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Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 19:35:22 MDT Print View

I have put away my boots for trail runners since reading several well known UL books and learning a great deal from BPL.
However I have made this change since spring never in winter.

I have a 2 week trip coming up in November and I am wondering if I will get cold feet. What is the best way to incorporate runners and winter.
I hate the thought of going back to boots but I hate cold feet even more!

How about some tips and techniques on this topic.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 19:38:01 MDT Print View

Kevin,

I used trail runners this winter with mixed results, One thing I noticed is I had to use micro spikes a lot more than with boots.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 19:41:14 MDT Print View

I find my feet stay warm when underway. I use Gore Tex socks in camp so I can have warm dry feet in my wet shoes. Down booties with removable outers for camp in winter.


Cold feet, no thanks.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 20:06:07 MDT Print View

Same as Ken with the Gore socks and booties for camp.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Trail runners in winter on 06/21/2013 20:07:19 MDT Print View

I wear trail runners year round and do a lot of winter hiking. The only watch out that I will mention is fresh snow. I have had problems with fresh snow getting into the top mesh of the shoes and freezing into a rock hard ball. This first happened on the PCT while wearing micro spikes but it has happened since then as well. I have actually stood in a stream to melt the ice ball out. Here is a picture of what my feet looked like after that day on the PCT.

Feet

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 20:12:09 MDT Print View

I have tried a variety of minimalist options in the winter. Most frequently I am wearing light trail runners (1/2 size larger than normal, with screws driven into the lugs). I wear toe sock liner with rbh insulated vapor barrier socks. Sometimes I go with a light weight boot when I expect I will be kicking steps for the extra protection of my toes and some weight to swing.

Sometimes I bring down booties, sometimes I don't bother.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 06/22/2013 18:29:41 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 20:18:07 MDT Print View

I wear trail runners in winter as well. If I'm going to be hiking in snow/wet, I wear Rocky gore-tex socks while hiking, with a warm sock underneath. I also size up half a size and get extra wide trail runners to accommodate the socks. If it's a dry hike, just cold, I won't wear the Rocky's, just thick socks.

Like Ken, my feet stay warm as long as I'm moving. If I stop my feet get cold, so I don't take long breaks. I also bring WM booties and a dry pair of sleeping socks for camp.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/21/2013 23:18:05 MDT Print View

I don't get the BPL KoolAid of using trail runners AND Goretex socks in Winter. The Goretex socks cost almost as much if not more than the shoes and still add extra weight while wearing out way before the shoe is done. Might as well wear Goretex lined footwear anyway, especially in snow. Better yet might be the new OutDry waterproof footwear, though like eVent, they tend to run a little heavier than Goretex. Anyway, I think a lot unpleasantness happens when some folks try to push 3-season concepts into the fourth.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/22/2013 06:33:04 MDT Print View

Have you read these articles
1
2
3

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Trail running shoes in Winter on 06/22/2013 06:43:31 MDT Print View

"Anyway, I think a lot unpleasantness happens when some folks try to push 3-season concepts into the fourth."

Trailrunners over NRS neoprene socks, over boot socks, and sometimes a breadbag for a VBL -
Good gaiters are essential. If temps are 10° I add overboots for snowshoeing.
Been doing it for years.
No problems. Toasty toes.

I ended up here after not being able to find a "boot" that could keep my feet warm.

50/50 between snowshoeing powder and microspikes on packed trails.

Edited by greg23 on 06/22/2013 08:58:53 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
who controls your pace, breaks? on 06/22/2013 10:25:19 MDT Print View

One point I will make about using trail runners in snow is that it's helpful to be in sufficiently good shape that you don't have to walk slow and/or take a lot of breaks. Or be yoked to another person or group who does that. Unless you use one of those chemical heat units (which I sometimes do in the toe area btw if not hiking alone for this very reason ...), the only heat your feet get is metabolic heat. You have to be moving and generating heat.

It might also depend on the individual's metabolism; my wife certainly has colder hands and feet than I do.

But if you can keep moving, trail runners are great in snow. I suggest that you try it out in a relatively benign and safe setting the first time(s).

Note (of course) that boots in and of themselves won't keep your feet warm anyway; warm-er in some conditions, certainly.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: who controls your pace, breaks? on 06/22/2013 17:11:12 MDT Print View

Seems I recall reading here in the last year or so that RJ himself has gone back to wearing Inov-8 390 Goretex mids in Winter though I don't recall his reasoning for the switch.

My Winter treks always involve 24/7 sub-freezing temps in mountain terrain with deep powder or wind-hardened snow pack requiring crampons/snowshoes. Trailrunners just would not work very well in their bindings in this scenario without an expensive/heavy overboot.

Moreover, the mountain terrain and proper thermo-regulation while carrying a heavier winter pack necessitates I walk more slowly to minimize sweating. I'm also never trekking alone in Winter and enjoy stopping to take lot's of pics and sip some hot chocolate from my thermos while taking in the views or taking advantage a nice slope for Glissading or other child-like fun.

Breaking trail/snowshoeing 10km or ~6miles in a Winter day would be about as fast as I can go and 3 days/ 2 nights is all I care to do.

I suppose if I didn't have a dedicated Winter boot and wanted to extend my Summer trailrunners into Winter then the Goretex sock system does that. But with a full Goretex boot costing as much as a far less robust sock, I don't see much benefit, just more fussing about.

Anyway, in the spirit of "don't fix what ain't broke" ~$70 sub 1kg/pair Goretex/nylon mesh mids with thin merino liner under mid-weight merino sock have served me well for a long time now. My feet stay relatively dry/warm in daytime temps down to about -15C. If I expect temps colder than that I prefer a 200g Thinsulate Goretex boot.

I want to try an OutDry boot to see if does live up to the hype. As mentioned above, freezing water in the nylon mesh can be an issue if the boot cannot be warmed/dried daily. OutDry seems mitigate that problem.

Edited by rmjapan on 06/22/2013 17:18:16 MDT.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
"Trail running shoes in Winter" on 06/22/2013 21:09:40 MDT Print View

Lots of good info, the articles were enlightening as well.
To add clarification since reading some more info:

Trip itinerary -
Early November , not really deep Winter, in SE Oklahoma, 12-13 days with possibility of snow but very very unlikely!
Ice Is more likely for winter precip, but likely cold rain. Temp range in OK during day 20-80 who the heck can guess?

So " slop" is the most likely daily water issue although trail does have 7-9 wet crossings, which in 3 season I just walk thru and keep on rockin.
But this gives me pause in cooler weather.
I get very cold in toes and fingers so I be prepared but not carry extra or useless weight.

Current foot protectin plan- please give feedback!
Day - smart wool socks with smart wool liner also have coolmax liners - which liners would be best.
Keep Rocky Gore-tex socks handy for weather changes or wet crossings if temps are lower.

Night- possum down socks or WM down booties

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
OutDry on 06/27/2013 11:50:05 MDT Print View

I have OutDry trail runners (Montrail Bajada's). I've used them on quite a lot of treks now and really like them. They breath well and with the occasional rain or step in water they perform great.

A while back I did a trek in really hard continuous (Japanese) rain. I thought about returning home because of the risk of landslides we have when there is heavy sustained rain but went on. At first the Bajada Outdry combo worked well and my feet stayed really dry. After roughly two hours of this they eventually did wet through and my feet started to get soaked.

The combination of Smartwool socks and the really great fit of the Bajada's meant everything was totally fine. Even with soaked feet and a lot of kilometers to go I didn't get any blisters. there was no rubbing, and I was totally comfortable.

Haven't tried OutDry layer yet in the sauna of Japanese summer but during fall/winter/spring they were not too hot/breathed well for me. Don't know if they are more waterproof than Gore because I never had Goretex shoes so can't really compare. .

Edited by jakuchu on 06/27/2013 12:43:45 MDT.