Dec 29, 2020 at 7:13 am #3691211
I just want to start off saying I’ve read several posts and the articles about winter footwear that were posted on here.
My question is how many actually use trail runners and everything else? Also if going the route of trail runners, liners, insulating socks, vapor barriers, gators, sole liners ect it seems like the trail runner would have to be so big it would be dedicated to winter alone.
Does anyone use a removable liner boot? Or a insulated boot with liner socks and insulated sock and possibly vapor barrier?
Recommendations on boots, shoes are welcome as well.
I have a pair of Buffington, ice breakers that are awesome but not sure I would wear them for a a 20mile hike but for just winter camping and short hikes they are awesome for the cold.
The coldest i see where I’m at is 0 to 20. Sometimes snow to no snow and just cold depending on the weather and were I go. The weather around here sucks because we can get snow and then it melts an it can be cold and no snow or 40s and snow on the ground. The Midwest winters aren’t the same as when I was a kid….Dec 29, 2020 at 7:57 am #3691215
It also seems more expensive going the layer route vs bootsDec 29, 2020 at 9:17 am #3691224Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
Not sure if I’m doing it correctly, but hiking in the Smokies at elevation with maybe 6-8 inches, or just the possibility of snow, trail runners make me a bit nervous. I’ve used GTX mids from Selewa, Hoka and this year plan to try Keen mids for a wider toe box. I’m also using MLD gaiters, for warmth as well as protection. If things get hairy in the Smokies, dropping elevation is usually an option.
I did buy some used snow shoes and I’m actually praying for a big snow dump in order to play with them. For moderate snow the above set up has worked well for me. Interested to hear what others say.Dec 29, 2020 at 5:53 pm #3691305dirtbagBPL Member
I used trail runners for winter until 1 year we ran into some deep snow and it was COLD! My feet got colder then I would like, notably after we made camp and slowed down and in the morning while packing up to hike out.
That did it for me.. I since have been using Salomon Tundra winter boots for my winter backpacking and snow shoe trips and would not ever consider going back!!Dec 29, 2020 at 9:46 pm #3691329Luke SchmidtBPL Member
I was a trail runner purist until I moved to Alaska. Sometimes they are just more trouble than they are worth.
Your situation sounds like a good one for lighter weight GoreTex boots with gaters as needed for snow. I like a couple things about my Solomon boots. They are less fiddly then trail runners with liners. Also I appreciate the harder sole. It’s nice to be able to “edge” or dig into snow or half frozen ground. My soft Altras just didn’t do as well there.
Do make sure there is adequate toe room. I find my toes get colder in stiffer or tighter boots. I upsized for my new boots and they are a lot better then last years model. I like my Steger Mukluks in really cold weather. Obviously they are more insulated but I also think the fact that your foot flexes more keeps blood flowing well through the whole foot.
All that said I have not tried VBLs but if I was in the lower 48 I might be interested. Going back to the Stegers there is something to be said for a more flexible shoe. I would shy away from ridiculously light waterproof shoes. I tried the Altra Lone Peak boots one year. Very comfortable and reasonably warm with double socks and foam insoles. The problem is the uppers are to flimsy. They quickly got leeks and water came in fast. My Solomon boots seem to have a slow leak but they are beefy enough that water isn’t pouring through. They still work in snow. If I step in slush I might get damp but my feet stay warm (not a strategy for 20 below obviously).
To sum it all up, its always a trade off but the simplest solution would probably be lighter boots. From there you can experiment.Dec 30, 2020 at 6:11 am #3691345
I do have a pair of keen hiking boots that could try with warm socks. The solomon sound really good. I may even try my baffins with a liner sock and possibly vapor barrier
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