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49

Hmm - more of a tirade than a question, but let's assume you sincerely want to learn. There's a good deal of ground to cover, so please bear with me here... First, technical trail shoes are not "city shoes" If we're going to have an intelligent conversation we need to clear this up from the outset. You describe all types of lightweight footwear as "city ...


37

The only gear you need is a good, comfortable pair of running shoes and any cheap backpack (extra points for Hello Kitty). There is a popular belief, probably based on pop-culture images dating back to the 1960s, that people need big, heavy hiking boots, or that ankle support is necessary if you're going to carry heavy loads or walk on uneven ground. ...


22

There seems to be a general trend for people abandoning traditional hiking boots for lighter approach shoes. As I see it there's two driving factors here: Approach shoes have gotten better No need to have a choice between trainers and boots any more. You can get good solid approach shoes that are both light and sturdy enough for use in the outdoors ...


15

The hiking shoe/waterproof trainer style is comfortable for casual strolls on easy trails, in good weather. This "light outdoors" (or fair-weather hiking) market is huge in comparison to serious hiking. The shoes can be made quite cheaply and don't last all that long. That's not a big deal - either you take to it and replace them with something better, ...


14

Concerning using hiking shoes on asphalt: it certainly can be done and is a much better option than the other way around (i.e. taking a business shoe on a mountain hike). Hiking shoes are a bit stiffer in their construction and might have a little less damping in their sole which can make them a bit uncomfortable to walk on longer asphalt stretches but this ...


14

The factor of 5 maybe an exaggeration, but the physics is certainly worth examining. Consider what is happening as you walk. Backpack Take easy ground to begin with - your pack moves at a fairly constant speed and velocity - essentially the only energy needed from you is holding the weight in the air. On rough ground, experienced backpackers will keep ...


13

Two ways to get started on a hike: with either your right foot, or your left foot :P First and foremost you need comfortable footwear. Doesn't matter what it is to get started, I've led people over mountain ranges and all they wore were cross trainers. When you get more serious into it, then you should determine what type of trails you want to hike on and ...


13

Why do so many people hike with such light footwear? I can give you a personal perspective: I have hiked in the 2000-3000m altitude (alps) for a long time, using quite tough semi-alpine boots (like the one in your first image, even the same brand). I still do that today if there is snow or ice, especially since I am also snow-shoeing and using ...


12

Start small and simple. The important thing is to get back into the habit of walking long distances and times again. You probably haven't walked a mile in a while. For starters, walk around your neighborhood. Walk to the store. Walk to the movies. Walk to the bar (and stumble home again). Google maps provides walking times, distance and directions.; ...


12

For certain types of hiking, lightness is key. I can't talk for everyone doing that (some may just be unaware of the consequences of their kit choices) but I really like speed hiking / fell running, and for that I use very lightweight Salomon boots that are almost trainers/sneakers. My wife briefly tried the Vibram Five Fingers and really liked them for ...


11

The problem is, that these are a (comparatively) new type of shoes and a hybrid of other types. Therefore there is no clear definition, not even consistent naming. Trail running shoes These are the closest to "normal" sports shoes. They are however very light. The competition shoes have hardly any fabric on it, but there are of course also more robust ...


10

Care for your neoprene water shoes as you would for any neoprene wetsuit. http://scubadiverlife.com/2011/03/15/scuba-wetsuit-care-101-removing-odors-extending-suit-life/ You can use any search engine and search for 'wetsuit soap' or 'wetsuit wash' and will find suitable products. Stop by any dive shop where you are travelling and they will likely have ...


9

Benedikt already gave a good answer and he is right that a hiking boot would be a massive overflow. It just looks ridiculous because it is simply not designed to be used on flat terrain. What you need is a comfy and weather resistant shoe. Therefore you could go for a light hiking shoe. I am wearing my approach shoes in daily use from time to time. But just ...


7

Yes - it's true. The source is a 1984 study by the U.S. Army Research Institute, which found that it takes up to 6.4 times as much energy to move at a given pace when weight is carried in the footwear as against the torso. When I was a kid we all walked in monsters like this, at almost 4 lbs a pair (and that's before they get wet!): This is the ...


6

Most of the answers seem to be telling you how to walk so I'll assume that's covered. I think part of this is motivation as well - one thing I have enjoyed is getting a hiking book with some destinations to see, which will get you out of the house and going to see something instead of just wandering around. Maybe check this book out: 60 Hikes within 60 ...


6

The most important thing is a bottle of water, which you can carry in any kind of backpack (does not have to be a special one for a start). Further more, it depends very much on what terrain you like to go hiking. Comfortable running shoes are fine if the trail mostly consists of normal soil, but I would recommend hiking shoes with ankle support if you ...


6

To some extent, it's a question of marketing etc. However, there are clear design diferences between "trainers/sneakers" and "trail/approach shoes". I think you may find that while "trail shoe" is a commonly used term by people, "approach shoe" is preferred by manufacturers. In practice most trail/approach shoes are effectivley the same as lighter weight ...


5

Start by wetting them so you don't get mold into the air. With a weak Lysol solution, scrub them with a toothbrush. Let them dry, and spray them with MiraZyme. Or as ShemSeger says, just get new ones :)


5

The single most important piece of equipement you need is a good reference on the hiking trails around where you live. Read it through, pick a few that you want to do. Those books usually give you a good idea of how long it takes and how hard the hike is. For the rest, Ben Crowell has a pretty good answer. Do a few (or just one) hikes and adjust your ...


5

There is a major advantage to lighter footwear when hiking. Here is a great example: Does a pound on your foot equal 5 pounds on your back? Newer, light weight footwear can be targeted for hiking more then just a regular cross training or basketball shoe. A good example is the Moab. Much more hardcore hikers than I use Merrell's on the PCT, JMT, etc. Heavy ...


4

As others said, you don't need special equipment. Shoes: If you're going on sufficiently marked, easy short trails, you can even do it in bad shoes or barefoot. Our family, including my 6 year old has covered enough trails under 3 miles in Crocs. Having said that, I do most of my shorter hikes in running shoes, and longer ones (6+ hours) in hiking shoes. ...


4

I'll offer up my experiences. I spent a summer in the Sea of Cortez, in which the night time lows didn't go under 100f and the sea water temperature was above 90f for months. It was around 20 degrees latitude, and was extremely hot. In pure sun like that, you need to keep the sun off of your skin, period. You will be hot no matter what you do. There's no ...


4

I'll chime in from a fairly unique position with anecdotal evidence only. I feel like most of the advice you'll get is from experts that talk down to you condescendingly if you even mention the b-word. I'll describe my scenario and you can interpret it however you wish. I have been wearing minimalist 'barefoot' type shoes casually since probably earlier ...


4

The type of boot you want will depend greatly on what sort of hiking you are doing, both in terms of distance and terrain. Personal preference also plays a strong role. For day walks on decent paths you will probably be fine with a sturdy pair of trainers or running shoes. Whereas for longer routes over rougher terrain, a studier boot if probably better, as ...


4

Hiking isn't too different from walking, except that the terrain may be rougher (depending on the path) and navigation might be more difficult (again, depending on the path). I am in the northeastern U.S. and can tell you that most people already own the equipment to hike many of the most difficult all-day mountain trails in my region. You're not even ...


4

I keep a pair of loafers or Rockports at the office. That way I can wear whatever shoes are appropriate/comfortable for traveling to/from the office and switch once I get there. For me, hiking boots are what I wear in sloppy weather and running shoes are for when I run into work. A plastic trash bag is nice to have to put under the sloppy boots to keep from ...


4

Regarding energy expense, there is already a good answer. However, I want to add that when considering "Does a pound on your foot equal 5 pounds on your back?" there are more factors at play than just energy expense. You should also consider the effect on knees and joints. As an example - If I put 5 lb weights on both my feet and went up and down stairs ...


4

For a long time, there was a trend towards heavier shoes with more support. The logic was that it provided protection for your joints, and your anecdotal evidence suggests that it works. Bear with me for a moment, and permit me to take the argument to an unreasonable extreme. Encase you entire foot in a solid steel block, well up into the calf. Now you ...


4

How can I tell a “trail shoe” from a regular sport shoe? Subjective things like fit and comfort aside, I would look at the sole first and foremost. Does it slip on rock, gravel, wood, leaves? If not, then it'd make a pretty good trail shoe, I'd guess.


4

Trail shoes should be waterproof and the sole should be prepared for mud, remember that you will run on the mountain trails that can be wet, they should also be wider for more stability. Regular sport shoes are mostly made to run on tarmac, where the soil is usually dry and with no mud with less need for stability since tarmac is usually flat. Hiking shoes ...



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