- Jan 16, 2020 at 1:19 pm #3627419
Hey folks, just looking for some input for footwear on the at, I prefer something that is light, flexible and close to zero drop as possible, thinner soles are a plus. Open to suggestions.
Thanks!Jan 16, 2020 at 2:28 pm #3627434AaronBPL Member
I used the Altra Lone Peak 4.0 on the JMT this summer and they functioned great. The rubber on the toe does tend to peel so before I left I place shoe goo over the area and had no problems. I have also heard great things about Topo, and the Danner 2650.Jan 16, 2020 at 3:25 pm #3627448Brad PBPL Member
I agree with Aaron. The Lone Peaks have a larger toe box than some other brands. I tried 2 different Salomon models and both rubbed my toes.
Keep in mind, this is NOT an issue for everyone. You’ll have to see what works best for your feet.Jan 16, 2020 at 3:44 pm #3627449David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Don’t be sure you want thin soles. Maybe you’re on the light side with a light load and have tough feet, but for myself, in my 20s, I could do 20, even 30 miles in anything and didn’t need a stiff sole. But over 30 miles, or over 15 miles with a backpack, and my feet would feel beat up after wrapping themselves over hundreds of rocks and roots each day. What we now call a “trail runner” or a low-cut hiking shoe had enough stiffness to avoid that and allow for 40-50 mile days. Now, older and heavier, that break point is about 10 miles on forest trails. Around town on sidewalks it’s all about padding, but on trails, it is more about having some stiffness in the sole on higher mileage days.Jan 16, 2020 at 4:23 pm #3627451Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
The Top Footwear on the Appalachian Trail: 2018 AT Thru-Hiker SurveyJan 16, 2020 at 5:43 pm #3627463Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Different shoes fit wise but the aforementioned Lone Peak’s are one choice but also the La Sportiva Bushido II is another choice. Any trailrunner should do fine.Jan 16, 2020 at 7:03 pm #3627474Murali CBPL Member
+1 on La Sportiva Bushido’s.
On JMT with the Bushido’s, it rained one afternoon with hail and the temperature dropped and my feet were numb from walking on puddles of water – rest of my body were dry. I went with the conventional wisdom of non-waterproof trail runners.
On my recent PCT-Washington section hike, I used the waterproof version – La Sportiva Lycan and absolutely loved it. It rained several days – 10 -12 hour rainy days and my feet were dry. I also used injinji socks with Rocky Goretex waterproof liners over the socks. I was initially going to use the Rocky liner only when it rained – but, somedays I forgot to remove them and I started wearing it everyday. The bonus of this setup was that my feet were extremely clean. I never had to wash my feet like I had on the JMT. My socks on JMT with Bushido’s would become grimy and had to wash my feet/socks. With the Rocky goretex liner everyday – even in a heat wave for a few days – my feet were dry/clean. You would think with the liner, it would sweat – but, it didn’t. Socks were also clean. Try this setup and see how it works for you.
The Lycan also has a wide toe box. I have used the Lycan for almost 700+ miles and it still has some life in it.Jan 16, 2020 at 7:13 pm #3627476Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
I still have these Danner’s from 1983. Ultralight of the day for a fashionable AT thru hike.
Today I would go with La Sportiva’s or Selewa’s.Jan 17, 2020 at 8:13 am #3627508
Thanks for on all the input folks! I definitely like the look and specs on the altrasJan 17, 2020 at 8:16 am #3627509
Glad to hear everyone’s experiences!Jan 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm #3627573MattBPL Member
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
I’ve worn the Lone Peaks for thousands of miles. They’ll hit all your specs though the delaminating toe rubber has been a recurring problem (catches pebbles, grass, dirt, etc.). The fit has also varied over the evolution of several different models.
I’m going to start looking at Innov8. They have some zero and nearo drop shoes with the graphene soles that are supposed to last much longer than traditional soles. Interesting …Jan 18, 2020 at 9:04 am #3627705Eric BlancheBPL Member
@eblancheLocale: Northeast US
Caelen, it seems like you are describing exactly what Inov8 caters to. Lower to zero drop, minimal stack height (thinner soles), light, and super flexible yet still offers decent protection in their meta cradle “rock plate.” They have shoes that certainly have larger and wider forefoot/toe boxes as well as more snug performance fit shoes.
I’ve used the older trailroc 255 for thousands of miles here on the east coast including and AT through hike. I’ve had pairs of non graphene inov8s last between 600-1000 miles. They do offer a lot of different shoes and I encourage you to research/check out as many as you can. Some of their newer models seem to also go up to 8mm drop.
I currently have two pairs of graphene soled shoes from them with no sign of wear after ~100 miles a piece (doesn’t say too much).
La Sportiva shoes are great if they fit your feet though I find their uppers to be shallow and too low volume for my feet.
Good luck!Jan 18, 2020 at 10:08 pm #3627861
I like the look of the inov8s for sure, the trail rocks in particular look like what I’m interested in.
thanks!Jan 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm #3628432AaronBPL Member
I went to REI one time for trail shoes and found a pair that was amazingly comfortable, best fit I’ve ever had by far. I hike with them all the time. I looked up reviews and lo and behold it’s far and away the most popular shoe on the AT. Altra Lone Peak. Sole is thin enough to feel light but not so thin the rocks beat up my feet unless I’m on crazy rocky terrain. Good balance between light weight runner like trail glove and a heavier hiking shoe.Jan 23, 2020 at 3:32 pm #3628435Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
Thin soles have caused me blister problems on the PCT, because the PCT is hot, the trail bed is hot. I have had to line my Altras with reflectix. They’re probably okay for the AT which is more shaded. If I were doing the AT I would wear Chaco sandals.Jan 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm #3628437Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western MichiganJan 26, 2020 at 1:42 pm #3628823M BBPL Member
Shoes are your single most important gear item
Don’t pick them because it’s what someone else wears
To get best shoes for you, takes months , of trying on shoes mail order, imo.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Your feet will tell you what they like, if you listen. But it takes 30 min of wearing shoe, lacing different ways, comparing directly to other shoes, comparing sizes etc.</p>
Shoes change all the time. If I look for new ones, I allow 3-6 months.
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