Forum Index » GEAR » Trail runners or boots for the Sierras?


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Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Trail Runners on 02/11/2010 16:55:06 MST Print View

"I use boots, always.

When the majority of NBA players use low top shoes I might change my mind about ankle support, but until then..."

Yes, but they are wearing athletic shoes, not boots. NBA players are also XUL. Just a shirt and shorts.

As for me:

I wear trail runners or even plain old running shoes. On the JMT last year I had some NB trail runners. They were just fine. I wish I had some Dirty Girl Gaiters though. Lots of scree and dirt in my shoes by the end of the day.

I have converted all of my backpacking buddies over to lightweight footwear. None have blisters and I have never seen an ankle injury with them.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Trail runners or boots for the Sierras? on 02/11/2010 17:21:07 MST Print View

For trails I'm sold on trail runners, low gaiters (Dirty Girl) plus hiking poles. The poles spend most of their time being carried in one hand but I think they double my safe downhill speed and prevent knee strain on big uphill steps. The lower swing weight of a foot wearing trail runners, additional support from hiking poles, and hopefully a light backpack will do far more to prevent ankle sprains than heavy boots.

For cross country on rough talus and scree I think something with ankle-bone protection and a stiff toe cap is still a good idea. Note I say "ankle-bone protection", not "ankle support". Ankles ought to be self supporting! I was reviewing Chouinard's 'Climbing Ice' last night and was amazed at the muscles on his ankles.

My wife is happy with Gore-Tex lined trail runners and her toes stay clean compared to mine.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Boots on 02/11/2010 17:34:41 MST Print View

>>> When the majority of NBA players use low top shoes I might change my mind about ankle support, but until then...


Umm, I think a lot of them get paid money to wear them. I'll wear Lowa Banff leather boots if they pay me a few million dollars a year; otherwise I'll stick to trail runners.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
NBA on 02/11/2010 17:39:06 MST Print View

No, they don't wear boots, just high top shoes (which boots are). They also get paid to wear the brand, but not specifically high top shoes. I'd bet that the manufacture would prefer they wore the low top versions of their shoes. But they don't. Wonder why...

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Trail runners or boots for the Sierras? on 02/11/2010 19:58:22 MST Print View

Seems like a good spot to share a recent shoe revelation for me...

Got a new and very expensive pair for shoes for running longer distances ( Mountain Marathon in April!) they fit and felt great- but after a few miles running it was killing my shins- shin splints- hummm- maybe just me pushing up mileage too fast??? Went back to an old pair and all was good- tried the new ones again (paid so much for them bummer) and shins hurt again.

Finally I figured out the new ones were more "stability" oriented and what that meant in this case was the heel to toe flex was too stiff (for me) but it did not feel that way at first....

Bottom line- you never know what shoe will work for you until you try them and put on some miles.

If it's above 20 degrees I'm in low top shoes.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Trail runners or boots for the Sierras? on 02/12/2010 03:40:16 MST Print View

Hi Ron

> after a few miles running it was killing my shins- shin splints-

Been there, done that (light leather XC ski boots to Scarpa plastic T3s) - never again! Sheer agony!

Cheers

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Braces or Tape on 02/12/2010 07:09:00 MST Print View

braces or tape on 02/11/2010 00:05:12 MST Reply Report Post Print View

> White paper medical research has shown in one study
> that lace-up braces with low-top shoes had the lowest
> number of ankle sprains...

I am not that fit and have glass ankles. I have always had a problem with rolling my ankles. After multiple sprains in trail runners, I went to ankle braces and they worked great, but were hot, uncomfortable and heavy.

I eventually changed to light mid-height trail shoes and found that, although I still do roll my ankles and fall on my face regularly, the addition support keeps me from spraining my ankles and I can get right back up and walk without much pain.

I'm hoping that if I continue this way, my ankles will eventually be strong enough that I can go back to low tops.

I don't recommend mid-height shoes for most people, but if your like me, give em a try.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: NBA on 02/12/2010 13:10:08 MST Print View

"I'd bet that the manufacture would prefer they wore the low top versions of their shoes. But they don't. Wonder why..."

'Cause Michael didn't.

James Naphas
(naphas13) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: NBA on 02/12/2010 13:45:10 MST Print View

""I'd bet that the manufacture would prefer they wore the low top versions of their shoes. But they don't. Wonder why..."

'Cause Michael didn't."

Lots of athletes want to wear what everybody else is wearing. I'd also guess that selling high tops is advantageous for manufacturers: higher price, plus more real estate on the shoes for logos for branding purposes. There have been some pretty good players who wore low tops in the past, and Kobe is now wearing a low-ish top shoe.

Having played a lot of basketball when I was younger, my experience is that high tops helped prevent some mild twists and sprains, at the cost of increasing the likelihood of moving an injury up the leg to become a very debilitating high ankle sprain. High tops do almost nothing to protect against rolling an ankle from coming down on someone's foot, which is pretty similar to coming down on a rock that slips or off-center on a root. To really protect against sprains you'd likely have to have something like an 8" or more boot top to stabilize the ankle.

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
trail runners.... on 02/12/2010 14:35:30 MST Print View

.... always; no hardcore winter climbing, but trail runners for everything else... they are so comfortable and light, I use them with crampons, and with waterproof socks they are just great in cold snowy winter. I have had a weak ankle but using trail runners has build up my strength. Just get using them. Innov8's are very good indeed.winter time in trail shoes...

Edited by sewing_machine on 02/12/2010 14:44:37 MST.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Where are you in that photo? on 02/12/2010 14:59:00 MST Print View

Peter, Where are you in that photo?

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
trail shoes.... on 02/12/2010 15:03:58 MST Print View

..... taking it! Behind my friend on higher ground, about to retrace our footsteps back; both in tail shoes.

I think that a bottle of wine has dullened my senses - we were in the north of Scotland, on the mountains north of Loch Mullardoch!

Oops, sorry to be thick!

Edited by sewing_machine on 02/12/2010 15:04:31 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: trail shoes.... on 02/12/2010 15:18:59 MST Print View

"I think that a bottle of wine has dullened my senses..."

Today, or then?

Peter Atkinson
(sewing_machine) - MLife

Locale: Yorkshire, England
trail runners.... on 02/12/2010 15:33:28 MST Print View

ah, alas now. the photo was taken on a three day trip and we only had room for whisky....

Edited by sewing_machine on 02/12/2010 15:34:03 MST.

Emily Hardy
(emilyehardy) - F

Locale: SOUTH WEST
Boots for mountaineering... on 02/12/2010 22:50:47 MST Print View

but all on trail and mild offtrail routes in the sierras after july are likely fine in trail runners. I usually just wear my running shoes.

When peak bagging or shoulder seasoning i often wear my leather boots.

Frank Deland
(rambler) - M

Locale: On the AT in VA
trail runners on 02/13/2010 06:23:18 MST Print View

Although I thru-hiked the JMT in low cuts, I asked verterans of the High Sierra Route if they had switched to mid heights fro ankle protection from scree or talus scrapes. They replies were in favor od low cuts. It was pointed out that most shoes tend to wear out right at the sides of the balls of the feet. At that point it is best to have leather rather than mesh. I have worn a Montrail Vitesse and Merrels which fit me well, but both have worn holes in the mesh right at that area.
The Inov-8, Terroc 330, has reinforcement there, and they have good traction on rock. Some Keen models do, too.