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  1. #21
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    The only situation where I hated my trail runners was walking through days of snow early season in the Sierra Nevada in Cascadias. My feet were constantly numb, day and night, and wet and miserable. My solution since then has simply been to avoid such conditions as much as possible but if I was going out again in areas where I knew there would be days and days of snow, I'd be sorely tempted to use my Asolo 535 boots - they are not goretex but when treated well are very waterproof, brilliant in snow conditions with crampons, but HEAVY - very worth it on day hikes in snow. For multi night trips, it would dramatically reduce my mileage.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    I've always been sort of baffled by the idea that you need boots to support your ankles. I've never needed that . . .
    I'm kinda baffled that someone would think that just because they haven't experienced something that other people haven't or won't either.
    Some people have stronger ankles than others. Some people struggle with repeatedly spraining their ankles and other's don't. And, we all carry our fears, and if ones fears are a sprained ankle then maybe, in that case, against all reason, boots are a better idea.

    FWIW: The vast majority of back-country rangers, and others that spend a great deal of time living and moving through rough terrain do use footwear with some ankle support, and they do so because it works best for them season in, season out, year in, year out. Conversely, most long distance backpackers use lightweight trail runners because they work best for most people when one is hiking long days, day after day, with a relatively light pack on relatively even terrain most of the time.

    Then there is the vast number of people that don't really fit in either of these groups, and I suspect they will choose a variety of footwear to meat their range of needs, fears, and passions.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  3. #23
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    real hikers don't need no stinkin' boots or shoes

  4. #24

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    Why does the military issue boots to the grunts on the ground?

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    Why does the military issue boots to the grunts on the ground?
    Because wars are fought by the winners of the last war.

    Also, because they're still carrying 40,60, 80lbs of gear?

  6. #26

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    Do tennis players, who deal with all kinds of lateral forces on their ankles need support boots?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    real hikers don't need no stinkin' boots or shoes
    Yeah, there was a guy that wanted to hike the AT barefoot and I told him I thought that a nail or a piece of glass might ruin his whole day. To which he replied that his feet were so tough that he could walk across broken glass and nails all day long with no problems. Ookaay, ya jus gotta hyoh, I guess! ?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    I’m confused by the premise of your statement. Where do you see evidence of “the fad of hiking with very light weight shoes starting to fade into history?” Among long distance hikers I see more trail runners and less leather boots every year on trail.
    Exactly. I've not seen it as anything that evidences a fad at all.

  9. #29
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Never left my boots. I don't like wet, cold feet, EVER.
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    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
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  10. #30

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    HYOH! I prefer lightweight boots to trail runners when carrying 25+ pounds.Trail runners for less weight. One observation I have, with absolutely no science to back it is this, I don't remember seeing as many black toenails back in the day when the majority wore boots as I see now with trail runners. Have any of the other older hikers noticed this?

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burrhead View Post
    HYOH! I prefer lightweight boots to trail runners when carrying 25+ pounds.Trail runners for less weight. One observation I have, with absolutely no science to back it is this, I don't remember seeing as many black toenails back in the day when the majority wore boots as I see now with trail runners. Have any of the other older hikers noticed this?
    As with blisters, I think it's more a function of proper fit. I've always worn boots and black toenails seemed to be part of the price I paid if I wanted to hike. But I kept increasing my shoe size and finally got the right ones. Problem solved.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    Why does the military issue boots to the grunts on the ground?
    For one thing, those grunts aren't walking 20+ miles a day every day for weeks on end.
    Second, as noted above, the military grunts carry way heaver packs than most AT hikers.
    Third, those military boots are a whole lot more like light-weight high-top walking shoes than they are heavy leather boots, because light weight footwear rocks, even for the military.

    On another note, I saw lots more black and lost toenails in the days of boots than I do in the modern days of trail runners. I also saw a whole heck of a lot more blisters from boots than trail runners!!!
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    On another note, I saw lots more black and lost toenails in the days of boots than I do in the modern days of trail runners. I also saw a whole heck of a lot more blisters from boots than trail runners!!!
    Well, I'll just repeat: Since I started backpacking I've only worn Oboz boots. I got blisters and black toenails. Went thru a few different size increases - starting with 11 regular to finally 12 wide. Once I got to 12s, the black toenails ceased to be an issue, but I would still get a blister on the right side my little toe, right foot. Went to the 12 wides and now that problem is gone as well.
    So that suggests to me that black toes amd blisters are more due to improper fit than whether you're wearing boots or runners.

  14. #34

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    i wore something like this in the 60s-70s. https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...-used?a=504809 My feet has thanks me ever since to switching over to a lighter boot.

  15. #35
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    I only get black toenails when I forget to trim my toenails.

  16. #36

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    I've never had black toenails and only one blister because of improper fitting shoes (heel slippage).

    As someone else said...ankles are made to move all directions and knees are not. If the ankle doesn't roll because of boots then the knee will...and a torn ligament in a knee is much worse than a sprained ankle. It's best to naturally strengthen ankles IMO but I'm also not a Dr.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    I am afraid to ask how you came to know that analogy
    it came to me in a dream, good one too.

  18. #38

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    Foot wear selection is directly proportional to speed hiked, higher speeds seems to require a more nimble foot. Slow your roll, and smell dem boots again.

  19. #39
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    I wear boots - Columbia Newton Ridge. Each boot weighs 12.06 ounces. They are waterproof and I have worn two pair for about 1,000 miles. They have kept my feet dry during rain and warm during cold weather. I don't mind crossing streams and traveling down muddy and wet trails. I also wear waterproof gaiters, so water doesn't get into the top of the boot.

    I also have a pair of Skeecher walking shoes for daily walks at home. I imagine they are similar to trail runners and maybe even a little lighter than some. They weigh 11.4 ounces each. It's not a hard decision to stick with the boots; although I may try trail runners this summer as I attempt to go 900+ miles on the AT to finish it. My current Columbia boots will probably wear out by the time I get to the Whites.
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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncmtns View Post
    With the fad of hiking with very light weight shoes starting to fade into history,...

    Hiking shoe closet and last 20 thru hikes point to a different conclusion.

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