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 ...


55

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 ...


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, ...


31

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 ...


24

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 ...


23

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 ...


21

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

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 ...


20

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 ...


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 ...


18

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 ...


17

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 ...


16

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 (Pacific Crest Trail), partially because my feet grew 2 sizes and I didn't realize that was why I was suddenly getting blisters ...


16

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 neoprene ...


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

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 ...


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

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!


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

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 ...


13

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.


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