Forum Index » GEAR » wp/b shoes -- recommendations?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
wp/b shoes -- recommendations? on 02/18/2009 21:42:46 MST Print View

I'm looking for recommendations on wp/b trail shoes.

I'm aware of the arguments against these type of shoes, but I still believe they have their place (ie. in the right conditions). Anyway, I don't really want to get into a discussion of wp/b vs goretex socks vs completely breathable shoes.

What I *am* looking for is recommendations for lightweight shoes with XCR. I'd prefer low cut (like a normal jogging shoe) and would like something that doesn't let me feel every stone underfoot. Lightweight is good, but I hate a thin sole.

So far I've got the New Balance 1110GT (from Roger's spotlite review) and the inov8 318 GTX. Any other suggestions? Or comments on those possibilities? Thanks!

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
wp/b shoes -- recommendations? on 02/18/2009 22:36:54 MST Print View

I have these Merrells and they are a good quality shoe. They have Vibram soles that are great on rocky terrain.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"wp/b shoes -- recommendations?" on 02/18/2009 22:42:51 MST Print View

Ashley, there is absolutely no such thing as 100% waterproof and 100% breathable. You will have to find a boot that meets a compromise of these two characteristics according to your need. Gore-tex is OK I guess, but definitely not all that breathable, and is very heavy, resulting in a clunky boot.

-Evan

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: "wp/b shoes -- recommendations?" on 02/18/2009 22:51:24 MST Print View

Thanks Evan. As I mentioned in my post, I'm aware of the pros and cons. And the fact that a gore-tex lining can add 3 ounces or so to a shoe. I've owned a number of gore-tex lined shoes before, but these days mostly usually use an unlined trail runner.

I'm just after suggestions for shoes that people reckon are worth checking out. Shoes are a personal thing and you will never know until you try them for yourself, but I think other people's recommendations are a useful place to start.

Cheers, A

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: wp/b shoes -- recommendations? on 02/18/2009 22:51:58 MST Print View

Cool, thanks Mike. I am checking them out...

Misfit Mystic
(cooldrip)

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: wp/b shoe recommendations on 02/18/2009 22:52:18 MST Print View

Hi Ashley, I've had great success with the Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR. I really like the stretch-gusset tongue, I am so accustomed to it that traditional tongue designs are kinda weird now. Good underfoot protection, and it doesn't have lots of extraneous trim, the seams of which always seem to rub me wrong. Light woven upper material, but it's super tough. Also a good heel counter and toe bumper. One thing I find disconcerting about Inov-8 shoes are the soft heel counters; some people love this "slipper" feel however.

Most importantly, the shoe that fits best wins. For me, that's Montrail, but you gotta wear 'em!

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: RE: wp/b shoe recommendations on 02/18/2009 23:02:25 MST Print View

Oh yes Scott, I did come across the Montrails at some stage! I'll add them to the list for consideration, thanks. I like the fact that there's not much trim on it... I find the same as you, that it can press on my foot in annoying ways in some places.

Mike, the only thing I don't like about the Merrell's is that they have the nubuck leather bits on it. Not a big fan of having any leather on the shoe because it impedes breathability and absorbs water. Also I've had problems in the past with pressure from bending leather (perhaps my foot bends in a strange way). Mesh and fabric is just much more flexy! Thanks for the suggestion though!

Edited by ashleyb on 02/18/2009 23:04:17 MST.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: "wp/b shoes -- recommendations?" on 02/18/2009 23:41:31 MST Print View

Ashley, I used the Innov8 390 all last winter with great success. It's not a low-cut shoe, but I found 3/4 height to be more compatible with gaiters and the sole was sturdy enough to ward off sharp rocks. Happy trails!

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: "wp/b shoes -- recommendations?" on 02/18/2009 23:56:24 MST Print View

Ok I'll have another look at them thanks Monty.

Does anyone know what the main difference is meant to be between the Inov8 318-GTX and the 345-GTX?

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
wp/b shoes -- recommendations on 02/19/2009 00:24:14 MST Print View

Ashley -

Merrell calls the nubuck leather "Waterproof Dura Leather" whatever that is, so I don't think you have to worry about it soaking up water. It looks more like suede and is actually quite soft. The shoes dry quickly because they are mostly mesh and very comfortable.

I have two pairs of these shoes, one with and the other without gortex. I prefer the non-gortex model for all of the reason that you don't want to hear on this thread.

I wouldn't write them off without checking them out, I have hard to please feet and hike on rocky terrain and these have been the best shoes I've ever worn. The Vibram soles make the shoes a bit heavy but if you want the protection, that's the price you pay.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: wp/b shoes -- recommendations on 02/19/2009 00:38:20 MST Print View

OK Mike, with that in mind I will give them more consideration =-)

I'm not planning on wearing this as a summer hiking shoe. It's for late autumn in Europe where I don't want to deal with wet, cold feet. I won't be walking through streams (so no danger of overflow). I just don't like getting wet feet from half an hour of rain, or simply wet grass. My feet/socks get soaked in sweat even in breathable mesh jogging shoes, so wp/b shoes aren't much worse (the extra heat doesn't bother me). I just change my socks over every couple of hours (hang the other pair on my pack to dry out).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: wp/b shoes -- recommendations on 02/19/2009 02:34:00 MST Print View

> Merrell calls the nubuck leather "Waterproof Dura Leather"

Seriously consider giving up on all shoes with any leather in them. It gets wet, regardless, holds a lot of water, and cracks when it dries.

Yes, I know 'they' claim wonderful things for the new leather treatments. Field testing shows otherwise.

Cheers

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: wp/b shoes -- recommendations on 02/19/2009 06:21:55 MST Print View

> Seriously consider giving up on all shoes with any leather in them. It gets wet, regardless, holds a lot of water, and cracks when it dries.

100% agreement. For some reason shoe companies love to try to incorporate leather into shoe designs. I guess it comes from the public attachment to the venerable icon of backpacking- the heavyweight leather waffle stomper.

Shoe companies- please stop! Or at least give fair share to synthetics. Please manufacture a few mid or high cut synthetic, mesh-based trail boots...without GTX!

Ashley, sorry for the thread hijack...to your question, I don't have recent experience with any particular make & model but definitely get one with a full gusset tongue. I've seen plenty (most?) GTX trail runners without this feature...to me that seems to be a very counterproductive design element.

Robert Devereux
(robdev) - F

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: wp/b shoes on 02/19/2009 07:49:36 MST Print View

I had a pair of Keen Targhees, and they turned me off for WP/B shoes. Way too hot. I'd recommend avoiding them.

If I wanted wp/b shoes, I'd try Inov-8. The 318 has more cushioning than the 345. They have different shanks as well. I like less cushioning, so I'd probably go with the 345.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: wp/b shoes -- recommendations on 02/19/2009 09:23:06 MST Print View

Roger, Roger, Roger... where did the science go!? ;P

As you know, I've done a fair bit of canoe tripping. All of it has been with leather boots. Lots and lots of walking in rivers, jumping out in water at portages, etc. Years of doing so in multiple boots. No cracking or other destruction of the leather from all that abuse. They do smell funky after walking through swamp water. But I think synthetics would, too. They don't dry quickly, but then any lined shoe or boot seems to take forever to dry regardless. My favorite waterproof footwear is just a solid leather unlined boot. Keeps me dry, breathes great.

Of course, I am making the switch to Hard Rocks now...

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Re: wp/b shoes -- recommendations on 02/19/2009 17:48:24 MST Print View

definitely get one with a full gusset tongue

Good bit of advice Russell! Although I've had GTX boots before (which all tend to have a gusset tongue) but I haven't had low-cut GTX runners. I'll be sure to check that out before buying. Cheers, A.

Edited by ashleyb on 02/19/2009 17:48:57 MST.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: wp/b shoes on 02/19/2009 17:49:34 MST Print View

Thanks for the info on 318 vs 345 Robert.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Leather? on 02/20/2009 00:51:57 MST Print View

>> Seriously consider giving up on all shoes with any leather in them. It gets wet, regardless, holds a lot of water, and cracks when it dries. <<

Roger -

I'm surprised to see this comment on a light weight backpacking forum. I know this was true with the full grain leather hiking boots I wore 20 years ago but we are talking modern light weight trail shoes here.

The trail shoes I wear are a leather/mesh shoe. The leather in my shoes replaces the plastic structure that is used in the plastic/mesh shoes that most manufacturers make today. The plastic/nylon shoes worn by light weight backpackers are shot after a season or two... long before a leather shoe would crack and fail.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Leather? on 02/20/2009 15:28:36 MST Print View

Hi Mike

Funny you should mention that. In fact, the full grain leather handles the water much better than the nubuck leather. To understand why we need to understand what the jargon words mean.

Full grain: this just means the normal leather off the surface of an animal. It has a smooth water-shedding surface due to its nature and what the animal needs from its skin.

Nubuck: this is usually a split leather. It's a layer sliced off the inside of the full grain hide. This process leaves the leather manufacturer with a thinner surface layer, which is what the market wants. The excess is given a fancy name like nubuck and sold as well. It used to be called suede.

Now let's look at the physiology of the animal whose hide it once was. It needed a smooth waterproof surface on the outside all right. But on the inside surface of its hide it did not need a smooth water-shedding surface. All it needed was a looser layer of collagen and so on to support the surface. So this inner layer is NOT as waterproof or as strong as the outer surface layer.

So what do many shoe makers use on the outside of their shoes? Expensive full grain leather - or the cheaper inner suede layer? If making leather boots they have no choice: nubuck would stretch immediately and be unusable. But on joggers nubuck can be layered over a non-stretch synthetic fabric as a dress trim layer. All it has to do is resist abrasion, which it can do.

Make no mistake: under the suede or nubuck outer trim on joggers there is a strong non-stretch structural layer of synthetic fabric. The leather does NOT replace anything structural in such shoes: it is a trim.

Your statement that most shoes will wear out before the leather cracks and fails is usually true in dry conditions. But when the shoes are used in continuously wet conditions it is not true. I have had too many shoes with leather trim which failed this way. Repeated wetting out and drying rips any treatment out of the leather, which then goes hard when it dries and cracks.

An additional problem with the leather trim layers is that after a while they absorb water. This adds a fair bit of weight and takes a long time to dry out. Joggers with leather trim end up much heavier than purely synthetic joggers. Not what I want on my feet.

Just because leather is a good skin for a cow does not mean it is the best thing for human footwear. It might have been, several hundred or thousand years ago, but not today. Just as cotton and kapok have been replaced by better things.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 02/20/2009 15:31:33 MST.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Leather? on 02/20/2009 15:54:56 MST Print View

I just throw out a pair of NB WP/B "hiking shoes" that were a combination of Nubuk and Mesh (cordura), and less then 6 months old.
I purchased them to wear in the winter at my job sites. I live in Seattle and it get a little wet in the winter here and on open jobs sites my shoes are always wet (supposedly only on the outside), that is why I want a WP/B shoe
The NB split right behind my big toe, between the sole and the laces. Only in the Nubuck!
I decided to investigate, so I dug into the shoe around the split- the Nubuck was just a thin piece of flimzy "leather" stuck to something else- but the Nubuck split first.
Rogers explaintion is exactly what I found.