67

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 ...


39

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. ...


38

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, ...


24

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 ...


22

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 crampons ...


20

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 per ...


20

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 ...


19

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 ...


19

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, ...


18

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 ...


16

I climb barefoot and 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, ...


15

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 ...


15

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.; ...


15

Aglets, shoelaces being easy to find and in the right lengths, the smooth exterior and if you have the right kind, the ease of tying and staying in their knots. As a hobby knot tyer, (and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers) I use mountain boot laces to try out the knots I am working with, rather than paracord. On the other hand, I know enough ...


14

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

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 ...


14

Like Russell said, gaiters are what you need, there are many varieties, most are meant to help keep your feet and pants dry while moving through the bush, but in your situation I'd probably recommend a pair of trail running gaiters: They're built exclusively for keeping sand, dirt, and rocks out of your shoes, and they're pretty stylish, which is apparently ...


13

Because you want to increase your chances of contracting nail fungus or athlete's foot from your rental shoes :) In other words, it's probably better to keep the socks on if you're renting shoes.


13

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 ...


13

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 some....


13

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 ...


12

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 time ...


12

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 ...


12

I guess the answer really is It depends As a general purpose solution I normally bring sturdy trekking/hiking sandals on my trips. Something like the models from Teva for example (many pictures on Google). I specifically look for models with have sturdy rubber soles with good profiles, and which come with velcro straps that I can fasten/adjust quickly and ...


12

While it's a very personal thing, there are a few simple guidelines for trying on boots. Go late in the day, when you've been walking around, and your feet are already sweaty and swollen. Your feet will naturally go up a size when active, and this represents your default when hiking. Boots tested in the morning with fresh feet will suddenly seem too small ...


11

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.


11

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.


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