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Trail Shoes
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john braun
(Hitman) - F

Locale: West Florida
Trail Shoes on 02/15/2009 18:38:54 MST Print View

Obviously, shoes are a matter of preference and more importantly comfort.

I'm just wondering if anyone has hiked the AT in plain running shoes.

I tried on a pair of Nike Air Peguses +25 running shoes that felt better on my feet that most shoes I've tried.

And what about Danner? I never see those mentioned here. I found a pair of Gortex low cut Danners that fit nice too.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"Trail Shoes" on 02/15/2009 18:41:43 MST Print View

I'm a long distance trail ruuner and backpacker. I have been using Salom XA comp for years and love them. Worth a look, they last forever, are super comfy, GTX, and have no laces. Ali

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
XA Comps on 02/15/2009 19:55:25 MST Print View

I have just started on my first pair of XA comps. So far not that impressed, but hopefully over time I will grow to love them. I currently find them just to narrow in the mid foot area. This is not helped by the lacing system, which seems like a classic case of form over function to me. They are known for breaking in the field and being difficult to repair without a replacement lace kit.The biggest weakness however is that you can,t vary the tightness along the length of the lace. With my old Hardrocks I used to have the lower section loose and then tight at the top (using a lacing system I can't describe in words:) to tighten them in at the heal to avoid rubbing here. why didn't I just get new Hardrocks - no stockist in the North Island of New Zealand !!

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
xa comps/lacing on 02/15/2009 20:08:43 MST Print View


they can be easily knotted to fix them if they break, actually

spectra cord is a good replacement in the field (or in general)

if they don't fit well, though, that's another matter - for my feet, they are nearly perfect: wide in the front, narrow in the back

you probably fit better in northface or certain new balance shoes, from your description (new balance has 2 lasts used for all their shoes - the roomier midfoot of some of their shoes would suit you well)

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: XA Comps on 02/15/2009 20:24:25 MST Print View

My XA 3D Pros had 400 miles of the JMT and AT on them plus a few months around campus before the kevlar laces broke. The rest of the shoes were pretty much done at that point anyways. I tied the laces back together and still use them to this day for around town errands.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Xa comps on 02/18/2009 02:40:24 MST Print View

Thanks everyone - it is good to know that field repair isn't impossible. The lacing system still seems less than optimal to me though. My feet, however, are beginning to like them a bit better, but a range of width fittings would have been nice. Overall I would still only give them a 2.5 out of 5, but hopefully over time we will grow to love each other - I think I am still missing my hardrocks.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Learning to love XA comps on 03/01/2009 18:02:47 MST Print View

Just used the XA Comps on a very easy three day hike - only about five hours a day. They performed very well and I am really growing to like them (even the lacing system). Back to the original question I think Ray Jardine did much of his PCT and App Trail stuff in plain runners.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Trail shoes on 03/01/2009 18:19:24 MST Print View

All depends on your feet. I've never had a Salomon in the right lenght not fit great. I've bought Hardrocks a couple of times, and those were some of the strangest feeling shoes I've ever tried on.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Trail shoes on 03/01/2009 18:43:42 MST Print View

Gotta say that my XA Pro's sucked...not even 150 miles before the laces broke, a sole began to delaminate, and my small toe poked through the mesh on one. At around 200 the mesh/padding around the inner ankles started coming apart/tearing. Total junk...I've had street running shoes last 2X this on the trail.

I currently like the Addidas Supernova Riot much current pair have 200+ miles of trail running on them and they're doing great.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Trail Shoes on 03/01/2009 19:24:09 MST Print View

I'm curious if anyone has hiked in street running shoes, too. I have a pair of el-super-cheapo new balance running shoes that feel wonderful. I may keep the model in mind for portions of the PCT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Trail Shoes on 03/01/2009 22:35:30 MST Print View

I've done tons of hiking/backpacking in street shoes.
If they're comfortable running I see no reason they wouldn't be on the trail.
The only drawback is that the tread is usually less aggressive and the toe doesn't have as much rubber.
On most trips this doesn't matter though.

Jason Priem
(jasonpriem) - F

Locale: Florida
Re: Trail Shoes on 03/02/2009 08:52:53 MST Print View

I don't have a ton of experience hiking in street runners, but for the most part I've had no problem. The main problem, of course, is the lack of grippy tread, but it's surprising how infrequently one actually slips because of this. It really depends on where you're hiking: street shoes are actually more grippy if you're going to be on rock slabs a lot, since more of the sole is actually in contact with the rock. On steep clay trails, on the other hand (say, the north GA Appalachians) some toothier tread is pretty handy.