I have a -for me- important question about minimalist shoes...... But, let’s explain my situation first: Over the last few years, I’ve been transitioning into lighter packs, although I haven’t been able to get the base weight into the UL-figures -yet :)-. At the moment, for three season use, it’s in between 5 and 6 kgs (11 – 13 lbs.) but I’m confident I’ll be able to get it into the single digits with a few more MYOG alterations I have in mind (I’m hoping to achieve an 8 or 9 lbs. base weight).
At the same time I’ve changed my shoes as well. All my life (I’m nearly sixty now) I’ve been walking in sturdy, heavy, semi-rigid mountain boots, because that’s what you were supposed to do when venturing into the mountains; at the moment (except in mid-winter) I do exactly the same as I did before, but use sandals (Columbia Titanium Torrent) instead of the fore-mentioned boots. I have to admit this has taken quite a while: I started with some mid height trekking boots, then went to lower boots, changed into XC Trainers and my last acquisition (over 1 year ago) was the pair of before mentioned water sandals.
With every change my feet became happier and now, with the sandals, they are delighted. Where before, with the heavy boots they felt miserable and in pain at the end of the day, now they seem to be able to keep on walking and walking and walking. Only once a blister was developed and that, I think, was because I really went too quick (was in a haste to get to the end of a trail at an agreed time). At my age I don’t run anymore -I don’t even walk at a quick pace-, but I do walk from dawn till dusk which means I’m getting about 20 to 30 miles out of each day (depending on elevation gain) and that’s what my question is about:
Since my actual Columbia Torrent' are -nearly- ready for retirement, I was thinking of getting the Tech Amphibian (Salomon); these are still sandals but they have a mesh covering to help keep debrish out (quite an advantage over 'normal' sandals). Now, after reading this very informative article, I wouldn't mind undertaking another change in my walking-habits, but...... What about doing the kind of mileage explained before in minimalist or barefoot shoes? When answering this question it’s important to bear in mind that my “adventures” in the backcountry normally last about 1 to 2 weeks; this means, on a “normal” hike (1 week to 10 days), I carry ALL my food (10 days = around 15 lbs.) for the whole trip in my pack from the beginning (if the trip is 2 weeks, I’d organize same in such a way I’ll have a re-supply point somewhere half way). All this means that my initial starting weight (base weight + consumables + water) -at this moment- for a 10-day trip gets up to a considerable 30 lbs (12 + 15 + water). Even WHEN I get the base weight down to 8 or 9 lbs. (note I didn’t say IF, because I’m sure I’ll be able to), the total initial weight will not be less than 25 lbs (8 + 15 + water). Once again, is this “doable” with minimalist or barefoot shoes?