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In this installment we discuss footwear components - shoes/boots, footbeds, socks, vapor barriers, booties, overboots, and gaiters - everything on or around the foot. Our purpose is to make you more aware of the lightweight options available and how to apply and combine specific pieces of gear. As we cover each footwear component, we mention some of the more promising products that we are aware of and discuss the activities and conditions they are best suited for.

We emphasize that the information we share in this article is just a beginning. It is impossible for us to evaluate every individual product available, but we tried to evaluate the functionality of every type of product. Undoubtedly we missed a few important options, and some of our evaluations are likely to be controversial. There’s something here for everyone to disagree with! Hopefully this series of articles will prime the pump and generate a lot of input from our astute readers in the attached forum. Together we will assemble a wealth of information in one place, which is our goal at Backpacking Light.


  • Overview
  • Introduction to Part 2
  • Components of a Lightweight Footwear System
    • Shoes/Boots
      • Our Favorites
    • Footbeds
      • Our Favorites
    • Socks
      • Our Favorites
    • Vapor Barrier and WP/B Socks
      • Our Favorites
    • Overboots
      • Our Favorites
    • Gaiters
      • Our Favorites
    • Coordinating a Daytime Footwear System with a Snow Camping Footwear System
      • Our Favorites
  • Summary of Key Points
  • Preview of Part 3
  • About the Authors

# WORDS: 7560
# PHOTOS: 52

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