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40

The main use is pulling your shoes on, this is particularly obvious in rock climbing shoes that will often have multiple loops so you can really yank on them. Alternatively this can be used as an attachment point. From James Jenkins in the comments below - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping "Tall boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a ...


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, ...


33

There are a number of studies cited in this forum thread. Subjects were filmed at 60 Hz while on an inversion platform that suddenly inverted the right ankle 35 degrees . We measured 5 trials of sudden inversion for each subject in high-top and low-top shoes. [...] RESULTS: The high-top shoes significantly reduced the amount and rate of inversion. The ...


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 ...


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 ...


20

Since you asked for actual studies, I think a study on general ankle support in sports will be helpful (It focuses on basketball and volleyball, but has also some generic information that might be useful): Here is a study on ankle support in general. One should note that hiking does not seem to be affected by that much ankle injuries in general, as ...


19

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 ...


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, ...


17

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 ...


16

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. ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


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

Carrying. The sling makes it easy to attach the shoe/boot to a backpack or something else. (For me, this is the main point.) For example, you can clip your approach shoes to your climbing harness (or your pack, if you carry one) if you plan to descend after a multi-pitch route instead of abseiling. Or you might want to take off your shoes and switch to a ...


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

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 ...


13

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, ...


12

First, I always have at least one shoe lace in my first aid kit (I know, not the most usual place, but I never forget it and it only needs a very small space). Also some piece of washing line (e.g. for drying clothes) can be used. If you don't have one of those and the shoe lace has broken on multiple places, you can cut the other shoe lace and use half of ...


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 ...


11

There's a number of options for dealing with such an issue, each can be appropriate depending on the situation in hand. The wonders of paracord can come to the rescue if you have some on hand (and if not, why not!) It's usually a bit thicker than shoelaces but can squeeze through the holes and do the job surprisingly well. Depending on the length of the ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

The question has the tag "mountaineering," but most of the time when I hear people say that you need boots with ankle support, they're actually talking about trail-walking. The cases of hiking and mountaineering are qualitatively different. For mountaineering, one big reason people usually don't use lightweight running shoes is that often there is talus, ...


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

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 ...


9

Maybe? It may depend on where you're getting the blisters. A lot of the blisters that I get from hiking boots are on my heels, or on the sides of my toes. I don't think that barefoot walking would help build calluses in those places. If you want to walk barefoot, go ahead an experiment with that. But I'd also look at the general advice for avoid ...


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