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PCT Footwear? Merrel Ascend Glove
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AJ Groff
(AJGroff) - F

Locale: Midwest
PCT Footwear? Merrel Ascend Glove on 01/12/2014 14:18:24 MST Print View

Does anybody have any experience with these? They have 0mm heel-to-toe differential, 6mm Cush, and 10.5mm Stack Height. I am trying to decide on shoes for the PCT and like the look of these. I have been wearing trail gloves and sonic gloves for the last couple years now and love the durablilty of the entire shoe, especially the Vibram sole. I have been considering Altra lone peaks but just cant get over the idea of paying good money for a shoe that breaks down quite prematurely in my opinion.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

PCT Footwear on 01/12/2014 16:00:09 MST Print View

I'm in a similar situation: mulling over footwear for the PCT.

A few comments:
- Seth Brewer (BPL member) hiked the PCT last summer and got over 1000 miles on Altra Lone Peaks. He loved them.

- I personally think I want something a bit lighter. I'm thinking Altra Superior or Inov-8 TrailRoc 235's, although these Merrell's look good as well. I'm one of these soon based mostly on which is a good deal and then train in them for a month or two and go from there. I wish I had better shoe stores locally.

Mike Bozman
(myarmisonfire) - M

Locale: BC
Re: PCT Footwear on 01/12/2014 19:16:05 MST Print View

Altra must have QC issues because I maybe got 100 km on a pair of Lone Peaks last year. It was like the sole of the right shoe deflated! They were amazingly comfortable. If I knew that I could expect closer to 1000 miles out of them I would buy them again tomorrow.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Footwear is difficult on 01/12/2014 19:35:28 MST Print View

Footwear is one of my biggest challenges for backpacking.

MY personal needs for a hiking shoe is as follows:

- Zero drop or minimal drop preferred
- Mesh only (no waterproof shoes ever)
- Light is good, but durable is better
- Must have some amount of CUSHION, I hike fast and long and
simply don't have the cushion on my feet
to take the pounding that I give them sometimes.

--> I prefer a heavier but more padded shoe than others, and that is why my top
pick for the PCT was the Altra Lone Peak. I used three pairs, and got about 700 miles
AVERAGE on each pair. I would say that the 500-700 mile range would be good
enough to expect out of these shoes for most folks, even though I did get about
1050 miles out of one pair.

FYI: I used Brooks Cascadia 7 shoes from Kennedy Meadows to South Lake Tahoe, near 400 miles.
I felt that I needed more cushion for the rocks, and they did work well, though the Altra's may have
worked out ok, its hard to guess now that it is all over.

--> I have also used and like the Brooks Cascadia, and will be out using
the New Balance 1210 Leadville's tomorrow on a local AT overnight in the NY/CT area.

FYI: Purely for hiking, I seem to like the idea of the ultra-minimalist shoe,
but almost require more padding on my metatarsals (ball of my foot) to avoid bruising.
ALTRA is coming out with a "Maximalist" shoe called the Olympus,
that much like the Hoka One One type of shoe, may be worth checking out.

To each their own, but I think that at least for the Sierra section, you may want to consider something more
padded that a true minimalist shoe, metatarsal bruising takes a long time to heal.
Good luck in the search and HYOH !! Cheers

Edited by Whistler on 01/12/2014 19:41:50 MST.

Ash Nat
0 drop shoes with a little cushioning are the bomb! on 01/12/2014 19:55:58 MST Print View

Interesting shoe from Altra.

Seth - why do you not like waterproof shoes?

I'm looking for a hiking boot that I'll be using on a 18 day hike and going up and down severely mountainous terrain. No climbing required, but I might have to walk through some snow, so waterproofing would be nice to have. Recommendations are leather hiking boots, but I can't find any that's 0 drop. I want some cushioning because I'll be carrying a fairly heavy pack for the duration of the trip. Any suggestions?

Edited by Maritan on 01/12/2014 19:57:30 MST.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

To each their own on 01/13/2014 07:21:29 MST Print View

I dislike waterproof shoes (WP) for many reasons, and here are some:

- my feet get hot fast and always sweat, thus blister much more in WP shoes
- WP shoes, once wet, stay wet for a lot longer than mesh shoes, which dry faster
- They COST more, and since they have a big hole in the top, never seem to really
work all that well. Water inevitably gets in some how and then they are a bathtub.
- Many more options are MESH, especially the Zero-drop shoes that I enjoy.

FOR YOU - I carry AT MOST a 35 lb pack, and that is a rare occurrence, mostly I carry
less than 25 lbs for any trip of any length. (California Sierra's with 10 days of food was 34 lbs)

Since you will likely be carrying more than that, perhaps you'll need to move into a non-zero drop boot,
but something lightweight and perhaps WP - unless you want to buy Goretex socks like I use in my
mesh shoes when hiking in snow or cold weather. Truly heavy pack hauling may be much more comfortable
in a boot with some structure, and some protection for your arch and foot.

I won't recommend a specific boot since I don't know your foot structure, but there are MANY options in the mid-weight
boot market right now that may work for you. Scarpa has some nice ones, as well as Vasque, Merrell,
Salomon, and even Inov-8 I believe.

Nathan Coleman
Heavy weight shoes on 01/13/2014 08:04:29 MST Print View

I'll add to Seth's comments on footwear for hiking with a heavy pack. I own Paradox Packs and I'm a backpack hunter. During development of the pack I put on a lot of testing miles with packs loaded to 80+ lbs. My footwear of choice? Inov-8 Roclite 315's. It's got enough cushion, but not too much drop for heavy weights. Stiff leather boots with a lot of ankle support were far less comfortable for me across all load ranges.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: 0 drop shoes with a little cushioning are the bomb! on 01/13/2014 11:50:45 MST Print View

Ash Nat you might like these articles Why “waterproof” shoes will not keep your feet dry and Minimizing the effects and aftermath of wet feet

Ash Nat
Re: Re: 0 drop shoes with a little cushioning are the bomb! on 01/13/2014 16:43:15 MST Print View

Seth - Thanks for your reply.

Link - Great articles. Thanks.

Looks like I might go with lightly cushioned trail runners after all! Fantastic.


Evan Chaney
(EvoFX) - F
shoes on 01/14/2014 16:59:29 MST Print View

I did the trail 2 years ago, and I used Vasque, Merrel, and a tried some ultra light boots out (quality didn't last, but it was fun). A good majority used Brooks.

(wait what, how did i just post this if i am not a forum member?)

Edited by EvoFX on 01/14/2014 17:00:06 MST.