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  1. #1
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    Default Ultra lone peak shoes-yes or no?

    I have just 400 miles to go in July, 2023. NH. and Maine. of the AT. I'm hiking for make a wish, raised $6K so far on my facebook. I have hiked 1800 miles in Merrells. Love them, but always getting very bad blisters. Tried toe socks, nylon, Darn tuff. Ultras' seem to be the most popular. But to me they seem like a sneaker, w/ little support, and flat, and not much cushion. I hear the bigger toe box is the answer to blisters on the Ultras.
    Anyone w/ advice, please respond. I also can be reached at: [email protected] thank you-retired 70 yr old firefighter, Tim Andrew

  2. #2
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    I suggest heading to an REI or Outfitter that has a number of Brands to try. I started in Merril Moab’s, went to Altra Lone Peaks and loved them but hated the lack of durability and cushioning. In Waynesboro, at the suggestion of the Outfitter, I ended up in Solomon XP. Replaced them with the same shoe in Kent Ct. wanted to purchase a final pair in Rangeley ME but the place only sold Obos. They were good enough but after replacing with a pair of Altra Olympus that had good soles but durability was once again an issue, I am back into a pair of Solomon’s. Moral of the story is that 6ou have to try on different shoes to find what matches your feet. Altra’s do work for some, Hoka’s for others, and Solomon’s work for me, plus there is a new competitor that is cheaper and may knock Altra down this hiking year.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  3. #3

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    I wore out probably 6 pair of Altras while completing the AT. I started using them when I finally got tired of my Solomon supercross's destroying my feet. I now wear Altras in day to day life in addition to the trail.

    I will stay with Altra as long as they can be obtained. Now i did just convert from the lone peaks to the Olympias and have really appreciated the extra support/ cushion
    Trail Miles: 4,980.5
    AT Map 1: Complete 2013-2021
    Sheltowee Trace: Complete 2020-2023
    Pinhoti Trail: Complete 2023-2024
    Foothills Trail: 47.9
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    CDT: 85.4

  4. #4
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    I haven't tried Altras, but previously I had the same issue with other trail runners wearing out too fast. I did Merrills for a while too - in fact, I still have a pair that I wear on day hikes locally. Then I got a pair of Salomons for my last AT section hike and fell in love with them. That's probably what I'll stick with for the last 500 AT miles I have left.
    It's all good in the woods.

  5. #5
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    Default Ultra lone peak shoes-yes or no?

    Maybe look into the Altra Timps, they're the middle ground in cushion/support between the super thick 'Olympus' and the rather minuscule 'Superiors'. Any Altra I put on my feet (for thru-hiking purposes) deteriorate after about 500-700 miles, that just seems to be their lifespan. But when comparing the effort of lifting a sturdy leather boot a few millions times vs a light, supple trail-running shoe, I'll go with the 'tennis shoe' every time.
    The Lone Peaks' design (imho) has just gotten worse with almost every generation, they used to be my go-to, but they seem to be the least durable shoe they make, right behind the Olympus.
    I'm obviously VERY biased towards Altra as a brand, for use in long-distance hiking, so take it all with a grain of salt, but this has been my experience during AT and PCT thru-hikes. Timps are where it's at for this hiker.

  6. #6
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I went from the lone peaks to the timps as well. My feet have thanked me for the extra cushion and support, a great shoe!

  7. #7
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman Tim Andrew View Post
    Merrells. Love them, but always getting very bad blisters.
    Why would you love them if they give you blisters?

    I bought a pair of Lone Peaks, didn't like them much - they were slippery and left my feet sore at the end of the day. I bought them as a trial for the big toe box, but I was very leery of spending that kind of money on shoes that didn't seem to last very long.

    I'm sticking with Salomon shoes - comfortable and never a blister.

    I vote no on Altras.

  8. #8

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    I generally like Altras, but not for the original poster's purposes. It sounds like you prefer sturdier shoes, and the rocks and roots in NH and ME call for sturdy shoes, too.

    So leaning into blister prevention, I'd simply look around at your local stores, and see what you can find with a comfortable toe box.

    You mentioned toe socks, but have you tried thin, traditional sock liners? Sometimes an extra layer of friction is all that's needed.

    Regarding the Merrells... maybe your sizing is simply off? When I've put a lot of miles behind me, I find that I can switch brands of shoes without developing blisters, as long as the fit is good.

    Shoes tend to be personal, so seeking help online is going to yield mixed results (as opposed to other gear items, where weight and durability are more of an issue). In this case with (only) miles 400 ahead of you, durability isn't a big concern. Shop local, see what fits. A good store should have a ramp for you to test uneven surfaces.

  9. #9

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    Given the physiological differences between people, shoe recommendations are difficult. As Gbolt suggests, a trip to REI or other outfitter with a shoe selection that has a bit of depth to it would be a good place to start looking for different models of trail runners, trail shoes, mid-highs, or full boots.

    That said, if blisters are the chief issue there are some remedies that may help. Wearing a thin polyester sock under the hiking sock may resolve the issue. I had a pair of rather expensive Vasque boot some years ago and used the liner socks to prevent blisters which worked very well until the boots finally wore out and were replaced.

    If you've not tried different lacing techniques another way to curb the blistering problem could be in lacing footwear differently. Here is a link to one of many sites that discusses how to lace running shoes, trail shoes, and hiking boots (https://runrepeat.com/top-10-running...ing-techniques). This illustrates some of the lacing techniques used to stop heel lifts, foot slides, and other issues like bone spurs under the laces. I never thought I would manage my blistering with a simple change of lacing, but it worked rather well to the point I didn't need the poly liner sock any longer.

  10. #10
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman Tim Andrew View Post
    I have just 400 miles to go in July, 2023. NH. and Maine. of the AT. I'm hiking for make a wish, raised $6K so far on my facebook. I have hiked 1800 miles in Merrells. Love them, but always getting very bad blisters. Tried toe socks, nylon, Darn tuff. Ultras' seem to be the most popular. But to me they seem like a sneaker, w/ little support, and flat, and not much cushion. I hear the bigger toe box is the answer to blisters on the Ultras.
    Anyone w/ advice, please respond. I also can be reached at: [email protected] thank you-retired 70 yr old firefighter, Tim Andrew
    Have you ever tried the super feet insoles from rei?
    I started out with the Merrells and quickly picked up the green super feet insoles made a big difference for me.

  11. #11

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    If you've liked Altra in general, give Topo a consideration as well. Very similar philosophy in general and excellent build quality. If you can't find something just right in one brand, the other may have what you need.

  12. #12
    Registered User Storyguy's Avatar
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    I was happy with the Altra's on the CDT- all 5 pairs. I also need extra cushion and used Superfeet inserts. It makes a difference in comfort. I plan on the same set up on the PCT this year.

  13. #13

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    I use SuperFeet. Be sure to make sure you buy the correct color for "your feet".

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