Jul 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm #1292512
@maiaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to:Aug 1, 2012 at 9:23 am #1899191
@klagsLocale: Northeast US
Ok slight noob question here, but how on earth do you guys hike in those? I'm not being facetious here, I'm serious. I like and understand minimalism. I like the idea of the shoes too, I really do. I just can't understand how this shoe would work for a large portion of hiking in the northeastern USA. Is the ultra-minimalist hiking shoe a west coast and southwest kind of thing because of the weather out there? Because when I hike in the northeast, it isn't common for the trails to be dry, there are usually puddles. There are stream crossings often. The underbrush is wet from morning dew, as is the grass. The trails are not always wide. On any given 3-5 day trek, chances are good that it will rain, at least for a few hours, and having water proof shoes is a good way to keep your feet dry. Do you guys just not mind hiking with wet feet? It kills mine. I usually use very light boots with synthetic materials, like solomon, although I do own a fantastic pair of salewa boots that are heavier duty and that I also use in the winter. I am open to the idea of these, but the thought of hiking in to 13 falls and doing part of the pemi loop, or hiking some of the more remote adirondack regions it would seem that my feet would just be swimming in mud the whole time. How do you combat this, and how would I use these shoes properly? In addition, how do you deal with the pain and bruises of slamming your feet into big rocks sometimes when doing trails like devil's path and gothics/armstrong (adk) loops? Do you just teach yourself to never hit your feet or something?Aug 1, 2012 at 9:41 am #1899196
Adam read these
I highly recommend his bookAug 1, 2012 at 10:03 am #1899206
I hiked a weeklong rainy trip in Maine in June 3yrs back — I used waterproof boots — took them off at every stinkin water crossing, dodged all of the deep water puddles…and my feet got wet and stayed wet.
I have hiked in New Balance 101s in the rain also. Feet get wet and stay wet in the right conditions with these too. After getting wet they dry much quicker though. I haven't rolled an ankle since switching. Blisters are better.
"Do you just teach yourself to never hit your feet or something?"
Something like that, generally a good idea to watch where you put your feet…but I know I have trouble doing this later in the day as I get tired. PPL will say you need to condition your feet to take not having a rock plate etc. I never bothered and my feet don't get ridicuously sore — maybe I'm not hardcore enough.
When warm I just accept that if it rains my feet will get wet. If its not raining they would be wet in wp boots b/c of sweet. If cold enough I would look into neoprene socks to stay warm. There are excellent articles by Dave Chenault and others on dealing with cold and wet.Aug 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm #1899319
@klagsLocale: Northeast US
yeah sounds interesting. I don't usually get wet feet from condensation unless its insanely hot outside, and the boots usually dry overnight. I don't generally like dodging puddles, and I use short waterproof gaiters attached tightly to my boots, meaning that unless my whole foot goes in for a long dunk, I never get water in my boots, and so far I've enjoyed hiking with dry feet more than 75/50% of the time. Do you think that's a fair comparison to the amount of time your feet are dry in these minimalist style shoes? can anyone point out a few other favorites that I should consider for 3 season use in the northeast if I were to take the plunge and give this type of footwear a try for backpacking? Are they ok for being on lots of open rock too? I'll read those linked articles now, thanks.Aug 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm #1899374
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Adam, I'd echo what Skurka ways in the aforelinked articles concerning wet feet. I've never found it a big deal. I do have a few friends who consistently suffer blisters and sores when their skin is macerated. Not sure what explains this difference between people. Generally people who hike in wilder areas (fewer bridges, etc) and outside late summer (more water) will have a greater appreciation for techniques outside the predominant paradigm.
Minimal shoes ought to be viewed on a spectrum, and with several different aspects of minimalishness. Amount of cushion, stiffness, and delta (heel-toe drop) are the big ones. The 00s are pretty far to one side in all respects. The more minimal the shoe, the stronger and quicker on your feet you'll need to be. Adaptation usually takes time. Four years ago I hiked over Marcy from the Loj and came back via Avalanche Lake in a new pair of Lasportiva Fireblades, which felt quite minimal and tired my feet out more than would have been usual for that distance and terrain. Now such shoes are the stiffest and most padded I wear hiking, and I'd have no issues with added fatigue on that hike.Aug 1, 2012 at 7:24 pm #1899388
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Wearing these kind of shoes requires conditioning. For many people, they may not have the free time to maintain that conditioning. I consider the minimalist shoe a modern version of a moccasin.
The problem with most people switching to minimalist shoes is they end up walking completely wrong. You are not supposed to land on your heel, you are supposed to land on the front of your foot and then bring the heel down. Stiff shoes don't allow you to do this, but it's really the natural movement of the foot. Try forcing yourself to walk this way and it will help tremendously. I don't wear shoes unless they allow me to front point. That's my definition of a minimalist shoe.
However, some minimalist shoes are more like sneakers than moccasins. There are various levels. The most important thing to consider is the sole thickness and the thickness of the insole. The key to have a less painful minimalist shoe experience is having nice insoles. Insoles give you much more padding with less compromise of flexibility than a thicker outsole would.
Keep in mind I have never even worn the NB MT100, but I really like vivobarefoot shoes.
Personally, I tend to get blisters or nasty looking feet from hot, sweaty conditions. In cool rainy weather, my feet actually feel very nice when wet. Maybe the hot, sweaty part has a worse effect on my feet.Aug 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm #1899390
@matt_mahaneyLocale: In the District
I use Inov8 Terroc 330s. Not truly minimal, but less than you're used to. The 330s fit my foot well, great rubber, dry pretty fast. Wet feet don't bother me. Best shoes I've used. Love these on rock! I feel like a mountain goat in them.
edit: rock walkingAug 2, 2012 at 2:17 am #1899450
"The problem with most people switching to minimalist shoes is they end up walking completely wrong. You are not supposed to land on your heel, you are supposed to land on the front of your foot and then bring the heel down."
I have been using zero drop shoes for 2 years now, hiking, running and at the office, all the time basically and I dont agree with you on the point that you should land forefoot first when walking (exeption really fast walking downhill), however when you are running the forefoot/midfoot goes down first (depending on speed).
I "studied" films of people walking barefoot since their childhood and also my kids walking on hard surfaces. They do put down their heel first but not with such a long stride and hard impact as they would with high heels (most normal shoes/boots=high heels). I also read in a study (sorry cant remember where) that westerns starting to run minimalistic was running way higher on the forefoot compared to native barefooters.
Another related topic: Why are so many people crazy about fast drying shoes? If you are out for a week and its raining most or half ot the time (Swedish mountains) it does not matter if the shoes dry out, they will be wet as soon as you take a step outside your tent! Please explain the focus on quick drying shoes. I have hiked quite a lot in vivo barefoot Ultra and I dont think anything beats them when it comes to quick drying, I just give them a shake and they are close to bone dry. It is indeed nice to get them on dry in the morning but is that it, the niceness??Aug 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm #1899710
Mr.T. I completely agree with your comments about walking heel first. I've made similar comments in the past.
Given that, many of these shoes are designed as running shoes. Meaning they are specifically designed for a mid/forefoot strike. So that sort of puts them at odds with a long hike where the typical user is not landing on the appropriate part of the shoe. I would consider the MT00 as a running shoe, but not as a distance hiking shoe.
I've found that the Inov-8 F-Lite 195s are a shoe that works for me both for running and for hiking. I also liked the New Balance MT101's in the past which had a rock plate that made long hikes over rocky terrain a little nicer, but found them to be lacking in the grip department. The sticky rubber from inov8 solved that problem beautifully. I also use MT10 shoes for running, but never considered them much of a hiking shoe. They feel so great on my feet though. Never tried the MT00 and doubt I will. Not sure they'd hold up or be comfortable on the typical terrain I like to run on. I'm happy enough with the MT10 for that role I guess (not that they're completely durable either).Aug 3, 2012 at 10:40 am #1899861
@caseygreeneLocale: upper rattlesnake
Try the MT110's. They have the same last as the minimus series but the perfect amount of protection. Done some of the worst bushwacking in my life in them this past spring
They are also coming out with a winterized version that has an integrated gaiter this October.Aug 3, 2012 at 11:08 am #1899870
Unfortunately, the 110 doesn't come in a 4E width.Aug 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm #1899926
@caseygreeneLocale: upper rattlesnake
well, that sucks. hopefully they will soonish.Aug 5, 2012 at 10:01 am #1900371
Any insight as to why minimalist shoes cost more than ordinary trail runners? Niche market? I'd like to try a pair of something like this, but can't justify spending more for less shoe.
I suppose i usually only buy shoes when they're about $50 a pair, especially trail runners that will only last a season of hiking.Aug 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #1900375
"Any insight as to why minimalist shoes cost more than ordinary trail runners?"
Likely a combination of higher development costs as well as being hot commodities at the moment. Just because the shoe weighs less doesn't mean it costs less to put together. Creating new lasts and models for a small market segment means the fixed costs have to be spread over a smaller number of sales too. Many of the "ordinary trail runners" use existing tooling and technologies that have been paid off over several generations of models by now.
Also, I haven't noticed that there is much of a cost difference. MT110 is one of the more affordable shoes out there.Aug 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm #1901320
Anybody try the merrell trail glove? I have been running and light hiking in them for several months now– I have wide, flat feet and the fit of the whole shoe is awesome: tight in the heel box, wide in the toe box, with a good lacing system. About $80/pair. Love the minimalist thing– in the winter I run indoor laps at the gym barefoot, or with a thin sock. Takes time to build up the different muscle groups in the ankle, calf and foot– a lot of walking/ running before getting serious really helped. Hate my old Scarpa SLs now. Never thought I would say that!!!
Merrell Trail Glove for minimalist wide feet.Jun 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm #2000024
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
What happened to the New Balance 4.4 oz shoes? Their web site now shows the lightest shoe to be 6.x ounces in the Minimus line.Jun 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm #2000044
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