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  1. #21
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    I wear NB walking shoes. They last 500-700 miles. Not cheap but sturdy, light and comfortable.

  2. #22
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I was 44 years old when I used my trail runners from mid VA all the way to Maine. Even though a guy told me I'd never get through PA in them.

    So "generalizations" do offend...
    Talk to us (Waywardfool and others) that have used them for over 1,000 miles. not 12 miles or a weekend jaunt.

    And the concept that boots protect your ankles...they do not uless they are three lb monsters. (I hiked half the trail in boots and developed a calf strain). Strong ankles and properly fitted footwear do. And poles do as well.

    It takes time for your feet and ankles to adapt. But they are great.

    BUT - I will say, for durability sake, the only time I kind of wished I had boots was some scree sections inthe Presidentails of the Whites.







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  3. #23
    Registered User YoungMoose's Avatar
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    it mostly your personal decision. I havent really though about this topic but i think that i would stick with booots. Thats my first thought.


  4. #24

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    The most important thing to worry about when choosing a pair of shoes is fit. The style of shoe is you choose should not be based on what the masses are doing! If you are used to hiking in high-top shoes, and find the extra support comfortable, then continue to use them. However if you normally wear low-top style shoes in your day to day life, you may find a pair of light-weight hikers more your style. Since you are only out for 9 days, it wouldn't hurt (much hopefully) to give something different a try. Who knows, you might end up liking them.

    The key, as I've already mentioned is fit. When you are trying on a new pair of shoes, walk around in them for a while (wearing the same socks that you would be while hiking), to be sure they feel good before buying them. Ask if the store has a ramp that you can test the fit on. Stand on the ramp, facing down hill, and jump up. When you land, if your toes hit the tip of the foot box, you have too small of a shoe. Now turn around and walk up the ramp. Make sure that your heel doesn't lift away from the insole. If it does, try on a different pair, rinse, repeat.

    I've used all kinds of shoes while hiking, and I personally have found that a light-weight hiker (as opposed to a trail runner) fits my needs perfectly. I wear them for spring, summer, and fall hiking. I try to dodge water, but find that they dry out quick enough when conditions demand that my feet get wet (ie MA and VT on my thru last year). For winter hiking, I usually prefer something a little bigger, to keep the snow out and my feet dry, and to accommodate snow-shoes or crampons depending on the trip.

    Enjoy your hike, and good luck with whatever shoes you choose.

    -Hare

  5. #25
    Registered User SunnyWalker's Avatar
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    Bumblebee-it is fit. For example, my toes need more room the other folks, and so that dictates the style of shoes or boots. I am in my 50s and hike a lot. I wanted to go to lighter weight shoes then continuing in my Salomon boots. I fitted out with a pair of hiking shoes made by Keen. They do have the toe box big enough. I like them so much I now wear them to work each day where I am on my feet all day! I walk to work also (2 miles one way) and then home. In these boots from day one I never got a blister. They fit real good and are built nicely. Look them over, they deserve your review.
    "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)
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  6. #26
    On the 25-year Installment Plan dperry's Avatar
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    This is one of the questions where there just is no one right answer; it all depends on what you need. Like many have said on here, if trail runners provide sufficient support for you, great; go for it. I, on the other hand, have a major pronation (particularly on my right foot) which means that I tend to turn my ankles a lot. So I need the support of something that goes up above my ankle. Even at that, we don't have huge clunky boots; we got inexpensive Hi-tec boots from our local shoe outlet, which are still pretty light. If you have this sort of problem, you may need something a bit more sturdy as well.

    And the concept that boots protect your ankles...they do not uless they are three lb monsters.
    Whether "boots" help your ankles or not, having shoes above your ankles definitely does. In the bad old days, when I hiked in sneakers, I turned my ankles all the time. Since I got my current boots, I've done it maybe once in two years. The same thing was true in my basketball-playing days, when I switched to hightops; I had a lot fewer turned ankles.

    Another recommendation I make is to get the liner socks to go inside your regular thick socks. Since I have been wearing these, my feet dry out faster, and I have a lot fewer blisters. The one thing is, if you do get liners, make sure you have them and the thick socks before you get your shoes, so you can try the shoes on with the socks on. We made the mistake of not doing this with my wife, and ended up having to get her bigger boots later.
    David Perry
    79.1 down, 2,101.9 to go.

  7. #27
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Whatever you decide to do, go to a competent shoe store or outfitter. Get yourself fitted correctly to see what works well for your foot. Once you buy the appropriate shoe, you can always buy it online at a discount when you need a new pair. (I think you should buy the first pair where the sales person was nice enough to spend time helping you out).
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  8. #28
    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    Hiked in boots of for 20 years but when I started doing parts of the AT I switched to low cut trail runners. Currently using Asics Gel Enduros that are holding up well.

  9. #29
    Runnin' on Empty Teatime's Avatar
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    I've read that having a firm heel counter is what really provides stability, be that in a trail runner or a boot. I just got a pair of Montrail Hardrock 08's and they are the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever had on my feet, bar none. They have a very firm, but well cushioned heel counter. I also would like to recommend you read the book, "Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, by Roland Mueser. In the book, Roland discusses the different kinds of footwear seen on the trail. Though it is a little dated, it does show a trend toward lightweight, breathable footwear over the heavy leather type. He also makes the point that Gore-Tex is useless after a certain point. Better to wear trailrunners or lightweight boots and let your feet get wet. The point to this is that they will dry out quicker as you walk in them. Leather will stay wet for days. Even gore-tex can be overwhelmed and become a hinderance, keeping heat and moisture inside the boot. I never intend on going back to boots.

  10. #30
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    I was section hiking last week on the AT and I'd say the thru-hikers I met were 50/50 trail runners/boots. I'd also say that each group had an equal number of blisters and complaints. Comes down to what works best for you. For me, it's boots. 5 ankle operations makes this so.

    For any boot wearers out there, I would recommend doing a little research on lacing techniques. There are all sorts of ways to lace boots which will relieve pressure or make adjustments. I have not gotten one blister ever since I learned to lace my boots in different ways.

  11. #31
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    What happend to to going out in the woods with tuff gear? Being a man? HAHA. Boots are and will only be my choice. If people would take the time and go to a REAL hiking store not a big "we got everything you need for the outdoors" store and get your boots fitted properly they will not cause you to get blisters. You might not get to take the home that night because they might have to do some streatching on them 1st but they will serve you well if you take care of them. Thats it I am grabbing my BOOTS and going camping RIGHT now. For the weekend! SEE YA!

  12. #32
    Registered User Summit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowhoe View Post
    What happend to to going out in the woods with tuff gear? Being a man? HAHA. Boots are and will only be my choice. If people would take the time and go to a REAL hiking store not a big "we got everything you need for the outdoors" store and get your boots fitted properly they will not cause you to get blisters. You might not get to take the home that night because they might have to do some streatching on them 1st but they will serve you well if you take care of them. Thats it I am grabbing my BOOTS and going camping RIGHT now. For the weekend! SEE YA!
    Glad you like 'em! I like trail runners for comfort, ease in hiking, and less tired legs/feet at the end of the day.

  13. #33
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    I'm personally a fan of boots- but I've never tried the trail runners, so I don't know... I don't really want to try 'em though.

  14. #34
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShelterLeopard View Post
    I'm personally a fan of boots- but I've never tried the trail runners, so I don't know... I don't really want to try 'em though.

    Try 'em, you'll like 'em.







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