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  1. #1
    planning a Thru-Hike cindellasaurus's Avatar
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    Default Your Opinions Appreciated!!

    Some friends and I are planning a thru-hike starting around august, heading SOBO..

    What kind of shoes would you suggest?
    I've heard that a lot of people are moving away from wearing super heavy, leather boots, and going for lighter trail runner type shoes, however, I'm not sure how these type of shoes would be in the cold weather we'll be encountering about halfway into the hike and onward..???

    Concerning the late start date.. is there any special gear that would be particularly handy to have (for possibly snowy/icy conditions?)

    Thanks for your input!!!

  2. #2
    Registered User Plodderman's Avatar
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    New Balance Trail Runners they seem to hold up well on the AT.

  3. #3

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    I've feel best in a sturdy trail runner with some decent support. The bottom of my feet get beat up too much from boots but I don't hear this complaint from others. You shouldn't have to deal with snow & ice until later in your trip so you can always have a plan to change after Harper's Ferry.

  4. #4
    planning a Thru-Hike cindellasaurus's Avatar
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    Trail runners seem to be what most people are finding work best, so I was thinking of starting with those like suggested by Mr.Underhill (snazzy name!) and then switching later on, if neccessary.

    Thanks for the input, I really appreciate any and all advice that would help us younguns out.. : ]

  5. #5
    Dreaming of a Thru-Hike! AeroGuyDC's Avatar
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    Being new to the AT (but not hiking), the "trail runner" shoe concept puzzles me. My top requirement for hiking is ankle support, and it seems that trail runner shoes would offer very little of that. Any insight to where I may be going wrong is appreciated.

  6. #6

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    Your ankles get stronger when you hike, whether you use boots or low tops. I found that some boots would rub the outside of my ankle and give me sore tendons. I also found that my foot would ride up against the back of the boot (called the backstay, which comes up from the heel, I think) and cause blisters there. Since switching to low top hikers I haven't had any heel blisters or ankle problems (except for a scrape or two, which boots certainly would have prevented). I find that I have much more energy left at the end of the day with light footwear than I used to with heavier boots (even though I was younger). I also carry less weight on my back now (up to 20 lbs. less for a week of hiking) than I used to. That, also, makes hiking in less supportive shoes an option. It would not have been when I was carrying 45 lbs. for a long weekend 10+ years ago.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  7. #7

    Default

    Btw, for wet weather you can use Sealskinz or Gore-tex socks to keep your feet drier (they will still be damp) and cleaner (if that's important to you). I've found that the Sealskinz are at least as warm as a medium weight wool sock while you're hiking, but since they are so thin, it's best to get them right off when you stop for any length of time and put on something thicker (I use down booties in the winter and thick wool socks in the fall or early spring).
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  8. #8
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    Consider pack weight and comfort first.

    I had a reasonably light pack and thought hard about trail runners but in the end my foot and arches just had to have the extra support boots provided. I settled on Keen Targhee ll's. Out of the box comfort, superior support, and not one blister! Good decision.

    'Nuff said.

  9. #9
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    I'll choose my trail runner depending on what's on sale.

    I switch to a low or mid top boot when the snow starts flyin.

    My feet have NEVER smelled so bad
    as the week I wore Sealskinz;
    lost a bunch of friends that week...

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