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Brian Hall
(brianquaker) - F
Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/14/2012 09:51:17 MDT Print View

So I went to REI last night to try to lighten up my shoes by replacing my old REI gortex ("GTX") books. An REI employee convinced me to ditch GTX and go with the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail-Running Shoes. The plan would be to use them during a Patagonia backpacking trip (the Torres del Paine circuit - 7 days; shorter Fitz Roy as well) which averages 65 degrees during the day and 43 degrees at night (there may be high winds - up to 60 mph). From what I understand one day of the hike will be through bogs, but I don't think there is any extensive river crossings. My pack will be 35 pounds or less.

Do you think the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail-Running Shoes could handle the job? What sock/drying system do people prefer to use (when getting wet and at night when it is in the 40s or below). Also, if the shoes were to get soaked from a day of rain or in the bogs, what do you do to protect your feet from cracking and blisters?

Would either of these shoes be better for the task:
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra Mid 2 GTX Hiking Shoes (with gaiters)
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX Trail-Running Shoes (seems to be just as light as the above GTX pair but I would guess it would get warmer)

I am a little nervous giving up GTX so please chime in with your experiences and if you would suggest going back to one of the GTX shoes.

Also, do people prefer to train in the gym and using a weight vest (I live in the east coast far from the hills) in the Ultra 2 Trail-Running Shoes before the hike or do you find that the shoes wear out so fast its worth just using a cheaper pair of cross-trainers?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Drying time on 10/14/2012 10:10:56 MDT Print View

Having constantly wet feet is annoying. But in most case GTX boots aren't a good solution, at least on longer trips. They'll get wet sooner or later and they take a long time to dry out.

Andrew Skurka recommends taking shoes off and letting your feet dry out during rest stops. Bring some extra socks and try to dry wet socks out during sunny periods. If you really, really don't want to give up GTX I'd recommend a pair of GTX socks. I don't use them often but I prefer them to a pair of GTX shoes.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
feet on 10/14/2012 10:35:41 MDT Print View

I wear trail runners, no goretex of course, and THIN socks.
I dont mind wet feet at all. Really no different from dry. In hot weather I look forward to walking in cold water. Keeps socks clean too.
Many miles, multiple days straight with constantly wet feet, never an issue.
Dont fear it, embrace it.

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
Patagonia Trip - Shoes on 10/14/2012 10:51:34 MDT Print View

I did that same trip 10 yrs ago. I work Goretex boots on both hikes. One the Torres del Paine hike, it rained on me in some capacity every day. Boots wetted out. Wished I had non-Goretex boots. The boots never came close to drying out. Weather was fine around Fitz Roy.

I would sleep with my damp socks tucked inside my long underwear top (which was tucked into my underwear bottoms). Right on my belly. Socks were almost completely dry by morning. They were immediately damp again as soon as I put on my still wet boots.

My boots rules now is to hike in non-Goretex boots when the hikes are anything of consequence. Short, Boy Scout hikes - I might wear Goretex if the weather maybe wet. It usually takes a couple of days for the Goretex boots to wet out.

Brian Hall
(brianquaker) - F
In the 40s with high wind, how to keep foot warm on 10/14/2012 11:07:09 MDT Print View

Assuming you have embraced wet feet, how do you keep your feet sufficiently warm when you are not hiking (cooking, taking a break, outside tent at campsite) in rainy 40 degree weather and high winds and not hiking? Does changing into a Gortex sock do a sufficient job of warming up the foot? I typically just go hiking in the summer where heat is more of an issue than getting cold so its not a big deal, but the wind chill in Patagonia is new to me.

Edited by brianquaker on 10/14/2012 11:18:20 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/14/2012 14:45:55 MDT Print View

> Do you think the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail-Running Shoes could handle the job?
IF they fit your feet, yes.
A whole lot better than GTX shoes too.

Cheers

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: feet on 10/14/2012 20:34:55 MDT Print View

Yes, but we don't always walk in warm weather. Sometimes it's wet and 45F, and that's just unpleasant. I've tried various solutions, and so far some kind of WP/B or neoprene sock needs to be in the mix to be really comfortable in cold wet weather.

Edited by backslacker on 10/14/2012 20:35:27 MDT.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: In the 40s with high wind, how to keep foot warm on 10/14/2012 20:41:04 MDT Print View

Assuming you have embraced wet feet, how do you keep your feet sufficiently warm when you are not hiking (cooking, taking a break, outside tent at campsite) in rainy 40 degree weather and high winds and not hiking?

This has been my issue. I'm not much of a fan of boots, and so have been in trail runners for a few years. But on hikes where my feet get wet, cold feet at the end of the day and during rest periods is an issue. Walking around camp, doing camp duties, is not enough activity to warm your feet. In the PNW, this becomes an issue with almost every outing for me. It's never a safety issue, but comfort and morale definitely takes a hit.

On the flip side, it wouldn't have been any better with GTX here, unless I had ankle high boots.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: In the 40s with high wind, how to keep foot warm on 10/14/2012 21:27:38 MDT Print View

Cold feet alone won't kill you above freezing temperatures. You're in the wilds...deal with it ;)

Feet get wet and cold, regardless of goretex. Neoprene socks are great for this, but usually overkill unless a lot of time is spent in direct water. If your shoes drain fast enough and your socks are thin (liner socks alone, none of those thick and plush "hiker" socks that seem to NEVER dry), then you shouldn't have particularly wet or cold feet by the time you get to camp.

That said...if it's REALLY a problem throw on a warm hat or torso insulation. Keeping your brain and core significantly warm will allow your body to pump hot blood to your feet without risking hypothermia.

Alternatively if your shoes are only damp but socks still wet (someone's using thick socks!) just swap into dry socks...or bring really light camp shoes and switch into those and your sleep socks.

I would just practice though. Get your feet wet this fall before a hike and see how long it takes for your feet to dry. Experience is the greatest way to alleviate fear of the unknown!

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
The boggy section in Torres del Paine... on 10/14/2012 22:06:55 MDT Print View

Honestly, crossing the section you are worried about..it really doesn't matter whether you've got gtx or not:Boggy section

It went on for about a mile or two...difficult to say because it took us so long to get through!!!Losing boots

But everywhere else was perfectly fine. Many, many trekkers actually lost their shoes/boots, so make sure you're laced up good and tight. I was happy to have my Salomon train runners (the same ones you're looking at) because at least the mud worked its way out after a while. My friends just had tons of mud in their heavy boots that didn't go away until we made it to camp.

Enjoy your trip...TdP circuit is an amazing hike!!!!!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: The boggy section in Torres del Paine... on 10/16/2012 03:49:32 MDT Print View

You get that on some European tracks too, in the lowlands. Think COWS.

Cheers

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Re: Re: In the 40s with high wind, how to keep foot warm on 10/16/2012 23:46:51 MDT Print View

Cold feet alone won't kill you above freezing temperatures. You're in the wilds...deal with it ;)
Agreed - as I said, it's not a safety issue, it's a dip in comfort and morale.

Alternatively if your shoes are only damp but socks still wet (someone's using thick socks!)...
it's not that socks and shoes are soaked, they're just damp enough to sap heat from my feet and make them feel like numb rocks after a half hour in camp. And this is with liner socks as well as lightweight smartwools and heavier merino wool blends. Sock thickness makes little difference for me - I always end up cold and clammy after I stop hiking.

...just swap into dry socks
what, and get a pair of dry socks damp? :) I've tried that, but it just doesn't work out for me until I don't need to wear shoes anymore.

I might be just an odd case and be prone to cold feet.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: In the 40s with high wind, how to keep foot warm on 10/17/2012 00:06:13 MDT Print View

> it's not that socks and shoes are soaked, they're just damp enough to sap heat from
> my feet and make them feel like numb rocks after a half hour in camp.
Change how you do things in bad weather.
We do everything we can outside the tent, then we get into our tent and remove our socks and shoes and dry our feet, and don't get out again (in bad weather). Such comfort!

Cheers

R K
(oiboyroi) - M

Locale: South West US
Re: Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/17/2012 00:18:35 MDT Print View

Camp shoes are your friend. Thick warm, dry, wool socks inside of Croc(-off)s are a small slice of heaven at the end of a long day. Cold wet shoes and socks go back on in the morning just before you get moving. Your feet will warm quickly.

Edit: Keirs - Maybe a synthetic camp bootie, the kind with a semi durable sole, would work better in your environment?

Edited by oiboyroi on 10/17/2012 00:23:28 MDT.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/17/2012 00:43:28 MDT Print View

If I find my feet are getting chilled at the end of the day in camp, and putting on a warm hat and puffy jacket doesn't help, then I put on my sleep socks and put a plastic bag over them before putting them back in my shoes. I also do as much in the tent as possible so my feet are in dry socks and in my quilt.

I have also put some plastic bags on my feet first and then put on dry socks over that when I was in a hut and just couldn't get my feet warm. This worked very well. So potentially you could put plastic bags on your feet and then put your damp socks and shoes back on whilst in camp and this should warm your feet up. The important thing for feet care is once you are in your tent to get your feet as dry as possible before putting on your sleep socks. Overall I try to just keep wearing my wet foot wear until I am ready for bed and then switch to sleep socks. Then if I do need to get out again I put plastic bags over my socks and put my damp shoes on.

I use Hydropel or Guerney Goo to look after my feet when they are wet all day.

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/17/2012 01:15:21 MDT Print View

Sorry bud but I have to agree, we're talking minor comfort, not danger. Either way your feet will get wet, sweat from big heavy boots or soaked through non gtx trail runners. trail runners dry faster. In my experience when this happens (3x 3 week trails, tons of more minor stuff) you just put your warm clothes on, get your stuff done, and if the weather sucks you get into nice dry socks in your tent. If you're above freezing at least, you should easily be able to keep warm and have that translate into feet that aren't painful. Hell some dudes hike barefoot in the snow, not that I'd recommend it. Need be though? If stuff got really bad? clean socks, wrapped in bread bags, wrapped in wet socks, in your shoes, that should insulate fine Id think.

Go non gtx- you'll love it, plus most rain isn't day long buckets.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/17/2012 06:54:06 MDT Print View

I'm not big on carrying an extra pair of shoes for camp, but I do like the plastic bag idea. No matter how well I think things through, I gotta get out of my tent again at some point.

I used to wear GTX shoes. My feet would get wet from sweat, but they'd never get clammy.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Wet feet in Patagonia on 10/17/2012 10:54:22 MDT Print View

There are no river crossings, yes to some sideways rain (I actually did wear rain pants and loved every minute of it - wet pants in 40 deg temps and 70 mph winds was no fun...heck, I even felt better putting the rainpants on OVER my wet pants, just to get out of the wind!), and yes to a nice long 1-2mile slog in ankle-knee deep mud.

Even the non-muddy days I just swapped out the wet shoes once I got to camp, put on nice warm, dry socks, and was happy and toasty. I did carry a small nano towel to wipe mud/wet from my feet first, and found that was pretty helpful on the chillier days. The salomon XA 3D ultra NON goretex were dry enough by morning, and if they weren't completely dry, they felt fine after about 5 minutes of walking in them. If we cooked in the cooking shelters I just kept the shoes on until after dinner...all of the campgrounds have some sort of cooking shelter, and some even have wood burning stoves (los perros) or are actually indoors (grey). Torres del Paine is NOT a wilderness experience...it is most certainly an amazing trek and you'll love it, but honesty there are so many comforts along the trail you'll be just fine. And comfortable.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Nervous about no longer using GTX shoes (Patagonia Trip) on 10/17/2012 13:03:34 MDT Print View

I have never used them, but Goretex socks could be a good option.

Keep in mind that wool insulates well even when wet. In colder, wet conditions I go with a 3 oz pair of wool socks and my feet never get uncomfortably cold - even in 40 degree weather with high winds or stepping in an out of slushy ice and snow. Just add more wool insulation the colder it gets. Sometimes thin liner socks are just not enough.

Edited by justin_baker on 10/17/2012 13:07:57 MDT.

Brendan West
(bderw)

Locale: Northeast Pennsylvania
Plastic bags! on 10/21/2012 00:11:39 MDT Print View

I use a tip I picked up from Mike Clelland. I can’t remember if it was on his blog or in his book or here on the forum, but when hiking with non-G.T.X. shoes:

When you're at camp and done sloshing for the day, change into dry socks, then put plastic bags over your feet, *then* put your feet in your wet shoes. Plastic bags keep feet dry, and heat from feet will help warm shoes.

I use bags from loaves of bread, but really all you're doing is creating a vapor barrier, so if you have V.P.B. socks big enough to go over your socks, it's the same principle.

Hope this helps. Anyone else use this method? I love it!