Jun 1, 2007 at 8:44 pm #1223495
Ok I've made the move to lightening up. Now have lighter gear, lighter pack, lighter everything, even lighter me. Picked up a pair of Montrail Hardrocks – have done alot of day hikes and runs in those shoes and love 'em. But I am still pondering giving up my ole' standby Asolo FSN boots for my backpacking trip to Montana in July. I've read the articles but would like to hear from some of you that have made the transition. The good, the bad and the ugly of moving away from a good lightweight mid type boot to a sturdy trail runner. Will those hardrocks provide enough lateral supposrt and protect my andkles or is it better to stick with the lighter end boots?Jun 2, 2007 at 4:38 pm #1391029
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
If you are unsure about the Hardrocks, you might take a look at its big brother, the Montrail Namche. I've been using them most of this spring on training hikes of up to 18 miles with a 25 # load and have been very impressed with their performance. They've saved me on a couple of ankle rolls by stopping the roll before it went far enough over to
cause any ligament damage. They are basically a Hardrock with more ankle support at a weight penalty of ~1.5-2 0z/shoe. I basically agree with everything Kevin Davis mentioned in his review of the shoes in the gear review section. I feel confident enough about them to use them for a JMT thru-hike this summer as well as my usual on/off trail ventures in the southern Sierra in the fall. If you have access to an REI, you might want to give 'em a try. If they aren't your cuppa tea, you can return them, no questions asked. Best of luck.Jun 3, 2007 at 2:10 pm #1391066
I have looked at the Namche and would like to try them. I purchased the Wide version of the hardrocks and would have already purchased the Namche if they came in the wide version. Eventhough I have done some tough day treks with up to 18lbs – I am still a little concerned about hiking without something more around my ankles. Have looked at the Lowa Renegade and Danner 452, in the wide versions.
As much as I want to take a shot my big hike this summer with the hardrocks – I am just a little worried about ankle support.
Thanks for the advice though.Jun 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm #1391069
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I doubt your Asolo FSN are really giving you that much real ankle support than the hardrock. The hardrocks have a good heel cup and footbed. If you are carrying less than 30lbs I would think the hardrock shoes would be more than adaquate.Jun 4, 2007 at 8:34 pm #1391181
Unless I was doing some serious mountaineering/winter travel, I'm done with boots- they've always caused me nothing but pain…I've been backpacking in street running shoes (I'm used to them from marathoning- Asics GT 2110's are my current favorites)for a while now, and it's completely ended blisters and foot problems. I don't feel that I'm in any more danger of rolling an ankle in running shoes vs. boots…in fact, I'm far more nimble in running shoes, generally slipping and sliding less on uneven terrain. I think the stiffness of boots is overkill (and probably more likely to cause foot and balance problems), especially overkill with light loads. I'm also very skeptical about the "ankle support" most salespeople/manufacturers claim boots provide (especially with lightweight boots).
I just picked up a pair of Solomon XA 3's and intend on using them on a ~20 mile/day solo thru hike of the JMT this summer. I just did an 18 mile training hike with a 35 lb. load (I'll be carrying ~24 lbs max on the trip- training harder always helps!) and they feel great so far.
Good Luck.Jun 10, 2007 at 9:32 am #1391824
Thanks guys. And yes I have ended my debate. Hardrocks it is. I will add in a little ankle support by utilizing a lightweight ankle support. Which as I understand it is basically what the Namche did. It only adds 1.5oz to each foot and will give me more ankle support than the boots ever did. Craig you are correct on the trail training walks/runs that I do around here I have turned my ankle more often in the boots than I ever have in the Montrails.
Thanks again for assisting me with the dabate in my mind.
Now on to greater issues. Shedding the rain jacket in favor of the Poncho Tarp and/or Gatewood Cape.
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