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Fast and Light Shoulder Season Footwear Tips


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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Fast and Light Shoulder Season Footwear Tips

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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 38 total)
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  • #1285997
    Addie Bedford
    BPL Member

    @addiebedford

    Locale: Montana
    #1843167
    Maxine Weyant
    BPL Member

    @maxine

    Regarding Flat feet–it's important to strengthen the feet as much as possible. One exercise is to put a towel on the floor and use your toes to scrunch and draw the towel towards you (put a weight on the far end of the towel.) Also, walking barefoot uphill in sand. Wearing arch supports can really help prevent foot fatigue, and they improve stride efficiency by providing a more functional lever to push off with, and to edge with on sidehills. Flat feet tend to be pretty hypermobile and apropulsive.

    I recently started doing Yamuna Foot Fitness (the "foot waking" program) which strengthens all the foot muscles and lower leg muscles while adding flexibility to the calves/Achilles. It would also help strengthen weak ankles. You use knobby half-balls, about the size of a grapefruit half, and roll your feet over it in multiple positions articulating each toe and working every muscle in the foot and lower leg. You start sitting and work up to standing. The knobs really hurt at first, so start with thick socks. You can get the Foot Waking program and DVD online (Amazon, etc)

    Skin–A book called "Fixing Your Feet" is also great for tons of advice about toughening up the skin, etc. A lot of it is more anecdotal than evidence-based, but it's nice to learn what some ultra-runners do to toughen up their skin and prevent blisters– with tea, alcohol; some use drying agents and some swear by lubricants. My favorite is the ultra-runner from S. America who marches in a washtub filled with rice. That would strengthen the feet as well, I'd imagine. Cheers.

    #1843178
    wander lust
    Spectator

    @sol

    I do not wear knee high socks, but just knee high gaiters do the job for me when it is not too cold. They even keep my feet reasonable warm in cold river crossings and double as lower rain protection.

    I need such gaiters for bushwhacking and sharp vegetation in NZ anyway.

    As mentioned earlier, goretex socks and shoes would only make sense if water never gets inside them.

    #1843185
    Kurt Lammers
    BPL Member

    @smackpacker

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Thanks Mike I appreciate your insight – fording is unlikely as long as I traverse the logs and snow bridges appropriately :) so I think I'll give the trail runners a shot. Cheers

    #1843187
    Ryan Tir
    BPL Member

    @ryan_t

    So I suppose there's not too many good/fast methods to dry shoes/socks out once they are wet..?

    #1843201
    Justin Baker
    BPL Member

    @justin_baker

    Locale: Santa Rosa, CA

    Yeah, it's called a fire. Be careful though, you can really harm or destroy clothing if you put it too close to the fire. Obviously for some this might not be a reasonable option, for whatever reason. But it's definitley the best way.

    #1843204
    Brendan Swihart
    BPL Member

    @brendans

    Locale: Fruita CO

    Has anyone tried thinning down some silicone and brushing it on their shoes? I haven't tried it but was thinking it might strengthen the mesh a little and have the added benefit of reducing water absorption in the mesh. If it was really nice and thin it seems like it would add minimal weight.

    #1843205
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    A fire might work good, but you don't always have a lot of control over the temperature that hits the shoes. Lots of shoes and boots are glued together, and some of the glues will fail after they've been heated just a little too much.

    –B.G.–

    #1843247
    David Chenault
    BPL Member

    @davec

    Locale: Queen City, MT

    Silicone won't adhere well to nylon. Aquaseal or Shoe Goo works well as a reinforcement. I use the former full strength, but put the tube in hot water for a minute to facilitate easy and thin application. If you put too much on excessively porous mesh, you risk creating a bumpy texture inside which can cause abrasion.

    There are lots of ways to dry shoes, most revolve around fire. Be careful, melting the sole off is not cool. Hot (but not too hot) rocks placed in the shoes are safer and work well. Sheets of newspaper wadded up inside are surprisingly effective, and can be burned after use. Mostly I just don't worry about it.

    #1843249
    Justin Baker
    BPL Member

    @justin_baker

    Locale: Santa Rosa, CA

    Good point Bob. You would have to be careful with shoes, and extremely so with leather boots. I was thinking more about socks and clothing though. During long winter nights hanging around the fire I usually end up wearing my sweaty layers dry.

    #1843275
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > So I suppose there's not too many good/fast methods to dry shoes/socks out once they are wet..?
    The best way is usually wearing them while walking.

    Btw – you don't need to dry your socks & shoes overnight. Just don't let them freeze. A large plastic bag placed under the end of your quilt works quite well for that.

    Cheers
    PS: Dave C: +1

    #1843279
    Jim Sweeney
    BPL Member

    @swimjay

    Locale: Northern California

    To abrogate the prolegomena, or cut to the chase, this is an excellent article.

    #1843351
    Kier Selinsky
    Member

    @kieran

    Locale: Seattle, WA

    I have no experience with neoprene – how breathable is it? Accordingly, is there an upper bound to the comfort? At what temp should I expect to switch to wool? I know everyone's different, just looking for anecdotal experience.

    #1843355
    folecr r
    BPL Member

    @folecr

    So what you're saying is that those canvas shoes I had when I was a kid… The ones with rubber soles… Those are the best shoes ever!

    #1843382
    wander lust
    Spectator

    @sol

    I don't bother with drying footwear, they will get after less than 1 hour on the next day anyway.

    You can walk socks dry amazingly fast.

    In regards to breathability of neoprene:

    It breathes fine, I don't wear it when it is warmer than 55 F and I don't have to cross really cold and big rivers.

    It is either just one pair of socks for me or the nsr hydroskins. Note though, that everyone has different feet and I get warm fast when I am walking.

    #1843479
    Jane Freeman
    Member

    @janefree

    Locale: Paauilo

    Hi Brian. A website I've found helpful and comprehensive is naturalrunning.com tag words for a good strengthening video on YouTube are stability and mobility for healthy natural running There are also several feet strenthening videos on YouTube

    I'd like to emphasize how important it is to go slow with transitioning from a thicker to a lower heel. One wouldn't walk into a gym for the first time and do 5,000 curls and that's what it's like for calve muscles to go out and say run or hike even five miles with a change in heel height. Calves do get sore at first. This is pointed out in a good podcast 'Dr. Mark Hits One Outta the Park' art and science of running form.

    A personal benefit that I've experienced with a zero drop heel is a life long menescus problem in my knee has dissapeared.

    Edited for being all thumbs on my phone

    #1843488
    Chris S
    BPL Member

    @bigsea

    Locale: Truckee, CA

    Nice article. I'm a big fan of principle #4. This past summer I got into the routine of taking off my shoes and socks and letting my feet air out every time I took a break. Definitely a nice little recharge each time.

    #1843682
    Barry P
    BPL Member

    @barryp

    Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)

    Sorry, slight deviating comment to follow:

    “April in Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho.”

    What? I didn’t see you there? Of course it was kind of empty. I was with my cousin there at the same time.Craters Of The Moon April 2011
    You get the nice foot workout there:footwear workout

    This is one of the few times I will not be spotted with sandals because of continuous 20F cold. I used boots!! Sometimes, in the winter I wear North Face Nuptse boots. Yes, my winter weight footwear is LIGHTER than my 3-season wear:
    10oz for North Face Nuptse
    12oz for Teva TerraFi3.

    I like your point of fitting to thin and thick socks w/o blood strangualtion. One of the joys of my footwear is I can go from a thin nylon sock to a thick wool sock with a down bootie pulled over that! And then I can quickly cinch firm for backpacking; and totally loosen up at rest for a comfy slipper feel.

    May everyone find their footwear zen,
    -Barry

    #1843683
    David Chenault
    BPL Member

    @davec

    Locale: Queen City, MT

    Awesome Barry, glad someone else is backpacking there in spring. My wife and I are looking forward to doing another trip this year. A bit out of the way, but very much worth the effort.

    #1843695
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    Nothing truly new in the article that hasn't been hashed out before.

    I simply wear these with non-gortex shoes and tall gaiters in those conditions and it works well in the Northern Rockies. I use a 0.4oz liner sock under the gortex socks:

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/rocky_gore-tex_sock_spotlite_review.html

    #1843882
    Warren Greer
    Spectator

    @warrengreer

    Locale: SoCal

    But it would have been nice for a few photos of shoes-N-socks and such. OK, back to the thread. Or NM.

    #1844746
    David Ure
    Member

    @familyguy

    I agree Warren, but based on a few posts this was apparently a re-hash of an old article. Maybe that is why there were no relevant photos.

    #1844767
    Kurt Lammers
    BPL Member

    @smackpacker

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    "rehash" or not this is the kind of article I appreciate and had previously come to expect from BPL; I've been unable to solicit any feedback previously regarding the recent article quality, but it's been my impression that the subject matter of too many of the articles in the past year have been peripheral to the core audience. Thanks for the article Dave, here's hoping for more for the core.

    #1844815
    David Chenault
    BPL Member

    @davec

    Locale: Queen City, MT

    The core of this article was first publicly presented in the aforementioned blog post (in the fall of 2010). Since then my experience has only confirmed most of the core tenants, ergo I saw no need to change them. Nor rewrite them, as I was quite pleased with my original efforts. I have more recently been experimenting with ever more minimalist shoes, as well as discussing how other hikers have found this sock system. Just about the only reason anyone who actually tried it didn't like it was if their preferred hiking pace and/or circulatory issues demanded more warmth.

    As for pictures of socks and beat up shoes, I trust in Google to guide readers. It's harder to evoke things like a mountain snowpack in full melt to folks who have never seen it. That and my ongoing goal to be at least as inspirational in gear articles as I am informative and descriptive.

    Perhaps I should have embedded this video to make the point more emphatic: https://vimeo.com/11957531

    #1844852
    Ike Jutkowitz
    BPL Member

    @ike

    Locale: Central Michigan

    Nike
    Minimalist highly breathable shoes paired with a liner sock, thicker wool sock, and gortex sock

    This was a strategy I first learned from Dave's blog. For what it's worth, the X-country is way too narrow a shoe for my foot, but I really like oversized MT 101s for winter. Just enough of stiffness for snowshoeing.

    The article doesn't have to be new to be highly relevant to our community. I'm sure there are many out there who are investing in expensive boots for winter when they could be going cheaper, lighter, and more comfortably this way. These are the kinds of technique-oriented articles that make BPL worth the money for me.

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