Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Footwear for Multiday snowshoeing
Display Avatars Sort By:
Yes 1000
(mamamia)
Footwear for Multiday snowshoeing on 02/28/2013 10:47:25 MST Print View

I normally hike with Trail Runners both for day hikes and backpacking. Right now my footwear is Nike Terra Humara trail running shoes which I love and is extremely comfortable with superfeet (green) insoles.

However I started snowshoeing this season and my trailers completely failed me (lots of ankle twists) I switched to Salomon Quest 4D and it kind of took care of snowshoeing trips but gives me blisters in the left heel and has a lot of heel lift, while I do okay for day hikes, it is absolute pain for snow-camping and has become an unnecessary evil I have to put up with.

Wondering is there is any solution to my footwear issues at all, I have read and re-read the footwear article but fail to see how people manage comfortably with trail runners for multi-day snowshoeing.

I've an upcoming multiday trip to go around Crater Lake (with snowshoes) and the thought of lack of proper footwear is making think twice to go on the trip.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Footwear for Multiday Snowshoeing on 02/28/2013 11:39:08 MST Print View

I've been thinking about this recently too.

I've typically just worn my trail runners on snowshoe trips and not had many problems. But a recent trip required a lot more travel laterally across a somewhat steep slope and I repeatedly would have my outside foot twist underneath me toward the downhill side. It wasn't super painful but it was frustrating and would slow me down trying to avoid letting it happen again.

It seemed like wearing boots that lock in the ankle could've helped prevent this... I just don't own any other than snowboard boots which would've been overkill. It wasn't a super steep slope or anything and I don't believe I was ever in any danger of slipping or falling down the slope but perhaps it would've been better to switch to crampons for traversing this particular slope and then switch back to snowshoes once I was finished with traversing the slope.

The other thing that has crossed my mind is using a narrower pair of snowshoes for this type of terrain that might allow you to better keep the shoes directly underneath you and/or walk with the shoes closer together without getting hung up.

Yes 1000
(mamamia)
Narrower Snowshoes on 02/28/2013 13:11:03 MST Print View

I already use a narrow snowshoes. Most of oregon trails are steep and don't require a lot of float.

janos mathiesen
(janosm) - M

Locale: phinney ridge
boots on 02/28/2013 13:39:29 MST Print View

I hike up here in the Pacific Northwest year round in the Cascades which means abround 9 months a year I am at least taking snowshoes with me and often wear them for days at a time on overnight or longer trips. I switch from trail runners to A beefy pair of Zamberlan hiking boots -- full leather and gore-tex lined. I feel boots are required for anything other than a quick couple hours on easy rolling terrain. I am often snowshoeing on quite steep slopes and am often changing between them and crampons (which also work poorly with trail runners), micro spikes or just the boot for plunge or french stepping. The fact that they keep my feet TOTALLY dry with gaiters is super important for me in cold weather as well. I recently was snowshoeing in to an overnight camp and had my feet get wet by stepping into a knee deep stream and within an hour or two I had to give up on our destination and camp early as my feet were getting super cold.

I guess I am saying that I think trail runners are really not an appropriate footwear choice for winter travel in my opinion.

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: boots on 02/28/2013 16:11:37 MST Print View

"I guess I am saying that I think trail runners are really not an appropriate footwear choice for winter travel . . ."

And I am surprised at how much I like trail running shoes in snowshoes for winter travel, including overnights, at least on moderate terrain.
Footwear on my last snowshoe overnight trip

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: boots on 02/28/2013 16:36:31 MST Print View

I've read numerous posts where people swear by wearing trail runners with snowshoes. I could see using them with appropriate bread bags, goretex socks or whatever on a trail but I'd have some real concerns using them off trail or side hilling and I would then want some ankle support. I'm returning to snowshoeing after a decade hiatus and by no means am I an expert.

Are those of you who wear trail runners taking your snow shoes into the woods or do you normally stick to the trail?

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Footwear for Multiday Snowshoeing on 02/28/2013 17:53:30 MST Print View

I typically wear an oversized trail runner with a thin liner sock and/or a thicker merino sock (depending upon conditions). I then wear a goretex sock over the other sock(s). I'll also wear knee-high waterproof gaiters. This works fine for keeping my feet dry and warm enough for my encountered snow conditions. Obviously if I step in a creek over the top of my WP socks, my feet will get wet but I fail to see how it would be any different with a goretex boot.

We usually follow "trails" in terms of our selected route but seeing as how the trail is under 4-10 feet of snow with no tracks, it's really the same as just going off-trail in terms of the conditions. Under a bunch of snow, the "trail" looks just like the rest of the surroundings. Most of our snowshoeing is either in the Sierra or up around Tahoe.

Like I said above, trail runners work okay for me most of the time. It's just side hilling that's awkward.

For non-technical terrain, I find both my microspikes and Kahtoola KTS crampons work fine with my trail runners too.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Footwear for multi-day snowshoe trips on 02/28/2013 17:57:45 MST Print View

Two words: ski boots.

janos mathiesen
(janosm) - M

Locale: phinney ridge
wet feet on 02/28/2013 18:05:44 MST Print View

As much as anything I feel it neccesary to keep my feet dry... Support and control aside, how do you deal with constantly wet feet with trail runners? In cold conditions it seems like it would compromise your ability to stay warm....

Yes 1000
(mamamia)
Goretex Socks on 02/28/2013 18:08:05 MST Print View

When using trail runners for snowshoeing, I've used it with a pair Goretex Socks.

Edited by mamamia on 02/28/2013 18:08:36 MST.

Nelson Sherry
(nsherry61)

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
boots, shoes, trails, bags on 02/28/2013 21:27:44 MST Print View

"Are those of you who wear trail runners taking your snow shoes into the woods or do you normally stick to the trail?"

Why bother with snow shoes if you're following a trail? Get skis for graded terrain!

I have not used snow shoes with trail runners in truly rugged terrain, but I seldom follow trails unless they happen to be going where I want to go. And I always use trail runners in my snow shoes.

I have no problems keeping my feet warm and dry with two layers of socks and plastic bags. I have used this system down to about 20*F.

Also, if you keep your shoes in or under your bag to keep them from freezing at night, trail runners take up less space than boots.

Finally, if I am side-hilling a lot, I find the torque of a boot on my ankle and leg to be more of a problem than twisting my ankle. I would rather have ankle flexibility when side-hilling to reduce torque on my knees and the rest of my legs. . . skis are a different matter when you can edge in your uphill edge and the boots' stability help you hold your ski level.

Edited by nsherry61 on 02/28/2013 21:29:37 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: boots, shoes, trails, bags on 02/28/2013 22:11:48 MST Print View

Yes,

I have done the Crater Lake loop like 3 Januarys ago.

I'd go with boots this late in the game. People use trail runners without pain when their ankles are 'in shape.' If yours twisted a lot (which...

Look Bottom Line: The ROAD around crater lake is flat. The Snow that covers that road is jacked up and crusty.

Imagine a stormy sea, with waves everywhere. Now imagine it was frozen solid. Crazy drifts for miles. The Avy zones were ankle busting icy traverses of prob 30* slopes. We were crying for crampons cause our ankles were done halfway through the zones. Traverses on snow shoes- yuck. Oh I should mention we DID NOT take the Avy Zone detour. We went through the dangerous spot after conferring with the ranger before the trip. Can't fall there either... nice ol man made 40' dropoff.

I say this late in the game take your quests, add an insole and/or Leukotape like a madman. I recommend boots because there is a lot of wavy terrain that is crusty so your foot does what it does. (esp in snowshoes)

I know of a group of two snowshoers and two skiers with a pulk and the skiers stopped after the first day. Cant say I blame em much.

If you feel you can get your ankles in shape then maybe TRs if you are feeling spry.

A guy with us did it in snowboard boots and Denalis!


CL!

Edited by WoodenWizard on 02/28/2013 22:13:22 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Footwear for Multiday snowshoeing on 03/01/2013 09:07:03 MST Print View

You might enjoy this if you haven't seen it already.

Yes 1000
(mamamia)
woaah on 03/01/2013 09:36:39 MST Print View

Jeff, thanks for your post. Looks like Trail Runners are not going to cut it for CL trip. I think with some blister protection I will go with my Salomon Quest Goretex boots.

What was the reason you guys didn't try to bypass Avalanche zones.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: woaah on 03/01/2013 10:52:07 MST Print View

The Avy zones are lengthy and steep on both ends. The ranger said that due to the weathe we *should be safe* to go through.

Its like the Indian burial ground scene on Jeremiah Johnson. ;)


When we went it just so happened to be a high pressure ridge parked over the area for almost a week and we were there on the last three days. Happened to be lucky.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
snowshoeing footwear on 03/01/2013 15:40:44 MST Print View

In all seriousness, snowshoes will tweak you hard on extended sidehills and the like. With low shoes it'll be your ankles, with boots it'll be your knees. Pick.

There are times when snowshoes are best, but most of the time they aren't (see above). Learn to ski and save yourself a lot of grief.

Yes 1000
(mamamia)
VBL on 03/08/2013 09:00:41 MST Print View

Has anyone got some experience with VBL socks? I'm thinking should I wear them for this multiday trip. Temp ranges are expected to be 20-30 in the morning and 10 in the night.