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Making my footwear white
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drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Making my footwear white on 01/12/2010 21:58:44 MST Print View

I hate dark footwear. They make my toes roast when the sun is out in full force. Unfortunately most outdoor footwear comes in dark colors.

I'd love to make my footwear white, but I don't know any good ways of doing this. I don't really care if it looks like crap, I mainly want to be able to do it without compromising integrity or breathe-ability. I've heard of motorcyclists recoloring their leathers with diluted latex paint, but I'm sure that would make it more difficult for my shoes to breathe.

Any ideas or experience you guys can share?

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Making my footwear white on 01/12/2010 22:17:47 MST Print View

Most running shoes come in lighter colors. They still turn brown in the end though.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
"Making my footwear white" on 01/12/2010 22:47:33 MST Print View

I don't know about white but I seem to see alot of light gray trail runners out there.

Just looked at Montrails site. The Streak, Hardrock and S'persso are all predominantly light gray.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Making my footwear white on 01/12/2010 22:56:26 MST Print View

Even my gray trail runners turn tan or brown (depending on soil color) after a few hours on the trail!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Making my footwear white on 01/12/2010 23:04:17 MST Print View

Light gray is better than dark gray, but I'd still prefer white, especially if it's easy to do. Then I can buy shoes solely by their comfort, then fix the color when I get home.

The dirt issue...for some reason my boots didn't seem to get any cooler when they had enough dirt/dust on them to make them look brown. Could that be an issue of the sunlight making it thru the lighter layer and still heating up the lower layer? With leather footwear, I wouldn't be opposed to stripping the paint if possible. Unfortunately that wouldn't be possible with synthetic uppers.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Making my footwear white on 01/12/2010 23:29:05 MST Print View

It is pretty well accepted that lighter colors reflect heat, but then I haven't done any real testing.

I have to say that colors of shoes really do not seem to make any difference to me. I hike in all kinds of weather and choose my shoes for the requirements of the trip, without taking color into consideration at all. Doesn't seem to matter. When it is hot the lightweight mesh shoes work just fine whatever the color... although I don't have black ones. When it is hot out, I am sweating at the top of my body, and I am not even thinking about my feet.

However, shirts do make a difference. If they didn't get so dirty, I would wear white eco-mesh shirts in the heat of the desert.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Making my footwear white on 01/13/2010 00:00:45 MST Print View

I'm focusing on shoes because they always seem to be the most uncomfortable part of my body when it's hot. If there was a hiker heaven, it'd come with refrigerated insoles.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Making my footwear white on 01/13/2010 00:01:53 MST Print View

I agree with Nick that shoe color doesn't make a difference. And I'll go further to state that I think that this whole idea is pretty wacky.

We obsess about gear a lot here at BPL, but seriously, shoe color?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Making my footwear white on 01/13/2010 00:40:42 MST Print View

I don't see how you can add a coat of white without affecting breathability (although a bonus might be added water resistance if that will make you feel better).

Not answering your question, but you think color on the toe box makes that much difference temperature wise? Roast, really?

simon hackett
(minimalgear) - F

Locale: UK
sandals on 01/13/2010 01:26:50 MST Print View

Have you thought about hiking in sandals or some of the keen type shoes with a lot of holes in them?

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: sandals on 01/13/2010 01:56:42 MST Print View

My feet are very white, like the rest of me, but I don't think exposing my very pale skin is going to help matters. :)

simon hackett
(minimalgear) - F

Locale: UK
sandals on 01/13/2010 02:07:57 MST Print View

You could always wear socks-not sure of the UPF of different materials though. The other option is to develop some kind of protective cover- kind of like a gaiter but covering the whole foot and a lot more breathable. A willingness to ignore the way you look might be necessary!:)something like this:

Edited by minimalgear on 01/13/2010 02:11:32 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Making my footwear white on 01/13/2010 06:24:17 MST Print View

Of course your feet are hot . Living down there the ground is roasting by midday. Get some mostly mesh shoes with a roomy toe box.

Tim Haynes

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Footwear for hot conditions on 01/13/2010 09:29:03 MST Print View

Someone mentioned the Montrail Streaks. I discovered those last year and love them. They breathe better than any other non-sandal shoes I have worn. When you walk/jog along, you can feel the air coming through the mesh to keep your feel cool and ventilated. I've had no problems with my feet being hot since I started using Streaks for all my hot-weather outdoor activity.

I liked them so much, I bought two backup pairs, and I'd never before liked a style so much I got backups.

Alex Gilman
(Vertigo) - F

Locale: Washington
Shoe Color? on 01/14/2010 02:05:22 MST Print View

Troops in Iraq do it in boots.

Change socks often and use foot powder.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Shoe Color? on 01/14/2010 10:19:36 MST Print View

That's what first got me really thinking about boot color. My feet didn't feel like they were roasting in my light colored desert books when I was in Kuwait even though it was hotter than anything I experienced here. I still got blisters in those boots, but that was when I came back home and did the Bataan Death March at White Sands in southern New Mexico.