November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
buying a bigger shoes for PCT??
Display Avatars Sort By:
ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
buying a bigger shoes for PCT?? on 01/14/2007 19:39:21 MST Print View

We are planning PCT hike and have read suggestions about buying shoes a size bigger. Seems difficult to judge fit, etc. Any adivise about this dilemma much appreciated?

Edited by benkohl on 01/14/2007 19:41:05 MST.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Buying Bigger Shoes for Pct on 01/14/2007 20:31:45 MST Print View

For thru-hikes I size up a 1/2 size to deal with the foot swelling and so that on long downhills my toes don't get pushed into the end of the shoe (took some dead toe nails to teach me that...).

Lawton Grinter

Locale: Rocky Mountains
no worries. on 01/18/2007 21:03:11 MST Print View

i might have been an oddity, but i wore the same size shoe as normal through socal and the rest of the pct in 2004, and had no worries. i just wore a liner sock and nb trail runners, and i think i had one blister in 5 months.

everyone's feet are different... i never wear shoes unless i have to, so i think they might be a little tougher than other folks' feet. make sure to take your shoes and socks off when you take a break, soak them in cold streams, stretch them and relax them, and take care of any hotspots when you FIRST feel them. i saw some nasty blisters on the pct.

ryan g
(ryan_g) - F

Locale: around
Re: buying a bigger shoes for PCT?? on 01/20/2007 11:29:48 MST Print View

I found this summer that I needed wider, not longer shoes. I ended up switching to New Balance shoes, since they come in a variety of widths.

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
bigger shoes? on 01/20/2007 15:14:54 MST Print View

Thanks to all--I think I will by shoes that fit, perhaps on the slightly larger side. I've been happy with NBs for running, but there are a lot of choices out there. Thanks again.

Anitra Kass
(Anitraten) - F

Locale: SoCal
PCT Shoes on 01/21/2007 01:33:21 MST Print View

I am not sure if you were planning on buying all of your shoes for the hike ahead of time and getting them sent or if you were going to buy along the way but I would urge you to consider not buying them ahead of time allowing you to get a feel for how your feet may change. I can tell you that before I hiked the AT I wore a women's 6.5 sneaker and after hiking the AT and then the PCT I wear a women's 8 or 8.5 now.

It's pretty easy to get shoes along the way as you can order them online or when you get to Agua Dulce you can probably (ok, definitely) get to an REI, Sport Chalet, Adventure 16, or other stores. Not to mention buying from smaller outfitters in Idyllwild and Big Bear. From Wrightwood you could probably get a ride down to Rancho Cucamonga to the REI...there are lots of options for you in SoCal if you find that you bought the wrong size or model shoe. Good Luck and Happy Trails.

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
PCT shoes on 01/21/2007 07:21:37 MST Print View

Thanks Anita, I was concerned about buying extra shoes without seeing how our feet fared after 500 miles. We will have good support from home so can get stuff sent at will.

BTW--what did you wear? We have read all the material about hiking in sneakers, but my partner Kim is still concerned about making the switch from light weight boots. Her base weight will be in the low 20lbs. Much appreciated!

Anitra Kass
(Anitraten) - F

Locale: SoCal
My shoe selection on 01/21/2007 14:08:50 MST Print View

I've been wearing sneakers since I began backpacking even when I routinely carried 40 pounds...the reason, I could never find boots that fit...I have this awkward heel spur that makes me get killer blisters in boots. I also have crazy strong ankles.

For both the AT and PCT I carried 20 pounds of gear including all of my food and water...both of which I typically carry too much of. My food was also very heavy for much of the PCT as I bought from stores along the way, was voraciously hungry and didn't weigh anything once the hiking shoulders told me if I was over 20 pounds as I used a pack sans hipbelt.

To answer your question (finally) I wore Adidas sneakers (sometimes trailrunners, some times just running sneakers) for both AT and PCT. For the PCT I found that the mesh on the sneakers let my feet vent in the desert and drain well in the Sierra and from Snoqualmie Pass to Canada.

This year for the CDT I am looking into branching out and trying a different brand shoe...on account that my dad loves them and can't stop raving about them...the Montrail Hardrock. Not sure if they'll be my shoe of choice but I'm going to try them out on a few weekend hikes and see what I think. I do know that in 2005 on the PCT, many hikers were having foot problems and hitched in to the REI in Rancho Cucamonga and the Hardrocks were on sale and a lot of hikers picked them up and used them. I never heard their final verdict but I didn't hear complaining either. Hope that helps,

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
NB trail runners on 01/21/2007 17:19:52 MST Print View

I've used the New Balance 900 and 800 trail runing series for a long time. Also used to use various Montrails, Viteese, etc. and liked them too.

Recently I was trying other shoes to see what was new and maybe better for me. I have a med-wide fore foot and med-narrow heel size 12.5's

I tried some HardRocks in the store and they were too narrow in the toes for me. Bought a pair of Continental Divides via internet sight unseeen and they were wider than the Hardrocks in the toes but too high around the ankles and too stiff in the heel/ankle area for me. They did loosen up some after a lot or time (over 50 miles, but not enough to be my main trail shoe. Could be perfect for another foot shape.

Bought the NB 907 and they were great out of the box. Note that they are some of the lightest trail shoes out there, lighter than some of the Inov-8's and heaiveir than others- in league with the very lightest avialble that offer reasonable/ good support and cushioning. I like the lighter (cooler in direct hot sunr) color too. (I have'nt tried the Inovs yet)

About 15% ligther than the Con Divide. The Con Divides are proabably a bit more mid foot support if they fit you well but a bit slower to dry.

I don't have enough long trail time on the 907's to offer a complete review but have tested them in full wet and they do drain as fast as any I've worn. Based on long time use of the previous 900's and 800's with a similiar build, they should do well. They always seemed to last a long time too.

On an overall footwear note: Choosing the best footwear for each person is the single most important epuipment purchase you can make. The idea of $100 a shot to test them out is a steep but in the end once if/when you get a good fit/brand you are set. Your long days will be so much better and the extra value in comfort, safety and distance traveled will recoup the initial cost of testing.

I'd lose to see some type of LW trail hiker shoe review (vs the trail runner mag ones) that use multiple testors (differnt foot types) for each shoe.

Reviews and talk about packs, bags, bivys, etc. is a lot more interesting and sexy, but it's all about the shoes!

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 01/21/2007 17:20:43 MST.

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
Hard Rocks and hard choices on 01/21/2007 20:55:12 MST Print View

Nitro and Ron--thanks for the generous replies. It's funny I just read the drainage article on shoes and it was the final push I needed to try a pair of Hardrocks. I'm likely to try the NBs as well. Agree that the footwear is critical especially for currently overweight city-boy like me.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Hard Rocks and hard choices on 01/21/2007 21:15:50 MST Print View

Ben -

There is a first section in the BackPacking Light book that describes leg and foot issues. bd

Kirk Beiser
(kab21) - F

Locale: Pic: Gun Lake, BWCA
Salomon XA series on 01/21/2007 21:27:51 MST Print View

My feet have fit pretty well in the Salomon XA series. They also have good drainage/ventilation as was mentioned by another poster (a must when crossing streams or in 100F heat). They also have a footbed that doesn't absorb a lot of water.

I have found that if you expect cooler days (let's say sub 40F) it is nice to have a pair lightweight smartwool ankle socks because they get a little breezy from the venitilation. Otherwise I have been able to hike in any lightweight synthetic sock.

A good place to shop for shoes is Sierra trading post ( isn't bad either). They typically have 5-15 good trail runners on sale and they have a pretty good return policy (although I haven't used it). I've paid 30-50 for most of my shoes.


(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Hard Rocks and hard choices on 01/22/2007 02:10:49 MST Print View

For anyone intrested, Montrail makes a wide version of the Hardrock.

Graeme Finley
(gfinley001) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Hard Rocks and hard choices on 01/22/2007 09:59:41 MST Print View

I have the wide version of the Hardrocks (size 10.5) and it made all the difference for me - I have an old toe injury on my left foot that causes it to be wider than normals. I've also just bought a pair on Montrail Vitesse and Continental Divides and NB 709s to experiment with. Size 11 for these fit pretty well. For my PCT thru-hike this summer I'm planning the 709's in the desert and the Vitesse in the Sierras.

matthew hart
(jomatty) - F
Re: Re: Hard Rocks and hard choices on 03/07/2007 07:00:42 MST Print View

thats one problem with montrails, or actually a big plus if you have narrow feet. they definitely are narrower than most other shoes. this works great for me and i love montrails as my feet are very long and very narrow and they fit better than anything else ive tried. ive started to pay alot more attention to how wide the various shoes are and it has helped me have more comforatable shoes. i used to buy merrels and did not even realize that tehy were much wider than a number of other shoes and fit my feet poorly.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Re: Hard Rocks/Golite Shoes on 03/07/2007 07:29:44 MST Print View

I have a pair of the Golite Trail Fly MN. ( I don't know what the MN means...mens narrow?- they are not narrow so I don't know.)

I did not see an order option for any widths and do not know if there are any width options.

Bought from nantahala outdoor center online- Shipped fast in two days.

- Not much wear time yet so this is just a fitting note for online size ordering help.

Info for the Sun Dragon model may be different.

The Golite sizing seems to be different in that the sizes are not in traditional half size increments- 10, 10.5, 11, etc.

Golite Trail Fly is in whole sizes and listed as 10-10.5 , 11-11.5, etc.

I wear a 12.5 in the Montrail CDC and a 12.5 in NB 907 D. I wear the 12-12.5 in the Trail Flys.

So, if you normally wear a half size (12.5), then you can choose the Golite 12-12.5 size OK. If you normally wear 12, then I guesss you also have to size up to the 12-12.5 or they may be too small-this may be the tough sizing part for many who are normally whole size wearers.

Another way: They feel a tiny bit larger overall than my 12.5 NB and CDC's. Maybe a 1/4 size.

The toe box width is wide. A wee bit wider than my other shoes listed above. I like that. It can be adjusted a bit by lacing and with the different under sole pads included (Precise Fit System).

The felt comfy out of the box.

Mid foot and heel area is tiny a bit wider than my NB's too, but not as much as the toe box. I can see that the extra width will not be a problem for me and after a long day the extra room will be a plus. The heel area also cut lower like the NB's and that is good- my CDCs took forever to break in due to a too high heel side area that rubbed my ankle bone.

Weight for a single 12-12.5 shoe is 16.2oz
(The NB 907D 12.5 is 14.8)

Overall they seem to be a good shoe, well made, and I look forward to testing them on the trail.

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 03/07/2007 07:31:16 MST.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Hard Rocks and hard choices on 03/07/2007 09:36:24 MST Print View

>thats one problem with montrails, or actually a big plus if you have narrow feet.

I have wide and flat feet and I've found Montrails to be the most comfortable ever. Their shoes with the IntegraFit last (such as the Hardrock) have a nice wide toe-box. None of my 5 pairs of Montrails have ever given me a blister, although I find the Vitesse a bit tight in the toe-box and avoid them for long days.

Edited by Otter on 03/07/2007 09:38:50 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: Re: Hard Rocks/Golite Shoes on 03/07/2007 13:26:23 MST Print View

Thank's for the initial review on the Golite Trail Fly's.
I was wondering what the fit would be before I made the order. I wanted a size 11, but wear a 10.5, (need room for possible swelling). I figured the 11-11.5 would be way too big and the 10-10.5 too small.

I went ahead and dropped the $117.50 (wow) on the 10-10.5's. As long as they work for what there intended, they'll be worth it. I just hope they'll last at least 400 miles, so getting another pair doesn't make me think about putting a 2nd mortgage on the house.

Edited by awsorensen on 03/07/2007 13:27:41 MST.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hard Rocks/Golite Shoes on 03/08/2007 10:57:57 MST Print View

With all this talk about the Golite shoes...I too have a hankering to see what these are all about. I am in the market for fair weather shoes for the coming season. I really wanted to use my REI credit towards the well as that nice 20% off. I think I have a slim and none chance of seeing whether these are worth getting before that April 1 deadline hits. When I called the 800 number on Golite's site, the gal almost acted like I called the wrong number then transfered me. The next lady could only find one retailer in the entire state CA (300 miles away) that had them...and no phone number! about a serious disconnect between marketing and sales.

Here I was last week giving you all grief over the rush to get a look...and now I am in the same boat. Damn this website! I almost wonder if these companies do this on purpose...anyway...I can't spend that kind of coin on WHITE shoes that I cannot try on first. You guys are brave.