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Shoes/trail runners on wet rocks
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Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Shoes/trail runners on wet rocks on 08/11/2009 07:22:17 MDT Print View

I spend a lot of days hiking in the Shawnee State Forest here in Ohio. Much of the trail is underwater these days, and the rocks are made even more slippery by a patina of green slime.

My Hardrocks are pretty good on most surfaces but not quite adequate on wet rocks, and all the rocks are wet at Shawnee.

I have a pair of Hurricane Ridges that are pretty good, but they are a bit heavy for my tastes, and their Gortex exteriors hold in the water for days after they get wet. The water always seems to be above the ankle at Shawnee.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Stargazer

Edited by nerdboy52 on 08/11/2009 07:24:39 MDT.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Shoes/trail runners on wet rocks on 08/11/2009 08:00:09 MDT Print View

Maybe check out the inov-8 mudclaw? I bought them & didn't like the feel of the actual shoe (not very cushy but seem like they'd have great drainage) so I can't really vouch for them... but man, the traction on those things cannot be beat.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
tough call on 08/11/2009 08:01:42 MDT Print View

well tom, i just slow down a bit when dealing w/ mossy/wet rocks. i, too, usually wear montrail hardrocks, and you're right, they're not the best for wet/mossy rocks. however the problem with that is you need gummy, soft soles to climb that type of terrain well, and those shoes don't last very long backpacking b/c of the soft and gummy treads

Edited by StainlessSteel on 08/11/2009 08:02:37 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: tough call on 08/11/2009 09:01:38 MDT Print View

I'm a big fan of the Inov8 330's.
They stick. They grip. Dry or Wet.

They also wear pretty fast for me.
I destroyed the soles in under 200 miles on the JMT.

After getting bloody shins from sliding off a low angle rock in a pair of Hardrocks I really appreciate the 330's.

But 40 cents a mile is a little expensive for trail rubber.

I am still looking for a good long-wearing shoe.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Re: Re: tough call on 08/11/2009 09:19:59 MDT Print View

I would be quite happy with a pair of the Inov8's! However, the nearest dealer is several states away, and thus I would have to order them via the Internet. I've noticed that my shoe size varies wildly from show to shoe. Any advice about Inov8 sizing?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: tough call on 08/11/2009 09:28:48 MDT Print View

Here in Japan for sawanobori (mountain stream climbing) people strap on straw sandals called waraji, that stick really well to all sorts of surfaces.You could strap some or something like it onto your existing shoes every time you come to a submerged part of the trail.Just a thought. Very cheap and light.

Edited by butuki on 08/11/2009 09:30:10 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: tough call on 08/11/2009 09:29:30 MDT Print View

Thomas,
I'm a 10.5 in Inova8, Salomon, Montrail, and Merrill.
I replace the generic footbeds with "thin/gray" SuperFeet.

I have a 'B' width foot and find the Inov8 wider that the Salomon XA Pro and narrower than a Montrail Hardrock.

The extra width up front makes for a very comfortable fit on long days.

Running Warehouse and others offer free shipping and free return (Return Shipping Label included in the box). Just keep them on the carpet, neat and clean, all tags, etc.

Edited by greg23 on 08/11/2009 09:31:38 MDT.

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
Shoes/trail runners on wet rocks on 08/11/2009 11:03:28 MDT Print View

As a fell runner in the UK for nearly 20 years I've spend a long time trying to find the best shoe... and for me the best grip on wet rock is the Walsh; I've put a link to a shop that sells them only because I don't think Walsh have their own site...

http://upandrunning.co.uk/websales/detail.php?id=179&catid=1

These shoes are very old fashioned and until the innov8 shoes came along they had no competition. I'm still of the opinion that sole/rubber wise these are the best for wet rock.

I'm not sure which innov8 shoes has the softest/stickiest sole, but that's the one I'd go for for wet rock.

And sizing is always tricky with fell shoes - if you'll be doing some steep descending, especially at speed, then the extra inch at the toes is vital!

Edited by sewing_machine on 08/11/2009 11:04:55 MDT.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Shoes/trail runners on wet rocks on 08/11/2009 11:25:20 MDT Print View

Take a look at various Inov8 models. If you are purely running shorter distances the Mudroc's would work well, but if you are hiking something like the Roclite 295 would be great (just be aware they only lasted me 200 or so miles, but oh what a great 200 miles it was)...

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Re: Re: tough call on 08/11/2009 13:00:34 MDT Print View

>Here in Japan for sawanobori (mountain stream climbing) people strap on straw sandals called waraji, that stick really well to all sorts of surfaces.

You know, you have to admire a culture that has a specific term for "mountain stream climbing," which, BTW, perfectly captures the walk at Shawnee State Forest in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

I therefore must own a pair of these wonderful waraji. Are there sources in the USA or on the Internet?

Stargazer/ Tom

John Schafer
(jdshiker) - F
5.10 Savant - maybe? on 08/11/2009 14:59:47 MDT Print View

Looks like they might work for this, but unfortunately they didn't fit my feet so I don't have any direct experience with them.

Here's a thread with more info:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/11891/index.html?skip_to_post=112238#112238

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: 5.10 Savant - maybe? on 08/11/2009 18:17:15 MDT Print View

This year 5.10 came out with a lighter shoe (Runamuck) that still uses the same S1 rubber (very high friction on wet rocks) as the Savant. The size 11.5 shoes I weighed varied between 13.25 and 13.70 oz per shoe. Like the Savant's, the last is optimized for normal to wide feet.

Edited by richard295 on 08/17/2009 07:49:33 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: 5.10 Savant - maybe? on 08/11/2009 18:44:47 MDT Print View

Richard,
Got enough miles on them to comment on lifespan?

Thanks.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: 5.10 Savant - maybe? on 08/11/2009 23:14:48 MDT Print View

Greg,

I got two seasons (packrafting/backpacking) out of my Savants before I had to coat part of the mesh with Seam Seal to prevent foot flex cracks from extending. I anticipate at least one more season on them.

I bought a pair of the lighter Runamuck's recently for a long backpacking/packrafting trip planned for Alaska next year. I won't know about their durability until the trip is over.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Thanks! on 08/12/2009 07:39:03 MDT Print View

Well, I split the difference and ordered both the Runamucks and the Mudclaws. I'll be using them only for my wet-rock hikes at Shawnee, so they should last a while. The Hardrocks are really pretty good under most other circumstances.

Many thanks,

Stargazer

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
leery of shoes with aggressive traction on 08/12/2009 10:17:31 MDT Print View

My experience with Golite shoes suggests that a shoe that has aggressive traction (deep lugs) might actually be very bad on wet rocks. One of the downsides of my Golite Sun Dragon's is that the relatively sparse and deep lugs mean that the effective surface contact area of the shoe is reduced. The result is that I'm just more careful walking on wet logs, wet rocks, wet smooth pavement, icy terrain, etc.

Maybe the Innov8 mudclaws also have *stickier* rubber and that's the difference (?). If so, would it remain so during the (sounds like possibly limited) lifetime of the shoe?

This stuff is so hard to get right, trying to optimize various different factors in a single shoe!

Edited by brianle on 08/12/2009 10:18:12 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Thanks! on 08/12/2009 12:20:26 MDT Print View

Thomas,

Please post a comparison of these two shoe types after you test them on wet rocks.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Will do on 08/12/2009 12:34:07 MDT Print View

Glad to do it. I'll be walking this weekend, and I'll take the weight penalty to provide some sort of comparison.

Stargazer

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Vibram Five Fingers on 08/13/2009 05:19:04 MDT Print View

One thing I forgot to mention:

For the last 12 miles of my last hike at Shawnee, I switched to a pair of Vibram Five Fingers (toe shoes, if you've never seen them) I had along as camp shoes. They have no tread at all -- just a very thin but tough layer of rubber between you and the ground. They weren't so good on steep, loose-gravel ascents and descents (a lot of these at Shawnee) but superb on the wet rocks and more than adequate on other surfaces like packed dirt. (I think they were probably designed originally as scuba shoes. The KSO ("Keep Stuff Out") version even provides some front-of-toe protection and a thin layer of stretchy cloth on the upper foot.

They provided a nice walk for a dozen miles. I wouldn't through-hike the AT with them, but they are definitely okay for a weekend stroll if you don't need a lot of arch support. It's about as close to barefoot hiking as I plan to get. Of course, it helped that I was carrying only 11.5 pounds on my back for the three-day hike. A thirty-pound pack would definitely overwhelm the shoe.

Stargazer

Edited by nerdboy52 on 08/13/2009 05:22:27 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : shoes/trail runners on wet rocks on 08/13/2009 13:09:49 MDT Print View

I like the look of those 5:10 Runamucks. Anyone know of a store that will ship them to the UK? 5:10 charge $55 to ship international!