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Trail Runners and Snow
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Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Trail Runners and Snow on 12/19/2013 10:52:52 MST Print View

Down to 15F or so I use GoreTex socks, mesh trail runners, thick wool socks, and polypro liners. Sometimes I add oven bags over the liners to serve as vapor barriers. It works ok, but the shoes soak up plenty of moisture. It never gets to my feet, but when temps are around 25F or below, having cold snow or ice clinging to footwear doesn't help keep my feet warmer! A water-repellent leather outer would be better, but then my feet would be cold because they're strapped to heavy, clunky boards.

46F and rain should be no problem though. I was plenty warm at 56F with just thin low cut wool socks (no GoreTex) and constant creek, bog, and puddle soakings.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
mt110w "winter" on 12/19/2013 11:01:19 MST Print View

Adding onto my post with a picture of these shoes. I really like them a lot. You can easily hike with them unzipped.


Edited by M.L on 12/19/2013 11:03:51 MST.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Boots on 12/19/2013 11:28:09 MST Print View

I looked at REI and they have 2 "waterproof" socks that have not so great reviews. I was going to head down there and grab a pair but I think I will refrain. Boots may be a better option. Although it has warmed a little so I think the snow may have melted off. Looks like we have rain coming so it will be more wet than cold. I did a 3 day trip where it was wet and cold. Was not too bad. I always keep an extra pair of dry socks. Especially in my sleeping gear. Will have to investigate a decent lightweight boot I think. Beats having a sized up trail runner I think. Gives more versatility.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Boots on 12/19/2013 11:46:42 MST Print View

"Will have to investigate a decent lightweight boot I think."

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
re Roclite on 12/19/2013 15:22:53 MST Print View

Thanks for the link Justin. I will see if I can't find a retailer around me and check those out.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: re Roclite on 12/19/2013 15:24:54 MST Print View

If you wear a size 9 I've got a pair I'll sell you cheap (I've got the 288 GTXs). Excellent shape.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
re roclite on 12/19/2013 15:26:44 MST Print View

My feet are a bit too big for that but thanks. I think my Cascadia 7s are a 13 wide. My feet never were over a size 10.5-11 and now they have gotten big. Think it is the hiking. Could be the cookies though.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 12/19/2013 15:43:43 MST Print View

My normal hiking shoes are LaSportiva Wildcats that are generously, but not loosely, sized and I use the thin double-layered Wright socks. In rainy weather below 40 degF or so I add a pair of Cabelas Gore-Tex socks and my feet stay warm and dry. Below freezing I replace the Wright socks with a thicker model.

If the additional layers build up enough to change the fit of your trail runners, just remove the foam insole for those times. It can add enough wiggle room to make the same shoe more versatile.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
Re: re roclite on 12/19/2013 16:29:42 MST Print View

>> I think my Cascadia 7s are a 13 wide.

LLBEAN sells most of their hiking shoes/boots in wide widths if you need them. They sell both Asian-made and European made boots.

I don't think I'd get a taller version of your trail runners for cold/wet/winter use. Maybe a mid-height hiker that splits the difference between your trail runners and your hunting boots. That would not only give you something dry, but something to split the difference in matching terrain.

The Keen Targhee is a popular mid-height hiker around here. Waterproof, not super heavy.

The hiking trails around here are brutal rocky, so I hike (and snowshoe) in these. They are traditional Italian GoreTex leather boots. Not real stiff for heavy backpacking, but very comfortable. The leather is great because water and moisture never even gets to the GoreTex liner as it does with mesh shoes:

Cresta Hiker

I also have a fairly heavy low-cut boot from the same company. I wear these on smoother trails and as a fantastic around town winter shoe. I don't wear these much for rocky trails because I end up banging the heck out of my ankles.

Mountain treads

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
Thanks on 12/19/2013 17:37:09 MST Print View

Thanks for the tip on the LLBean boots. Will check those out. I was planning on checking out the Targhee IIs once I can get to REI. Good to know folks like them.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
Keen Targhee on 12/19/2013 20:10:10 MST Print View

I thought that's what I was going to get. In fact, I ordered a pair from Zappos to try around the house. Really comfortable, but they didn't work for my foot in terms of providing enough support to keep my foot from slamming forward (like walking downhill).

I really liked how the Keens fit, though. Nice wide toe box.


The all-leather Bean Cresta Hikers were comfortable right out of the box. I wore them for a hike brand new and have never gotten a blister or hot spot. They get even more comfortable as I wear them.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Keen Targhee on 12/19/2013 22:08:56 MST Print View

I love mine for short walks in cold, wet conditions. They are as waterproof as I need them to be. Nothing gets in from the outside. Unfortunately, nothing gets out from the inside either. More than ten miles or so, and my feet are soaked and slimy. So for me they are of very limited value. I'll probably sell them soon.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
Slimey feet on 12/19/2013 22:17:27 MST Print View

Slimey feet does not sound good at all.

I haven't had that problem with GoreTex leather hikers, but it may be because I wear a polypro liner and merino wool/blend hiking socks year round. I'm glad to take the boots and socks off at the end of a hike and the fresh air on my tootsies feels good, but I suspect that would be the case after six hours of hiking no matter what.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Slimey feet on 12/19/2013 22:31:50 MST Print View

It's probably just me. My feet are always either cool and dry, or hot and slimy. If I stop moving in cold weather with hot and slimy feet, they quickly become cold and slimy, and I have to stop and dry them off and change socks, etc. I almost ruined my feet once so I may be overly-cautious now.

hwc 1954
(wcollings) - M
GoreTex on 12/19/2013 23:00:57 MST Print View

Maybe GoreTex barriers in boots really does breath better than the no-name membrane that Keen uses... but I seriously doubt it makes much difference.

In any case, I'll put up with sweaty feet to not have wet feet after stepping on submerged rocks crossing an ice cold stream.

Knock on wood, I've yet to have cold feet winter hiking or snow shoeing. My hands are usually the problem, unless I go with insulated mitts. That may be a function of old age... :)

John Little
(xjohn) - M

Locale: Midwest
Same question. Great answers! on 12/20/2013 19:52:50 MST Print View

I was just about to post this same question about trail runners in 20 degree weather and snow.

From what I read here it seems goretex runners with goretex socks might work, but a light pair of boots may be called for in some cases.

So I'm looking at 20 degree snow/sleet at night but getting to high 30's and maybe 40's during the day. Several river crossings..I'll probably use bread bags for these.

For the above I'm thinking the goretex trail runners with goretex socks should be ok?

Is that right?

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
Re: Same question. Great answers! on 12/21/2013 00:55:05 MST Print View

I'm really no expert at trekking in hard core snow, so take it for what it's worth, but are you going to wear the gtx trail runners while crossing the river John? If so I think water would run over the sides, into your shoe.

I have two pair of light mids (both in gtx because they don't have them in a non-gtx version) and when they do get wet it takes quite a long time to dry if not in the sun. I.e. if I come home and leave them on the north side of my house it will take a lot more than a night to dry for example.

If you have low trail runners I would think more about breathable mesh versions that dry out a bit quicker, with a separate gtx sock and perhaps gaiters. I would consider separate river crossing shoes though.

Also as an aside, in my experience at least, the gtx shoes do get wet. They fair quite well in snow, but not in continuous rain - they consistently wet out in less than thee hours, at which time I'm really dogging in them. Good socks keep me going. But again, that is during the hot/humid rain season and tropical thunder storms, not snow.

Edited by jakuchu on 12/21/2013 15:16:25 MST.

Scott Hayden
(Spiffyguy) - F
re Slimy Feet on 12/21/2013 13:37:43 MST Print View

For me I would only wear the boots in the winter or colder times. In the warmer season I would just wear the trail runners. I think I would rather have to deal with a slightly sweaty foot than a completely wetted out shoe and sock. But I am not dealing with mountain terrain and alpine conditions. The highest place in Missouri is 1700 feet.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Same question. Great answers! on 12/21/2013 14:31:08 MST Print View

"Several river crossings..I'll probably use bread bags for these."

Bring some stream crossing shoes, remove your boots and socks and cross the stream. Dry your feet, put your socks and shoes back on, and keep on trucking.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: on 12/21/2013 15:15:48 MST Print View

Doug demonstrating the above technique