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bill berklich
(berklich)

Locale: Northern Mid-West
Boots v. Shoes at Philmont on 04/25/2012 14:11:09 MDT Print View

Boot v shoes (or more like over the ankle v ankle hgt) New nere and looking for advice. Long time "heavy" bacpacker now moving to UL because of the knees. Heading to Philmont (Trek #20) 15 July. Hiking Baldy (of course) and heading into the Valle Vidal. Always have used heavy boots but re-thinking. Have Merril Phasers but looking at The North Face Tyndall Mid Hiking Boots (over the ankle) or something like Merril Moab Ventilator cross trainers (ankle). Thoughts?

Gordon Forrest
(gf2020)
Merrell on 04/25/2012 19:17:40 MDT Print View

I would just stick with the Merrell Phaser Peak you already have. It's not like that is a real heavy boot anyways.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
trail runners on 04/26/2012 05:52:30 MDT Print View

all kind of answers you will get here.

I use trail runners. Dont have any foot issues ever. Thin synthetic or wool socks.
My son uses trail runners. Doesnt have any foot issue ever either.

And that includes hiking high miles, with constantly wet feet for days.

But some people do have foot issues I hear.

Some just cant resist the marketing stereotype that you need boots to go outdoors.
Some are torn, afraid to go against the grain, and compromise on a mid-rise somwhere between a boot and shoe.

Eliminate rubbing, eliminate pressure spots, and you eliminate foot problems. How you do that is up to you. However, its still FAR easier to wear a shoe that weighs 11oz, than one that weighs 2.5 lbs.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Trail Runners at Philmont on 04/26/2012 08:27:54 MDT Print View

Our crew did last year Trek #27 - including Baldy, Valle Vidal, Tooth of Time. The crew members who used trail runners had no blister issues, while several people in boots needed blister treatment - mainly the ones wearing waterproof Goretex boots. No one had any ankle issues. Our base weights where between 12 and 18 lbs.

Enjoy Philmont,

Manfred

bill berklich
(berklich)

Locale: Northern Mid-West
Base Weight? on 04/26/2012 12:45:58 MDT Print View

Hate to sound foolish but... what makes up "base weight"? I'm at 9.8lbs w/o shelter (~2.5lbs), Crew Gear (~3.0lbs), Food and water.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Base Weight? on 04/26/2012 14:02:41 MDT Print View

Base weight is everything you're carrying, minus food, fuel, and water. These are usually referred to as "consumables," and their weight decreases/varies as the trip progresses.

There is also skin-out weight, which means the weight of everything you're carrying AND wearing.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Boots and knee issues on 04/26/2012 14:59:56 MDT Print View

Well first off welcome to BPL! If you haven't already noticed there are lots of scout leaders here and lots of people going to Philmont.

If you have knee issues you might actually do better with trail shoes. That would allow your ankles to move a bit more instead of your knees. Just a theory I'm not an expert on biomechanics.

I don't have chronic knee problems but once I twisted a knee right before a trip. I found trekking poles most helpful, esepcially on steep climbs. Also make sure your shoes are comfortable before the trip. I think limping from a sore ankle hurt my knee once.

Here are a couple other ideas.

If you go to trail shoes the big issue will be how much it protects your feet from the rocks. Some shoes will be much more protective then others. I've hiked with pretty minimal shoes but my fee were used to it. If your used to hiking in boots look for something with a sturdy sole. I'd suggest one of the shoes thats like a low cut boot, in other words a bit heavier than a trail running shoe.

I get the impression Philemont is a dry dusty place. Light gators might be a good idea to keep the grit out of your shoes, especially if you don't wear boots.

Doug Prosser has an article here about packing for Philemont.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Shelter & Crew Gear on 04/26/2012 16:30:08 MDT Print View

Bill,

under 10 lbs for all your gear is great. Even with the added 5.5 lbs for tent and crew gear you will have way less on your back than most people out there at Philmont. I personally would use trail runners at Philmont with such a light load.

It seems like your current base weight is 15.3 lbs. May be you can even save a couple more lbs. I assume you share a tent and your stated 2.5 lbs is half of a 5 lbs tent. There are many light weight options out there that are less than half that weight. That might be something to consider if you still have the option to switch the tent.

I don't know how big your crew is - between 7 and 12. Carrying between 21 to 36 lbs in crew gear seems to be on the high side. Last year our crew gear for 10 consisted of a first aid kit, a gravity filter, two jet boil cookers incl. two gas canisters, a dining fly with stakes and the Philmont issued bear ropes. The total weight was less than 10 lbs. So per person we were carrying less than 1 lbs in crew gear. There is of course not a lot you can do about the crew gear - the scouts will make the decisions and you will just carry your fair share. But if your crew lightens up on the crew gear you could get to a base weight of +/- 12 lbs.

Enjoy Philmont!

Manfred

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Boots v. Shoes at Philmont on 04/26/2012 16:38:36 MDT Print View

If you haven't had any ankle problems I'd strongly suggest low-cut (below the ankle) hikers. Don't ask about brands or models that worked for OTHER people's feet. Rather:

Go to a local store (REI is great, some others are, too).

If they don't have a sloped ramp for you to stand on while trying on trail shoes, leave, and go to a store that is actually trying to fit you to shoes that will work for you.

Hold the sample shoes in your hand and try to twist the sole (rotate the toe end one way while rotating the heel end the other way). You want it to be a lot stiffer then your running shoes (unless you already have sturdy trail runners) and sneakers, but it needn't be as stiff as traditional leather boots with a steel or hardwood shank.

Now ask for your size and the next size up. You want the biggest one that gives a good fit.

Stand on the ramp pointing downhill - your toes shouldn't touch ANYTHING in the front of the shoe. If so, try a larger size or a different model.

Then walk around the store. For as long as they'll let you. Look for excessive (>1/4") of heel lift with each step - if you have too much heel lift (= blisters on your heel), you need a model that fits the back of your foot more securely.

Feel good? No "hot spots"? Lots of room for your toes and minimal heel lift? That's the shoe for you.

Wear it inside the house only for a few days to double-check the fit. A good store (including REI) will take back shoes that have never been outside.

A good low-cut hiker is $50-$85. But you can use it around town for going to school, riding your bike, etc. As a matter a fact, you SHOULD use it around town between now and the trip to make sure it will work well for you.

A pound of your feet is worth 7 pounds off your back. I'm a big believer in lighter-weight foot wear for tweeners, teenagers and adults. They work well for me and my kids doing far more miles per day than you'd ever do at Philmont.

Happy hiking.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
shoe on 04/26/2012 17:02:04 MDT Print View

"If you go to trail shoes the big issue will be how much it protects your feet from the rocks. Some shoes will be much more protective then others. I've hiked with pretty minimal shoes but my fee were used to it. If your used to hiking in boots look for something with a sturdy sole. I'd suggest one of the shoes thats like a low cut boot, in other words a bit heavier than a trail running shoe."


What you are looking for is trail runners with a "rock plate". This prevents runners from getting the bottom of their foot bruised by small rock under a thin sole. It is usually a plastic shank under the middle of the foot.

A quick check is to try to bend a shoe in the middle, if you can, it doesnt have a shank. If you cant, it may an will usually bend at a specific place near the toes. Sometimes its engineered into the sole with harder rubber compounds in places too, especially under the arch of the foot.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
RE: Boots vs. Shoes at Philmont on 05/02/2012 09:16:42 MDT Print View

An important point on Boots vs. Trail Runners:
Proper Fit is everything.

A Data Point on Boots vs. Trail Runners:
Last summer our troop had two crews go to Philmont.
Everyone wore trail runners except for 3 people who wore boots.
Out of the two crews worth of participants, only 3 people had to deal with blisters ... yup, you guessed it - the same 3 people who wore boots. Their feet became vulnerable to blistering because of sweat maceration - quite simply, the leather uppers of their boots did not / does not breathe as well as the mesh of the trail runners.
BTW, Hydropel was used by one of three boot wearers, which did reduce the amount of blisters he got, but it just wasn't as effective compared to those who were wearing trail runners.

Not to mention how much lighter trail runners are ...


Nylon Shank Protection-
If needed, and your choice of shoes doesn't have it - I would suggest using an insole like Superfeet ... the polyethylene bottom of which more than approximates a protective shank.

Edited by tr-browsing on 05/02/2012 09:18:48 MDT.

Jay Klustner
(jklustner) - F
Comfort on 05/02/2012 16:29:57 MDT Print View

I haven't read all of the other replies, so excuse me if I mention stuff that has already been said, but I would say that as long as the boots you have are comfortable, you will be fine. I usually like the extra support, but it really isn't necessary there. The trails are very well traveled. Baldy is VERY gravelly, so on the way down, I appreciated the support of my Vasque Wasatch's. A mid height, mid weight boot is perfect for Philmont. Coupled with trekking poles for the extra piece of mind.

Jay

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Boots and Shoes? on 05/03/2012 13:06:04 MDT Print View

This might be anathema, but would it be sacrilegious to take lightweight boots and trail shoes? I recently bought a pair of Adidas Vigor 2 trail shoes. Ultra aggressive and fairly light. I had contemplated taking camp shoes to Philmont but if I use the Vigors as camp shoes, they could also double as trail shoes if I choose to wear them, strapping my lightweight boots to my pack. I know this sounds crazy at first ("Just make a choice! One or the other.") but it might be a way to provide some foot-wear alternative to well-worn trails and rocky scree trails. Or am I just crazy... :)

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
boots on 05/03/2012 16:53:35 MDT Print View

"This might be anathema, but would it be sacrilegious to take lightweight boots and trail shoes? I recently bought a pair of Adidas Vigor 2 trail shoes. Ultra aggressive and fairly light. I had contemplated taking camp shoes to Philmont but if I use the Vigors as camp shoes, they could also double as trail shoes if I choose to wear them, strapping my lightweight boots to my pack. I know this sounds crazy at first ("Just make a choice! One or the other.") but it might be a way to provide some foot-wear alternative to well-worn trails and rocky scree trails. Or am I just crazy... :)"

I know its really hard, because you have been conditioned by magazines and catalogs and advertisements and observation of countless others that really dont know what the hell they are doing , to believe you must have BOOTS to walk off of the pavement. I see many people wear boots to scout meetings, its part of their "uniform" to them. Thats how strong the association is.

But believe all the long distance hikers on this site, and on Whiteblaze, you do not. Believe people that hike 1000, 2000, 5000+ miles per year, thru terrain far more rugged than Philmont. Boots are not a pre-requisite for hiking, anywhere on trails.
Much of the time they are a detriment. They are at best just heavy weight, at worse, they actually cause foot issues.

You dont need boots, you dont need water shoes, you dont need camp shoes. To think you need all these things, is to have the mindset that will have you lugging a ridiculous 50 lb pack filled with gadgets and "just in case" items. People pack their fears, its lack of experience that causes that.

Water shoes are taken because people are afraid to get their boots wet. Camp shoes are taken because they expect their feet to be sore and tired at the end of a day. Neither occurs with trail runners.

If you have tried them both and one just doesnt cut it for you, great. Try runners on shakedown hikes, you will probably prefer them. The # of people that have but dont is small from what Ive seen.

I think part of the resistance to acceptance of runners by some has to do with the fact that its just so widely accepted that you need boots. Just remember that throughout history, "common knowledge" often gets proven dead wrong.

Edited by livingontheroad on 05/03/2012 17:29:44 MDT.

Bill Rose
(BRnPA) - F

Locale: Philly suburbs
Trail shoes win! on 05/04/2012 06:36:07 MDT Print View

Thanks, M B. Amen!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: boots on 05/04/2012 16:44:23 MDT Print View

Hi MB

I was going to comment, but you have said it all, and very well too.
Conditioning by boot ads ...
Long distance hikers ...
'Just in case' items ...
Sore feet at the end of the day ...

Cheers
PS: the only boots I own are light-weight ski boots.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Trail Runners on 05/11/2012 11:39:25 MDT Print View

When our crew showed up at one camp the Staff member knew we had just hiked in and after his orientation he said, "Go ahead and get your light ..... uh, you are all already wearing light shoes and head up to the climbing area"

That was pretty funny. He had assumed we were all wearing some sort of heavy boot. The heaviest shoe on our trek was probably one leader that wore his low top hikers that were pretty light.

As someone said, you really should get used to hiking with trail runners on your shakedowns. You will be happy you did so.

Scott