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Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match
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Nathanial Eady
(DaGreekPacker) - F

Locale: California's Central Coast
Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match on 07/01/2008 19:50:41 MDT Print View

I finally made the jump from Light and Fast packing to UL. Hoping the reduction in weight can allow me to ditch my mid-weight boots (Vasque Breezes w/ superfeet insole) and go with either a much lighter boot or trail running shoes. Heard good things about Inov8's, except they wear out quickly. Any recommendations? I weigh about 220lbs and would be carrying and additional 15lbs

JR Redding
(GrinchMT) - F
Re: Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match on 07/01/2008 22:37:54 MDT Print View

I've worn Vasque Breeze and switched this year to GoLite SunDragon trail runners. You can see a review I did in the Reader Reviews section.


Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
"Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match" Inov-8 on 07/02/2008 03:52:25 MDT Print View

Inov-8 lead the way IMO. I have 2 pair. Just don't expect 800 grams of support or durability from a 400 gram shoe. The 390 boots are more like a waterproof hi-top sneaker with good grip. Don't wear them at home and they will last for hundreds of trail miles. And, for light trail use they are fine.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Trail Runners on 07/02/2008 04:40:17 MDT Print View

I wear Nike Pegasus trail runners myself. I tried the GoLites as well as a couple of Inov8 models (I really wanted the Inov8s to work) but neither fit well. I'm on my 2nd pair of Nikes after wearing out the midsoles on the first pair (250-300 miles).

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
How Big? on 07/02/2008 08:47:19 MDT Print View

Take foot width into account when choosing a shoe. I was in love with the Inov-8s, but they run too narrow for me. I have wide feet, and wear an orthodic, so finding the correct width is critical.

I currently wear a Montrail Streak. It's wide enough, and has TONS of mesh, which helps with breathing and a more forgiving fit for wide feet.

Buy something that fits, you'll be stuck with them for miles! It can turn a nice 13-mile day into a hellacious endeavor.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match on 07/02/2008 08:48:34 MDT Print View

any quality trail runner that fits.

I'm currently burning through a few pairs of Montrail Hardrocks, but have also used La Sportiva Exum Ridges (4 pairs...), New Balance 804 and 805s, Merrell Goretex (bad idea.....)

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Inov-8 Terroc 330 on 07/02/2008 10:14:50 MDT Print View

I own the Terroc 330, weigh 215#, carry ~ 10-12# base wt, have about 150 trail-only miles on them and am very pleased. Still lots of wear left, no failures. I wear very thin synthetic socks and wade through streams and swamps without slowing down. Once I'm moving on dry ground my feet dry out completely in a couple of hours. I do not run in them. While they offer less material between you and the ground my feet are pleasantly sore after a days tramp, as they would be in any shoe after 15+ miles. I'm always ready to go the next morning. Don't know what others experience but I like em.

Patrick Baker
(WildMan) - F
UL Shoes on 07/02/2008 10:19:21 MDT Print View

Not UL but trail runners none the less:

and if Vasque works for you so far ...

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match on 07/02/2008 10:42:31 MDT Print View

Consider two things (besides fit) when looking for shoes.

While lightweight is definitely good, it's not the bottom line. Otherwise, we would all be wearing only socks while hiking.

What are the conditions of the trails where you hike? Are they flat and smooth or are they mountainous and rocky? I hike mostly in the mountains of New England where some of the roughest trails I've ever seen are located. I personally need a shoe with some substance for both support and protection there. However, socks alone are fine on my carpetted bedroom floor!

What condition are your feet in? Do you work outside and hike every weekend and take a longer trek 3 or 4 times a year? Or, do you sit behind a desk 5 days a week (while dreaming about hiking) and only occasionally get away from family and other responsibilities on the weekends to hike? The answer to the above will tell you how well your feet and ankle muscle structure is adapted to hiking and indicate how much support and protection you may need.

Unfortunately, I fit closer to the dreamer behind the desk but when I do get out, it's to rugged trails. So, for my personal situation, I have found that Montrail Hardrocks, with Green Superfeet insoles, work best for me. They are somewhat lightweight while being substantial enough for me.

Edited by mad777 on 07/02/2008 10:43:41 MDT.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match on 07/02/2008 11:31:40 MDT Print View

Hi Nathanial! I have the Inov8 370 and 390 and couldn't be more pleased with them. But as Michael mentioned above, their use is determined by the conditions I expect to encounter. For instance, since I would compare the "feel" of these shoes to be more akin to moccasins, which means very comfy on maintained trails, I leave them at home when I plan on doing a lot bushwhacking because they don't have much torsional rigidity. The lightweight shoe of choice for that kind of hiking would be the Montrail Namche. The "feel" of that shoe is like a mesh sneaker mounted on a boot sole, which means sufficient rigidity (torsional, lateral, longitudinal) for off-trail, and it weighs only about 3 oz more than the 370. All three of these shoes are mid-height, which I prefer for ankle support, so they are slightly heavier than trail runners.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Another Inov8 Convert on 07/02/2008 12:04:21 MDT Print View

I bought a pair of the Roclite 295's several months ago as an impulse purchase. They have been just incredible. Like others have said it is like wearing a pair of slippers. The first few outings you may notice some ankle or lower leg aches, but once you get used to them the advantages they provide are simply amazing. The trail feel that they provide gives me amazing confidence to navigate super tough terrain. While I would have though my feet would suffer on long days without cushion and pronation control, I found the exact opposite. On my first major outing in them I did a 19 mile day through deep stream crossings, rotten snow at higher elevations and then 3 miles of old rail road bed ties. My feet at the end of the day were no different than if I had my super cushioned Montrail Vitesse's on.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Another Inov8 Convert on 07/02/2008 13:56:21 MDT Print View

my super cushioned Montrail Vitesse's on.

Jonathan, you are hardcore if Vitesse's are super cushioned for you!

But having said that, I stumbled on a pair of Inov8's my size (318GTX??) that had been returned to REI ... they were comfortable from day one and have remained so.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Another Inov8 Convert on 07/02/2008 14:07:18 MDT Print View

touché Jim :) but in comp to the Inov8 models, the Vitesse's feel like floating on a cloud. But you are right, they are nothing like the cuchioning in a pair of Hardrocks.

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Another Inov8 Convert on 07/02/2008 15:14:33 MDT Print View

I've had a pair of Flyroc 310's for about a year, and they've become my favorite shoes since my New Balance 907's suddenly started creating blisters when they never have before (feet changing in size, perhaps). Narrow heel and wide toebox is my recipe for good fit (Salomon trailrunners usually fit me quite well, too). I've put em through most of the possible paces, but this weekend I'm heading to the Sierra Nevada (Castle Peak) with a 30-lb total loudout at the trailhead (mostly food for two, base packweight 12.5 lbs.) to see how they do under heavier loads...under 20 lbs. of total weight, they've been great!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Converted to Ultralight Gear, Need Shoes to Match on 07/02/2008 17:18:43 MDT Print View

I'll second Monty's opinion. I use the 390's for snowshoeing and early season trail hikes but, for anything goes dayhikes or extended backcountry trips where I know I'll likely be off trail as much as on, the Namches are my "go to" shoes for the same reasons Monty mentions. Plus the appetite suppressing effect of that gawd awful celery color means I can carry less food. ;>)

Nathanial Eady
(DaGreekPacker) - F

Locale: California's Central Coast
Found Some Namches on Sale and Bought Em on 07/03/2008 00:54:19 MDT Print View

Thanks for the help guys, after reviewing all the posts I decided to pick up a dirt cheap pair of Namches (50 bucks on STP) and give em a try. Bushwacking is definetly required in my neck of the woods so they seemed appropriate. I ordered them a full size large, seemed to be the common theme in the user reviews.

If they dont work out on the trail I can at least use them to dress my feet up as a puddle of puke for Halloween. uguhguhgghu...Celery isn't a color, its a waste of fiber.