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Poll

Do you prefer to hike Big Bend in hiking boots, running/walking shoes, or sandals?

Boots
32 (74.4%)
Shoes
10 (23.3%)
Sandals
1 (2.3%)

Total Members Voted: 3

Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« on: November 21, 2007, 03:47:32 PM »
I am curious how many of you prefer to hike in boots vs. something like a trail running shoe.  I went through this debate with myself several years ago and came to the conclusion that trail running shoes are superior to hiking boots for the following reasons:
  • Lighter;
  • More confortable;
  • Less fatiguing at the end of the day.

There are obviously drawbacks to wearing shoes over boots, but thus far I've been willing to deal with it. 

What do you think?

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Offline okiehiker

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 03:56:34 PM »
I have done a great deal of hiking in BIBE and elsewhere in all manner of footwear.  One year I did an 8 day Fresno Creek/Elephant Tusk/Sierra Quemada/Mule Ears/Trap Mountain/Chimneys/Tule Spring/Apache Canyon/Ward Spring backpack in a pair of Merrell jungle mocs.  The only problem was on the Elephant Tusk when my niece knocked down a rock that rolled over my toe in moccasins!

There is some merit in lightweight comfortable footwear.  For daily, double-digit mileage cross-country under pack in BIBE I prefer having the protection from agave, stone bruises, etc. that a sturdier pair of boots provides.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 04:02:39 PM »
I went the lighter weight running shoe route, only to switch back for most hiking to a good pair of boots.  The main reasons were (1) in a place like BBNP much of the rock will rapidly shred the sole of the running shoe, (2) in BBNP the spines will easily penetrate a running shoe, sock & foot, and (3) turns out on an extended hike my heels just can't stand the pounding day after day -- I need the additional support of a real boot.

Having said that, for a single day hike here in Virginia I'll often go with a lightweight running shoe...
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 10:00:58 PM by trtlrock »
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Offline Al

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 09:23:17 PM »
Unless you're just day hiking on a major trail, at least medium weight boots are not a luxury but a necessity, in my opinion. 

Al

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Offline Undertaker

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2007, 09:18:20 AM »
I prefer boots for the superior support, yes they are heavy compared to trail shoes, but at end of day my feet thank me.
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2007, 10:12:47 AM »
Looks like I'm in the minority on choice of footwear. 

My main problem is that no one seems to make a hiking boot that fits my Hobbit feet...narrow heel, wide toe box, and no arch.  I've got flippers for feet.  The misery I've experienced with boots is just not worth the added protection.

Its funny how I can try on a boot in the store and it feels great.  Then I take them home and take some hikes...everything is great.  Get on the trail with a full pack and walk all day and now I'm crippled.

So, here I am, one month before the big backpack trip to the "Ranch" and I'm going with my Saucony running shoes.  The idea will be to keep the pack at around 25 lbs. adding less stress to los pies.  Depending on the weather, that might not be possible, but I'm going to try.

I'll let you all know how things work out.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Offline Burn Ban

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2007, 10:30:31 PM »
well, here's a picture of what i wear.  way less weight than a full boot, but lots more support than a trail runner.  not sure about the heel, but the toe box is ample. 

i agree that the weight of a boot seems like a waste of my energy. 

for what it's worth, i've worn them in even the rockiest of trails and felt great at the end of the day.  i love them.


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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2007, 10:21:00 AM »
my opinion:

I like good grips on the trail so a good sole is essential for me.  And, because I like to do a lot of desert hiking, I need good anti-needle uppers along with a small bit of water resistance.  Good insoles for comfort are necessary for me as well.  Weight isn't really a problem for me, I like a good sturdy boot as Undertake says.

Here's what I wear:

http://www.rwss.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=7152&Category_Code=MBACKBACKING


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Offline Boojum1

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2007, 08:14:12 AM »
I've hiked in lightweight boots and medium weight which I bought after hiking in lightweight.  The medium weights (Merrell) were a vast improvement, but I'm sure the trail hikers of today are far better than the Nike POS's I used in the 80's.   It also depends a lot on how much pack I carry, as my puny ankles require lots of support.
Pithy quote free for years

Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2007, 10:27:40 AM »
um...excuse me...
you left out Chaco sandals.....my footwear of choice....on most hikes in BB. : )

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Offline Ay Chihuahua!

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2007, 11:18:01 AM »
well, here's a picture of what i wear.  way less weight than a full boot, but lots more support than a trail runner.  not sure about the heel, but the toe box is ample. 

i agree that the weight of a boot seems like a waste of my energy. 

for what it's worth, i've worn them in even the rockiest of trails and felt great at the end of the day.  i love them.
Burn Ban,

Thanks for sharing.  I love Keens.  In fact, I hiked a 14er in CO in a pair of these...

.

I'll have to try the Keen hiking shoes someday.

um...excuse me...
you left out Chaco sandals.....my footwear of choice....on most hikes in BB. : )

Trout Whisperer,

My appologies for leaving out the sandal crowd.  I've corrected the error by editing the poll to include sandals.

To All,

I've taken some of your comments into account and am now weighing whether to do my hike in the Saucony running shoes or my Lowa Tempests.   The Lowas will offer a little more protection from the pricklies. 

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Offline xseption

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2007, 11:35:13 AM »
Boots, definitely for BiBe. I do try to have a lightweight boot like the medium boots produce by Asolo. Some of Asolo's boots run narrow and fit me very well.

Most other places, a hiking/trail running shoe is all I need.

~ edd
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:58:28 PM by xseption »
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Offline 01ACRViper

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2007, 11:51:01 AM »
talus/thick brush wreak havoc on me when i'm wearing tennis shoes. if i'm going to hike up Emory, walk up a creek, or generally be on a trail, i'll wear the lightest shoes possible. but once i leave the trail, nothing beats a sturdy high top boot. rocks roll onto your foot? no biggie (as long as they are too big  :willynilly: ) plus the thorn-proof waterproof structure is a nice addition.

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2007, 12:16:29 PM »
Personally I prefer boots for BIBE. Outside of the developed campgrounds/attractions (where I prefer Teva sandals) they are a real must. Around here in Bama, I almost live in my Teva's and have permanent tanlines on my feet to prove it, but I've found a boot that almost makes me want to swap my Teva's for boots all the time. When you want a good boot for durability and comfort, go to the pros.... the infantry (US Army). I had to dress in the new ACU uniforms when I was supporting 5th Army and ended up with a pair of these boots:

http://www.uscav.com/Productinfo.aspx?productID=8989&TabID=1&CatID=453

Little pricey, but EXTREMELY comfortable. Had a Marine in our jeep club see me in them and he said they were like wearing a second pair of socks. They have been really comfortable just wearing around on a daily basis and have been great wearing when scrambling along our property at Terlingua Ranch when looking for my 4 corner posts and surveying the land.

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

Re: Hiking Boots vs. Running/Walking Shoes
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 01:36:14 PM »
Ay Chihuahua,

Have you tried any of the SuperFeet footbeds?  One of their footbeds, which has been a blessing to my finicky feet, is custom fitted and might help in getting boots to fit your feet.

Here is a link to some info that may  be helpful:

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/gear/features/bootfit.htm

The  Phil Oren bootfitting theory, which is described by Chris Townsend (the author of one of the backpacking "how to do it"  manuals in the Colin Fletcher genre), may identify and help resolve the problems you face with traditional boots.

I use heavy-duty leather Norwegian welt boots with Vibram lug soles that come above my ankle.  I have the same concerns that others have posted about support, protection from spines, dealing with  rocks, etc., and feel that these benefits are worth the  weight trade-off of these clodhoppers.




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