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36

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, ...


20

I am not sure about the being able to feel more, but the most important reason I don't use socks is to avoid the rock boot sliding on my foot. If you are on a marginal grip using just the edge of your sole, you don't want the boot to move at all. This is also one of the reasons that rock boots for more experienced climbers are much more rigid than those ...


20

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. 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 Footwear. It would be worth reading ...


18

First, prevention is going to give you the best bang for your buck. Make sure your shoes dry properly between uses by hanging them out, and not keeping them in a bag/trunk/confined space. During your climbing session, it's a good idea to take your shoes off between climbs, or at least once in a while to let them dry out some. For odor control, I find that ...


18

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 ...


15

I would say that this guy at the hut was plain wrong. As far as I'm concerned, the working principle of the Gore-Tex membrane is gradient-driven. That means, the membrane itself (if you consider only the membrane and ignore the layers it is sandwitched in) does not have any physical or chemical preference to transport moisture into a certain direction. ...


14

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, ...


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 ...


13

I use boot bananas to tame the stench! http://www.bananafingers.co.uk/boot-bananas-p-1654.html Update 26 Nov 2015: I am still using the same bananas I had bought recently to this first post. I think I am on my 3rd pair of climbing shoes and I have not been bothered by the smell of any of them since. Great long lasting product.


13

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 ...


12

The whole topic of sports equipment, sports health, and sports injuries is one in which the scientific quality of most of the information tends to be extremely poor. However, there is a group at Harvard that does research on barefoot running, and they have a web page with a lot of good information on it. As far as I've seen from browsing through their ...


12

Yes, shoe size plays a role which is quite important. But for beginners I would suggest to think more about foot technique than caring about the best possible gear. For climbing shoe sizes I give the following simple hints: choose the shoes as small as possible choose shoes which aren't causing ache of the foot/toes/nail/heel climbing rubber shoes will ...


11

I have used both the Pro version of YakTrax as well as the normal version that lacks the velcro strap across the forefoot. They are amazingly well engineered, durable and perform as advertised. On ice, hard snow and frozen trails, they provide excellent footing. Of course - if you are walking on a dry smooth surface like marble or stone, the grip isn't as ...


11

I use 2 sided foam tape and hardly notice them at all. The good thing is that it keeps the insoles put yet is pretty easy to remove when the insoles need changing. They leave some traces, but not enough to cause me to look for alternatives!


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 ...


11

I've been bouldering outdoors for a couple years now and let me ask you this question in return: Why wear socks in your climbing shoes? What is the possible benefit to wearing socks? Try it. Your shoes will still stink, I guarantee. Your feet run the risk of slipping around in your climbing shoes. And if you buy tight, aggressive shoes, the fit will go all ...


10

Aggressive Climbing shoes are often also referred to as Cambered. The Arch of the foot and/or the toe point downward. Non-aggressive shoes have a flat bottom. Images compliments of rei.com. Some people will use the term aggressive to mean tighter as well, but I have seen that to be less common. You want your shoes to be crazy tight, regardless of their ...


10

I recently purchased a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes and they are great. I went with the Microspikes over the Yaktracks because all of the reviews I read online said the Yatracks break pretty easily. But I'm very happy with my Microspikes. I got them for hiking mixed terrain where it's part snow, part ice, part rock, and they fit the bill perfectly. They ...


10

The minimal set is one pair of versatile shoes. Although as you've seen, there's a confusing array of options, you can think of shoes for the outdoors as mostly falling on a spectrum from light (minimalist trail running shoes) to heavy (full-leather backpacking boots). REI has a great rundown of the types online here. Where you go on that spectrum is ...


10

Here are some features to keep in mind when buying climbing shoes once you're past the beginner phase: Downturned: Most beginner shoes are pretty flat, which are fine for mainly vertical walls. However, as you climb harder stuff on overhanging walls, it's helpful to have downturned shoes for maintaining a hook-like foot shape. This allows you to hook your ...


9

Too much toe room is only a problem if you have too much movement in the shoe due to the size. That can cause blisters. If you have to have a bigger toe box, then a larger shoe could be a good solution along with something like a heel lock lace to help prevent excess movement of your foot in the shoe.


9

Ben Crowell already answered the "why minimalist" angle better than I could have, but he didn't specifically talk about Vibram FiveFingers (hereafter VFF). This is intended to complement his answer. Generic pros of minimalist footware Little or no heel drop. As with other (true) "minimalist" footwear the VFF have little or no heel drop. This works with ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

I climb in vibram five-fingers (KSO's), climbed in them for the first time in 2008 and loved them, where they excel is in roofs and overhanging problems because you can hook holds a lot easier with your toes, but for tougher wall climbing with small features (5.11+) I still use climbing shoes. There are some gyms that allow climbing barefoot, but for the ...


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 ...


8

You can do most one-day trails with a pair of sneakers. It's much more comfortable, than any type of "hiking boots". And also much lighter (you spend less energy lifting it up many thousand times a day), and more blister-proof. IMO, there are three situations, when you need something heavier: Hard terrain: rocks, snow, ice Low temperatures Heavy backpack ...


8

Consider whether you really need to have dry shoes before going thru all the trouble. In the winter, wet footwear can be a serious problem. However, when it's warm out there is really no danger from wet shoes. The only issue may be that you simply don't like the feel of it. In situations where its warm enough and there is no real danger from wet shoes, ...


8

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 ...



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