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  1. #1

    Default Trail runners or boots????

    Going Northbound August 18th, I know about the possibilities of lots of mud. Trail runners or boots??

  2. #2

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    Trail runners or low top hikers for ventilation.
    Personal preference here.
    You can always rinse out your socks if they get too muddy (they will get muddy even if you wear boots - I wore boots on all of the LT on my 1990s section hikes). Nylon non-waterproof shoes and boots dry more quickly than leather. This is more important on a long hike than on the week long sections I did.
    I only wear boots while doing trail work where the possibility of an encounter with a rolling boulder or chainsaw chain is a possibility
    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

  3. #3

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    I've been obsessing about this for bit for my E2E trip.

    In terms of moisture, it's a bit of a gamble - boots are more likely to stay dry, especially if they have Gortex or a similar membrane, but are much harder to dry when wet. Boots protect the feet a bit, but can be harder on feet themselves. If you have trail runners or boots that are really comfortable and in decent shape, I'd use them.

    It is nice to have the reduced weight of trail runners, but sometimes its nice to have boots and not be so careful about foot placement. I switched from trail runners to boots at Franconia Notch while doing the New Hampshire AT and loved the feeling that I could just rumble down the trail and not worry so much about where my feet went.

    I wore pretty standard type boots (Dunham Waffle Stompers) for my first LT E2E, and trail runners (New Balance, 809, I think) for my second). I think I'm going with light hikers for (Merrill Moab Mid w Gortex) for this one partly because they felt good and I got a deal - though I may switch out to trail runners (or even my standard boots) at some point. Not sure if the Moabs will prove to be closer to the best or the worst of both worlds.

    I'll probably see you on the trail, since I expect to finish SOBO around the 19 to the 21st. If so, I can tell you how my footwear worked out and find out what you decided on.
    Last edited by pedxing; 07-26-2010 at 19:50.

  4. #4

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    Trail runners
    ad astra per aspera

  5. #5
    Registered User coyote13's Avatar
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    I prefer New balance 806's . I am 300 pounds and get good support as well as quick dry time

  6. #6

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    Thanks to everyone, I'm still undecided though. Leaning toward my trail runners (Nike).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiKen2011 View Post
    Thanks to everyone, I'm still undecided though. Leaning toward my trail runners (Nike).
    Load up your pack and go for an overnighter in the rain on the worst trail near your house and you will have a good idea as to how well your Nike shoes will work. I've recently found that shoes with very small lugs (in my case the Asics trail runners) have too little surface area to stick to wet, smooth rock, so I'm rethinking my choice, too, but it will definitely be low top, lightweight shoes. A heel in a trail runner is rare, but if you have one it will help you by being able to hook it over small irregularities on wet rock or roots.
    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
    Registered User Sierra Echo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiKen2011 View Post
    Thanks to everyone, I'm still undecided though. Leaning toward my trail runners (Nike).
    I have a pair of Nikes junga shox which are off trail running shoes. They just didnt give me and my very sprainable/breakable ankle the support I needed. I was terrified I would end up having crawl out of there!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Echo View Post
    I have a pair of Nikes junga shox which are off trail running shoes. They just didnt give me and my very sprainable/breakable ankle the support I needed. I was terrified I would end up having crawl out of there!
    For me, I've found that boots rub me on the back of the ankle too much and sometimes on the front. With my (custom) Limmer boots, even thoroughly broken in, I would sometimes experience VERY painful ankles (on the outside, at the top of the boot) from the pressure, not friction. It's just the way my feet/ankles are put together, so I'm hesitant to tell folks not to hike in boots. For me, low tops may make me hike more carefully in bad terrain and that may be a reason that I haven't had any major ankle problems since switching to boots. My ankles have actually gotten stronger and I find that I can place the soles of my shoes at sharper angles when climbing rock than I could with my boots (due to the stiffness of the shaft of the boot).
    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

  10. #10

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    Sorry, mistake above - should be since switching from boots.
    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

  11. #11
    Registered User jcazz's Avatar
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    Trail Runners unless you have weak ankles and want to keep them that way. Boots are for winter -cold/snow.

  12. #12
    Registered User wvgrinder's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators for my upcoming e2e. I was out hiking yesterday in the pouring rain and they got SOAKED! I hung them last night and put them out in the sun for a few hours today-and they're bone dry.
    "Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet."
    -Thich Nhat Hahn

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  13. #13
    Registered User wvgrinder's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned I got the mid-hikers. PLENTY of ankle support.
    "Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet."
    -Thich Nhat Hahn

    http://www.cranberrymountainlodge.com/

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  14. #14
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    I'm using Salomon XA Pro Ultra 3D trail runners on our End-to-End this summer. After using them a couple times now I don't know if I'll ever use my Asolo 520's in the summer again.

  15. #15

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    Trail runners!!!!! It ain't about staying dry. It's how quickly does it dry? Whatever you wear in the Appalachian Mountains, it and you are going to get wet. Choose items, shoes, clothing, whatever, that dries quickly. Wet boots stay that way for days. And, IMO, Gore-tex just does not work. The only breathing that occurs is space in your bank account that once contained cash.

    litefoot 2000

    litefoot 2000

  16. #16

    Default Trail runners or boots????

    I have always needed boots with good support. Limmer boots are the best, but Asolos are good too. Sometimes it may make sense to have a second pair of shoes in the pack if the conditions are especially wet, you can hike with dry feet with extra Merino wool socks. A night with newspaper stuffed into the boots may be enough for them to dry.

  17. #17

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    There is no shortage of boots vs trail runners threads on these forums and opinions tend to be more about personal preference than performance. I have both and one more opinion isn't going to hurt.

    What I've found-

    True trail runners aren't really meant for long distance hiking with a loaded pack, they are meant for trail running. Like all running shoes, they have a limited lifespan which is much shorter than a designed hiking boot. As long as you realize this and use them in the appropriate situations you won't be disappointed. Shoe companies are evolving into more backpacking oriented shoes, but the lighter they are the less durable and protective they are. If you pack on the light side and don't mind replacing them every season or so (I'm good for one pair a season, but don't only wear them on the trail) they are much lighter on your feet and you can feel the difference at the end of the day.

    For trips longer than a night or two with a heavy pack and heavy mud, I wear Montrail Torre GTXs. I'm on my 2nd pair in about 8 years. They last longer, are heavier and offer more protection. Unlike most, I have found they keep my feet drier on the Long Trail and northern New England AT than the trail runners and I have pretty sweaty feet. I've never had a problem drying out boots or trail runners.

    When in Alaskan and northern Canadian mountains, I lean to the heavy mountaineering boots. I have a 18 year old pair of Montrail Moraine ATs that are still the most comfortable boot I own and a 12 year old pair of LaSportiva Makalus for crampons. They last forever and then some, but are super heavy and are overkill outside of winter in New England.

    Trail runners are fine for the LT, just don't expect them to be boots.

  18. #18
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    I have seen a fellow hiker trip and fall rolling an ankle in a boot that took a lot of punishment and had supported the ankle. I am convinced that if that fall & ankle twisting was in a trail runner that hiker would of badly sprained or broke their ankle...thus possibly ending their AT hike.

  19. #19
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    Default Breathable footwear!

    First off, no one is keeping their feet dry on a Long Trail thru-hike, taking waterproof boots in the hope of minimizing wet feet is a fairly lost cause.

    The Long Trail is a very wet trail - I'm not talking about rain, I'm talking about 10 inch puddles that last 300 feet with no way around them, I'm talking about morning dew all over everything, which will run down your legs into your waterproof boots and soak your feet - then there is the rain

    All leather boots or gore-tex boots/footwear will take much longer to dry out than breathable footwear, whether it's trail runners, mids or more substantial footwear.

  20. #20

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    Keep your pack weight manageable and stick with trail runners, you'll never go back to boots!
    "every day's a holiday, every meal a feast"

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