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Boot recommendations

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  • jeff.hester
    Last time I hiked the JMT, I wore a gigantic, heavy Vasque boots (this was 30 years ago). In recent years I ve used either lightweight boots and currently have
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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      Last time I hiked the JMT, I wore a gigantic, heavy Vasque boots (this was 30 years ago). In recent years I've used either lightweight boots and currently have been using New Balance trail shoes. They've worked well for hiking and short backpacking trips, but I for a trip like the JMT I'm thinking something with a more ankle protection and waterproofing is in order.

      I know boots a very subjective thing, but any recommendations before I head to REI?
    • Barbara Karagosian
      I love Lowa Renegade. My husband uses Asolo Fugitive midweights. My Lowas have Gore-Tex - I d prefer not to, but they are the only boots my feet like. Never
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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        I love Lowa Renegade. My husband uses Asolo Fugitive midweights. My Lowas
        have Gore-Tex - I'd prefer not to, but they are the only boots my feet like.
        Never had a blister.



        _____

        From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of jeff.hester
        Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 12:19 PM
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Boot recommendations








        Last time I hiked the JMT, I wore a gigantic, heavy Vasque boots (this was
        30 years ago). In recent years I've used either lightweight boots and
        currently have been using New Balance trail shoes. They've worked well for
        hiking and short backpacking trips, but I for a trip like the JMT I'm
        thinking something with a more ankle protection and waterproofing is in
        order.

        I know boots a very subjective thing, but any recommendations before I head
        to REI?





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bob Bankhead
        Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid Now available in a WIDE as well this year. HOORAY! Really like the Ventilator shoe; bought it because the boot didn t come in a
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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          Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid

          Now available in a WIDE as well this year. HOORAY!
          Really like the Ventilator shoe; bought it because the boot didn't come in a wide in 2207.

          http://www.rei.com/product/748510#pr-header-748510


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jon Sterling
          I ll be taking my Vibram Five Fingers for stream crossings and the parts of the trail that aren t too rocky. After a few weeks of wearing them everywhere
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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            I'll be taking my Vibram Five Fingers for stream crossings and the
            parts of the trail that aren't too rocky. After a few weeks of
            wearing them everywhere around San Diego, my feet have never felt
            better.

            http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/

            I'm still undecided on the New Balance trail shoes vs. lightweight
            boots for the rest of the trail. The ankle injury risk is my biggest
            concern with the New Balance option, so we'll see. Has anyone
            completed the whole trail in New Balance shoes?

            Jon



            On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Bob Bankhead<wandering_bob@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid
            >
            > Now available in a WIDE as well this year. HOORAY!
            > Really like the Ventilator shoe; bought it because the boot didn't come in a
            > wide in 2207.
            >
            > http://www.rei.com/product/748510#pr-header-748510
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >



            --
            Would you like to learn about real estate in San Diego?
            www.sandiegomodernhome.com/blog
          • jeff.hester
            Thanks for the tips! The Merrill Ventilator looks comfortable, but are they waterproof? I didn t see any mention. Also, I ve seen some people shy away from
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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              Thanks for the tips! The Merrill Ventilator looks comfortable, but are they waterproof? I didn't see any mention.

              Also, I've seen some people shy away from "waterproof membrane" claiming that leaves a whole lot a shoe to still get wet and saturated. I see it more as a weight/performance tradeoff.

              I'll check them out as well as the Lowa (my son owns an older pair). I might even look at the newer Vasque -- the old ones served me well.

              The FiveFingers thing looks crazy! I'd seen them before, but shrugged them off as a novelty. Looking at the site more closely, I'm intrigued. I'v usually carried a pair of Teva sandals for stream crossing and wearing around camp. I might give FiveFingers a try, but boots are the first priority.
            • John Ladd
              Lots of the people who hike all the way from Mexico to Canada use trail runners, or even Keen-style sandals, so it can be done. Their theory is that weight on
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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                Lots of the people who hike all the way from Mexico to Canada use trail
                runners, or even Keen-style sandals, so it can be done. Their theory is
                that weight on the feet slows you down even more than weight anywhere else.
                they also believe that boots dry too slowly and that trail runners allow
                them to cross streams without changing to change footwear.

                That said, I'd never hike more than 10 miles in the Sierras without

                -- a good, solid set of boots that I have personally lovingly waterproofed
                with the best stuff I can buy (wax or silicone based). I would almost never
                trust a claim that boots are waterproof if I haven't done it myself. I've
                used Sno-seal but I'm suspect the Nikwax products are quite good. Don't buy
                something that uses ease of application as it's main selling point. Good
                waterproofing takes time and effort.

                separate footwear to cross streams (so the boots stay dry). Crocs secured
                with velcro straps (either bought with velcro straps or hand-retrofitted
                with velcro) are great stream-crossers and (with fresh socks) comfortable
                camp shoes at the end of the day (they absorb no water so they are dry by
                the time you reach camp). There are other options here, but everything else
                I have seen is either heavier or less secure on the foot, or not useful as a
                camp shoe.

                -- If I expect much rain or snow, I'd bring gaiters to help keep the boots
                dry. Even in good weather, I wear low gaiters (desert gaiters) to keep
                trail junk out of the boots (more comfortable and prevents blisters).

                -- And both liner socks and good thick wool socks.

                Boots (esp. trekking poles) really help your ability to go downhill fast.
                Gravity becomes your friend on the downhills if you are confident about your
                ankles.

                Boots vs. trail runners is a good way to start a argument on trail. People
                who believe in boots are usually as set into their views as people who
                prefer trail runners.

                Things that might lead you to trail runners

                Your total weight (not just base weight) is under 25 lbs.
                You are covering 20+ miles per day
                You are young
                You are a regular cross-country runner so your ankles are very strong

                But even if all 4 were true, I'd try to talk you into boots.

                I've found that the clerks in the boot department at REI-San Francisco give
                very good advice. I assume that they must get good training from REI, so
                hopefully they are helpful elsewhere also. If you get a clerk who seems
                inexperienced, I'd ask him which of his colleagues best knows hiking boots.

                I wear Asolo's and have been very happy with them. I'm not sure they still
                sell the exact model I've used, but the following boot looks very similar
                and costs just under $200 (I got it much cheaper at a used gear sale with
                minimal prior usage)

                Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boots

                http://www.rei.com/product/706762

                But boots are very individual, and just because I like these does not mean
                you will.

                John Curran Ladd
                1616 Castro Street
                San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                415-648-9279 (voice and fax)


                On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 1:29 PM, Jon Sterling <mistersterling@...>
                wrote:
                >
                >
                > I'll be taking my Vibram Five Fingers for stream crossings and the
                > parts of the trail that aren't too rocky. After a few weeks of
                > wearing them everywhere around San Diego, my feet have never felt
                > better.
                >
                > http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/
                >
                > I'm still undecided on the New Balance trail shoes vs. lightweight
                > boots for the rest of the trail. The ankle injury risk is my biggest
                > concern with the New Balance option, so we'll see. Has anyone
                > completed the whole trail in New Balance shoes?
                >
                > Jon
                >
                > On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 1:02 PM, Bob Bankhead<wandering_bob@...>
                wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid
                > >
                > > Now available in a WIDE as well this year. HOORAY!
                > > Really like the Ventilator shoe; bought it because the boot didn't come
                in a
                > > wide in 2207.
                > >
                > > http://www.rei.com/product/748510#pr-header-748510
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                >
                > --
                > Would you like to learn about real estate in San Diego?
                > www.sandiegomodernhome.com/blog
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bob Bankhead
                No, the Merrell is not waterproof - deliberately. Remember the name - Moab Ventilator; it is designed for maximum ventilation (i.e. desert areas) and because
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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                  No, the Merrell is not waterproof - deliberately. Remember the name - Moab Ventilator; it is designed for maximum ventilation (i.e. desert areas) and because of the open mesh, drains easily and dries quickly when wet. Basically, you just walk on through the water and keep hiking.

                  That said, some folks prefer to stop and remove their boot liners (if they're absorbant) and maybe their socks, replace the boots, cross, and then reverse the process. Others wade through, then remove, wring out, and replace their socks and keep walking. To my way of thinking, if you're going to take the time to do all that, why not just switch into a pair of crocs for the wet crossing, then go back to totally dry shoes? Me - I'll just walk on through and squish down the trail while my boots drain and dry naturally.




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Rich Ehli
                  The Goretex membrane will eventually fail from the constant flexing of the boot. At least that has been my experience.But while it now lets water in, the
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 5, 2009
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                    The Goretex membrane will eventually fail from the constant flexing of
                    the boot. At least that has been my experience.But while it now lets
                    water in, the membrane still works to keep the heat generated by the
                    foot inside the boot.

                    jeff.hester wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Thanks for the tips! The Merrill Ventilator looks comfortable, but are
                    > they waterproof? I didn't see any mention.
                    >
                    > Also, I've seen some people shy away from "waterproof membrane"
                    > claiming that leaves a whole lot a shoe to still get wet and
                    > saturated. I see it more as a weight/performance tradeoff.
                    >
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