Nov 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm #1295908
I'm looking for suggestions for lightweight shoes for the JMT & a max pack weight of 35lbs. for the last stretch. Will want something non-waterproof that can accommodate my wider toe-box needs (narrow heel, wide toes).
I currently hike in a pair of Merrell Chameleon 4 Ventilator Gore-Tex Cross-Training Shoes (34.0oz for my size 11s). I'm sure I could do the JMT in them and use my pair of gutted Vivobarefoot Ultra Pure shoes (43s @ 7.3oz, hoping to lighten them more still) as my water crossing shoes, but want to consider going the route of non-waterproofs and no water crossing shoes.
KJNov 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm #1927376
Ken – This last summer I used Merrell Moab Ventilators in wide and they worked great. My max pack weight was around 32lb for the stretch beyond MTR. I did not have separate water shoes and it was a non-issue for me.
RonNov 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm #1927381
@richardcullipLocale: San Diego County
I've been hiking around the Southern Sierra for the past few years in my Inov8 Roclite 295's. Nice and light with an aggressive lugged sole and sticky rubber. My toes love the wide (at least for the Inov8 line of shoes) toe box. I don't do long hikes but am out for 3-5 days. I can't imagine hiking in anything else on my Sierra backpacking trips. This shoe works for me.Nov 10, 2012 at 10:47 am #1927502
I recommend the Trailroc 255's. Even better than the Roclite's.Nov 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm #1927576
Unlike the suggestions above, I find Inov-8 to be too narrow in the toe box for me. I'd recommend Altra Lone Peak, Altra Superior, Vivobarefoot Neo Trail, Vivobarefoot Breatho trail. These all have substantial width in the toe box compared to say Merrell or Inov-8 while still having more than suitable tread and, as an added bonus, zero drop. The Altra Superior and Vivo Breatho are lighter weight trail shoes that would dry fast. The Neo trail and the Lone Peak are still pretty light (11oz per shoe) but use fabrics that are more hydrophilic versus hydrophobic.
If you are wanting to go lighter (5-7oz) range I would have more suggestions but I wouldn't necessarily say that those are worthy of backpacking… more or less just trail runners.
Edit: I have not tried the Inov-8 Trailrocs which I understand to have a wider toe box (at least I know the Trailroc 150's do). I forgot that the 150's are going to be one of my next shoes. :)Dec 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm #1933121
How would any of these fair for an over-pronator? I'm guessing due to my flat feet and over pronation, I will need a sole with very little curve up at the toes. The Merrell Moab Ventilators seemed to have quite a flat sole, but not much in the underfoot padding department. Which leads me to my other issue…boney feet.
My feet tend to really get beat up from rocky trails and need a lot of underfoot protection…but being a lightweight guy…I don't want a super stiff shoe. So knowing this additional information, would your recommendations still be the same?
…also, turns out my max pack weight out of Muir Ranch is going to be right at 37lbs.
KJDec 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm #1933151
@rustybLocale: Rocky Mountains
"……Vivo Breatho are lighter weight trail shoes that would dry fast."
They sure do! Bought a pair just for backpacking earlier this yr. Ended up liking them so much, they've become my daily shoe now that it's too cold for sandals. Superb traction, great ground feel, and comfy for my feet. Not sure they'll be the longest lasting but I love these shoes otherwise! I'd hesitate recommending them to someone not used to going shoeless or who hadn't used a similar minimalist shoe. Likewise for a person packing 30+ lbs….though they may work fine there too, depending on the person.Dec 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm #1933204
Word to the wise on Vivobarefoot: you really need to be FULLY prepped for barefoot walking to use these. They are absolutely minimalist. Also, if you're on a hard rock, I can confirm that you can feel the lugs in the trail vivo's when you're on flat-beaten path and smooth rock.
I have heard great reviews on Brooks Cascadia, and I'll be getting a pair soon. I use a pair of Brooks Pureconnect daily, and it's a dream. The Cascadia is on it's 8th iteration, and has a cult following (and a rock plate, which is swell.)Dec 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm #1933222
@jaseLocale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
I wear TrailRoc 245's, which have the rock plate and wider toe box. All I can say is, I can spread my toes as much as I like, and I ONLY JUST touch the outer sides of the shoe with my toes.
I reckon you would be pleasantly surprised. :-)Dec 5, 2012 at 6:29 am #1933260
@rustybLocale: Rocky Mountains
"Also, if you're on a hard rock, I can confirm that you can feel the lugs in the trail vivo's when you're on flat-beaten path and smooth rock."
If I focus on the feel, I too can sense the lugs, to a degree….without the insole in. For me, it's not an annoyance though.Dec 5, 2012 at 7:57 am #1933273
Do the Innov8 shoes run thinner in the soles then Merrell Moab Ventilators?
Are there some Innov8 soles that wear faster than others (in your experience)? Don't want to be on the JMT and watch my tread grind away to nothing by the end of the trail.
I do like being able to have some feel of the ground (one reason why I can't stand most boots and their super stiff soles), but I also do need some padding and protection under my boney feet…along with a flatter sole (aka – no or little upward toe curve) for my over-pronation.
KJDec 5, 2012 at 8:20 am #1933282
I have a pair of Inov-8 Bare-XF 210. I hiked the Pinnacle trail in them in Acadia, and do NOT recommend them for hiking- not enough traction. However, I've owned them for about 6 months, the time it usually takes me to burn through a pair of minimalist shoes, and they are showing zero signs of wear… they just keep going and going. I suspect any Inov-8 shoes you buy will display the same durability, but I cannot attest directly.Dec 5, 2012 at 9:25 am #1933298
I did 300 miles including the JMT with Salomon trail runners. No goretex. I just waded right through streams and then I was dry 15 minutes later. They worked well, but the lace lock started slipping a bit towards the end. I would use them again.Dec 5, 2012 at 9:46 am #1933300
What version of Salomon did you use?
KJDec 5, 2012 at 10:01 am #1933303
I am a big fan of Inov-8 as well. I used the Roclite 295s for quite awhile and they performed very well in really all aspects. Good grip, plenty of toe room, a little bit of ground protection, comfortable, and they have been very durable.
I recently got a pair of the trailrocs and have been very happy with them in limited use so far. I switched to the trailrocs because I wanted a little lower shoe.
Different Inov-8 shoes have different widths. I would avoid the "performance" fit shoes as they are narrower. As for amount of protection from the ground, Inov-8 uses 4 different levels of ground protection. You can choose how much protection/cushion you want based on this basis.Dec 5, 2012 at 10:47 am #1933318
Zappos is in for a doozy of an order!Dec 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm #1933653
Well here is the feedback on the shoes I have received from Zappos so far:
First of all, I'm normally a 10-10.5 for everyday street shoes. I have a wide boxy forefoot and a narrow heel with boney skinny guy feet.
I've tried on Salomon XR Crossmax Guidances,Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2s…both too narrow in the toes and wide in the ankle. Very pointy and tall shoe. Feel like I'm up in the air.
Innov8 TrailRoc 245s, VERY comfy shoe that works with my feet ONLY because the side walls are soft and allows more room for my wide forefoot. Perfect and snug on my ankle. I feel locked in. I'd wear these every day just kickin' around town, but would be worried that I'd eventually grind my toes out of the toe box material on rocks for on-trail use. Also, the foot bed, I have a feeling would leave my feet in rough shape after at least 12 miles on a rocky trail.
Innov8 RocLite 315…Seems pretty solid yet has too pointy of a toe and thus my outer toes touch the outer wall on the size 11 (I'm normally 10-10.5). Overall too much extra shoe pointing out.
Innov8 RocLite 295s…..wow, possibly the perfect shoe. Wider than the 315s in the toe box. Heel feels very well seated, but nowhere near the heel seating perfection of the TrailRoc 245s, but more than excellent. The 11s may be perfect, yet I have a feeling 11.5s will be better. Just a bit of extra toe distance from the front of the shoe for downhills and possibly would move my outer toes just a hair off the outer wall…which would be perfect.
The Innov8 TrailRoc 255s are yet to show up, but based on that the soles are less protective than the RockLite 295s, I don't think it will be adequate enough for my boney feet.
Would really love to also try on the Innov8 RocLite 309s, but Zappos doesn't carry them. :O That might end up being the perfect show with more underfoot protection than the 295s and the Endurance rubber…as long as they are the same dimensions as the RocLite 195.
…oh, and the Merrell Moab Ventilators…they just feel clumsy and clunky compared to any of the Innov8 shoes.
HTH others out there looking for info on shoes
KJDec 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm #1933658
Ben or Richard
I've got a few questions for you:
Since both of you have used the Innov8 RocLite 295s, how many miles have you put on them thus far and how has the Sticky rubber held up? Lots of tread left or has it worn fast?
How has the overall shoe held up? Does the mesh tolerate much abrasion without becoming littered with holes?
Also, how do you think ones feet would fair in them on the JMT or similar trail with an average of a 29lbs pack and a few days trickling down from a 37lbs pack weight out if Muir Ranch to Mt. Whitney?
KJDec 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm #1933662
just try em on … zappos has free return shipping i believe …
i can mutter about how great this or that shoe fits MY foot … and it may not matter one bit for you
thats the cold hard truth ;)Dec 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm #1933663
Peep two posts up. ;O)
KJDec 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm #1934354
The 295s have been pretty rugged and comfortable for me. I would guess I have 600 miles on them but don't keep count. I went to the trailrocs only because I wanted something a little less substantial. Trailrocs seem very nice so far and they are a little lower. If the 295s fit well, I think they're a great shoe for the JMT.Dec 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm #1934381
I've actually found perfection in Terroc 330s. While I also love the 295s, the Terroc 330s have just the little bit more underfoot protection (in terms of the sole compound) I'm looking for, tad harder toe protection and designed for slight over-pronation, which is slightly nicer on my $h!tty knees. Would love to have a pair of 295s to trail run in around here though.
Good to know the 295s with the softer rubber are still kickin' after 500+ miles. I will have to beat up the 330s over this next year to see how they survive.
KJDec 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm #1934388
@jasontLocale: Upper Midwest
+1on the trailroc's. I've mostly been running in mine and doing some shorter day hikes. Super light and a great toe box.
I have a 2nd toe that is about the same length as my big toe. My last pair was the roclites and they were just too narrow in the toe.
The trailroc's are super comfy. I don't know if I've been happier with a pair of shoes. My only concern is the durability. They're very light and there is quite a bit of mesh.
Good luck on the search.Dec 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm #1934398
If you're still checking out your options, maybe consider Montrail. I love my inov-8s for dayhikes and short weekend trips, but for more substantial trips I use montrails. My girlfriend and I both used Montrail Mountain Masochists when we did the JMT last year. She has a wide forefoot, and I have a regular/medium forefoot. My max pack weight out of MTR was 30lbs.
I appreciated the extra beefiness of the montrails, though they were still very lightweight in my book. It was the underfoot rockplate that I truly appreciated, which I felt was more rigid than my inov8s. I had no failures on the trip and continue to use the same pair today. I threw them in the washing machine when I got off the JMT and they came out looking almost new. You may want to consider replacing the stock insole…mine was pretty pancaked after 180 miles or so, but overall shoe was still very comfortable.
Like others, I didn't bring water shoes, choosing instead to just wade through with the same pair of shoes. They usually dried within a couple hours, although they were comfortable after 20 mins or so. If you're really worried, just remove your socks and insole before the water crossing, which should cut down on the amount of time it takes before your wet shoe becomes comfortable again.
Also, you might like the montrai sabino trails which offer an even wider forefoot.
Good luck!Dec 10, 2012 at 6:32 am #1934457
I wore these on a 12 day trip in the Sierras starting out with close to 30 pounds packed and my own 195. Very good support and comfort.
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