Mar 5, 2011 at 1:46 am #1270081
I'm doing my first (most likely solo or in a group) hike in Sweden or Norway this summer.
I left my backpack at home, unfortunately.
Any Europeans (I'm in Germany) here that can recommend me a good shop or good brands for hiking? I've heard that merrels and lowas are good.
Leather or synthetic? I'm willing to spend a bit more if it means it will last longer.
Any advice for packs? I'm most likely going to be carrying between 7-12kg, but the option of carrying a tent may come into play.
Thanks for any advice. I'm really looking forward to get into hiking.Mar 5, 2011 at 1:54 am #1704709
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
checkout hikingfinland.com and all the links and blogs attached.Mar 5, 2011 at 2:10 am #1704710
i'll check it out.
the store i am going to has these brands:
edit: merrel and many moreMar 5, 2011 at 7:24 am #1704742
@sockpuppetLocale: High Desert
Most of the shoes/boots they carry are solid brands. Spend as much time as possible at the shop and choose the one that fits you the best. The local shop employees and customers will be your best resource for which shoe/boot will work best on the local trails, but only you can decide which one fits well.Mar 5, 2011 at 9:23 am #1704771
had a look today.
the lowas felt best around my ankle, but i'm not sure if the bottom isn't 'wide' enough. otherwise they felt ok, going for around 200 euros.
i also tried some meindl on, they were better fitting on the sole of the feet but there was many pressure points around my ankles and front of the shoe. around 180 euros
Just how tight do I want it?
p.s. do i want leather or synthetic? I was told the synthetic ones can get really warm/sweaty in summer, but are more waterproof then their leather counterparts.
p.s is there any decent/cheap rain jackets anyone can recommend me? online is also ok. for summer of course. the ones at the store ranged from 150-500 euros (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), this is a bit much for me. I have a waterproof jacket but I think it might be too warm, as it's pretty thick.Mar 5, 2011 at 10:00 am #1704787
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Dri-ducks – about $20
Probably only good for a few trips or one year
Some people love them
Some people hate them and they get destroyed the first trip
Cheap investment to see how they would do for youMar 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm #1704870
Sieto van der HeideMember
@sietoLocale: The Netherlands
I really like Hanwag. They make good shoes. I've also owned Lowa's before, also good shoes. It pretty much comes down to fit.
Try not to have too much heel lift.Mar 6, 2011 at 2:01 am #1705013
Well, let me be the first to ask why you're looking at boots? The UL option is typically running shoes. I started out in boots (Scarpa) 20 years ago but switched to runners over a decade ago, and that was for walking in the Japan Alps and here in Australia, so not exactly soft conditions. I only wore boots for winter mountaineering trips where I'd be using crampons and temperatures were 0C to -20C.
Re packs, I'd concentrate on making sure that your big 3 are light (sleeping bag, cooking gear, tent) and not do UL in a pack right off.
If you're just getting into hiking, maybe build up to solo hikes eventually.Mar 6, 2011 at 2:38 am #1705015
@rogerbLocale: DenmarkMar 6, 2011 at 4:52 am #1705029
Last time I hiked to kjerag in norway with a 12 euro pair of runners. It was fine, but I also only brought a backpack with a jumper, water bottle and camera.
The area I want to go to might be a bit more wetter, and harsher terrain.
If I do a guided tour I won't need a tent or anything.
I was just considering the boots because I've had a few bad sprains and my ankles aren't that strong, especially with a backpack on.Mar 6, 2011 at 5:14 am #1705031
For state of the art lightweight trail shoes innov8 are made in the UK and should be available in Germany and Scandinavia.
An excellent mainstream pack brand is Crux who also have a lighter weight brand – Lightwave.
For great looking German cottage industry ultralight packs, well worth checking out Laufbursche in Germany.Mar 6, 2011 at 5:19 am #1705032
"Last time I hiked to kjerag in norway with a 12 euro pair of runners. It was fine, but I also only brought a backpack with a jumper, water bottle and camera.
The area I want to go to might be a bit more wetter, and harsher terrain."
If cheap shoes worked before, why go heavyweight now? If it's wet, and you want dry feet, wear gaiters or waterproof socks. But a guide I hired in Yakushima – which gets up to 12 METRES of rain a year, used to wear really cheap runners. I asked him about wet feet and he just shrugged – who cares?
The Backpacker/REI thing about "weekend boots" and "5 day boots" is frankly nonsense. So long as you have rock plates in your runners, boots aren't going to be any better in harsh terrain.
"I was just considering the boots because I've had a few bad sprains and my ankles aren't that strong, especially with a backpack on."
This is a pretty common rationale for boots – but if you have bad ankles, even surgical braces won't help – I used to play rugby with a guy who would lace on a plastic surgical brace before every game, but even that didn't work. If that doesn't work, boots certainly won't – remember that even the stiffest boots have to flex along your shins and at the ankle, or you won't be able to walk. Exercises, orthotics and surgery are the options, in order of how bad your ankles actually are.Mar 6, 2011 at 5:27 am #1705034
My ankles aren't THAT bad, for surgery or anything. I'll really consider just taking my cheap runners.
I also plan to maybe to do switzerland/france when it's a bit colder.Mar 6, 2011 at 6:46 am #1705048
@regnMar 6, 2011 at 8:22 am #1705065
from the Norwegian trekking association – the recommended summer hiking gear is:
This is what I'll bring:
-All-weather-Jacket ( I have a good one from Columbia that is waterproof – So I think this is good enough for any rain or cold conditions)
-trousers (any will do?)
Do you think a 40 liter backpack is enough for a week? No tents or food required. This is the backpack I have. http://roman.com.au/website17.aspx?product=6294&CategoryID=1587&parentid=1573&sideparent=1573&midparent=1587
it doesn't have a built in rain cover but i can buy that.Mar 6, 2011 at 8:25 am #1705066
another great shop in germany with gear and shoes is raceliteMar 6, 2011 at 9:02 am #1705071
This is regarding the comment by D W about "rock plates" in runners. What exactly are they?
Also, regarding boots for bad ankles – I can only speak for my personal experience. I have had two bad sprains to my left ankle (requiring a 6 week cast both times) and another couple of minor sprains. The bad ones happened many years back; all occurred when I was wearing street shoes, doing normal everyday stuff. My joints tend to be hyper-flexible, and I still frequently mis-step on the trail (i.e. I am a klutz), ending up in a position that I can tell would definitely result in a sprain if I were not wearing boots. Even lightweight boots have enough rigidity in the ankle to take most of the stress of the mis-step onto the boot material rather than my ligaments.
As far as "exercises, orthotics, and surgery": Physical therapy and exercise has not changed the basic susceptibility of my ankles to sprains. Perhaps if I exercised 6 hours a day and became a dedicated athlete, but that's not going to happen in my lifetime. I cannot see how orthotics would prevent sprains either. I'm not sure what type of surgery would help, and I would not be inclined to undergo surgery (with the possibility of it causing more problems as I've seen with friends who've had foot surgery for other maladies) when my problem is more simply solved by wearing lightweight boots. And the additional exertion required for wearing boots over trail runners is just not that much, even I can handle that.
I think the commonly expressed opinion that boots are never necessary and that exercise will strengthen an ankle enough that trail runners suffice may apply to people with minor ankle problems. But I do not believe it applies to me, and I've read similar opinions here and elsewhere from others in the same situation. YMMV.Mar 7, 2011 at 3:21 am #1705375
"This is regarding the comment by D W about "rock plates" in runners. What exactly are they?"
Some runners – like the new Gel Trabuco – have a hard plastic plate between the sole and the insole under the forefoot to protect your feet from rocks.
Re boots – if they work for you, then that's fine but they're not necessary with UL gear.
Which leads to another issue – this site seems to be shifting from UL to bog standard heavyweight backpacking. A beginner asks for footwear advice and everyone starts recommending heavy-weight boots? Haven't we moved past that, oh, at least 15 years ago? What next – back to 3.5 kg packs and 6 kg tents? Camp chairs?
What I don't get is why anyone would join a site that espouses UL when, if they're really interested in conventional backpacking they could just go to Backpacker Magazine's site or WhiteBlaze or dozens of others?Mar 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm #1705606
I think I might just take my runners.. I don't really feel like bombing 200 euros on a pair of boots that I'll only use for a week. And I don't see much of a difference between trail shoes and my running shoes.
I'll give it a test hike with them and see how it goes.Mar 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm #1705701
"And I don't see much of a difference between trail shoes and my running shoes."
Trail shoes have faster, more rugged colours.
(Agree re your point – I typically wore my standard running shoes.)
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