Hiking in Moccasins
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
Hiking in Moccasins on 05/03/2010 14:25:07 MDT Print View

Does anyone hike in mocs and would like to share some experiences?

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Hiking in Moccasins on 05/03/2010 21:25:20 MDT Print View

I hiked for several miles in a pair of Feelmax shoes which I consider to be exactly the same as moccasins but made with something other than leather. The experience was extraordinary. There's a tendency to think that your performance on the trail has something to do with your shoes. It's amazing to learn that it has more to do with your own feet. However, I could only manage it for a few miles. I can't remember if I did 3 miles or 7. After that, I started to feel sore. There are lots of muscles that don't get used when you wear regular shoes. You have to make a gradual transition.

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
re: hiking in moccasins on 05/04/2010 10:36:21 MDT Print View

Good to know. I've taken my shoe's off on the trail and did about 6km, but the tender white soles of my feet wouldn't let me travel very fast. Maybe I'll bring mocs as a camp slipper and try them out on the trail. My next hike is 65km, so I should probably have some shoes i'm confident in.

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
I second the Feelmax on 05/04/2010 19:45:20 MDT Print View

Feelmax are great. The benefit they have over moccasins is that because they are not made out of leather, they will dry much quicker when wet.

I owned a pair of the Feelmax Niesas (until I wore them out). I would recommend getting the Feelmax Osmas instead because they have a more durable sole.

My current favorite warm-weather backpacking shoes are Vibram FiveFingers. The only downside they have is that they don't insulate well in colder conditions, and you can't wear regular socks in them (Injinji socks work). Other than that, they are great.

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
Hiking in Moccasins on 05/04/2010 20:12:14 MDT Print View

Have you shopped around for feelmax's and found any good deals?
Also, are the insoles flat, or do they have arch support or contours?

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Where are you located? on 05/04/2010 20:22:59 MDT Print View

In the USA there are very few places that sell the Feelmax shoes, so it's rare to find a deal. One popular place to get them online is here but they aren't any cheaper than anywhere else. If you are in Europe you probably would have more options since they have more availability there.

The soles are completely flat with no shape or arch support whatsoever (that is a selling feature), and are only about 4mm or so thick.

If you are at all interested, I have actually written quite a bit on the topic of minimalist footwear on my blog here.

Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: Hiking in Moccasins on 05/04/2010 21:46:14 MDT Print View

Not moccasins, but on a trip last month I wore my Vibram FFs the last day for about 5-6 miles through thickets, water, sand, rockfalls, and slickrock and they did very well for me. I'm bring them on a trip this weekend and will try to use them more.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Hiking in Moccasins on 05/04/2010 22:15:48 MDT Print View

I have used traditional leather sole mocs once... not enough traction in mixed conditions for my taste. Five Fingers were better. I use them sometimes. Typically though, I prefer Inov-8 Flyroc 310.

With any of these options you foot flexs a lot more than traditional shoes. If you don't normally go barefoot you will find you feet get tired more quickly (until you build up your strength). I also noticed some leg muscles (like my lower calves) got tired more quickly until I exercised them for awhile.

--mark

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
footwear on 05/04/2010 23:50:16 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info guys. I'm going check out a pair of Vibram FF KSO's. Feelmax shoes are appealing, but I like to try my shoes on first.

What would your cut off temperature be for wearing five fingers with injinji socks? It's still getting pretty chilly at night here.

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
temperature for Vibram FiveFingers on 05/05/2010 00:08:15 MDT Print View

That is a tough one, it kind of depends on how tolerant your body is to cold, and how wet things are. When wearing FiveFingers and wool Injinji's, if conditions are dry 40 degrees is about the limit for me. As soon as you add water, then 45 - 50 is better. They don't work that well at all if there is much more than a small amount of snow.

Also, for the evenings when you aren't moving much, your tolerance for cold will be lower as well, so you need to keep that in consideration. Bringing along something else that allows you to wear regular wool socks is almost always a must for me.

Edited by dtougas on 05/05/2010 00:10:13 MDT.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Hiking in Moccasins on 05/05/2010 00:27:25 MDT Print View

I too wonder about hiking in Mocs.

Does anyone know of any minimalist/moccasinesque shoes that are leather inside, yet have a semi-rugged outsole? Most of the minimalist footwear are all synthetics but I really prefer leather insides, like moccasins tote.

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
A couple of brands on 05/05/2010 05:02:06 MDT Print View

For really rugged leather moccasins, you should check-out Russell Moccasins... they are quite expensive though. You can have them made with a variety of soles on them, some of them are practially boots.

For something light weight, leather, with a good sole, check out the Soft Star RunAmoc running moccasins. I haven't tried them as of yet, they were just released about a week ago.

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
five fingers on 05/06/2010 17:10:45 MDT Print View

I picked up a pair today, kinda lucked out actually, not one store in this province really carries them, but someone had ordered a pair in to MEC, returned them, and this one pair was just waiting to be shipped back. Happened to be the right model and perfect fit!

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
re: Five Fingers on 06/05/2010 19:21:16 MDT Print View

A couple weeks ago put the Five Fingers to the test and hiked the Mantario trail (63km in the Whiteshell Provincial park, Manitoba, Canada) and then walked another ~20km while hitchhiking back to my truck.

Sharp rocks, stumps, basically anything hard and pointy got to be pretty painful, the first 40km or so felt like I was walking on lego and the soles of my feet were bruised. After couple days my feet got a bit tougher/numb so by the end of the day I wasn't in so much agony, but I still had to walk pretty gingerly and couldn't travel nearly as far in a day.

I especially like them when you have to get your feet wet, they don't get heavy with water and they dry quick.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
Yikes on 06/07/2010 06:02:38 MDT Print View

That's what I thought. I like the idea, but stepping on rocks in vibrams kust doesn"t appeal to me. A cut foot or bruised coot would be he'll on a LNG hike. Anyone know what the period is tonstrengthen your feet with vibrams. Do you guys wear hem off trail too?

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Minimalist footwear on 06/07/2010 06:51:14 MDT Print View

I am usually wearing some type of minimalist footwear at all times either on or off the trail, for all activities. The majority of my foot strengthening happens when I am not on the trail.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
Keene sandals on 06/07/2010 13:19:26 MDT Print View

My son hikes in Keene sandals all the time, wearing wool socks. I have also been on hikes where people with athletic shoes are barely able to walk after a few miles on rocky trails. The Keene's have pretty stiff soles, so maybe keep the sharp rocks from hurting the insole so much.

Ankar Sheng
(Whiskyjack) - MLife

Locale: The Canadian Shield
Re: Minimalist footwear on 06/08/2010 15:51:38 MDT Print View

Hey Damien, thanks for all the input on this. Good info in your blog too!

How long was it before your feet could handle sharp rocks and such in minimalist footwear?

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Re: Minimalist footwear on 06/08/2010 19:21:26 MDT Print View

Hello Ankar, no problem, glad you are appreciating the blog too.

In terms of how long it takes the feet to handle sharp rocks, I guess that all depends. The biggest factor is how often and how/where you train. When you wear minimalist footwear, walking is much more "physical" than when you wear regular shoes. Your body needs time to adapt and grow stronger and to do it right takes time.

For myself, I wear minimalist footwear almost exclusively every day. I also trail run a couple times a week as well as do a day hike one day on most weekends. My feet are usually well prepared for backpacking.

If you wear regular shoes most of the time and minimalist shoes only on certain occasions, then your body will take a lot longer to adapt.

To get the most benefits out of minimalist footwear (and avoid potential injury), I encourage people to work towards using it as often as they can.

Josh Platt
(EasternBox) - F

Locale: Southeast
MYO-Moccasins on 06/09/2010 14:47:45 MDT Print View

You can always make your own moccasins to try out. I have made 3 pair of moccasins and I wear them everyday. I work in the field most of the day as well and unless I am bushwacking, I will wear moccasins.

They definitely aren't for everyone. I have never been a fan of "shoes" and I would always take them off when I was a kid. So, maybe my feet are used to it.