Jul 18, 2013 at 10:07 am #1305540
Hi All…first off I'd just like to say THANK YOU to everyone whose posts I've read with great pleasure over the last few months as a lurker. Your advice has been stellar and much appreciated! As somebody who runs a long standing travel community, I'm very impressed with the knowledge and helpfulness here! I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time here and hope to be able to give a little something back, though I'm definitely not as experienced as some of you guys…like the shirtless dude on pointy elf skis :)
Anyway…let's get to the question – hope that maybe someone can help me with.
I'll be doing about 5 nights of the JMT at the end of the month and trying to get my pack down as much as possible. With food, 2 liters of water, bear can and all the rest my trailhead weight will be around 30. (I know I can get it down once I get a lighter pack etc.) So I'm ditching the boots that I sometimes use and will be using what I usually use for the routine hikes etc. Northface Hedgehog – they seem to fit my foot perfectly and I can usually just use them out of the box. My current ones are trashed and I'm getting a new pair.
For the JMT hike, I wanted to get the regular Hedgehogs that I usually use – which of course they don't make anymore. The heir apparent is the Hedgehog Guide. One version is GTX, which I'm NOT getting thanks to the excellent advice I've seen here. The version I want to get is not GTX, but it says it's 'waterproof'.
A breathable, lightweight, waterproof hiker.
Breathable, abrasion-resistant mesh upper.
Seamless, welded synthetic overlays.
Breathable fabric lining for a great in-shoe feel.
My question is, does anybody know if this means it's just a crappy version of Goretex but with the same problems of heat and foot maceration or does this mean it's just marketing speak for some fabric coating or whatever?
I can't seem to find detailed enough specs….anyone have any thoughts? I don't want super hot, sweaty, prune feet, but the Hedgehogs otherwise work great for me!
Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for the long message….it's my first.Jul 18, 2013 at 11:35 am #2007388
I have used TNF Hedgehogs from the time they first came out, until about 6 months ago when I discovered the Treksta Evolution fit my wide foot much better and was much more comfortable for me. The Hedgehogs are great shoes with awesome traction that seem to last a long time. TNF sold out long ago, but they sometimes still get one right. The Hedgehogs in GTX seem to be almost identical to the new HH Guides, with the only real difference being the weight…1 lb 12.5 ounces for the HH 3's GTX VS the HH Guide GTX at 1 lb 11.0 ounces. I would bet money they are the same thing, just minor trim changes, kind of like the difference between a Dodge Caravan and a Chrysler Town and Country. In my experience, the HH GTX's are good shoes year round. I have worn them in the heat of summer and my feet do not become overly sweaty until the temp. gets to over 100 F. At the opposite end, I have also worn them in the dead of winter and they do help with keeping the warmth in to about 15 F. Any lower, and I would need to add thicker/extra socks or find a dedicated winter boot. If you need a non-GTX version, I would look at Ebay or Craigslist, or just do an internet seach to see if any sellers still had some available. It seems to me that you don't really need a GTX version for summer on the JMT, and that it might actually be a detriment with stream crossings. Anyway, these are just my two cents.
MattJul 18, 2013 at 11:58 am #2007390
Thanks Matt. I appreciate the advice. Yeah, I'm purposely NOT going for the GTX. These guides don't have a small 'gortex' tag that the GTX have. They're probably just using a crappier version of Goretex like membrane. Who knows? Glad to hear that the GTX weren't too sweaty for you. I may end up trying them out and then seeing if I need to change the shoe up afterwards. I don't want to completely change shoe before the hike.
Have a good one!Jul 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm #2007394
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
I can only tell you about the market-speak, which is that a Waterproof tag on a shoe means that it has some kind of "waterproof/breathable" membrane inside. This membrane is usually sewn in and can sometimes be seen on the inside of the shoe — often a checkered looking fabric.
When a company switches from Gore-Tex to a generic in a boot they are usually doing it for cost, although it can be for better durability or breathability. Gore-Tex in my opinion, regardless of whether or not you think it breathes, is more durably waterproof than competitors on the market.Jul 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm #2007395
Hey Thanks. I'm really going for no membrane and trying to understand if a non goretex membrane will cause the prune feet. I guess it will. I'm not real concerned about waterproof ability of the shoe. Appreciate the advice.Jul 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm #2007399
Have you tried emailing TNF to get an answer?Jul 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm #2007400
From those pictures, it's looks like the shoe has mesh. I think it's impossible to make a mesh shoe waterproof without a waterproof/breathable liner. You need leather or synthetic leather type material treated with some kind of water resistant coating to have a "waterproof" non gtx shoe but it wouldn't be very waterproof anyways.Jul 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm #2007402
Thanks Justin. The less 'waterproof' the better!Jul 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm #2007406
To clarify what I said, I am guessing that these shoes do have a wp/b liner because they are mesh and labeled as waterpoof. That's not good news for you.
You are right to not want waterproof shoes. It will be warm, your feet will be sweaty, and if you cross a stream your shoes won't even be dry by the end of the day.Jul 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm #2007410
Thanks Justin. Looks like I'll switch it up. Anyone have any thoughts on a shoe similar to this one? Fairly large toe box, wider throughout the ball…good vibram sole?Jul 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm #2007412
@skomaeLocale: northeastern US
Try the La Sportiva Wildcat (breathable mesh, but poor durability on rocks) or the same shoe with tougher materials, the La Sportiva Raptor (less breathable, but more durability).
I've put hundreds of miles on my old Wildcats and about a hundred on the newer Raptors and I gotta say they are the best trail shoes I've ever owned.Jul 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm #2007417
Thanks Stephen…am ordering a pair on Zappos to check out the fit. Appreciate the advice. Thanks all who took the time to answer!Jul 19, 2013 at 7:45 am #2007590
"You are right to not want waterproof shoes. It will be warm, your feet will be sweaty, and if you cross a stream your shoes won't even be dry by the end of the day."
I could hike in flip flops and have soaked feet in the middle of summer with out crossing a stream…. meaning for me atleast it doesnt matter if my shoes get wet from streams or sweat. Either way im not having dry shoes by the end of the day.
People see breathable and think less sweat but breathable is relative and only useful to a certain degree hence the flip flop example. and mesh does not necessarily mean that the shoe is going to dry off faster. Now if the "whole" shoe was made of all mesh you would have a point but it would bea really flimsy shoe. Which is why shoes usually contain different materials. A lot of shoes designers combine leather with mesh (think merrel) now I know your not telling me leather dries quicker than gtx.
Personally I would worry more about fit than keeping my feet and foot wear dry in the middle of summer on the JMT. If you cant dry your shoes out when its a hundred degrees, I dont know what to tell you.Jul 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm #2007694
This may or may not sound crazy….what if I just poked a ton of pin holes in the Hedgehogs…the fit is so good for me that I'm loathe to switch things up except in the long term with lots of trial and error.Jul 19, 2013 at 2:33 pm #2007699
Try the Treksta Evolution non-GTX. Great shoe.
MattJul 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm #2007703
Hey Matt…thanks for the tip. I've got Treksta Evolution on order, but may not get it in time and might not be a great fit for me. The hedghogs, I'm sure about and will have no issues with fit – just the WP.Jul 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm #2007935
Hi. I wanted to give some feedback in case anyone is interested. Today I hiked in the NF HedgeHog Guides with about a 35 pound pack. (I ordered the Trekstas but they're not here yet) Did about a 9 sprint on the Hondo Canyon Trail and Backbone in the Santa Monica mountains. I up sized the Hedgehogs to a 12. I wore injinji toe socks and some light thorlo hiking socks. Feet were not sweaty at all and felt like slippers, but weren't sloppy. Plenty of room in the toes, good grip and I actually liked feeling the terrain. It was actually a pretty euphoric hike as I was feeling great! Towards the end I was feeling dull ache in the ball of the foot. I stopped and put in green superfeet which I'm trying out for the first time, and kept moving. I am sceptical of insoles, but figured I should at least try them. The pain went away almost immediately. Not sure if I'll always use them, but might wear them in shoe and bring the light NF insoles too.
I'm really glad I went back to the regular light shoes and ditched the boots! I'm looking forward to checking out the Trekstas, but I'm confident that the Hedgehogs will be just fine for the JMT. If the trekstas are an improvement after, then all the better.
I appreciate all your advice.Jul 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm #2008102
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Take a look at Merrill's Mojave Ventilator low shoes. They come in a wide range of widths and you can get them in GTX or without a WPB membrane. The "Ventilator" model is W/O a WPB membrane.
Cabela'sells them and REI can special order wider sizes although they normally only carry a "medium" width.
BTW, I doubt if TNF's Chinese shoe makers make any better shoes than Merrill's Chinese shoe makers. :o)Jul 22, 2013 at 3:35 am #2008298
What you guys think of this popular Salomon model?
both GTX and not.
I tried them yesterday and looked very solid
I will do main West USA parks in August, daily hikes, and will have my La Sportiva WildcatJul 24, 2013 at 9:05 pm #2009239
Wow…the treksta's just came in and I took them for a 5 miles jaunt around the neighborhood with the pack on. These things fit like gloves! It's amazing how comfortable and fitted they are. Very possible they'll be the shoe that makes it to the trail. They fit the heel, instep and arch snugly with no hot spots or trouble areas and nicely fit the anatomical shape of the toes and ball of foot. Very impressed, super comfortable without being sloppy! Cool! Thanks for the tip.Aug 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm #2012790
Just got back from 70 miles in the Sierras from Sawmill trailhead out to Whitney portal via JMT with the Trekstas. Couldn't be happier. They held up great on the granite scree, wet stuff – up, down etc. Thank you all.
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