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Considering Minimalist Footwear for Backpacking
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Jonathan Rozes

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Inov8 288s + VaprThrms = happy feet on 11/12/2012 13:08:57 MST Print View

I've used 288s now through three elk hunting seasons here in Oregon. For that type of environment (temps around freezing; endless rain and snow; lots of cross country travel over wet, muddy ground; plentiful dead fall), I think they're the best thing going.

This year I tried a pair of RBH VaprThrm socks instead of the usual wool affair, and I'm a convert. My worries that they wouldn't be warm enough on their own, or that my feet would drown in sweat if temps got too warm proved to be unfounded.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
pack weight induced leaning on 12/13/2012 07:27:23 MST Print View

" Don’t forget about the impact that pack weight has on the center of gravity. This results in a slight rearward lean relative to the barefoot runner "

ummmm ..
ok.pack induced leaning

so form this shot at ought plus sea level on the Mackenzie Delta (very flat), we can see that excess weight makes things lean forwards. this puts the legs in a slightly climbing attitude, and we haven't even got to a hill yet. everybody knows Ryan knows exactly what he's talking about, but i thought a pic of things taken too far might better explain it.

even peter has lightened up on the boots since this shot was taken. the heavy boots were costing me probably over a mile a day in fatigue and discomfort. the lighter boots are just annoying on sidehills.
so if it's going to be miles vs an occasional bother.. that's not very hard choice.
the issue of security the big boots bring to the table is another matter entirely.


Christine McClane

Locale: PNW/PCT
Altra Superior? on 01/02/2013 01:53:27 MST Print View

I have been seriously thinking about getting Lone Peaks for awhile now. Have been wearing VFFs and Vivo Lucy Lite every day, but want something with some cushion for backpacking. However, having tried on the LPs three separate times, I can't get over the way my toes hit the stiffer stitched-on mountain design on the front. I think it would result in blisters within a few miles. I also have some heel slippage in them, though heel-lock lacing helped somewhat. So my question is, has anyone tried the new Altra Superior? I like the way they feel on my feet much better, but they have less cushion, more flex (but not as much as something thinner like my Vivos), and an even less aggressive tread than the Lone Peak. I think they would be great for day hiking, or short backpacks, depending on the terrain, but I'm just not sure, especially about the tread, for more difficult terrain, or week-long+ trips. I haven't done any hiking in minimalist shoes yet (except a short photo walk in my VFF KSO Treks), but plan to as soon as I can find time (and hopefully some slightly warmer weather), to see how my feet feel over rocks and roots in the Treks.

Anyway, my point is...thoughts or experience with Altra Superiors?

C Brown
(sludge) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Flexibility is not equal through all portions of the footbed on 05/09/2013 07:18:24 MDT Print View

The discussion of flexibility so far seems to focus on overall flexibility of the shoe. I am comparing several low drop or zero drop shoes and there is a big difference in flexibility from the heel to the toe. Traditional minimalist shoes are flexible tortionally (pick it up and twist the heel with your hands and it flexes). But I find a shoe that doesn't flex in the rear of the shoe prevents me from rolling out and givse me support on the scree and lateral inclines. However, flexibility from front to back at the ball or just behind the toe is a different issue. Some models are stiff from front to back (causing heel slippage in some cases) and some have huge front to back flexibility in the forefoot.

Any comment on advantages and disadvantages of flexible forefoot and more rigid heel?