Would Appreciate Off-trail Shoe Advice
Aug 27, 2021 at 1:29 pm #3725976
I have a 7 day sierra trip in a couple of weeks, 50% of which is off-trail. I have been trying various shoes for a few months and have narrowed my selection down to Cascadia 15 or Topo Ultraventure. I just purchased a pair of Solomon XA Pro 3D tyo try.
I am concerned that the Cascadia may not be robust enough, and someone said the stack height is not ideal. The TOPOs fit really well and I heard they are ok for off-trail. The Solomons feel very firm but they are not as comfortable as the other two, yet they seem really well suited for off-trail.
Any advice appreciated,
LowellAug 27, 2021 at 2:32 pm #3725980
I did not post my question and forgot to mention that I have been using these shoes on-trail
Does anyone have experience using these shoes in an off-trail setting?Aug 27, 2021 at 5:58 pm #3726013Aug 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm #3726014
If you order from Topo direct on their web page, they will allow you to try and return in 30 days if you are not happy… even if you used them out backpacking!!!Aug 27, 2021 at 6:40 pm #3726017
Have you tried the Pro model?Aug 27, 2021 at 6:45 pm #3726018
I have tried them on day hikes on rocky ground. I have not tried them backpacking yet. I like them better than the regular Ultraventure because they have more protection for your feet from rocks… and better traction.Aug 27, 2021 at 6:50 pm #3726020
There are some unfavorable reviews out there for the Ultraventure Pro, but it looks to me like they are mostly from trail runners. The Ultraventure Pro is really more of a light weight but sturdy hiking shoe than a trail runner… perfect for hiking, in my opinion…Aug 28, 2021 at 3:35 pm #3726132Steve ThompsonBPL Member
I’ll vouch for the Cascadia 15’s. I completed this route with them: https://vennacher.wordpress.com/2021/04/24/escape-from-new-york/
The uppers showed much wear and tear, and the soles lost a few lugs but they handled the off trail with aplomb.Aug 28, 2021 at 5:41 pm #3726142
DWR – thanks for the tip on Topo’s return policy
Steve – your trip is very similar to mine. About how much was off-trail?Aug 28, 2021 at 6:34 pm #3726145Steve ThompsonBPL Member
probably about 1/3 of the ~80 miles. the Martha Lake to Helen Lake, and Dusy Basin to Lower Palisades Lake are essentially routeless segments (maybe 20 miles). The couple of miles from Hell for Sure Pass jct to Martha, and the section over Lamarck Col are both considered off trail but there are use trails along most of this (7-8 miles).
I wore Cascadia 12’s on this: https://vennacher.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/2019-sequoia-kings-canyon-loop/. And they were excellent as well.
I’ve worn one model of Cascadia’s or another for the last 10 years. The only version that was worthless was the 14’s which had a crappy upper fabric. Otherwise these have been awesome. Also this summer put 250 JMT and then some trail miles on a new pair of 15’s (and still wearing / using them). For me Cascadia’s have been the best backpacking footwear.Aug 30, 2021 at 4:55 pm #3726311
I have the Topos and used them on the JMT; they were great! I used this this past Saturday in heavy brush here in Alaska and quickly tore a hole in the mesh on top of the shoe. I would not use them in heavy brush; I think they will tear up quickly and there isn’t enough structure to ensure I wouldn’t be stuck with broken shoes mid-hike. Comfort wise they’re great; durability not so much.Aug 30, 2021 at 6:20 pm #3726321
Steve – thanks!
Karen – what shoe(s) do you use for Alaska?Aug 30, 2021 at 7:46 pm #3726334
I was using Salomon mids and Salomon trail runners, but the toe box is too narrow for me now. I also need a new solution! For now, if I’m going off trail it’s still the Salomons, and some unhappy toes. The other thread on toes I posted my solution for sad toes – toe protectors. They work, but I’d rather have a wider toe box.Aug 30, 2021 at 8:34 pm #3726339
Karen… I’m confused as to whether you are talking about Topos or Solomons in your two posts above… and WHICH Topos??? the Ultraventure Pros have a MUCH tougher Fabric than any of the other Topos…Aug 31, 2021 at 9:47 am #3726382
Sorry if I was not being clear. On the JMT trek this July/August I wore Topo Ultraventure 2 trail running shoes. They were great for that and other trail hikes. I recently wore them on a very brushy trail that hadn’t been cleared in many years and the mesh on top of the toes got easily torn. It does look from the photo that the “pro” version might be tougher; I can’t speak to that.
From now on until I find another tougher shoe, I will use my Salomon Outline Low hiking shoes, which are not as comfortable, not as wide a toe box, but very durable.
I hope that helps.Aug 31, 2021 at 11:15 am #3726394
What I have done to prevent tears in trail runner fabric is to coat the normal wear areas with Aquaseal+SR (Formerly sold as Freesole formulated for creating toe caps on boots by Gear Aid… this is NOT Seam Sealer… much much tougher)… right out of the box and before even wearing them once… (typically I do a toe cap… larger and further back if it has a small one… and extend that toe cap around the left and right sides where the sides of the shoes tend to abrade) I never have fabric tears on trail runners now… even cross country though scree and talus…Sep 2, 2021 at 6:08 pm #3726526Brad WBPL Member
I and others experienced peeling lugs on Topos with the Vibram sole. I was not impressed. https://imgur.com/a/n08X3QzSep 2, 2021 at 10:24 pm #3726542
1. pealing lugs on any shoe are EXTREMELY easy to fix… Aquaseal+SR
2. I’ve had pealing lugs on may brands of trail runners… Aquaseal+SR
3. once I had a pealing lug on a Topo shoe… emailed them… they sent me a new pair… no, the new pair did not have a lug peal… AND I fixed the original with Aquaseal+SR and ended up with TWO shoes for the price of one!
4. There was a pealing lug complaint that I read of last fall winter for the Topo Ultraventure Pro… I emailed their customer service before I bought this past spring.. they said, yes, they had that problem, but is now fixed… I bought, and… no pealing lugs…
5… you know… one or even a handful of complaints out of tens of thousands is not a big deal and should not scare people off… especially when it is so easy to fix… and when Topo so good about replacing…
just sayin’….Sep 3, 2021 at 9:20 am #3726552Brad WBPL Member
Easy enough to fix things with items I just bought. Do I want to fix new products I buy constantly? Nope. The vibram sole on my pairs-4-all peeled/fell off within 75 miles, on top of the rubber being of poor quality. Not the Vibram quality of a few years ago. Was a comfortable shoe, just didn’t last even with the glueing. Can’t fix lugs that fall off on the trail.Sep 3, 2021 at 1:53 pm #3726563
Brad… others have a different experience.
It’s pretty common to have lugs peal off trail runners… the lugs are just glued on… I have had lugs peal from Altras and Hokas… just to name two.. In the old old days or heavy leather boots I had entire soles peal off…. it happens.. I have not noticed Topos to be significantly different than any other brand… Maybe I am exceptionally lucky… or you exceptionally unlucky… If I were doing a long thru hike, I might take a tube of Aquaseal+SR… I have never had a lug pull off after using this product… but important to clean the surfaces well first before applying…Sep 4, 2021 at 1:44 am #3726627Christopher SBPL Member
I have not tested them extensively yet but the Belleville “One Xero” model boots are working very favoriably for me so far. No WPB liner to trap in water, mix of tough leather and nylon, flexible outsole with a nice thick vibram tread. They MAY have a short and light Nylon shank in there – the heel does not seem to bend quite as easily as some of my other shoes. But running even in them feels pretty good. I believe my size 9.5 wide models weigh in about 19 ounces per boot.
Another option to consider is the Belleville Mini Mill which is basically a zero drop minimilst thin boot. Vibram sole, almost no padding, 2mm drop, weighs about 15 ounces each boot or less. A friend of mine has been hiking and doing biweekly runs in them with me (often in the beach sand) and his have held up great.
I am also a big fan of the Topo Trailventure but I have not tested it enough off trail to know how durable it is. But its overall a very nice “boot” that feels like a shoe and comes in either waterproof or not. One negative is some of the inside seams are exposed along the vamp which caused me to get a lot of nasty blisters at first – I covered the interior with a product designed to reduce friction in shoes (sort of like a tape) and that has helped a lot.Sep 14, 2021 at 11:24 am #3727365Paul SBPL Member
“I covered the interior with a product designed to reduce friction in shoes (sort of like a tape) and that has helped a lot.”
Hm…I liked to know more about that tape. Could you provide a link to it? Thanks!
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