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37

I would say the answer is somewhat subjective, and in order to make a fair assessment you will need to invest some time. Carrying a 30-pound pack up and down hills with a week's worth of food and gear produces different stresses on your feet and joints than a water bottle and rain jacket. The fit may seem less perfect if the material between your toes starts ...


26

You are using your old used sneaker-like city-shoes, sport-shoes or jogging-shoes to go hiking? Well, those are made for really flat paths without lots of surface irregularities and they aren't designed for rough conditions (wet and/or cold, difficult terrain, bigger loose stones and so on). Saying that, hiking shoes/boots are better for those conditions, ...


17

Blisters usually form when your socks get sweaty and things start to rub around. When I first bought my pair of boots, the man in the store told me to wear them around the house for an hour every night for a week or two before my trip. This gives you a chance to break in the leather slowly over time, while keeping your feet blister-free. Obviously, this ...


15

My ankles sprain easily. I have good quality walking boots that give good ankle support, because I need them. You may not. Everyone’s different. Yes, they’re heavier than runners, significantly heavier, in fact, but for my situation, they’re worth it. When I’m on rough terrain, and especially if I’m also carrying a heavy backpack, I can sprain my ankles very ...


14

While this is by far not a universal truth, in general, women tend to have more slender feet than men. Then again - some women have wide, plate-like feet, and some men have thin feet. Also, I've noticed that women's hill shoes tend to be 'prettier' (I'm not sure why - I doubt that this is actually a consideration for most hillwalking women - but that's just ...


13

One of the things I've heard that wildland firefighters like to do (they often wear large, all leather boots, like these: Danner Flashpoint II) is put on the boots, stand in the bathtub with water and let the water soak through the boots with your feet on, and then wear them around the house for a few hours. It seems to work - as it softens the boots and ...


12

There are many who nowadays shun boots and prefer to have lightweight footwear in all terrains and most weather conditions. It's worth having a look at Chris Townsend's website at http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com/. He has hiked many long distance trails, including some in the US and has put together an article on his blog about the topic of Lightweight ...


11

Overshoes When the boots' warmth is not enough, you can use overshoes. Basically, it's nothing more than a sack made of cloth , which you put over your boot and fasten somehow: This helps you in two ways: It creates an air pocket around your boot, reducing heat loss. The snow now melts not on your boot, but on the overshoe, drastically increasing the ...


10

Do boots really last (only) 400 miles? In short, yes. If you are a hard-man/woman, you might stretch one pair of boots to half the AT. Normal people go through quite a few pairs - I used 10-ish pairs of trail runners on the PCT, partially because my feet grew 2 sizes and I didn't realize that was why I was suddenly getting blisters from my previously ...


10

Yes it does dry shoes much faster. When long distance hiking it is definitely a nice thing to be able to stop in town and dry your shoes overnight using newspapers. It will draw a lot of the dampness right out of your footwear. This is a known trick and many people will attest to its magic. First ball up some newspaper. I usually use two large sheets ...


10

The category of shoe you are looking for is an approach shoe, the name comes from their use by mountain climbers as their shoe of preference for approaching a climbing pitch. They're lighter than hiking boots and are designed for trails and for scrambling. Approach shoes tend to have smoother soles than hiking boots but are usually sturdier than a climbing ...


10

Big, heavy "waffle stomper" boots are mainly a relic of the past, along with wool knickers and steel canteens. For most conditions, modern running shoes work far better. Any weight on your feet cuts down on your efficiency much more than a similar amount of weight on your back. Also, the heavier your boots get, the harder it is to keep from getting blisters, ...


9

The best qualities of caving footware are actually easy to clean (especially now with WNS concerns) easy to walk/crawl in (must fit well and now slide around) keep your feet warm durable (caves eat clothing) Watertight shoes hold water in just was well as they keep water out, and in a wet cave water will get in. First get yourself a pair of 3mm ...


9

I'm not aware of any boots for your specific need, but there may be some other options using a larger size boot. Preferably you should have little if any pressure from your toes against the front of your boot. For me, the solution to a loose boot has been to add a second insole which keeps a laced boot snug at the ankle while leaving the toes with room to ...


9

I think that there are three reasons for special women's gear and clothing: fit, appearance and marketing. If you are happy with the man's boots you have got, if they fit you well, there's nothing to be gained by the women's model.


8

The cold weather boot will definitely be too warm for 40-80F (4.4-26.7C). I will definitely choose warmer hiking boots rather and bring two pairs socks types in such condition : warm and normal. Just start with the normal socks and if you are too cold then switch for the warmer. Remember that sweating is worse than being a bit cold. Last but not least, ...


7

I have a feeling this question is going to come up a lot on this site... as I mentioned here it is an old and persistent myth that full leather boots will necessarily have a blister-inducing break-in period. Well-built boots that fit properly can be broken in fairly easily and blister-free. Hot-spots and rubbing are usually an indication of a poor fit ...


7

Just like you I enjoy hiking in VFFs and I wondered how it would be to do a long backpacking trip in them. I chose the seemingly short 74 mile PCT section in Washington state, that has about 20,000' of elevation gain and loss and most of the trail is rocky. First day was great, just as any day hike, even with the heavy pack. Although my feet started to hurt ...


7

For snowier conditions, it is common in the ultra community to take an old pair of shoes and screw in a number of metal hex screws into the sole from the bottom leaving enough of the screw proud to stick into the snow. I've never had to try it myself but I'm reliably informed it works a treat.


7

The simple answer for me is that my feet hurt less. There are two factors that cause foot pain with regular shoes. The first is that rocks poke your feet through the soles. The second is that without good ankle support, you use more muscles in your feet to balance on uneven terrain. Personally, I didn't realize how much pain was caused by my shoes until ...


7

One advantage I'm missing so far is that hiking boots also protect the ankles against the outside (not only against sprainng): from getting scratched by or hitting stones, wooden branches sticking up, or stuff like blackberry twines (which I find very bad as they scratch heavily over the front part of the ankle, particularly where that tendon is). Of ...


6

as far as the issue of warmth - they do make special five-finger, wool socks for the VFF that fit perfectly with the shoes. I've combined these and they work great in cold weather. the only time i ever had a bad experience in my VFF was walking several miles on asphalt. trails with rocks, streams, mossy paths - no problem.


6

Yes, they dry faster. Newspaper ink got messy for me so instead I've used packing paper (the stuff that they wrap shoes with in the shoebox) for similar, yet cleaner, results. I've reused it many times, too.


6

The simplest answer is this. Hiking boots, with their higher top, prevent material such as stones, mud, snow, and water from easily getting into the shoe. If I hike on a graveled trail for example, I must empty my walking shoes of small stones about every 5 miles. In rougher conditions, it is easy to step into a puddle, or snow drift, that is more than ...


5

As stated by Graham in his comment, I would recommend using ice traction device like this one or this one. It will provide you with the missing grip in winter. You should definitely keep using your running shoes because they are still better suited for running even in winter conditions.


5

While airflow does dry shoes, it is much less effective than physically wicking moisture away using towel, some or paper. Capillary action is very effective at removing water from anything, and wide fibre or coarse paper, such as newspaper, or better still, tissue or kitchen towel or swimmers' chamois are your best bet on the trail or after a wet hike.


5

If you have a dry airflow available (some huts have stands where heated air goes through the shoes), that is of course faster. However, just leaving your boots stand does not lead to much air flow. With (news)paper, you can easily take out the moisture and put in a new, dry paper. That is actually the key: If you just stuff your boots with paper and leave ...


5

Good hiking boots also provide good arch and foot support. Even without the extra weight of a pack the constant stress on ones arches can be very fatiguing if not even damaging. Although humans were originally designed to go without footwear, most people today do not have feet that can go miles and miles without proper arch, toe and foot support. So, if ...


5

As someone who's done a decent amount of hiking both with proper boots and a standby I used for years, hightop skateboarding shoes, here's the three major differences I've noticed: The boots definitely win in the waterproofness department. I would not do an extremely muddy trail in shoes. The boots have better traction but the significance of this is less ...


4

When I bought my leather boots they told me that modern walking boots should not need breaking in if they fit properly. I followed their advice and bought well-fitting boots and did not break them in. The boots have never given me blisters despite spending many days walking in the mountains in them. This may be helped by my choice to wear two layers of ...



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