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Inov8 - Stickyness of soles
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Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
An expensive solution on 05/05/2013 15:55:48 MDT Print View

This would admittedly be a more expensive solution for the typical person, but... if you are having trouble reconciling the grip of the soles and the rest of the features you want in a single shoe...

I usually have to alter my shoes significantly anyway (a whole other topic) so I personally don't have a huge choice to go cheaper, but I have been resoling my hiking shoes with 5-10 aquastealth:

http://fiveten.com/products/accessories-detail/4314-aquastealth-kit-reg

for about a decade. This is a harder, more durable version of c4 rockclimbing soles with a "tread" added. At first I did this to make shoes that were grippy for canyoneering and walking on slippery rock in water, as per the intended application of this soling material. Because the "dot tread" I was skeptical of their actual application to regular hiking since I assumed a more conventional style of tread was important since all running/hiking shoes I have ever seen fit that pattern, more or less. Possibly the conventional tread style is an accommodation for lack of grip of the material itself, as a nod to more durability. I was surprised by this, but is was a great demo of what a previous poster mentioned - in most case grip come from predominantly the material, not the tread.

Anyway, I inevitably used the aquastealth soles outside of the slimy rocks in the river, and I discovered the grip on all kinds of surfaces was excellent with zero detrimental effects (for me) of the "weird" tread pattern on gravel down to sand against rock. On the other side, any surface where you can get a square cm of contact against a fixed surface there was a very marked improvement in the grip. This was a genuine surprise for me.

I found that, leaving aside the durability issue, that this is basically the best material I have ever used for hiking in any condition I can think of. OK, I don't do snow that often, and this is just my personal observations for myself. Also I discovered that there is a kind of wax used at my local grocery store, that when very fresh, you can virtually skate on with these souls, but I am able to avoid/enjoy that rare circumstance now. But I basically never *slip* on anything now except perhaps the occasional roll on an isolated marble-sized or larger rock I didn't see because I wasn't paying attention. For me the same thing would have happen in this situation regardless of sole, and I come to a stop faster. My amateur analysis is that this is because of what I mentioned above, that the total area required to get a good slide-proof grip is so small.

So if you found a pair of shoes you really love, except for the grip, you could try resoling them with this stuff. I have found that the durability is not as bad as I thought it would be. You STILL may wear out light hiking shoes before the souls wear out.

Pros: probably the best grip possible without using rock-climbing soles, seems (to me at least) to work on all kinds of surfaces, can apply to any shoe you really like, great in water as well.

Cons: price, durability hit, actually have to mod the shoes, or have them modded for you. Marking, especially for the first few weeks. Keep them off your kitchen linoleum. Also you will be much easier to track by the law, since you will have a pretty unique footprint.

Unexpected Perk/Risk: Can skate on certain freshly waxed floors.

Edited by millonas on 05/05/2013 16:15:05 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: An expensive solution on 05/05/2013 17:18:18 MDT Print View

Mark,

How much is that resole kit? Didn't see a price on the linked page, but I'm rather interested

Thanks

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: An expensive solution on 05/05/2013 17:33:29 MDT Print View

Yeah, they are kind of web amateurs over there at 5-10. If you hit the "buy" button (US purchase)I think it comes up. It is pretty expensive like $34.95 for size reg. They used to sell me large sheets of it before they had actual kits. In my experience the kits are pretty over-sized and the smaller ones are in fact cheaper, so if you check the exact size you may be able to order the cheapest one that will work.

You do get a large tube of barge cement with the kit thought. WOO HOO!

Edited by millonas on 05/05/2013 17:42:31 MDT.