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Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

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Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Tue May 07, 2013 3:45 pm

So I have climbed my first twelve 14ers in my trusty Columbia mid trailrunners (did Longs twice in them) and I know a lot of folks belong in the trailrunners camp. But now I have a pair of burly vintage Lowa mountaineering boots and my Evolv Cruzer approach/climb shoes, I'm starting to think that I should put some thought into using different shoes for different types of 14ers.

I'll be attempting the hardest 14ers this summer, including Capitol, Little Bear, the Maroon Bells and Pyramid. I know they are doable in trailrunners for many people, but would my mountaineering boots be more suitable for more difficult terrain like these? What about my climbing shoes? Would they be more helpful in the Hourglass gully or Knife Edge on Capitol?

Just trying to pick people's brains and see what your guys generally use for different types of terrain.

Thanks!

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby JB99 » Tue May 07, 2013 4:06 pm

Stick with what you're most comfortable scrambling in. For me that's trail runners over boots by a mile. I wouldn't have wanted rock shoes on Capitol or LB. Some approach shoes might be a good option if you want something stickier.

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue May 07, 2013 4:11 pm

I climbed in hiking shoes (not just trail runners, but shoes like the Merrell Moab,) on most everything Class 3 and up the last few years. I found I prefer the flexibility in my ankles when I climb, versus being locked into a boot. I also like a thinner sole because I like to feel the edges more when I scramble and climb, and boots just don't do that for me. I also found that I am not rolling my ankles nearly as often in shoes - perhaps it's because I am allowed the flexibility at the ankle to compensate for the uneven terrain better than a rigid boot.
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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby bohlsen » Tue May 07, 2013 4:45 pm

Have you had ankle problems? I have really loose ankle ligaments from playing too many years of basketball so I wear boots for loose or uneven climbs and trailrunners for more straightforward hikes. Also my boots seem to get slightly better traction for climbing rock slabs like the homestretch on Longs. It really comes down to personal preference though, being comfortable is the most important feature.
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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby crossfitter » Tue May 07, 2013 4:53 pm

Mountaineering boots for dry summer conditions sounds miserable. It'll be hot, uncomfortable, and will perform worse than approach shoes. Rock shoes are way overkill and hellaciously unpleasant on the descent. Remember, the primary advantage of rock shoes is the ability to use tiny footholds - not a concern on 4th class and 5.easy. Stick with the trail runners on hiking trails and easy scrambling, break out the approach shoes for scrambling which challenges your abilities and save the rock shoes for moderate 5th and up.
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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby BenfromtheEast » Tue May 07, 2013 5:02 pm

MountainMedic would like to add a vote for approach shoes. I'll vote for him to get slightly longer shorts.

MM.JPG
MM.JPG (62.57 KiB) Viewed 475 times

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Tue May 07, 2013 5:07 pm

Sounds like the best option would be to hike/scramble in my trailrunners and pack my approach shoes with me and break them out when needed. My approach shoes are really closer to rock shoes than approach shoes, not as burly as some other ones like the Five Ten Guide Tennie. I have climbed 5.6s in them.

In general I do prefer higher ankle protection, especially in the Trough on Longs, or the upper section of Elbert, not a fan of steep and loose scree slopes.

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby MountainMedic » Tue May 07, 2013 5:42 pm

I would also like to add that the very shoe in that picture got knocked off in a rockslide and I shattered my ankle just two weeks later. Loose rock ---> something with full ankle coverage. Otherwise, stick to the trail runners and approach shoes.

PS short shorts FTW

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Tue May 07, 2013 5:51 pm

MountainMedic wrote: Loose rock ---> something with full ankle coverage. Otherwise, stick to the trail runners and approach shoes.

PS short shorts FTW


Which is why I think mountaineering boots would be better for the loose stuff on the Maroon bells?

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby wildlobo71 » Tue May 07, 2013 6:16 pm

Liquid Shadow wrote:
MountainMedic wrote: Loose rock ---> something with full ankle coverage. Otherwise, stick to the trail runners and approach shoes.

PS short shorts FTW


Which is why I think mountaineering boots would be better for the loose stuff on the Maroon bells?


I found just the opposite... I love hiking shoes for very scramble-based climbs, loose scree, boulders, and trail. A rock is going to slip and roll beneath your foot regardless of the shoe you wear and step with - it's how your body reacts to the sudden change - I like the flexibility in low shoes versus rigid ankle support. But it's not for everyone.
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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Tue May 07, 2013 6:23 pm

I wear either saucony running sneakers or AT boots for all day hikes, for backpacking trips I wear my Asolo 535s which I would describe as a mid weight boot. For dry season mountaineering up to 5.7ish, I wear my five ten approach shoes, for technical rock climbs 5.7 and up I'll hike in my sneakers and carry my la sportive rock shoes. During the week I wear Clark's casual leather shoes

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Re: Footwear Dilemma - What to wear?

Postby GregMiller » Tue May 07, 2013 6:30 pm

So far, I've done fine in my La Sportiva hiking boots, but I've stuck with those because I've had problems rolling my ankles in the past, and the Vibram soles on them seem to stick to everything. I'm going to give trail runners a try this summer, and see how well they work for short and/or dry hikes.
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