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Footwear choices

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Footwear choices

Postby prestone818 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:57 am

I bought the gortex version of those salomons last winter. I like them a lot. I have considered buying that exact pair because the gtx model gets pretty warm on hot days. But i have run into mud and water covered trails where the gtx has been a savior.

The lacing system is good but i don't find it comfortable on lofty angled rocks while scrambling or on loose rocks. For me atleast they fit loose, i can slip them on and off without much difficulty. So i feel like my foot moves around a little (i also have narrow feet). Slight concern for rolling my ankle.

I love the slip on, especially for skiing. Since mine are gtx they are perfect for mornings after 4" or so, putting boots on in the parking lot.

I do agree with the personal preference, sadly you will live and learn.

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby ryanmicj » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:48 am

Thanks for all the input! I like the point about the wanting more support on the way down - I'd never thought about the different needs of coming vs. going. We'll be hiking in August, so snow shouldn't be a problem, but its probably best to be prepared either way.

I'll probably pick up a pair of those Salomon's (does 14ers.com have a partner deal with Amazon? I have a Prime acct...), but I'll bring those and my hikers when I climb. That way I can try both out while I'm acclimating, and see which I prefer. I probably favor the trail runners, having been a runner for a long time, but also because my skinny legs look goofy in boots and shorts.

PS - These are the hikers I have - they're pretty decent, but not "true" hiking boots. They've been good during this past Chicago winter, though.
http://www.zappos.com/product/7898114/color/328964

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby DaveSwink » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:41 am

When I started climbing 14ers, my ankles would roll often and painfully when descending trails with lots of loose rocks, so ankle-supporting boots were required. Years of hiking and trail running have strengthened the stabilization muscles in my calves so that twisted ankles just don't happen anymore and I use trail runners most of the time now. When an ankle starts to roll now, I find that I can catch myself and straighten up with no injury or pain.

If you hike a lot or trail run now, I would recommend trying to go straight to trail runners. If you most run on roads or smooth paths, boots with ankle support might help in your first year of climbing.

Slowly hobbling down a mountain looks a lot goofier than skinny legs with boots. Heck, skinny legs and boots are almost a Colorado climbing standard. :D

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby carnegie » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:47 pm

I have a set of merrell's that I love because of their high breathability. And if I may include this, don't forget some good socks. For me, my shoes are only as good as my socks. I love my smartwool!

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby DaveSwink » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:56 pm

And insoles! Superfeet are awesome.

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby RJansen77 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:43 pm

dswink wrote:And insoles! Superfeet are awesome.


+100! Superfeet are fantastic, the green ones changed my collegiate running career.
"But it doesn't matter if your in Valdez skiing out of a helicopter, or putzing around on a flat hill somewhere in Iowa. That adrenaline rush comes when you satisfy your most basic instinct, your own search for freedom."

-Warren Miller


I almost always wear a bathing suit when I climb. If you see me say hey!

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby Scizzo » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:45 pm

I started using Solomons back in 2006 and haven't used another shoe since. I've used them on every day trip I've taken since then, including 20+ 14ers, several class three peaks and a 22 mile day hike on Mt. Whitney. These days I only use my boots if I am going on a multi-day backpack with a heavy load, of if I am going to be hiking in snow. I have a slightly wider foot and have found that the Solomons fit me perfectly. Coincidentally I just bought my fifth pair in 6 years yesterday.

As others have mentioned footwear is very specific to each person. You should probably try both to see what you like. The Solomons will provide protection, but if you aren't used to hiking a lot they will probably leave your feet beat up by the end of the day. It may be a good idea to try boots first. Personally, I like trail runners because they are lightweight and allow my feet to breath. I had the gore-tex version of this shoe in the past, and found that it was too hot. The nice thing about the Solomons is that they dry fairly quickly... especially if you carry an extra pair of socks like I do.

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby ChrisRoberts » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:33 pm

If you're clumsy, off balanced or have weak ankles, boots are the way to go. If you're agile, sure footed and young, trail runners have great benefits. Make sure to wear some thick wool socks either way, they'll protect your lower legs from snow/rocks/brush.
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
Read all about my schemes and adventuring at NoCo Chris Latest TR: Ramsay, Sugarloaf and Skull

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby pvnisher » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:49 pm

ChrisRoberts wrote:If you're clumsy, off balanced or have weak ankles, boots are the way to go. If you're agile, sure footed and young, trail runners have great benefits. Make sure to wear some thick wool socks either way, they'll protect your lower legs from snow/rocks/brush.


Oh my goodness... Or, if you don't like getting your ankles bashed in a talus field, and enjoy having your shoes remain pebble-free, and like the soles of your feet to be protected from pointy protuberances, then you can also try boots.

Boots are the most personal item a hillwalker owns, virtually no one's advice will hold true for any large percentage of the populace. Except mine. It is unfailing.

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby ChrisRoberts » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:09 pm

pvnisher wrote:Oh my goodness... Or, if you don't like getting your ankles bashed in a talus field, and enjoy having your shoes remain pebble-free, and like the soles of your feet to be protected from pointy protuberances, then you can also try boots.

Or you could wear the socks...like I clearly said.
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
Read all about my schemes and adventuring at NoCo Chris Latest TR: Ramsay, Sugarloaf and Skull

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby thebeave7 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:21 pm

pvnisher wrote:Oh my goodness... Or, if you don't like getting your ankles bashed in a talus field, and enjoy having your shoes remain pebble-free, and like the soles of your feet to be protected from pointy protuberances, then you can also try boots.
Boots are the most personal item a hillwalker owns, virtually no one's advice will hold true for any large percentage of the populace. Except mine. It is unfailing.


Or you can work on your strength/balance, wear trail gaiters to keep rocks/debris out, and watch where you step so you don't step on the pointy parts of the rock (just the flat).... just sayin'. I do like my smartwool socks a lot.

Eric
Me fail English? That's unpossible. http://www.ericjlee.com/Blogs

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Re: Footwear choices

Postby pvnisher » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:05 am

Balance, gaiters, and socks won't always cut it. Having both and using them depending on the circumstances is best.

As I said, "Boots (edit: Footwear) are (is) the most personal item a hillwalker owns, virtually no one's advice will hold true for any large percentage of the populace."

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