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Are hiking boots really needed?
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Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Are hiking boots really needed? on 10/30/2009 09:59:06 MDT Print View

> obviously this is geographically specific. 4 feet of snow and -40C in the winter where I am.

indeed. the worse I saw steve was in 1 ft of snow and 0F (-17c). There are extremes where the body is at risk though those limits are much wider than we tend to think . I never saw Steve do this all day though I have seem him trudge around like this for several hours (e.g. exposure was limited and then he was in a warming environment).


Edited by verber on 10/30/2009 10:00:06 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Are hiking boots really needed? on 10/30/2009 10:11:13 MDT Print View

To be frank - I have done this in similar weather. Granted, it was from the house to the hot tub...but still.

Joshua Lowe
(joshualowe) - MLife
Chacos vs. Terra on 10/30/2009 10:41:37 MDT Print View

My hiking buddy hikes in Chacos and I've been using some light-weight running shoes. I'm thinking about going the sandal route. Does anyone have thoughts on the pros and cons of these two brands and how the fit?

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Chacos vs. Teva on 10/30/2009 11:03:19 MDT Print View

Chacos have a more pronounced arch support in their footbed, tend to be a bit stiffer (at least mine that are a few years old are), and have a thicker sole, but don't offer as much protection around the sides of the foot, simply because the straps on them are thinner. IMHO their single strap system tends to give them a little better ability to adjust the fit. They also tend to be a bit heavier than most tevas.

OTOH, I've heard tales of those chaco straps wearing through by rubbing together, though I've never seen it. I believe chacos also has a program where you can get your sandals resoled and/or rebuilt.

I've been backpacking most of the time on Chaco z-1 sandals for the last few years, and used to do day hikes in tevas before that. I haven't backpacked in tevas; the footbed of the chacos really helps me with maintaining ankle stability, and they simply feel better on my feet.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Chacos vs. Terra on 10/30/2009 11:08:01 MDT Print View

Terra... no knowledge. Do you mean Teva?

Chacos tend to be pretty heavy due to their thick/dense sole. There are certainly lighter options.

Chacos have a very pronounced arch. Some people find the arch support quite helpful... but I don't. They make my feet hurt.

I have used Tevas... and found that they worked reasonable well. That said, I think it's been something like 3-4 years since I have worn them on a multi-day backpacking trip.



Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Chacos vs. Terra on 10/30/2009 11:21:15 MDT Print View

I owned an tried to like Chacos but ultimately returned them.

I found them to be unreasonably heavy, in fact I weighed them and they where heavier than a pair of light weight boots. Not familiar with the current models, but I had the lighter version with the smoother sole. There was a lugged sole version that better for trails but even heavier than the one I had.

I found the strap system very comfortable but difficult to adjust, though once you got used to the system it was easier. One problem with the straps I had however is that they would not hold their setting. I would leave them slightly loose and as I walked the strap around the instep would tighten and the forward straps would loosen. The more I walked, the tighter the instep strap would become. I called Chaco and they suggested putting sand in the straps where they go into the sole to increase friction.

At that point I returned the Sandals.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Chacos vs. Terra on 10/30/2009 11:39:59 MDT Print View

I noticed several people backpacking in Chacos when I was out in UT this past August. I saw no one in Teva’s except me and my hiking partners.

I’ve worn Chacos (Z1) and here’s just my feel:
1. very comfy arch--- this is not true for everyone.
2. long lasting vibram bottom

1. heavier than trail runners or tevas
2. Had to clean the strap where it goes into the sole weekly, otherwise the strap would cement into place and get hard to tighten/loosen.
3. Not as good a grip as teva on wet surfaces.
4. Could not adjust strap to make it loose around ankle but tight around ball of foot and vice versa. To me this is a big help for long walks. I could not adjust it big enough to get my down booties on.

Other note: this may or may not be bad, but I can roll my ankle in them.

Terra Fi 2:
1. does not pick up sticks/twigs/rocks near as much as other sandals; probably because of the ridge built around the footbed.
2. quickly and easily adjusts in terms of tightening in one area and loosen in another.
3. light weight
4. Excellent grip.
5. Cheaper than a Chaco.
6. Nice cush on the heel.
7. Good adjustment range for several layers/types of socks.

1. spider rubber wears out faster than vibram.

And a side note: I cannot roll my ankle very well in these. Thus I feel my ankle is better braced than most footwear out there. That is if and only if I keep the straps tightened while walking.

Again, this is just my feel as I’ve seen several people backpack long distances in Chacos.

May everyone find their foot zen.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
zen on 10/30/2009 11:55:33 MDT Print View

I have been hiking in my Chacos for the last ten years after having found less than desirable footwear. Already had them resoled once when I was up near Fremont with the big thick sole. I often wear then to about -10F with the windchill, just put on different layers of socks as needed or the Rocky Mountain waterproof socks. This year alone they did Escalante and all the National Parks in Utah and Colorado. The only things you have to worry about is loose gravel and small twigs getting up under there once in awhile but I just modified my walk slightly so that it doesn't bother me. I even go dancing in mine weekly with and without socks.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
RE: "Are hiking boots really needed?" - No - Use Keen Sandals on 10/30/2009 13:31:53 MDT Print View

I agree with everything the above post said about socks and rocks.

But I love the Keen sandals. They have that front bump toe and the foot box is nice and wide.

I use them all the time when backpacking in the Sierras and Santa Cruz Mountains. Even when I have encountered long periods of rain I find a pair of Thorlo socks keep my feet , even when wet, and my feet tend to stay dry.

Just remember if dusty to change sox once a day and wash your feet when possible. I haven't seen a blister in years (knock on wood).

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Ankle rolling on 10/30/2009 14:08:11 MDT Print View

I've worn both Keens and Tevas and love them for canoeing or bumming around but I have a problem with them for hiking. It seems I am always turning my ankle in them in place were I do fine in a light trail shoe. The problem is I can't get them to lock my foot in place, when I tried it either didn't work or the strap dug into my foot. Is this just something you have to put up with or am I not sizing my sandles right.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Are hiking boots really needed? on 10/30/2009 14:12:07 MDT Print View

Hi Barry

> Roger,
> It sounds like you have the wrong sandal or the attachment is wrong. The good sandal excels
> in mud. They also clean fast and dry fast.
Hum ... interesting. You may be right.

PS: pity about the socks!

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Ankle rolling on 10/30/2009 15:13:13 MDT Print View


“The problem is I can't get them to lock my foot in place, when I tried it either didn't work or the strap dug into my foot. Is this just something you have to put up with or am I not sizing my sandles right.”

Keens are very tricky to get sized right for high mileage backpacking. Our scouts who tried keens struggled with them rolling. Also, they became a nuisance when sand and debris built up into the toe bed. Another struggle with the Keen is the feet sweat profuciously in the summer, as if you were wearing gortex boots; not to mention, they are a little heavy. Again this is just my insight as others have figured out these critters.

The Teva’s, at least for the Hurricane II and Terra Fi 2, are sized like this:
1. To not roll the ankle, a WIDE footbed is needed. This doesn’t mean your foot needs to be wide. The wide footbed just makes it harder for the sandal to ‘roll’ over. I think some Teva’s are best at this.
2. First make sure you get the next size up. I usually wear 8-8.5 thus I buy a 9.
3. Unstrap all 3 straps.
4. Center your foot such that your arch perfectly rests on the sandal arch. Do this with your regular hiking sock on.
5. Strap the back strap. This strap should never have to be touched again. But just double check that your arch is sitting comfortably.
6. Now cinch the ankle and then toe strap tight; not to tight, but it needs to be tight enough so the ankle won’t roll with the sandal sole still on the ground.

Now you have become one with a teva tera fi2 and are able to wiggle your toes in the wind. It’s almost like cheating.

Disclaimer: I wish Teva paid me.