Oct 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm #1263945
I wrote and article this morning that is a summation of all my thoughts on footwear for hiking in the "other" three seasons. Not the summer and then some definition, but spring, fall, and milder winter conditions (ie no skiing, mountaineering, or extreme cold). Ie what most of us do.
The text is not short, but will I hope be useful to some. It can be found here: http://bedrockandparadox.blogspot.com/2010/10/backcountry-footwear-for-other-three.htmlOct 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm #1650994
Here are examples of what I'll have on my feet during the next 6-7 months of trips (when I'm not using plastic tele boots).
Fall and Spring, plenty of water, some snow, daytime temps between 20-50F:
LaSportiva Crossleathers (size 45)
Smartwool PhD Ultralight ski socks
NRS Hydroskin socks
Dirty Girl gaiters (modded with more heal velcro)
Winter, hiking and snowshoeing, daytime temps between -5 and 20F:
LaSportiva Fireblades (size 46)
Smartwool PhD Ultralight ski socks
Seal skinz socks
Smartwool trekking midweight or heavyweight crew sock
OR Rocky Mountain High GaitersOct 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm #1651010
Thanks for that blog post David.
As colder hikes and wetter weather are approaching, it's nice to hear about what others are doing.
Just to clarify, you're wearing Smartwool PHDs over NRS without a liner inside the NRS?
And on the other, you're wearing PHDs over Seal Skinz, over a liner?Oct 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm #1651012
Ops, should have been mo' clear.
The Phd Ultralight sock is always my liner. Then either the Hydroskin or Seal Skinz, then the heavier wool sock, then shoe and gaiter.Oct 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm #1651015
One more question…why not the NRS in the colder conditions?
Do you feel 2 pairs of socks with Sealskinz in between are warmer than the neoprene with 1 sock?Oct 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm #1651028
"Do you feel 2 pairs of socks with Sealskinz in between are warmer than the neoprene with 1 sock?"
Yes, if you aren't getting your feet totally wet at regular intervals. By the time T-day rolls around out here, the dreaded hiking in snow and rain simultaneously combo becomes fairly infrequent, while there usually isn't quite enough snow to ski on. Thus, I'm hiking and/or snowshoeing, usually in conditions that are cold and fairly dry. Thus the Seal Skinz as VBL and water barrier come out.Oct 4, 2010 at 9:16 am #1651257
I'm already been remiss for not mentioning Ryan's and Will's work on this subject. Ryan's spring footwear article embraces similar principles (unsurprising given that we both live here in Montana), but he seems to need a good bit more insulation than I do for a given temp.
Will winter footwear series from a few years ago is also worth seeking out (though I can't find it now!).Oct 5, 2010 at 11:04 am #1651660
Most of the times that I get to go backpacking are in the TN and NC areas of the GSMNP. In April, we normally run into temps of 65 during the day down to 35 at night. We do have a fair amount of stream crossings on some of the trails.
Previously I was using a heavy timberland boot with an REI polypro liner sock and smartwool hiking socks. Now I use Salomon xa pro 3d shoes without goretex. Would you recommend just the thin merino socks with these temps and shoes or would you go with your recommendation of the PhD and Hydroskin?
Thanks in advanceOct 5, 2010 at 11:14 am #1651664
Heath, that would depend on a number of things, chief of which is your own physiology. For the warm end of those temps (for me), the Hydroskin would be too hot, and I'd just hike in my usual summer Darn Tough running socks. On the colder side of things, and especially on those days in the Smokies when it never stops raining, the thin liner and Hydroskin setup would probably be a very convenient way to be able to not worry about dancing around streams and puddles to keep your feet dry.Oct 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm #1651679
Thanks! Would the sealskins possibly be better for what I am looking to do?Oct 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm #1651694
Seal skinz (or G-tex socks) will keep the water out, and give you a more versatile, quick drying system than g-tex shoes. Of course, if you have creek crossings deeper than 8" all is for naught.
I prefer Hydroskins to waterproof socks because they lessen the fuss factor, and where I hike knee deep creek crossings are pretty common. Others use waterproof socks with success.
Horses for courses.Oct 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm #1651697
I assume the hydroskins are less (if at all) breathable than the seal skins. Is that correct? I didn't see any on them being breathable at all on their siteOct 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm #1651703
An interesting question, that. Neoprene isn't known for being breathable, but at the same time Hydroskin fabric is quite thin, and has a poly lining.
The best way of answering your question would be to say that, unless there's a lot of water around, wearing neoprene makes little sense.Oct 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm #1651707
Stream crossings in winter are my biggest issue. Should you cross with dry-fast trail runners and no socks on then put goretex socks on over your wool socks when you get to the other side and hike on? Or should you put on crocs and cross then dry your feet off and put all your shoes/socks back on-this way your footwear is dry?
I would like a way to just walk through streams that aren't too high and not have to change your clothes so often. This can be tireing when there are repetitive crossings.
I would like to see an article specifically for frequent winter stream crossings.
What about a giant plastic sock thing with tough shoe material sides/bottom that was say 2 feet tall that you could just slip on over your whole footwear system and cinch tight against your thigh with a draw cord-up near the crotch. Could be 100% waterproof material down to the foot, then turn into kind of a slip-on lightweight tough sock/shoe at the bottom. You slip it on with your boot/shoe on, never having to take them off.
Of course these would double as camp shoes.
Some kind of lightweight rubber or sock like the vincere grip boat sock:
with plastic/waterproof material that ran up the leg attached to them, that way you don't have to take your setup on and off when the stream is high. Or just a simple thin rubber shoe thingy, like a mitton, but for a foot. Whatever is lighter.Oct 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm #1651713
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
This a very timely forum. I'm wanting to get out this winter and I had some of the same concerns.
David, are you referring to the Boundary sock that's 18" high as your choice?Oct 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm #1651718
This is an interesting idea Isaac! They could also double as lightweight waders for the fly fishermen on the board. I guess it depends on the weight thoughOct 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm #1651723
the legging part could be made of cuben, somehow bonded to the rubber/whatever part.Oct 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm #1651726
@socalpackerLocale: Southern California
I really like that. Maybe you could play around with it. Who knows? You might make a few bucks.Oct 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm #1651733
i dont think it would be all that much more weight when you consider what you already carry just deal with crossings in winter.Oct 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm #1651737
This could also help with traction on slippery rocks if some sort of felt type sole was added to the bottom. Again, like boots worn with fishing wadersOct 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm #1651738
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> i dont think it would be all that much more weight when you consider what you
> already carry just deal with crossings in winter.
Um … what do you carry?
We have waded a few rivers in winter, and even in the snow, but we didn't carry anything for the crossings. Zero added weight.
CheersOct 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm #1651739
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
I have the NEOS Trekkers which are the not so UL version of the concept.Oct 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm #1651742
If they could be made to double as gaiters you would not need gaiters, nor would you need goretex socks. Gaiters + gortex socks = 5-7oz? just a guess. Also camp shoes would not be needed(if you carry them) = 6-8oz, again a guess. Take those things away, they dont seem so heavy anymore.
make it in 3 parts: top part cuben, middle part gaiter/more durable material, bottom part unknown yet. They can all be disconnected and used for different purposes, the middle for gaiters, the bottom for camp shoes, etc.Oct 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm #1651745
For stream crossings now i carry crocs. But i also carry gaiters year round and goretex socks in the winter as well.Oct 5, 2010 at 3:03 pm #1651746
Thats what im thinking of, but perhaps detachable parts and lighter weight materials. Cool idea.
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