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Trashy minimalalist footwear?
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Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 19:15:08 MDT Print View

So, ive been training with a nutrition classmate for a couple weeks getting ready for summer trails and he has decided to use high-top converse all-stars as 2-season minimalist hikers. Yes, classic chucks.

I keep wondering as I inspect the holes forming in my trailgloves if he may be onto something, but seriously?
Im not out to change the way people hike, but is my partner being at all dangerous?
We hike the cascades and oly's, both of us are seasoned BP'ers (scales n all;)

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 19:23:20 MDT Print View

chuck taylor's!

yeah, they are zero drop, no arch support or heel cup or plating or anything like that. relatively cheap and good enough to wear to your wedding. (I did)

i'd say go for it, understand the limitations; getting them wet, tread pattern, etc.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
I've done that on 03/26/2012 19:26:17 MDT Print View

I once spent a whole summer in Colorado with nothing but a pair of high-top Converse All Stars. Bagged about ten peaks and hiked lots of miles. I used to pull my tube socks down over the high tops as a poor man's scree gaiter. They worked, but I wouldn't do it again. I'm more than 30 years older now and my feet are a tad tenderer.


Locale: South West US
Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 19:27:52 MDT Print View

The big-time down side for chucks is that have ZERO grip once the soles get wet.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 19:31:22 MDT Print View

Weird, I was thinking the exact same thing running today- wondering how far I could backpack in my Vans classics.

I spent my entire youth (and now my adult life) in Vans, not far off from Chucks. When I started rock climbing, they were actually my approach shoes of choice, especially out in Joshua Tree; Chucks, and Vans have great grip and feel on that rock.

I still do the majority of my living, including work, in Vans. My only gripe for taking them backpacking would be that they don't dry quickly. But if that's not an issue, go for it, wear the chucks. I think they'd actually cause less trouble for most people than a big blister-making pair of boots.

Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
Rad! on 03/26/2012 19:32:35 MDT Print View

Thanks Guys!
Not gonna worry `bout my buddy!
A whole summer, wooow...
We will be staying on-trail all year. after developing strange medical conditions (both of us) on the PCT lasr year we are holding off on dreampeaks and big miles.
This has got me thinking about picking up a pair;)

Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
Cons on 03/26/2012 19:36:53 MDT Print View

Wow I am definantly going to try some day hikes in my slip-on Vans!
The drying factor will be the issue. Iff only they made them using nylon! Could be a killer trailshoe..

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 20:01:13 MDT Print View

Chucks were my hiking shoes until I went into the service. I still wear them for casual wear. But they weigh over a pound each and not super traction. But they last for a long time.

BTW, they are not trashy. They are "boss," as we used to say when I was a kid :)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 20:05:05 MDT Print View

Funny... "boss" is actually back in amongst kids these days, at least where I work.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/26/2012 20:12:17 MDT Print View

"Funny... "boss" is actually back in amongst kids these days, at least where I work."


Nothing is new :)

I see light weight backpacking is back in vogue too :)

Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
Not trashy:) on 03/26/2012 20:13:35 MDT Print View

Sorry, I shouldve phrased better.
WOW a pound each? HMMM.
interesting that time in the service wouldve ended up changing your taste in footwear.
I am 23 years old and my hiking buddies and I all use the terms boss, cat, groovy and 'far out':D

I like thar I can stretch my toes out in my trailgloves, it seems that is one of the key components of barefoot shoes, wouldnt chucks nullify that science?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Not trashy:) on 03/26/2012 20:35:05 MDT Print View

"interesting that time in the service wouldve ended up changing your taste in footwear."

Purely economics. I couldn't afford boots in high school and the Chucks were my basketball shoes. After pounding around the world in combat boots, I upgraded to Pivetta hiking boots when I got home :)

Here you go.... wearing Chucks circa sometime in the '60s, when I played varsity BB.


Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
NiceB) on 03/26/2012 20:41:03 MDT Print View

NickG, that photo is boss. I dig.
Who knew youd be an ultralight afficionado one day.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: NiceB) on 03/26/2012 20:54:54 MDT Print View

Actually most of the time I was a "light weight" backpacker even back then.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
Nick is baus on 03/27/2012 04:45:24 MDT Print View

Nick, you get all the upvotes, time and time again. You are my backpacking hero.

On the topic at hand, for a while there I wore Chucks all the time; only time I didn't was if it was snowing and I was going for a walk, or if I was going for a run. I found at first it was uncomfortable, but then I got used to it and my feet have been strong ever since, even though I don't wear Chucks anymore (price skyrocketed AND production moved to China). Sounds exactly like the benefits to minimalist footwear.


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Nick and his Chucks on 03/27/2012 05:33:55 MDT Print View


Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Trashy minimalalist footwear? on 03/27/2012 13:34:52 MDT Print View

I took a friend of mine hiking and he wore high top converse all stars,he spent the whole day slipping and sliding on the trail and it was not wet,no traction!He never wore them hiking again.This was in the Cascades,I live in Seattle.

Edited by annapurna on 03/27/2012 13:36:16 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Nick and his Chucks - For Eugene on 03/27/2012 14:53:52 MDT Print View

My first two years in high school I ran barefooted, then some administrator changed the rules to require shoes for track and cross country. In cross country we wore Converse canvas shoes, that looked like modern running shoes -- narrow with a rippled rubber sole. We wore leather shoes for track. Then Adidas came out with running shoes made from Kangaroo skin. In these pictures I am wearing a pair of Adidas Interval spikes. They were very cutting edge at the time. My coach bought them for me and they were my racing shoes for the last two years of high school track and cross country if the course was run on grass. Tom Kircher is probably familiar with them.

Converse Track Shoes
Converse Track Shoes

CC 5

Track 2

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
PF Flyers on 03/27/2012 19:28:53 MDT Print View

I grew up hiking and running in my brother's hand-me-down PF Flyers.

So why not classic chucks? As long as they work for your feet, etc and you've tried them out in advance of any exceptionally long trips, very doable. The only caution I suppose from a foot mechanics POV is that these soles tend to be very stiff and inflexible, which may create problems especially on excessively broken or uneven terrain.

But again, if you've done your time in them before setting out such that your feet and other joints are used to them, then give it a try.

Nick E.
(trAletrasch) - F

Locale: PNW
Go cons!! on 03/27/2012 19:45:13 MDT Print View

Just got back from the local mt. bike trails. Hiked around for 8 miles. Trails were worn, but lots of rocks so it was good testing conditions!
Hiked in thorlo's and my classic slip-on Vans:)

Had a great hike. Ive worn them in already, so it really felt like,i was wearing my trailgloves but with juuuust a bit more protection for the soles of my feet.
My pack weighed In at 13lbs and I used trekking poles, elev. gain/loss equaled approx. 1000ft.
High tops would be great, and I think shoes like this will have a place in my gear closet hahaha!

Really enjoy and appreciate all the great input.