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A couple questions on Phlmont (tents, gaiters, boots).
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Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Happy feet, happy hiker, happy crew on 03/22/2012 21:54:47 MDT Print View

You need a light pack, trail runners with a little extra room for foot swelling, trekking poles, strong ankles (can work on this before you go), and Dirty Girl gaiters to keep debris out and to impress other crews with your cutting edge savoir faire.

Douglas Prosser
(daprosser) - MLife

Locale: Camarillo, California (SCAL)
Re: Re: Philmont trails and shoes on 04/02/2012 23:53:57 MDT Print View

Jim is right on with the training (just walking), weight, a little extra room in the trail runners, keeping the pack light (<25lbs), and just have fun

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Philmont footwear - revisited on 06/22/2012 13:37:09 MDT Print View

I know this thread is a little old and I already posted once, but since I just got back I wanted to weigh in on the footwear issue again.

I went in 2008 with some reasonably lightweight boots (Vasque) and just finished our 2012 trek where I wore Inov8 Rocklite 295 trail runners.

On both treks we experienced just about every kind of trail you find at Philmont and did similar mileage with similar weight packs, so I have a pretty good "apples to apples" comparison.

I can now say with certainty that I believe trail runners are superior to boots for the trails there, even the very rocky ones. I expected to have some times where I wished I had worn boots, but that never happened.

Like others have posted, foot and ankle conditioning is necessary for whatever footwear you choose.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Trail Runners at Philmont on 06/22/2012 14:19:04 MDT Print View

I agree on the Trail Runners. I got our whole troop to wear trail runners or just running shoes. Of course, this was coupled with light pack weights. I remember when we got to one camp. We went to the staff cabin for our orientation and site assignment. It was a rock climbing camp and the staff member told us to head to our campsite to take off our boots and change into... he just stopped and said he had never seen a whole troop that all had trail runners. Pretty funny. The boys just dropped their packs in camp and headed up to the climbing wall.

david richardson
(drichi) - MLife

Locale: midwest
Re: Trail Runners at Philmont on 06/22/2012 17:46:06 MDT Print View

John, What kind of sock did you use with 295 roclite's? thanks, dave

trail shoes on 06/22/2012 18:03:04 MDT Print View

Runners are superior to boots everywhere, not just at Philmont. Seriously.

If you dont believe, hike a few hundred miles of rocks, roots, water in each to make up your mind.

I have hiked some unfriendly terrain. Miles of boulder fields downhill, miles of trail that is filled in with softball sized rocks, wet feet for days, trails that are nothing but roots, steep uphills that require hand over hand climbing, etc. Runners do great in all of it.

You will roll an ankle from time to time in any shoe, especially if you are careless. Boots dont help that at all, they actually may make it worse by reducing feel and making you clumsy with heavy weight on your feet. They are heavy, they tire you out, they make your feet hurt, they dont breathe, they dont dry, and they just might cause blisters.

The only bad thing I can say about trail runners is your socks get dirty quicker due to the mesh, and require washing at least every 2 days or dirt buildup can start to cause foot abrasion. If you walk thru water they will clean themselves though and stay nice and clean.

Stephen Everson
(mrevets) - F
Re: Philmont footwear - revisited on 06/23/2012 17:55:25 MDT Print View

John -Question on trail runners - Since Philmont suggests you pack another shoe to change into from your boots...did this mean you did not take another pair of shoes..i.e. the only shoe you had on the trip was your Rocklite 295's?

Our trek is in 2013 and I am rethinking my footwear now after reading your post.

Since you wore trail runners, would you also recommend wearing gaiters?

Also, did you wear a sock liner and hiking sock or just a pair of hiking socks? I am torn on liners or not. I was at Philmont 30 years ago... The pictures of me at philmont back then, I was wearing the knee high boy scout socks(cotton back then..who else remembers official boy scout garters to hold them up. :) ) with a pair of low wool socks...and leather boots that ended up getting branded...

Alot has changed in 30 years with equipment...


John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Philmont shoes/socks/gaiters on 06/24/2012 18:26:11 MDT Print View

"John -Question on trail runners - Since Philmont suggests you pack another shoe to change into from your boots...did this mean you did not take another pair of shoes..i.e. the only shoe you had on the trip was your Rocklite 295's?

Since you wore trail runners, would you also recommend wearing gaiters?

Also, did you wear a sock liner and hiking sock or just a pair of hiking socks?"

The Rocklite's were the only shoes I took. I did take a pair of Croc's as camp shoes last time (when I wore boots) but found that with the trail runners I really could do without camp shoes.

I took a pair of gaiters but only wore them once. They didn't seem to make much difference so I would leave them at home next time.

I took 4 pair of hiking socks. One pair of regular BSA socks and 2 pair of black low cut socks (I think they were nylon) and 1 pair of sleep socks (to help keep my bag clean). I did not use sock liners like I did with the boots.

My feet did get dirtier with the trail runners but I would wash them every night before bed.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Philmont shoes/socks/gaiters on 06/24/2012 18:53:03 MDT Print View

Goodness, that's a lot of socks!

Dan Lee
(scoutbuff) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
TRAIL RUNNERS FOR PHILMONT... on 07/03/2012 14:46:39 MDT Print View

I just returned with the following observations...
1. Our crew had a mix of hiking shoes, light weight boots, and my GORETEX leather Sundowners.
2. Trail runners and hiking shoes will do fine for those that have a modest to light pack and have strong ankles.
3. Many of our crew had sore feet for a few days. Really need a stiffer sole than just the average street running shoe. I'm an avid trail runner here in Colorado and can attest to the value of a sturdier sole.
4. Gaiters? No experience but can tell you that everyone in our crew was filthy from dust. Don't think gaiters would make much of a difference...
5. The hike down from Baldy to Baldy Town is an extremely rocky trail with most stones about baseball size. Shoes or boots, the trail is rough... One of the Baldy Town staffers said that they have "a few ankle injuries each week" from that section of trail. Seems crazy that they don't have a cons project there to fix it.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Re: TRAIL RUNNERS FOR PHILMONT... on 07/22/2012 06:15:13 MDT Print View

Thanks for keeping this thread alive Dan! Great observations.

Dan Lee
(scoutbuff) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
TRAIL RUNNERS... on 07/23/2012 11:45:15 MDT Print View

I encourage you to be very vigilant when you talk to the crew about using trail runners in place of boots. Specifically, I've heard stories of boys hearing "trail running shoes" and then buying a pair of ASICS GT2160s or Nike Air Max.

Montrail, Inov-8, La Sportiva and Salomon are well known brands for real trail running. These will provide a much more stable foot bed than the usual running shoe. They will also help to minimize the sore, bruised foot soles that you're likely to encounter...

There has been a trend to much lighter, "natural feel" shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers or Merrell Trail Gloves. These would be fine for a camp shoe but not hiking. They simply don't have enough sole.

As an additional point, our ranger said that there are a number of crews that show up in their "trail running shoes" and are told to go over to the ToT Trading Post to get better shoes/boots.

Just something to consider... Hope this helps some.