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Topic: Want a pair of "grippy" rock climbing shoes< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 4:37 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE



I went on a rock scramble hike recently and was actually scared at a few places.  The climbing was something like the random photo above.  One slip and you could seriously injure yourself or die.  I was wearing tennis sneakers, which weren't terrible or anything, but I figured I'd get something made for the job.

I am the total opposite of those n00b tools brat posers who buy $700 worth of gear for a new activity/hobby.  Then do it once.  I only get stuff once I am actually good at something.  Deserve it, need it, etc.  

I decided if I do this rock climb again, I want the grippiest shoes I can get.  What's a well known rock climbing shoe brand?  If I can spend less, I prefer it.   That said, I can afford anything I want, but don't like to waste money on hype or overkill.  I'm not a professional hiker.  I will use these shoes 3-4 times a year.  I am also cool with buying overstock off Ebay, as I don't need the latest and flashiest model.  There is also a "trail walking" component to this hike, not just climbing rocks.

Shoes with ankle support are also preferred since sometimes you've got all your weight on 1 foot pushing laterally, and ankle roll could easily happen.

1) Grippy rock climbing shoes.
2) Ok to use on dirt trails as well.
3) Would be cool if I can also wear them as casual sneakers sometimes.  
4) Good value, not overpriced ripoff.
5) Ankle support?

Got any links?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 8:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wouldnt even walk down the trail in the shoes shown in your pic. (just my opinion) I would suggest approach shoes. Got mine on line some years ago. I would suggest a visit to your local climbing gym for a bit of boldering to up your technique.
Just my thoughts, have fun out there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 8:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Five Ten Camp Four

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3653632


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 8:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 on the 5/10 Kevin, good shoe for the price.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Approach shoes - aka the 5/10s - are good for trail walking as well, to a point. They aren't hiking shoes.

Real climbing shoes hurt - they are supposed to be really awfully tight to work properly, and curl your feet. Not good for walking.

Ankle support in a climbing shoe? never find it. Not what climbers want or need. You won't find it in an approach shoe either. In fact, short of a full size boot, you won't find it at all - the mid height hiking boots don't really do it either.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I really never quite know what people mean when they say they want "ankle support".  Do you mean a higher boot? A stiff sole? A wide flaring sole? In general, I think of "climbing shoes" and "ankle support" as being mutually exclusive.

I'm not a climber but in rocky areas that I've hiked that have required mild scrambles like what your picture shows, I do fine with just a sticky trail runner. (I don't mean to insult you but that scramble looks pretty straightforward to me.) I've worn LaSportiva Wildcats with success and my Montrail Bajadas and Montrail Rogue Fly's are both really nice on slick rock. The Wildcats are the stiffest of the three, which I would consider "ankle supportive", but they're all much more flexible than a full hiking boot.

What makes a shoe nice and sticky on dry slick rock doesn't necessarily make it a good shoe for loose scree. I broke my ankle backpacking in the Bajadas on a loose steep rocky trail.

And if that rock is wet, it's another ballgame, as well. Canyoneers do swear by 5.10's.

I don't know if you've ever tried climbing shoes or even aggressive approach shoes. I'd be miserable hiking in them.

If I were you, I'd start with trail runners and choose based on fit.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

aproach shoes are what you prob. want. Like any other shoe it depends on what fits. Some are narrower and some wider. Climbing shoes are uncomfortable tight. You don't walk in them.  one brand
another
There are more companys and most are good. Look for clearance shoes and you may find a good deal. Another option would be to search "climbing shoe resolers" and call or email and ask them about putting a half sole (front) on a hiking shoe.  Good luck in your search and have fun but be safe on the rock.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 11:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Jun. 12 2013, 10:05 am)
QUOTE
Approach shoes - aka the 5/10s - are good for trail walking as well, to a point. They aren't hiking shoes.

Real climbing shoes hurt - they are supposed to be really awfully tight to work properly, and curl your feet. Not good for walking.

Ankle support in a climbing shoe? never find it. Not what climbers want or need. You won't find it in an approach shoe either. In fact, short of a full size boot, you won't find it at all - the mid height hiking boots don't really do it either.

This right here.

I don't know how high you plan on climbing, but those rock faces are too complex to be climbed safely by complete amateurs even with sticky approach shoes.  Like you said, all it will take is one fall. And it doesn't have to be very high.

Do you want to footwear to climb or hike? Rock climbing shoes are incomparable to even good stick approach shoes.  

As mentioned - go to an outfitter and describe your activities. Then sit down and prepare to buy a pair of rock climbing shoes and a pair of hiking shoes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 12:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"ankle support"

That's what conditioning and muscles are for.

Another vote for approach shoes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As SmokeyBear and others pointed out, some of your "wants" are kinda contradictory.  If you want a climbing shoe, you don't want ankle support.  If you want something made for climbing/bouldering, you'll probably not want to take it hiking.  Pick your priorities.  If you want something good enough to walk in that's slightly-better-than-a-hiking-shoe for scrambling up rocks, I suppose an approach shoe is likely what you want.  But it doesn't sound like you really know exactly what you want, other than one tool (good for everything) that doesn't exist.


BTW, the "here's why I'm so different" quotes like this:

(BreakneckScrambler @ Jun. 12 2013, 2:37 am)
QUOTE
I am the total opposite of those n00b tools brat posers who buy $700 worth of gear for a new activity/hobby.  Then do it once.  I only get stuff once I am actually good at something.  Deserve it, need it, etc.  

... aren't all that impressive.  You tried bouldering once, you're not good at it yet (which is fine, everyone starts somewhere) and you want to buy some gear now.  Which is cool, that's how everyone starts out more or less.  But it hardly makes ya' special all by itself, nor are you any more "deserving" than "those n00b tools brat posers" you pretend to ridicule.

Just to try and be genuinely helpful, if you want to continue climbing or bouldering I'd highly recommend finding other people who know what they're doing already, rather than just trying to feel it out for yourself with a new pair of shoes.  Get folks who can spot you, who can tie you in and belay when needed, who know when a bouldering pad is sufficient and when it isn't.  The consequences are a bit too high to do otherwise, IMO.

My $.02, worth every penny ya' paid for it,

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 6:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the replies.  To clarify, the hike is about a 1 hour rock climbing sort of like that photo.  

Here are some other photos to give you an idea of the type of climb I am talking about:










The rest is another 1-3 hours of dirt trail walking (and back down).  Like this stuff:

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, the 3 types are:

1) Approach shoes

2) Climbing shoes  (Don't want these, as these are for real belay/rappel rockclimbing and are like slippers, right?)

3) Trail runner

Looks like #2 is out, plus, I'd feel like a douche wearing real rock climbing gear for some public park where even kids climb.

By ankle support, I meant that I've rolled my ankles many times in my life.  Any shoe that can help limit this risk is a plus.  Every hike I have 1-2 close calls where I do a quick almost rolled-my-ankle where I catch myself.

As to GoBlueHiker's comment, good call, but I wasn't clear.  It was that I don't give a damn about equipment for activities I barely do, and have no real skill at, however, this climb was legitimately dangerous in a few places.  I want the shoes for actual safely and grip. I was talking in general like the guy who buys a set of $1000 skis or golf clubs before he even has a clue.  

This does not seem to apply to rock climbs where there is a safety issue.  The point is that if *I* want this crap, then there is probably a legitimate need for it.  B/c there was a few places I felt unsafe and thought "WTF, really?"

There were a few places where ALL my weight was on my one foot and any slip for thoese few seconds would have meant a serious injury.  I can't even believe this rock park is even legal in this day and age.  Like in the photo below, if his foot slips, he's gonna smash his face, and fall down however far the drop is below the frame.  

Also, notice how his ankle looks like it could slip and/or roll very easily.   So, it's like buying a motorcycle helmet, not some flashy cool accessories to look all hipster in.  I don't want to blow $100 on shoes I barely need, but I don't want to pay $50,000 for a surgeon to shove my brains back into my crushed skull either.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 6:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the route requires a good shoe how you "look" is irrelevant.

But those photos just show hiking, albeit rough terrain hiking.....  escept in the East, then that's called "the trail"... :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 6:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Would it make sense to have 1 pair to climb (approach or climbing shoes) and then another pair for the dirt trail descent (hiking shoes)?   Do people do this?   I have a backpack full of water bottles, so I have the room.  

What's a cheap value hiking boot/shoe?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 6:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

2 shoes? All the time.

The "approach" shoe is called that because that's what's worn for, wait for it, the approach, and the return: with the specialist climbing shoe being worn on the rock climb. The compromise is they're not as robust because they're lighetr weight since they're going to be carried on the climb: so they evolved from regular hiking boots as the demand for something lighter arose.

For the trail a sole with a pattern to avoid dangerous slips and falls is welcomed. Especially places with longer approaches and  steeper returns like Tahquitz.

For bouldering I'd just wear Tevas to get there.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 8:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd wear trail shoes on that stuff. Because I've worn them on that stuff, and didn't have an issue.

The only truly sprained ankle I have ever had was obtained while wearing a full boot with "ankle support." If you're worried about turning a foot, get more exercise, hike more, build up the muscles, get some good trail shoes with a decent last and slap in a good insole that works for your unique foot/arch. Strong ankles are the real answer.

I do occasionally roll my feet while hiking, when I'm tired. It never injures and I keep hiking after rolling on through it. Occupational hazard, and not something I think I need to address by slapping planks on my legs, which is pretty much what boots feel like....

If you're scared (okay, anxious - better word for it? alarmed? briefly sane in recognizing the situation you're in for what it is?) no clothing item is the real fix - maybe more practice and experience and research and experience is. Fixing the adrenalin rush with shoes isn't realistic.

The best "value" hiking shoe? The one that fits and does the job of helping you hike without blistering or other foot pains. I don't believe "cheap" has to be mutually exclusive with "suitable" but I will pay $$$ for suitable if I can't find cheap, because it sucks to have a foot in pain and needing to hike 20 miles more to the car. You are the one who has to answer the question of what works for hiking for you, as you are the only one with a set of your feet... I guarantee shoes that work for me won't work for you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 9:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, I don't really need approach shoes for this stuff?
Just trail shoes?  
Can someone post a link to some common trail shoes?  
I don't know where to start.

That's too bad, b/c these look sort of cool.  
I could wear these socially, to the gym, etc.
http://fiveten.com/products/footwear-detail/13824-ascent-the-red-one
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 9:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey, if you had to guess, what class terrain is shown in the photos?  3rd?
http://weatherandwhim.com/blog/terrain-grading-system/
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 9:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Start here

http://www.rei.com/search?....g+Shoes


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Class 2 and 3, perhaps a little 4 - that system slides based on your level of comfort with the scrambling, I think. Climbers have a habit of under-rating and walkers/hikers have to take a climber's word with a grain of salt...

You look at the picture of the guy and you perceive that one slip and the guy will fall to doom and injury. The guy doesn't look nervous at all. I doubt he's even thinking of the possibility. Sometimes the fear is what triggers the fall. Sometimes people just slip - rock climbing is inherently more risky than just hiking after all - but being afraid leads to the sort of uncertainty that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

I do have approach shoes in addition to hiking shoes, but they are for slab and crack navigation where holds are minimal, IMO. I see a lot of handholds on those surfaces. A sticky sole might make you more confident if you're nervous, I suppose, but for me, I don't see a need for sticky beyond what my trail runners provide. (that stuff actually looks like a few trails I've been on...)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 8:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(BreakneckScrambler @ Jun. 12 2013, 9:17 pm)
QUOTE
So, I don't really need approach shoes for this stuff?
Just trail shoes?  
Can someone post a link to some common trail shoes?  
I don't know where to start.

Looking at your second set of pictures, to be honest, I think you could do that in pretty much any kind of hiking shoe or boot.

We climbed Half Dome with big traditional hiking boots with Vibram soles and traction was fine on that smooth granite. A couple of guys in front of us had to turn back halfway up the cables because their "street" tennis shoes were slipping and they just couldn't make it up. I have pictures of us in the Adirondacks a few years ago and see that my son was bouldering in his Keens.

I've gone off-trail in the Grand Canyon down side canyons that require scrambling on by-passes and my Wildcats have felt the most secure out of my trail shoes for those, especially if there's any water or mud involved.
http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain-running/wildcat

LaSportiva isn't a bad place to start. They make trail shoes, boots, as well as climbing shoes.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 9:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Jun. 13 2013, 8:09 am)
QUOTE

(BreakneckScrambler @ Jun. 12 2013, 9:17 pm)
QUOTE
So, I don't really need approach shoes for this stuff?
Just trail shoes?  
Can someone post a link to some common trail shoes?  
I don't know where to start.



Looking at your second set of pictures, to be honest, I think you could do that in pretty much any kind of hiking shoe or boot.


I agree with AlmostThere and TigerFan. Based on the pictures you posted and the conditions, it looks like you can pretty much hike in any active-type shoe or boot. Heck, you could even go barefoot or use "barefoot-style" footwear.

Use whatever you feel comfortable with wearing, fits your price range, and seems "grippy" enough for you.




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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 10:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Those rock faces don't appear too steep or as complex as that first snap looked. Clmibing shoes are not necessary. I agree with others, you can pretty much wear any shoe with reasonable grip and a secure fit. Approach shoes will probably give you a little more confidence due to the sticky outsoles, but wear fast if worn on trails for long distances.

You need to drop the idea of ankle support, especially for more complex hikes and climbs. You NEED ankle flexibility and strength to deal with the complex terrain. Ankle support is only really meaningful when you're carrying overly heavy loads on unprepared ankles, or medical conditions where the ankles are weak. In truth, even most mid-cut boots provide little ankle support, and in the long run wearing anything with true ankle support will only weaken your ankles.

If I were you and budget was the first priority, I'd just get a good pair of comfortable trail runners with a good grippy outsole. If I had a bit more to spare and planned to do a lot more rock scrambling, I'd contemplate getting a pair of approach shoes in addition to a moderately supportive (but not heavy) hiking shoe. But I'm moving further and further away from overly supportive footwear and concentrating on building foot and ankle strength these days. The ONLY time I roll my ankles is when I wear stiff raised heel footwear with strong motion control to prevent over-pronation.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As others noted, based on your expanded description and pictures, you don't really want "climbing" shoes at all.  Odds are, you'd be perfectly happy with some good trail shoes or cross-trainers, something with an aggressive tread.  Most "street shoes" suck for that purpose, as you discovered.

What you're picturing there isn't climbing at all, at least not in any technical sense.  It's scrambling, something many folks do on steep pitches of many trails and routes all over.  Getting used to it, and more in tune with your own balance and muscle strength, will help more than any pair of shoes will.  But that being said, I do understand your desire to get out of the street shoes for such hikes.

As for "what shoe would work best", that's a wide-open question.  Fit is the #1 factor for shoe selection, and since everyone's feet are different, shoes I love might not fit you well at all.  Go to an outfitter, find someone who knows how to fit shoes, tell them what you need, and try on multiple pairs until you find one that fits you perfectly, with no rubbing spots or slippage as you walk around in them.  Don't settle for the first or second pair, try on many.  Get a shoe that supports you well (which doesn't really mean "ankle support", at least not in the classic sense, I mean more supporting your footbed stability beneath you) and you'll probably be a lot happier in them than what you had on before.  Best of luck!

- Mike

ETA:  As SB and others noted, in general the "grippier" the sole, the softer the rubber is, and the quicker it'll wear out when hiking.  So there's a tradeoff there.  Which direction you want to go with that depends entirely on your preferences.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 1:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

with the kind of mixed hiking shown in your broader set of photos, a good pair of trail runners/shoes/boots would be fine.  approach shoes tend to have a sticky sole but also tend to provide less support and protection under your feet, so they are nice for scrambling but not so great for bumpy trails.  

i would probably wear a pair of trail runners on that terrain.  i happen to like treksta's evolution II and North Face's hedgehog, but whatever fits your feet.  

i might also try a pair of fivefingers as someone above suggested, but it would be a less-preferred option for me.  minimalist shoes take a fair bit of time to get accustomed to - can take several weeks or a few months for your legs to feel comfortable with them on a long hike, and they alter your stride, and they provide very little protection from pointy rocks and roots.  further, fivefingers provide little or no lateral support, which is something i like to have for scrambling, especially moving laterally as opposed to up and down.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 4:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So where were those pics taken? Where do you plan to hike most?
I agree with everyone, by those pics it seems like any good fitting trail runner would suit your needs.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 1:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(SmokeyBear @ Jun. 13 2013, 10:26 am)
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If I were you and budget was the first priority, I'd just get a good pair of comfortable trail runners with a good grippy outsole.


Ok, so it seems like I just need a pair of "trail runners".
Can you suggest a specific pair that is popular and a good value?
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BreakneckScrambler Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 1:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for all the helpful replies so far.  

For the record, I completed this particular rock scramble in my tennis sneakers.   Do you think these are just as adequate as trail runners for the climbing part?  If I don't need approach shoes, I am wondering if I should even bother getting another pair of sneakers.   Will trail runners be that much different than my modern tennis sneakers?
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0031QNXV8

If not, can you narrow down this list?
http://www.rei.com/search?....g+Shoes
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 1:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The traction on the bottom of your current sneakers is all but worthless. It's like bringing a set of Z Rated tires off-roading.

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If I'm going to be lost, in the woods is where I want to be...
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 7:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think someone else mentioned the Camp Four shoes by 5 10. I love these so much I bought two pair and one still in the box. I LIVE in those shoes. They are awesome for scrambles, walking in snow, wet terrain, whatever. They have their own unique rubber and despite wearing them all year round, trail and city, the sole has remarkably little wear.
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