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GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews
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James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Waterproof Comp vs. "regular" Comp on 11/18/2009 15:08:07 MST Print View

Something that was not made clear in the review is that there are 2 types of Comps. Both of the black color Comps are said to be waterproof & my friend has a pair of these. I suspect the material on the upper is eVent as it is comparable to my Keen Shellrocks.
I have a pair of Rifle Green Comps which are as described in the review with open mesh. Another difference is that the waterproof Comp does NOT use the forefoot stabilizer bands described in the review & hence had a slightly different lacing system.
GoLite is aware of the durability issues & my new Comps were actually a free replacement for a destroyed pair of Versa Force shoes after only 80 trail miles. My Comps are going on their first trip this weekend but my initial impressions are that they seem to be more stout than the shoes they replaced. This remains to be seen.
I have been impressed with New England Footwear's customer service & sense that they are trying to resolve issues with their shoes. Please know that I have no affiliation with New England Footwear.

joe newton

Locale: Bergen, Norway
Re: GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 15:23:30 MST Print View

Interesting discussion, I thought I'd add my observations:

Firstly I've come to realise that we can't expect these very light shoes we wear to last anywhere near what we got out of hiking boots. The mileage, the terrain and the minimal padding and protection means we're going to wear these shoes out fairly quickly. We just have to deal with that. The environmental impact of this needs assessing though, that does concern me slightly, but if we want good grip, lightweight and good breathability/drainage then we have to expect to replace these shoes every few hundred miles.

I still haven't found the perfect shoe. Some people seem to find one that suits them and then buy multiple pairs. I've had three pairs of Inov8s, Salomons, Montrail and Nikes. All of them have been good but every pair has also had a problem. The Inov8 310s came closest but then split across the sole after a four day trip.

I agree with Andy's idea about rotating a couple or a few pairs of shoes. I've managed to keep a pair of Inov8 315s and some Salomon Comps going for over a year by doing this.

On fit I found the Mountain Masochists a little narrow in the forefoot and 'fussy' in the shape of the footbed. They felt light and durable though so I was dissapointed they didn't fit me. Inov8s fit me better, especially the 310 and 330 which are wider for long days hiking but I'd still like the heel cup to be a wee bit deeper.

The search continues...

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 15:50:33 MST Print View

>but if we want good grip, lightweight and good breathability/drainage then we have to expect to replace these shoes every few hundred miles.

Practically this might be the case with the current shoes on the market, but fundamentally I don't see why light shoes can't be durable (eg sandals can be). It just doesn't seem like it's been a priority for designers.

joe newton

Locale: Bergen, Norway
Re: Re: Re: GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 15:57:39 MST Print View

Adrian - I think the uppers can be made light and durable (like some sandals out there as you rightly point out) but the softer, grippier soles will always wear faster I think, like racing car tyres.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 20:21:47 MST Print View

The first pair of GoLites I bought for my son wore out in a 9 mile hike up Guadelupe Peak. The last few pairs I've bought (of the older models) have lasted pretty well.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
ideal shoes on 11/18/2009 21:05:19 MST Print View

I do feel bad about chucking a pair of trail shoes every 6 months or so. I'd certainly pay a bit more for ones that didn't wear out so fast. I do get better than a few hundred miles though, my vague guess would be more like 6-900 miles a pair.

I've certainly had fits finding ideal shoes. I've had plenty that were good enough, but always left something desired.

The ideal shoe should have:
-a sole height as close to the ground as possible
-tread beefy enough and with lugs well spaced enough to deal with mud (the Fireblades were horrible in this respect)
-a full sole plastic plate that is still quite flexible
-plastic grommets for all lacing
-full toe rand
-fast draining and drying
-skinny heal, width toe box

Still searching..

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
Golite Shoes on 11/18/2009 22:17:07 MST Print View

Ever since GoLite/Timberland launched their shoes(3-4 years ago??) I have been critical of their quality and complained to no avail. They didn't even reply to my emails. However I like the wide toe box (only shoe I'm comfortable wearing all day even after my feet swell) and I like their soft ride ( even if the underside of the outer sole show signs of wear and tear)...........have worn my last pair after my visual use by date told me to get rid of them 12 months ago but still can't throw them out). I'll persist with my current Golites until they fall apart.........hopefully not on the track. Then I'll probably buy the current version and as long as they are as comfortable as my current one's if they wear out after 100-200 miles I'll probably cope with that.
Innov 8 for me have toooooo narrow a toe box!!!!!!

joe newton

Locale: Bergen, Norway
Re: ideal shoes on 11/19/2009 01:35:47 MST Print View

Dave - we're looking for the same shoe! When we find it we have to let each other know!

Andrew - if you haven't tried the Inov8 310 and 330 then give them a go, they're the Inov8s that people with wider feet can wear.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
ideal..... on 11/19/2009 06:09:59 MST Print View


The Sportiva Imogene's I'm using hit quite a few of those criteria. They lack a toe rand and a full plate, and I'd prefer the toe box a bit wider.

They dry impressively fast, and their tread is brilliant.

I should also add:
-sufficient torsional rigidity to edge and kick steps in scree and soft snow (again, the Fireblade failed miserably here)

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Shoe durability tips on 11/19/2009 07:39:02 MST Print View

>>> "- If you are going to be on hard surfaces day-in-day-out, then I'd recommend either a GoLite shoe (note the associated problems above) or a lightweight trail runner or "day hiker" with a forefoot plate. Basically, your goal is to stay away from an EVA mid-sole, which is collapse-prone and after that your "cushioning" is gone. A growing number of people seem to be fans of minimalist shoes with no cushion, but I think this is impractical for hard-packed, cobblestone-laden trails while wearing a backpack -- your feet get eaten and eventually bruised. It might work for trails with soft surfaces, but at least in the Rockies you won't find many of those (or in the Northeast, or in the Southwest). Even so, I'm not sure it'd work day-after-day. The problem with "light hikers" is that they tend to want to control everything about your stride, which is where I have some agreement with theses barefoot advocates -- that will only lead to problems."

Pretty much everyone I talked to on the PCT had "bruised feet" after a month on the trail. The balls of your feet become tender to step on for the first 5 minutes after you first stand on them in the morning. After they warm up they are fine again. This issue gradually goes away after you've been off the trail for 2 to 4 (!) months.

I'm intrigued by the idea that "bruised feet" can be avoided, because we all pretty much accepted this as a fact of trail life.

Edited by Legkohod on 11/19/2009 07:45:55 MST.

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
re: bruised feet on 11/19/2009 08:43:10 MST Print View

I think the bruised feet is highly subjective like the rest of the shoe discussion. However, spending a lot of time on your feet running, walking, and hiking can mitigate the problems when you hit the trail. Unfortunately, I think that weeks/months of walking daily will have its toll on any person's feet, especially if the shoes completely disintegrate. This is the first discussion that I've seen on BPL that unites those of us w/ narrow heel/wide toebox requests. Manufacturers are you listening? Someone needs to come up w/ some sort of variable lacing system that addresses the toebox volume more acutely. Perhaps a sandal like webbing across the toebox w/ the traditional lacing beginning higher up the foot? Too bad the MYOG movement hasn't transferred over to shoes.

Back to the topic of rotating shoes. Different shoes support different parts of the feet. As a distance runner who has dealt w/ repetitive motion injuries before, I say the more variety in your foot's movement/support, the better. I'm still hung up on bounce boxing a variety of shoes during a long hike. Perhaps this should expand to including a Chaco or similar all terrain sandal, which would allow the feet a week(s) of breathing and support from a Vibram sole to aid in healing up from the softer running shoe hikers.

Gabe Joyes
(gabe_joyes) - F

Locale: Lander, WY
The North Face on 11/19/2009 10:50:24 MST Print View

No one has mentioned The North Face trail shoes yet. Most of those include, including the Rucky Chucky and Ultra 104 and 105, have a forefoot plate. I haven't used them, but I tried a pair of Rucky Chucky's on once and they felt very supportive. I didn't get them because I has just bought a different pair of shoes. Say what you want about The North Face but the Rucky Chucky's seemed like a solid shoe to me and a friend of mine loves them.

Stuart Steele
(sbsteele) - F

Locale: North Central New Jersey
EVA midsoles and Seam Grip on 11/19/2009 17:28:51 MST Print View

EVA midsole memory failure is a historical problem. Polyurethane midsoles last due to their excellent memory but are heavier. Combining the two has been done, but my research shows that performance - foot rotational speed is reduced due to the different material densities. My 18 years of research in biomechanics supports polyurethane over EVA for performance and midsole durability. Mid-sole, out sole, fit, comfort, performance, etc. - good luck in finding the ideal trail shoe.
I'm surprised at Andrew's comment about not sealing seams with Seam Grip which I've used for over a decade with good results to protect stitching, frays and delaminations as well as protecting and waterproofing the "fabric" from the sole to about 1" high. I then use Seam Sealer 3 for the balance of the "fabric". Aqua Seal is a silicone and oil combination for a water resistant/waterproof coating. Perhaps Andrew can comment with further detail about his conclusion.

Andrew Skurka
(askurka) - F
Aqua Seal on 11/20/2009 13:02:26 MST Print View

My knowledge of the McNett glues comes mostly from Erin & Hig, who repaired their gear extensively during their expedition in 2007-08. Hig says Seam Grip is simply a watered down version of Aqua Seal, and prefers the latter for everything, including seams.

Stuart Steele
(sbsteele) - F

Locale: North Central New Jersey
Andrew and Aqua Seal on 11/20/2009 21:52:03 MST Print View

I'll give it a try. Thanks for the response.

Emmett Lyman
(ejl10) - F - M

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Sun Dragon 2 Experience on 11/21/2009 06:23:45 MST Print View

I wore a pair of Sun Dragon 2's for my Long Trail thru hike, and after 300 miles the shoes are officially dead. However, what's interesting is that the soles are still in good shape... it's the neoprene mesh uppers that really deteriorated all around the footbed. And the 2009 Long Trail wasn't exactly dry, either... it was one of the rainier seasons on record for a trail that's known for its mud!

I just finished a circuit hike of Torres del Paine and some short hikes around Mt. Fitz Roy in a pair of Garmont Eclipse III shoes and I longed for my GoLites the whole time, except for when I was in the deep snow, of course!

I'm very interested to see what the team can do to solve the sole delamination problems, but in the meantime I'll probably keep using their shoes, despite the difficulties.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/21/2009 09:19:42 MST Print View

Excellent reviews and interesting comments. My experiences with the first GoLite shoes seem typical - comfortable but lacking durability. I haven't tried the latest versions. Finding a light trail shoe that lasts is asking for the impossible at present I think. That said, I have worn the same pair of Terroc 330s on the last three TGO Challenges, with other trips as well they've done around 650 miles in 50 days of walking over mostly rough terrain. On the last Challenge I did recoat all the seams to keep the shoes going beforehand. I reckon there's some life in the shoes yet, though not much. Given the weight I'm quite impressed though as I've worn out lightweight boots weighing far more with less use.