made it the entire way without a single blister. Here is what worked for me:

    Brooks Cascadia 8 (used three pairs, one pair lasted 1200 miles!)
    Green Super Feet insert
    InjiInjji toe liner socks
    Darn Tough wool sock (the ATC ones )

    I would ALWAYS switch into my camp socks when finished hiking for the day. I would also let my feet breathe for about an hour before putting the camp socks on.

    I knew a few hikers who started with thin trail runners and they switched out to regular trail runners by NC. I'd be surprised to hear of a thruhiker going the entire way in a thin soled shoe. I'm not saying it is impossible, but I cannot imagine the pain your feet would be in.

    By the time I reached Maine, it was torture to get out of my tent and stand up. My feet felt bruised, almost as if Mike Tyson had gone a couple rounds on the bottoms of my feet.

    Before my hike I walked a lot with my pack on. I would walk around my neighborhood, climb stairs in a parking garage or go for a hike on the weekend. I would also do a few laps around my block barefoot but with my pack on.

    I also read a book called Fixing Your Feet before my thruhike. I learned so much about foot care for the endurance athlete.
    http://www.amazon.com/Fixing-Your-Fe...xing+your+feet


    Best of luck!!
    I suspect the two bolded statements are related. Trail runners will NOT last 1200 miles. They could look perfectly new but they will be internally trashed and cause foot and/or knee problems.

  15. #15

    Default

    Thanks again!

  16. #16
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    My experience with trail runners is that they are good for about 700 miles give or take. My Darn Tough socks would last longer than a pair of shoes (about 1,000 miles).
    Lonehiker

  17. #17
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    taking several pairs of extra socks is much lighter than lifting a hiking boot with each foot on every step.
    I admittedly push the limits of my La Sportiva trail shoes - - I post holed deep wet snow from MA to NY
    in a pair (all of CT) about 2 years ago and recently did about 60 miles of wet snow NC hiking in similar
    non-gore tex trail shoes. Yes, my feet get wet but they stay pretty warm (down to the high teens) and
    even if they are cold, they are usually not numb and feel "safe." I do have boots and even big snow boots
    but I really prefer trail runners unless I know that the snow is going to be deep and the weather will be
    undeniably cold.
    I do also carry down booties and spare socks only for sleeping. I carefully dry the cold wet feet, put on the
    dry smart-wools (in the dry-sack with the down booties) - - - while in the down booties and dry smart-wools,
    my feet have never been cold- - even well below 0 ambient temp plus wind.
    Cheers.

  18. #18
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    It was below 30 and super wet my first night in Gooch Gap..... left my socks out to dry and they froze to the tree..... lol.

  19. #19
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    I do most of my hiking trips in Merrill Moab Ventilators. I own a pair of NB 610s that I day hike in locally and there's no way I would wear them on any hike with a full pack. Your feet will take a beating on the rocks and roots.

    I own some Darn Tough socks but haven't taken them on a longer hike yet but I plan to.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

  20. #20
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    On my 2013 thru-hike I used four pairs of Brooks Cascadia trail runners. Several other hikers were wearing the same shoe. Salad Days has already posted here. I had no problems with my feet at any time. I used Smart Wool socks and Green Superfeet liners as well. One thing I did without failure was to coat my feet with Vaseline EVERY day. I had zero blisters even when my feet got very wet. The only time they got cold was walking through water in NH in July. The ice and snow early in the hike (I started on March 23) didn't bother my feet. I did make sure I dried the shoes well when I was in towns, which was often.

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