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trailrunners, boots
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Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: WBP =? on 06/16/2010 16:55:39 MDT Print View

WBP= Water Proof Breathable

Wayne Wagner
(wagnerw) - F

Locale: NorCal
running shoes on 06/16/2010 19:17:33 MDT Print View

For years, I have wondered why anyone would use a "trail runner" over a regular running shoe. The regular running shoe is better cushioned, better designed, uglier, and all around better. Usually, trail runners are just crappy grey running shoes with little cushioning (they sell under the idea that you don't need cushioning because you are going to be on the trail) and tougher bottoms. In addition, you can get so many more models of running shoes, making it much more likely to get a shoe that fits your foot. In my opinion, which I formed while working at a running shoe store for years, they are just an inferior product. Maybe things have changed.

Of course, if they could keep your feet dry, THAT might be worth something. I don't trust anything that limits the breath-ability of my feet or might cause me to sweat them out. I'd rather bring running shoes which dry out really fast and just have wet feet when it is raining. I bring a pair of light sandles for camp time and maybe creek crossings, a spare pair of socks, and you're for less weight than a pair of boots.

Also, after all that time in the shoe store, I have no idea what people are referring to when they ask for good "support." What do you want supported? Shoes do not support arches, for example; inserts do. The shoes almost all come with crummy inserts. Do you want pronation control? Fine, but this is not "support." Do you want a soft shoe or a cushioned shoe? Not the same thing.

I'd recommend finding a GOOD running shoe store and going there and asking them what they think you should use. Then try on all the ones they suggest. Don't buy anything that you cannot try out on concrete (everything feels nice on carpet) and don't buy anything that in any way bothers you or your feet. If it bothers you in the store, it will bother you in the world.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: running shoes on 06/16/2010 21:12:21 MDT Print View

Shoes are so personal, I think getting advice from anyone else is nonsense. You gotta just go for it and try stuff and listen to what your body is telling you.

To think of all the time I wasted listening to "good running store" employees steer me in the wrong direction, pointing me towards "stability" shoes, "motion control" shoes, "support" shoes...I don't even know what any of that is supposed to mean...but I was certainly still getting injured while distance running regardless of having the "best" in shoe technology recommended by niche running store "experts".

Out of frustration I went the opposite direction, started running barefoot, seeking the most minimal and flat running shoes I could find (NB MT100s and Asics Piranhas) for long runs (now I'm starting to rock homemade huaraches!) and everything has been great ever since- not a single injury in a 1000 miles...not even while barefoot!

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
Re: Re: why not Gore-Tex in shoes? on 06/16/2010 21:15:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for that reply.. I've owned the Vasque Breeze GTX for about a year now. It was certainly completely waterproof when I bought it in the sense that I could put soak the shoe in water and the water wouldnt wet the inside.. but it would soak up a lot of water!!

i've used it with snow shoes in the winter as well.. think it stayed dry inside in a technical sense but it did again get soaking wet from the outside and would freeze overnight. Faster drying would be nice..

I have a feeling that the GTX is no longer working because my socks got quite wet on my last hike a week or two ago but it could be that water got in from my leg. Must test..

Meanwhile, since trailrunners seem cheap, I might try to buy a pair and take it on my Colorado Trail thru hike this august.

Since I know nothing about such low cut shoes, I'm looking at the most popular ones.. Salomon and New Balance.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Support on 06/17/2010 09:28:25 MDT Print View

If high top shoes (which boots are) do not provide any additional support, why do all NBA players wear them?

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: why not Gore-Tex in shoes? on 06/17/2010 10:05:35 MDT Print View

I'm all about breathable trail runners (XA Comp) and merino socks (SW PHd). LOVE em
Cool when feet are hot, not clammy when wet, no stink, shoes dry in 45 min of sun (take out insoles)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Support on 06/17/2010 10:53:12 MDT Print View

Well, not all NBA players wear high tops. And they get paid to wear certain brands and models... some get paid huge amounts of money. Most high top basketball shoes cost more money than low tops, and probably have higher profit margins.

In the 50's and early 60's most NBA players wore high top Converse canvas shoes. The Celtics were famous for their green uniforms and black high top Converse shoes. The average starting player played more minutes than today's players. In the early 60's converse came out with a low top model and a lot of players switch to these.

Check out these picture of some very famous players with long careers (scroll through the gallery). Notice the shoes...

Kobe Bryant, arguably the best player in history, is now wearing low tops (Nike Zoom Kobe V). Marketing or function?

Almost all soccer players wear lop tops with cleats. Why? Would they be subject to sprains? It is all about planting your foot solidly on the ground when your foot lands. If not planted solid, it doesn't matter what construction your shoe is, same chance of injury. Light low tops allow your brain to detect foot placement quicker, and provide you a greater opportunity to adjust.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Current NBA on 06/17/2010 10:59:44 MDT Print View

Most current players in the NBA wear high tops. Not all of them are being paid to wear them. And, the same company that makes the high tops make regular cut shoes also. I don't believe that they wear high tops because they are paid to. They wear a certain brand because they are paid to. The selection between high and low cut is either their choice, or they don't care. Personally I find that the do provide support to the ankles. And yes, I've worn both hiking.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Current NBA on 06/17/2010 14:15:21 MDT Print View

Hey Larry,

Not to be combative, but here is the trend.,231096

I predict very soon that we will see at least 50% of the players in low tops, once they see few are suffering ankle sprains. Some of these new shoes are very light, an advantage as players are getting quicker and more agile every year.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Debate on 06/17/2010 14:21:09 MDT Print View

Debate is always welcome by me. :8^)

I guess we will see. I've always found high top shoes provide more support to my ankles and make walking easier. It is certainly possible that does not apply to everyone, or even most. But I still challenge the statement that they do not provide additional ankle support for anyone.

That said, I'm getting my wife "trail runners" for our trip to Yosemite. She didn't like boots last time and I suggested trail runners. She wasn't interested at the time but changed her mind after doing her own research here. :8^)

Mark Hume
(seattlesetters) - F

Locale: Pugetropolis
Ask orthopedic surgeons ... on 06/17/2010 14:53:31 MDT Print View

I've had a few ankle problems over the years. When I've been lucky enough to only manage a rather mild sprain, my orthopedic surgeons have always allowed me to get by with wearing an "ankle brace" for additional support, usually for a few weeks.

Funny how the ankle braces I've been prescribed have never been of the "low-top" variety..... ;-)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Debate on 06/17/2010 15:13:12 MDT Print View


I don't know if boots provide support or not. I never got an ankle injury in boots, although I know a couple people who broke an ankle in boots. Maybe those injuries would have been worse in shoes. Who knows.

One thing I do know; is that I have sigficantly fewer mis-steps, trips, etc. in trail runners. Actually almost zero mishaps. But that could also be attributed to carrying a much lighter load, than I used to carry while wearing boots. And I can say with 100% certainty that on long trips, especially with lots of elevation gains, lighter shoes makes a difference in my leg muscles.

But boots or trail runners are not for everyone. We seek information, and then make our choices based on what makes sense to us.

I still have a pair of Lowa Banffs. I love these boots. Fit like a glove, never get blisters, and can wear them in the heat of the desert. Sometimes I wear them on "training" hikes to give me a little more conditioning. No way would I ever get rid of them.

My wife does a lot of long and strenuous day likes with me. She has a pair of Ladies Lowa Banffs (yes they make women sizes), and they are the best boots she has ever worn too, even with the fact that her feets are not the same size. She was not interested at all in trail runners. So I bought her a pair of Solomans last Christmas (yeah... I buy her stuff she does really want all the time). She no longer has any interest in her boots. The trail runners are much more comfortable. She feels much more sure-footed in the trail runners. However, she is terrified of snakes, and if one ever moved toward her, I am sure she would be back in the boots in a heartbeat. I guess that is the crux of the matter, our gear choices are based on what we are most comfortable with, irregardless of any proven or theoretical perspective of effectiveness.

Regarding basketball, hope the Lakers win it tonight :) no matter what shoes Kobe (lows) or Gasol (highs) wear.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Support on 06/17/2010 15:23:28 MDT Print View

Nick is right, high top shoes (boots) provide very little actual ankle support, though they do provide a feeling of support.

A while ago I did some research of the scientific literature, while some studies suggested that high tops might offer some support the general consensus of the papers that reviewed the literature was that they do not.

This is a link to a very vigorous debate on the topic on another forum.

Here is a small selection of conclusions.


Prevention of Acute Ankle Ligament Sprains in Sport

Martin P. Schwellnus

Clinical studies

The factor in footwear design that has most frequently investigated is the possible role of high-top shoes in reducing the risk of ankle sprains (Petrov 1988). The results from three studies indicate that, in the absence of additional taping or external support, wearing high-top shoes does not reduce the risk of ankle sprains. Indeed, in one study, the wearing of low-top shoes resulted in a lower incidence of ankle sprains compared to high-top shoes (Rovere et al. 1988). In two recently published meta-analysises, it was also concluded that the role of footwear in the prevention of ankle sprains was not clear (Quinn et al. 2000).

In summery, although a protective influence of footwear is suggested from the results of biomechanical studies, footwear without additional support from taping and bracing does not appear to have a strong influence on the risk of ankle sprain. The potential negative effect that footwear may have on the proprioceptive function of the foot requires further investigation.

Effect of High-top and low-top shoes on Ankle inversion

Mark D. Ricard, PhD; Shane S. Schuties, PhD, PT, ATC; Jose J. Saret, MS, ATC

Conclusions: The high-top shoes were more effective in reducing the amount and the rate of inversion than low top shoes. Depending on the load conditions, high-top shoes may help prevent some ankle sprains.

This is from the introduction

High-top athletic shoes are frequently to augment ankle support because they may provide increased resistance to inversion. The increase cost of these shoes may be justified if they decrease ankle injury rates. Not all studies, however, support the finding that high-top shoes may reduce the potential for injury. Currently, consensus is lacking among researchers and clinicians concerning the extent to which high-top shoes protect the ankle from inversion trauma.

1: Foot Ankle. 1991 Aug;12(1):26-30.

Risk factors for lateral ankle sprain: a prospective study among military recruits.

Milgrom C, Shlamkovitch N, Finestone A, Eldad A, Laor A, Danon YL, Lavie O, Wosk J, Simkin A.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel.

In a prospective study of risk factors for lateral ankle sprain among 390 male Israeli infantry recruits, a 18% incidence of lateral ankle sprains was found in basic training. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of lateral ankle sprains between recruits who trained in modified basketball shoes or standard lightweight infantry boots. By multivariate stepwise logistic regression a statistically significant relationship was found between body weight x height (a magnitude which is proportional to the mass moment of inertia of the body around a horizontal axis through the ankle), a previous history of ankle sprain, and the incidence of lateral ankle sprains. Recruits who were taller and heavier and thus had larger mass moments of inertia (P = 0.004), and those with a prior history of ankle sprain (P = 0.01) had higher lateral ankle sprain morbidity in basic training.

1: Sports Med. 1995 Oct;20(4):277-80.Links

The role of shoes in the prevention of ankle sprains.

Barrett J, Bilisko T.

University of Oklahoma, Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, USA.

Ankle sprains are a common sports injury that can cause significant, chronic disability. Studies aimed at prevention through the use of footwear have focused on the biomechanical aspects of foot and ankle anatomy, proprioceptive input of the foot/ankle complex, external stresses applied to the joint, and shoe traction. These studies support the use of high top shoes for ankle sprain prevention because of their ability to limit extreme ranges of motion, provide additional proprioceptive input and decrease external joint stress. Despite this biomechanical evidence, clinical trials are inconclusive as to the clinical benefit of high top shoes in the prevention of ankle sprains. Further study is necessary to delineate the benefits of shoe designs for ankle sprain prevention.

Some other information about ankles

If you have already sprained your ankle you are more likely to sprain your ankle again than someone that had not sprained his or her ankle before.

Athletes who have suffered a previous sprain decreased risk of injury if a brace is worn.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
"Heavy" Boots on 06/17/2010 15:24:15 MDT Print View

What is considered heavy boots? I wear an old pair of Vasques (Not sure of the model), and I would consider then middle weight. But that's just me...

I'll have to weight them, but what would everyones threshold be for a "heavy" boot?

Edit: it would seem that if the reduce the amount if ankle "inversion" that they do provide some additional support. I would conclude that they do not provide complete support (as a brace does) from the studies that concluded that they do not reduce sprains .

Edited by Hitech on 06/17/2010 15:30:52 MDT.

Wayne Wagner
(wagnerw) - F

Locale: NorCal
running shoe stores on 06/17/2010 19:19:06 MDT Print View


As much as I hate to agree with someone who disagrees with me (Ha!), I think you make a very important point. While I highly recommend the specialty running store (and always stress that you go to a GOOD one), one of the things that they should be pushing is that you are your own experiment. They should be bringing you shoes that SHOULD work for you and letting you try them out. They will not always be right, but they have a much better knowledge of what is actually in the shoe than you do. Sometimes, a shoe will feel great in the store, but it will not work over the next couple hundred miles; it's hard to pinpoint why. I recommend talking to these folks and giving them a few tries. You should also make sure you are talking so someone who knows something, not the local running superstar they just hired. If you want to go the barefoot direction, by all means, give it a shot. You are your own scientist and know more about you than anyone else. They specialty running shoe store can give you ideas, but they will not always be right. I still recommend them as your first choice.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
indeed, what are heavy weight shoes? on 06/17/2010 20:33:49 MDT Print View

My Vasque Breeze mid-boots are 2 lb 14 oz (or 46 oz) for the pair.. i.e 23 oz per shoe.

I guess trail runners are often around 24 - 30 oz for the pair? If 30 oz for the pair, they are about 1 lb less on the feet..

Sounds like a decent amount.. I've heard the stuff about it being 6.4 lbs on your back and all.. but is it worth the trouble (if there is any)? My base weight is around 12 lbs.. partly convinced but not fully yet. I'm probably going to buy a 30 oz pair of runners and decide later if I'll take them on the thru-hike.

JJ Jessee
(JJJessee) - F

Locale: So. Appalachians
V5F on 06/18/2010 11:16:46 MDT Print View

Everyones feet are different, so your next step in footwear will obviously depend on your individual foot/mechanics.
My feet responded negatively with plantar fasciatus when I started trail running a few years ago. I didn't do enough backpacking to make much difference with which shoe/boot I wore. My suffering dramatically decreased when I switched to Vibram Five Fingers and slowly built up to a few miles per run on non-technical dirt. But I wanted to go further on technical trail so I would resort to Montrail Masochist which have an above average foot plate for handling rocks. I have some side-of heal pain with these on long days, but tolerable.

For backpacking I had assumed the V5F would be useless. I did a few days last year mostly in Merrill sandals and was pleased, so on a short trip a few weeks ago I went a step further and tried the V5F. I packed my Masochists as backup. I was way, way over-packed (50lbs), the trail was somewhat rocky, but my feet did great. It rained and my feet were wet most of the day, but 7 miles with just a little general inflammation, no blisters at all. To play it safe, I went to the Masochists the next day, 5 miles and my heels hurt some -like a long run. Third day, just 3 miles back in the V5F, my feet were fine.

Moral of the story, a minimal shoe MAY work for you, if you take some time to increase your foot strength. They feel almost like bare feet and add another layer of enjoyment to walking in the woods. No one solution or adaptation plan will fit all. I hear more and more, especially younger packers, are switching to V5F. They are very low cut. You might prefer to use gaiters with them.