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Topic: My Backpacking Footwear Advice, What works for me< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 6:44 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am new to the forum here, in fact, this is my first post :-)

I figured there would be no better way to kick things off than with something near-and-dear to a backpackers heart: their feet.

I have been a backpacker for quite some time now. I have also been a minimalist footwear proponent since before it was a fad. I think boots are overkill (I am sure many disagree - that's fine with me). I have finally released my thoughts/experiences as an article series that I think some of you may be interested in.

Yes, this is a little self promotion, but I think this information is important and needs to get out there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 10:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You use what works for you. That's the beginning and end of it.

I looked at minimalist shoes and know people who use them. The vast majority of the people I ask will say "I used them until I broke a toe."

I prefer hiking with real protection under my foot, so use shoes. I'm a klutz and have no real urge to use the helicopter any time soon.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 10:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

dtougas - Welcome to our forums. I hope you help us with our fight to save bacon.

I am interested in your take on footwear and your reasoning. I love to gather new information and have been curious about some of the newer footwear. Please post that information here vs. force us to visit your blog.

As a suggestion - Please post what you see as relevant here if you want to join in our discussions. Otherwise, your posts will be marked as spam and you will end up removed from the boards. We come to the forums to have discussions here, not on your blog.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 10:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Welcome, Damian.

Quick question... Is this post a "hello" and an acknowledgement you'd like to stick around awhile and join in discussions, or just a "fly-by-night" post to promote your new blog and bump up traffic, using the forum for free advertising?  If the former, hello.  If the latter, we tend to see a "lookitmyblog!" promotion around here at least once every week or two. Most never stay more than a day or so.  Time will tell.

ETA: And I agree with Tigger.  If you want to discuss footwear folks would be happy to have a debate here. But I'm not interested in offloading over to your blog to chat.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 12:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wore big heavy boots for the first 25 or so years I backpacked.  Then I finally got my base load under 15 and was able to change to trail runners.  I won 5 Fingers for my kayaking shoes, and would not consider them quite sufficient for hiking in.  Just my opinion, based off my own footwear wants and needs.

It would seem to be impolite to not welcome you to the boards.  Please take the time to introduce yourself properly in the TR.  Where are you located, in a general way, and where do you like to hike?  I will allow others to ask your opinion on our requisite 20 questions.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 2:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

its strange, i have an unorthodox opinion on these things. I am a lightweight hiker and use a baseweight ( pack, tent,bag,mat) of only 7 pounds. I even use a tarp. But i go for heavy boots. The tougher and heavier the better.  I just like the stability on rocks and the exercise of heavy boots. To me, the goal of "lightweight" is to get it off your back. Your boots & poles are not on your back so dont matter to me. I know this is unorthodox.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 5:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't think he is coming back. But my two sense is that the trail runner for me is perfect. Love my Inov8 Roclite 312 GTX.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 6:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, another one-post-blog-wonder.  Big surprise.  Color me unimpressed.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 6:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I used to recommend full grain leather uppers for backpacking, but 5 years ago I forgot to put them in the car for a multiday trek in the High Peaks of the Adirondaks. I had to use my dayhikers on those rugged trails,, and had no problem.

Just got back from a week of rugged hiking in North Carolina with my new Treksta Evolution Mids, and they worked out great. They're not minimalist, but a lot lighter than the Merrell Phaser Peaks I had been using.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 8:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've owned both. My chief love of mid-range Trail runners is they just seem to be less murderous all around on your feet.

While I'm breaking in my new Mammuts for the mountains this fall I'm giving my feet a rest in a pair of Salomon Synapse GTX that are midheigh and burly enough that I don't feel exposed going up rocky scree. Recommended if anyone's looking for a goretex train runner. :)

I've never gone five fingers but I've toted around a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves for a couple year as camp shoes. Light as sandles and roomy for my taxed and swollen end of day feet. :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 9:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think this

http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAU....34fd5b6

is more important to share with the world but have no blog to direct you to so here I post it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 10:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I enjoy this website and the articles, and don't find it a blatant self-promotion in the sense of it being driven primarily by an intent to make money but rather deliver information on a topic that frankly has barely existed in this forum.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 11:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry for the delay in my response. I spent the whole day on the road driving to Maine, and am headed out backpacking this weekend to the Bigelow preserve, so I will be off the air again until Monday.

I currently live in Quebec on the Gaspe Peninsula, although I spent the last 8 or so years in Maine hiking and backpacking in and around the White mountains. It is nice to be back here visiting again, we really miss this place.

AlmostThere: I hear ya - and judging from your response you probably didn't read my articles - that is fine, but reserve judgement until you at least hear what I have to say. I am not asking anyone to convert. My point is to convey information to people for whom may have issues preventing them from doing it pain free. I had to give-up hiking for a period of time in my life due to physical issues, and it was my conversion to minimalist footwear that enabled me to hike and backpack again.

I put a lot of research, time, and effort into those articles, and I want to give the information away to anyone whom it may be of use. I don't care where we talk about and debate them, but I want the info to live in one place - and not on the Backpacker forum (or any forum or social media site for that matter). I just thought it might be helpful, and relevant, so I posted the link here. I didn't mean to offend.

Looks like I am not off to a good start.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 11:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Look, we spend a lot of time, research, and thought in building this forum into a place to share information, not accumulate it under individual sites.

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(TDale @ Jun. 21 2013, 11:48 pm)
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Look, we spend a lot of time, research, and thought in building this forum into a place to share information, not accumulate it under individual sites.

So you are suggeting that if I want to share anything I write with the Backpacker community, I am only allowed to publish it here?

What should I do? Not share at all? Re-post?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 12:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You want us to read it, post it here.  You want to post it anywhere, post it there.  A lot of people here don't like redirections to individual's blogs.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 12:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Perhaps social media has polluted my forum etiquette ... as in those venues people don't really care where you link to.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 12:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, that is a pretty general problem.  Hope you can get over it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 12:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dtougas @ Jun. 22 2013, 12:17 am)
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Perhaps social media has polluted my forum etiquette ... as in those venues people don't really care where you link to.

I don't care what you link, as long as you don't expect me to read it....

We do get a lot of spammers here tho. And sometimes people who don't participate in meaningful ways in the community, and just post encouragements to follow the link over here, follow the link over there.... those of us with blogs put in in the signature area of the profile and then participate meaningfully without the sales pitch and that is a benign way of doing it that's not annoying at all.

And I still don't care about minimalist shoes.... so won't converse much about the topic. But if you post it here other people will definitely discuss it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 11:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I must say that it does rub me a little wrong when people come on, assume that people care what they have to say without a 'hi,' or, a 'screw you.'

I also wouldn't trust a link from a noob. If you stick around for a while, let some of us get to know you, come to trust your intent, we might be a little more likely to check your blog.

A few months ago, some girl/woman joined us. She told us all about how she and her boyfriend were making gear purchases and making grand plans to start hiking and camping and... Then she asked about Merino wool sleeping bags.

What am I to think? Well, all I did think was that she was the kind to go, and go without knowing. And perhaps may be found after being missing for three weeks in her Merino wool sleeping bag.

As for footwear, pretty much anything less than a true hiking boot/shoe will disintegrate in the Catskills, and that's where I go, mostly. Because I have bird ankles, mine are boots.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 11:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Minimalist footwear? Cody Lundin.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 2:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dtougas @ Jun. 21 2013, 9:04 pm)
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(TDale @ Jun. 21 2013, 11:48 pm)
QUOTE
Look, we spend a lot of time, research, and thought in building this forum into a place to share information, not accumulate it under individual sites.

So you are suggeting that if I want to share anything I write with the Backpacker community, I am only allowed to publish it here?

What should I do? Not share at all? Re-post?

Is it so hard to post some bullet points of your thoughts or things learned regarding footwear and ask for a discussion?

Do I need your entire blog posted here? No.

It sounds like you want to share. Go for it. I'm interested.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2013, 3:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i think people who post here take themselves and the internet far too serious. Is it that important? You see this on a lot of forums , three guys agreeing with each other at all times, squashing any dissenting opinions.  So the guy shows up and has a blog, big deal. I have more important things to deal with, and you people dont. And that says a lot more about you than him. Out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have to agree, boots are overkill for most of here.

Who needs boots here.



and here



and here on a 28 day XC trip, carrying 150 lb combined loads at the TH, (be sure to click the image to get it to full size on a real computer monitor, not a little laptop or smartphone)




"If the shoe fits, wear it;  coming up  in the next episode....one size does not fit all"

PS: I never even clicked on your link.....


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 10:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We are a product of our environment and experiences.
That does not necessarily mean our opinions and exhortations are valuable to others.

"Whatever works for you" may not work for all. Too many make decisions based on little reasoning and/or well laid out methods for their decision but speak as though they are experts and all must follow their direction to "do it right".

I try to tailor my kit to the trail needs, climate and my physical needs/desires. I do read about what others have done and used. None of us can wear every brand and type of everything out there. We can learn from others and use that info to our gain..."IF" that person is reliable, can communicate well and has no axe...or in some cases specific method they are pushing...to grind.

I enjoy reading about others experiences.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 11:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Every noob with a blog wants to post it. We shouldn't make such a big deal - makes us look like a bunch of snobs. We can always ignore them.


What bugs me about the minimalist footwear evangelists are the unsubstantiated claims that somehow your body is better off if you don't protect your feet. Reminds me of snake oil sales pitches - "Try it. I promise it will work." If you are serious about minimalist footwear, it's more of a lifestyle choice than a gear choice. The vast majority of us will have better backpacking trips if we ensure our feet are protected.

That said, I'm a trail runner convert since last year, though not a minimalist shoe guy. I want enough shoe to provide some arch support and protect from stone bruises. I've learned the hard way that quick-drying footwear beats "waterproof" footwear every time. I still keep heavy mountaineering boots for snowy climbs.

The OP's conclusion in his blog is reasonable - "The full benefits of this system will be realized as you gain strength, experience, and progress towards more minimal footwear. Like everything else with ultralight backpacking, finding the right balance that works best for you and the conditions you travel in will take time, and experience.

If I can encourage you with one thing, it would be to see how minimal you can go... it may take some time and some work, but you might surprise yourself."
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 2:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The sarcastic comments from many here are really unimpressive. No one is forcing anyone to read the materials, and they're not blatant advertising. If you haven't read it, don't bother to comment negatively, especially not in a childish and snarky way. I don't necessarily agree or disagree with the materials presented in the links, but I am open to considering new approaches. Plenty of people post links to their hiking blogs here without condemnation. Why are people throwing this guy under the bus?

I don't plan on backpacking in five fingers any time soon. But my recent hiking in minimalist shoes has left my feet feeling both more comfortable overall but easily fatigued. I attribute the fatigue to weak feet (and what mostly amounts to a desk job these days) and the comfort to the lack of rigidity working against the way my feet and ankles wish to work. Under heavy load and on rocky surfaces there is no way I'd want to use my minimalist shoes. Probably ever. But it definitely has been improving my balance and stability wearing less supportive shoes in general.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 7:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think that there are a lot of "my-way-or-the-highway" barefoot/minimalist proponents out there that give the whole "movement" a bad name. My stance is a little different, or perhaps pragmatic is a better word.

My stance on footwear is that we need to think of them more like gloves. As in we typically only wear gloves to protect our hands from some adverse environmental condition. And we usually only wear as much glove as we need to get the job done, otherwise we want as much dexterity and feeling as we can get while still maintaining the protection we need. We usually don't look to gloves for support or correction.

I genenerally believe that footwear should not be corrective, unless absolutely necessary. That we should rely on the strength of the foot as much as is reasonably possible. Obviously there are cases when people absolutely need it, and I am not opposed to that. I do believe though that corrective and supportive footwear is far too oversold, and can have negative effects. I like to challenge people to scale down and find their lower limit, as I believe it is better for them.

I also believe that the needs for protection change by the season and terrain. This is obvious. The question is how much is really necessary.

@swimswithtrout, I think your argument is funny because what you are suggesting is that just because I need a one ton truck when I go to the hardware store once a year, that I need to buy one and use it for running all of my errands throughout the year. If you are a building contractor, then that is a completely different story... Would I wear FiveFingers in those conditions? Maybe, it all depends on whole host of factors. Have any of you guys heard of Barefoot Jake? Google him (since some of you are opposed to posting links to blogs ;-) He would do it, and does all the time. Does that mean everyone should? No, but it helps to stretch your mind about what is possible.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 23 2013, 9:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dtougas @ Jun. 21 2013, 11:39 pm)
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AlmostThere: I hear ya - and judging from your response you probably didn't read my articles - that is fine, but reserve judgement until you at least hear what I have to say. I am not asking anyone to convert. My point is to convey information to people for whom may have issues preventing them from doing it pain free. I had to give-up hiking for a period of time in my life due to physical issues, and it was my conversion to minimalist footwear that enabled me to hike and backpack again.

Here's the thing, tho - you're throwing information at an online community that's swimming in it already, thinking you are doing us a favor somehow.

I didn't read your articles because I don't care about minimalist footwear, so you apparently don't have anything to offer me. I hike without pain already. I've already figured out how to do it the way that works for me. I used to have problems and now I don't.

The difference between you and me is that I only offer the unique and wonderful information I have acquired to those who ask for it. I very much dislike spending a lot of time trying to talk to people who assume that "everyone needs to know" - it's tedious talking to evangelists who think that because they have a wonderful hammer, everything is a nail. Not that I think you are one of those. You've given the forum no real chance to know who you are, tho. So no real way to "consider the source."

I don't think you are off to a bad start, but you're not understanding the forum you're posting in.

And no, I'm not in the least sarcastic or giving anyone a hard time... I save that for the people who enjoy that side of me.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2013, 12:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Jun. 23 2013, 9:20 pm)
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(dtougas @ Jun. 21 2013, 11:39 pm)
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AlmostThere: I hear ya - and judging from your response you probably didn't read my articles - that is fine, but reserve judgement until you at least hear what I have to say. I am not asking anyone to convert. My point is to convey information to people for whom may have issues preventing them from doing it pain free. I had to give-up hiking for a period of time in my life due to physical issues, and it was my conversion to minimalist footwear that enabled me to hike and backpack again.

Here's the thing, tho - you're throwing information at an online community that's swimming in it already, thinking you are doing us a favor somehow.

I didn't read your articles because I don't care about minimalist footwear, so you apparently don't have anything to offer me. I hike without pain already. I've already figured out how to do it the way that works for me. I used to have problems and now I don't.

The difference between you and me is that I only offer the unique and wonderful information I have acquired to those who ask for it. I very much dislike spending a lot of time trying to talk to people who assume that "everyone needs to know" - it's tedious talking to evangelists who think that because they have a wonderful hammer, everything is a nail. Not that I think you are one of those. You've given the forum no real chance to know who you are, tho. So no real way to "consider the source."

I don't think you are off to a bad start, but you're not understanding the forum you're posting in.

And no, I'm not in the least sarcastic or giving anyone a hard time... I save that for the people who enjoy that side of me.

I love you.

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There are only two things I don't like about people: They take too long to cook and taste like crap when they're done.
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