I've just learned this past week that I have a spot on the World Race, a journey that will begin in October, send me through 5 continents, and return me to the states in August '09. Cool huh?
Naturally, like any of us would, I've shifted into gear mode. I need shoes--or a set of them--that will be reliable enough to last me the year and get me through a lot of different conditions and activities. I wanted to solicit the advice of this wise community.
So, here are the things I'll likely be doing, and bear with my lack of detail:
Building houses, painting things, doing demolition maybe. Walking around on urban surfaces, probably a lot.
Going through rainforest mud, desert sand, mountain rocks, maybe some snow. Sometimes with a pack on my back (up to ~30 lbs) and sometimes not.
Running around with kids. Playing field sports on grass and probably a bunch of different sports on hard-courts and/or concrete. Going to beaches, probably.
Going to church, or nice meals in public--stuff that doesn't really permit muddy trail shoes.
A pretty wide variety of stuff, right? I'd like to get it done as simply and efficiently as possible.
Here's my current lineup. These are shoes that I've tried and tested favorably, and that I currently either own or could quickly get new pairs:
1) Inov-8 Flyrocs
2) Salomon Tech Amphibs
3) Thrift store semi-presentable black skate shoes
The idea is that I can fill all my hiking needs with the Inov-8, all the miscellaneous working and playing needs with the Salomons, and wear the skate shoes in situations that need it.
Thanks for bearing with me through all that. I'm uncertain about a few things, like:
- will the inov-8s be durable enough for 11 months of intermittent hiking (sorry I can't be more specific with my estimate, all I know is that some destinations will be urban, others will be backcountry or mixed)
- will the salomons be durable enough to handle various movements on concrete-- like for soccer or basketball--all year long?
I know these questions are vague, but currently there's not a lot more information available to me than this. I guess I'm just asking you to consider the things I'll be doing and make your own best guesses. What would you take if you had as vague a picture as me? Would you go with a different combination? I've had a good (limited) experience with Montrails, and I know they're known for durability--should I go with them instead of the Inov-8s? I've heard good things about the Conti Divide, Hardrock, and Vitesse--which do you think is the most versatile? Are all highly durable? Would you take a different water shoe? Are the new generations of Salomon water shoes better, worse, or equal to the old Tech Amphibs? I won't take Chacos or Tevas or the like, please don't advise me for those--just not versatile enough in my eyes. Or, make a case that they are?
Do you think I can accomplish my goals with just 3 pairs of shoes? Any commentary in any direction is welcomed. I'd like to make the best, most educated decision I can. Thanks for your help friends!