Aug 11, 2009 at 6:22 am #1238494
I spend a lot of days hiking in the Shawnee State Forest here in Ohio. Much of the trail is underwater these days, and the rocks are made even more slippery by a patina of green slime.
My Hardrocks are pretty good on most surfaces but not quite adequate on wet rocks, and all the rocks are wet at Shawnee.
I have a pair of Hurricane Ridges that are pretty good, but they are a bit heavy for my tastes, and their Gortex exteriors hold in the water for days after they get wet. The water always seems to be above the ankle at Shawnee.
StargazerAug 11, 2009 at 7:00 am #1520029
@angelazLocale: New England
Maybe check out the inov-8 mudclaw? I bought them & didn't like the feel of the actual shoe (not very cushy but seem like they'd have great drainage) so I can't really vouch for them… but man, the traction on those things cannot be beat.Aug 11, 2009 at 7:01 am #1520030
well tom, i just slow down a bit when dealing w/ mossy/wet rocks. i, too, usually wear montrail hardrocks, and you're right, they're not the best for wet/mossy rocks. however the problem with that is you need gummy, soft soles to climb that type of terrain well, and those shoes don't last very long backpacking b/c of the soft and gummy treadsAug 11, 2009 at 8:01 am #1520049
I'm a big fan of the Inov8 330's.
They stick. They grip. Dry or Wet.
They also wear pretty fast for me.
I destroyed the soles in under 200 miles on the JMT.
After getting bloody shins from sliding off a low angle rock in a pair of Hardrocks I really appreciate the 330's.
But 40 cents a mile is a little expensive for trail rubber.
I am still looking for a good long-wearing shoe.Aug 11, 2009 at 8:19 am #1520052
I would be quite happy with a pair of the Inov8's! However, the nearest dealer is several states away, and thus I would have to order them via the Internet. I've noticed that my shoe size varies wildly from show to shoe. Any advice about Inov8 sizing?Aug 11, 2009 at 8:28 am #1520057
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Here in Japan for sawanobori (mountain stream climbing) people strap on straw sandals called waraji, that stick really well to all sorts of surfaces.You could strap some or something like it onto your existing shoes every time you come to a submerged part of the trail.Just a thought. Very cheap and light.Aug 11, 2009 at 8:29 am #1520058
I'm a 10.5 in Inova8, Salomon, Montrail, and Merrill.
I replace the generic footbeds with "thin/gray" SuperFeet.
I have a 'B' width foot and find the Inov8 wider that the Salomon XA Pro and narrower than a Montrail Hardrock.
The extra width up front makes for a very comfortable fit on long days.
Running Warehouse and others offer free shipping and free return (Return Shipping Label included in the box). Just keep them on the carpet, neat and clean, all tags, etc.Aug 11, 2009 at 10:03 am #1520076
@sewing_machineLocale: Yorkshire, England
As a fell runner in the UK for nearly 20 years I've spend a long time trying to find the best shoe… and for me the best grip on wet rock is the Walsh; I've put a link to a shop that sells them only because I don't think Walsh have their own site…
These shoes are very old fashioned and until the innov8 shoes came along they had no competition. I'm still of the opinion that sole/rubber wise these are the best for wet rock.
I'm not sure which innov8 shoes has the softest/stickiest sole, but that's the one I'd go for for wet rock.
And sizing is always tricky with fell shoes – if you'll be doing some steep descending, especially at speed, then the extra inch at the toes is vital!Aug 11, 2009 at 10:25 am #1520081
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
Take a look at various Inov8 models. If you are purely running shorter distances the Mudroc's would work well, but if you are hiking something like the Roclite 295 would be great (just be aware they only lasted me 200 or so miles, but oh what a great 200 miles it was)…Aug 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm #1520095
>Here in Japan for sawanobori (mountain stream climbing) people strap on straw sandals called waraji, that stick really well to all sorts of surfaces.
You know, you have to admire a culture that has a specific term for "mountain stream climbing," which, BTW, perfectly captures the walk at Shawnee State Forest in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
I therefore must own a pair of these wonderful waraji. Are there sources in the USA or on the Internet?
Stargazer/ TomAug 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm #1520131
Looks like they might work for this, but unfortunately they didn't fit my feet so I don't have any direct experience with them.
Here's a thread with more info:Aug 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm #1520182
This year 5.10 came out with a lighter shoe (Runamuck) that still uses the same S1 rubber (very high friction on wet rocks) as the Savant. The size 11.5 shoes I weighed varied between 13.25 and 13.70 oz per shoe. Like the Savant's, the last is optimized for normal to wide feet.Aug 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm #1520192
Got enough miles on them to comment on lifespan?
Thanks.Aug 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm #1520235
I got two seasons (packrafting/backpacking) out of my Savants before I had to coat part of the mesh with Seam Seal to prevent foot flex cracks from extending. I anticipate at least one more season on them.
I bought a pair of the lighter Runamuck's recently for a long backpacking/packrafting trip planned for Alaska next year. I won't know about their durability until the trip is over.Aug 12, 2009 at 6:39 am #1520276
Well, I split the difference and ordered both the Runamucks and the Mudclaws. I'll be using them only for my wet-rock hikes at Shawnee, so they should last a while. The Hardrocks are really pretty good under most other circumstances.
StargazerAug 12, 2009 at 9:17 am #1520307
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
My experience with Golite shoes suggests that a shoe that has aggressive traction (deep lugs) might actually be very bad on wet rocks. One of the downsides of my Golite Sun Dragon's is that the relatively sparse and deep lugs mean that the effective surface contact area of the shoe is reduced. The result is that I'm just more careful walking on wet logs, wet rocks, wet smooth pavement, icy terrain, etc.
Maybe the Innov8 mudclaws also have *stickier* rubber and that's the difference (?). If so, would it remain so during the (sounds like possibly limited) lifetime of the shoe?
This stuff is so hard to get right, trying to optimize various different factors in a single shoe!Aug 12, 2009 at 11:20 am #1520329
Please post a comparison of these two shoe types after you test them on wet rocks.Aug 12, 2009 at 11:34 am #1520337
Glad to do it. I'll be walking this weekend, and I'll take the weight penalty to provide some sort of comparison.
StargazerAug 13, 2009 at 4:19 am #1520491
One thing I forgot to mention:
For the last 12 miles of my last hike at Shawnee, I switched to a pair of Vibram Five Fingers (toe shoes, if you've never seen them) I had along as camp shoes. They have no tread at all — just a very thin but tough layer of rubber between you and the ground. They weren't so good on steep, loose-gravel ascents and descents (a lot of these at Shawnee) but superb on the wet rocks and more than adequate on other surfaces like packed dirt. (I think they were probably designed originally as scuba shoes. The KSO ("Keep Stuff Out") version even provides some front-of-toe protection and a thin layer of stretchy cloth on the upper foot.
They provided a nice walk for a dozen miles. I wouldn't through-hike the AT with them, but they are definitely okay for a weekend stroll if you don't need a lot of arch support. It's about as close to barefoot hiking as I plan to get. Of course, it helped that I was carrying only 11.5 pounds on my back for the three-day hike. A thirty-pound pack would definitely overwhelm the shoe.
StargazerAug 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm #1520614
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
I like the look of those 5:10 Runamucks. Anyone know of a store that will ship them to the UK? 5:10 charge $55 to ship international!Aug 14, 2009 at 8:52 am #1520848
Got the Mudclaws today, and they fit beautifully snug. My only concern is the toebox. It seems smaller than most trail shoes. (I'm used to the generous. perhaps excessive, toeboxes of the Montrail line.) Any thoughts?
StargazerAug 14, 2009 at 11:38 am #1520887
@barnett_childressLocale: New England
I agree with Greg. The Innov8 330's really grip well on rock wet or dry. The best all around fitting Innov8 for me has been the Roclite 315 unfortunately the stubby tread doesn't do very well on slick NE granite when its wet.Aug 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm #1520931
"Maybe the Innov8 mudclaws also have *stickier* rubber and that's the difference (?). If so, would it remain so during the (sounds like possibly limited) lifetime of the shoe?"
You got it, mate. The Inov's seem to have softer, stickier rubber, and the lugs are small and uniform across the shoe — a very uncomplicated design with deep lugs that will probably wear very quickly, They are clearly not the shoe to wear over long distances, but as a specialty shoe on wet-rock trails (like the one I will be walking this weekend, they look pretty good.
I took a couple of hours to walk in a local city park this afternoon. Part of the walk allows me to stroll across the Olentangy River. The Mudrocks stuck like glue in the water, although I couldn't help cringing at the potential (imagined) tread wear on the harder surfaces as the soft lugs hit the gravel and even asphalt of the main trails.
Still looking for the perfect shoe,
StargazerAug 17, 2009 at 5:02 am #1521358
I walked about 24 miles in the Mudclaws this weekend and about six in the Runamucks, and it makes for an interesting comparison.
The Mudclaws weigh 11 oz. per shoe in the 10.5 size. They were good on all treadway surfaces, but I could begin to see the wear on them after only 24 miles. They stuck reasonably well to wet rocks (certainly better than any other shoe I've tried), including rocks heavy with moss. The rocks covered with a light coating of slimy green (moss? algae?) were still slippery enough to avoid, although the soft, deep lug structure on the bottoms tended to grab any small imperfection in the rock with amazing tenacity.
A warning, though. The shoes are minimalist in every way. Above the tread, the bottom of the shoe is thin. When the tread wears away (and it will soon), there won't be much padding between you and the ground. They do, however, provide sufficient front-of-toe protection.
The toebox is quite narrow and too-precipitously tapered, small enough that even with a snug fit, my toes crammed together on the frequent, steep downhills, leaving my outer toes with slight blistering for the first time in years. I really missed that little bulge around the small toe that most shoes have. However, if I went to a larger size, the poor lateral fit would cause my toes to slip down farther, I reckon. Besides, I'm broke now from buying all these shoes.
The sidewalls of the shoes are thin cloth covered with tough mesh. They dry more quickly than any other shoe I've worn (except the Runamucks).
Conclusion: a good shoe for multiple terrains over short distances. Definitely not a long-haul shoe for a variety of reasons.
The Runamucks were clearly too small in the 10.5's, so I shot them back and got 11's, which fit me well. They have the same snug fit with a slightly larger, but still ungenerous, toebox. Still, the slightly wider toe area made all the difference as far as fit was concerned. At a half size larger, they were still lightweight at 13.5 oz., 2.5 oz. more than the Mudclaws.
They don't get their extra weight from the top of the shoe. The sidewalls are made of tough mesh reinforced vertically with strips of heavy cloth. They drained and dried like a dream. They also provide better front-of-foot protection than the Mudclaws.
The bottoms are a bit better padded than the Mudclaws, and the tread is made of (I think) slightly harder rubber. Ironically for a "water shoe," they did not stick quite as well to the wet rocks, but they did so more than adequately. They also worked well on other surfaces. The multi-layer tread design is something to see. The big question is, will they maintain their stickiness once that first layer of tread has worn down?
I'll try to wear the Runamucks on a longer, wetter hike soon, so the comparison at this point isn't a fair one.
That said, I have to say that I might wear the Mudclaws on shorter walks, but I would never wear them on a multi-week trip, although if I ever get a few bucks together, I might try them a half-size larger. Given the softness of the tread rubber and the too-narrow toe area, neither the shoe nor my feet would make it through the hike.
The Runamucks look and feel like they could go a few hundred miles and keep the feet comfortable. The 2.5 oz. weight penalty is a relatively small price to pay. Watch the fit, though.
Geesh. I just wrote 600 words about shoes. Help me.
StargazerAug 17, 2009 at 5:24 am #1521359
@angelazLocale: New England
"Got the Mudclaws today, and they fit beautifully snug. My only concern it the toebox. It seems smaller than most trail shoes. (I'm used to the generous. perhaps excessive, toeboxes of the Montrail line.) Any thoughts?"
You are 100% right about that. I actually attempted to contact Inov-8 because having tried on the roc-lite, I was concerned about whether or not all their toeboxes were snug. So I wrote and asked if any model had a roomier toebox… no response.
I then bought the mudclaw. Needless to say, it got returned and I won't be purchasing inov-8's again.
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