Trail Running Shoes vs. Boots for Long's Peak

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info.

Which do you prefer?

Trail Running Shoes
Traditional Hiking Boot
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Holy Schist
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Trail Running Shoes vs. Boots for Long's Peak

Postby Holy Schist » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:14 pm

Hello, I was just wondering if anyone had any advice for wearing a good Nike trail running shoe (relatively stiff sole) versus a Merrell sport hiking boot (stiffer sole) on the Keyhole Route on Long's.

I have done 21 14ers so far, all in boots, but during the longer ones my feet start to hurt too much. However, on Sneffels, and Redcloud Peaks, I was happy to have the boots because of the scree fields. (We had to make a hasty exit from Redcloud due to a lightning storm, non-standard route). On a recent trip to Windom, I would have rather had the trail shoes, since I did not feel there was a need for the boots.

This question is mainly borne out of the length of Long's and I was wondering if the terrain warrants the use of boots.

Thank you
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Postby jason415 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:34 pm

I run in Nike's on pavement but not on trails. I have found that they dont hold up to the abuse a trail and rocks can do to them. I have been using New Balance trail shoes for awile now and love them. They are lightweight and if the get wet they dry quickly. I hate wearing boots because I feel like it weakens my ankles over time.
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Postby grizz » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:51 pm

I like mid top trail runner type shoes.

Boots are like Anna Nicole Smith. Hot and heavy.
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Postby Cornfed97 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:55 pm

I wore trail runners on Longs and the only problems I had were in the trough and the homestrech. They were both wet and the trailrunners (new balance) didn't have the traction my boots have so it was a bit slippery. Other than that they were great. Maybe you could pack your boots and change out at the keyhole, stashing your runners there. Just a thought.
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Postby ShadyHater69 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:13 pm

For easier hikes (meaning anything under class 3 and under 10 miles) I prefer trail running shoes. I've had my New Balance 708 trail running shoes for a year now and they're still in great shape.

For harder hikes, and ones where hitting snow is a possiblity, I wear my low cut Keen boots. They weigh like half a pound more than my New Balance shoes, but they're water proof (sooooo key) and have a stiff sole.
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Trail Runners vs Sport Hiking Boots

Postby Holy Schist » Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Hello all, thank thank you for your input, however I am asking specifically for the Long's Peak Keyhole Route. I have yet to do a class 3 which is why I was thinking boots, but also the mileage is why I was considering the Trail runners.
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Postby crux » Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:27 pm

I just did the Keyhole route this past weekend in my trail runners (note - real trail runners, not tennis shoes). I always wear trail runners for short and long hikes unless I'm carrying a heavier load. I'll take a little extra weight in shoes over a badly rolled ankle any day.

Anyway, they did great the entire way but I do agree with a previous post on traction. My shoes are still pretty new so I felt pretty secure, but I do feel like I have a better grip with my boots on. The trough does have sections where you feel a bit more comfortable scooting down but overall, you should have no trouble. They're also much better for the few places where it's more fun to throw in a class 4 move (instead of taking the easier way which would add all of 2 steps) and need a good toe hold. My boots don't fit into the smaller holds that well.

I really just prefer them for overall comfort and gives me the option to all out sprint down the last few miles of the trail at the end.

Have a great time.
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Postby Bean » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:01 pm

I'm trying to think how many times I've summitted a 14er in boots that weren't ski boots. I think the number is zero. No reason in my mind to bother with heavy boots when some bomber trail runners do the trick just fine.
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Postby 2giqs » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:26 pm

Up the keyhole route three years ago, i wore Asics running shoes. If i were to go up this year, i'd wear La Sportiva Exums. Better grip.
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Postby JB99 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:51 pm

I just did the keyhole route in my New Balance trail runners over my boots and was happy to have them. The comfort was key after such a long day and my feet still managed to jog the last mile thanks to nice comfy shoes, and a strong desire to lay down by the car and rest!
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Postby JA_son27 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:54 pm

Has anyone tried the BOA lacing system yet? I'm looking at some northface shoes with the BOA lacing and was curious as to how well they work
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Postby chrispy » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:58 pm

I'm all for trail running shoes on the class 1-3 peaks, class 4 I would bump up to approach shoes.

In my opinion the boa is overkill. I sort of see it as a solution for a problem that doesnt exist...

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