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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:49 pm 
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My wife is the opposite of me and wears running shoes for everything. She is former collegiate cross country runner and over a decade later is still a very competitive trail runner. Her stabilizer muscles are extremely large likely due to having to deal with un-optimal terrain. Even though she is light weight, sneakers last less than 300 miles before the foam is shot and the tread is either worn smooth or missing pieces.

Regarding the military issued boots, they do not wear at all like a traditional boot. I have two pairs of boots from my BIL (former Air Force) and the tread wears out relatively quickly and the cushioning in them is a little soft for my tastes. However, I can run very well in them and do prefer them to sneakers.


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:19 pm 
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zero11010 wrote:
Dragon80 wrote:
Now, I'm going to disagree with the comments on boots actually increasing risk of ankle injury due to atrophy or anything of the like.

For survival as the OP intended this discussion, I want something that gives good support first, comfort second, and protection (ie waterproof) third. A shoe cannot compare unless it's being used on flat ground and not under load. This is why through hikers wear trainers and go as ultralight as possible. Their shoes couldn't support real weight or would fall apart while doing so, I've seen that personally on a 12.5 mile hike. My buddy's New Balance trail runners fell apart under 40lbs at about 9 miles in and were only a couple months old.

I'll end this by making a bold statement. The best shoe made couldn't do what my current boots do and my boot isn't even the best boot out there, for what the OP is asking.


Just to be clear. I didn't expressly say that wearing a boot will increase the chances of an injury. I did say that they cause muscle atrophy if using them all the time. That would be a pretty hard thing to argue with. Muscles that aren't used atrophy. The more you limit the mobility of your ankle with a boot the more you will limit the usage of many of the muscles used while walking. That's how kinesthetics work, and it can't really be successfully argued with.

I definitely agree that there are limits to what the body can do while walking. Those limits can be altered through exercise, and those limits can be altered through gear.

You're right, if a person is hiking with a particularly heavy load they will need a boot because our feet have not evolved to carry ourselves plus a large percentage of our body weight. Once you are dealing with a high enough amount of weight you need to have more support for the sole of your foot (heavy duty hiking boots are rigid for this reason). As people hike more and more people naturally move towards lighter and lighter loads. There is often a snowball effect where you need heavier gear to deal with heavier gear (and conversely, you can deal with lighter gear when you have lighter loads).

To illustrate the above example: if your load for 3 days is 40 pounds you may be able to get away with a lightweight 50L backpack weighing only 3 pounds empty - or for some a 2 pound pack holding 30L, if your load for 3 days is closer to 80 pounds you may need a heavier duty 70L backpack weighing closer to 6 pounds empty (though a lot of military inspired packs go well above that number). People also see similar savings with changing footwear.

Here's Andrew Skurka on the topic. This guy does 6 month+ long hikes covering thousands and thousands of miles, and averaging 30 miles each day and while carrying his gear. He's about as hardcore as hardcore gets.
skip to 28:08 for footwear

on the topic of effort vs weight of shoe ... this is a similar issue with cars (some of you are car guys). When you move to a lightweight set of wheels you see a performance improvement beyond just the raw difference in weight. You see an improvement specifically because the car doesn't have to work as hard to move a smaller amount of mass (the wheel and tire, or in the analogy, the foot and footwear swinging on the end of your leg).


Before making a final decision on Andrew Skurka footware continue watching the video on "Footcare" what his feet look like and all the extra stuff he has to bring along to take care of your feet because he uses non waterproof trail runners. I scratch my head when you are saving 8 ounces by going with a non waterproof Merrell trail runner over say a Merrell Moab Mid Height Goretex boot, but then put 8 ounces of stuff in your pack for foot care.

It also cracks me up when people say waterproof hiking boots are near useless and rave about how trail runners dry fast....then they get into how you just get use to getting your feet wet and show you a picture of them sitting in a tent with pruned feet. Yes, trail runners will dry out faster if they get soaked and yes waterproof hiking boots will get wet if you are hiking all day in a downpour or go thru knee deep water, and yes they can be hot in the summer heat. However Trail runners will get soaked in light rain, walking thru a few shallow puddles, or even walking thru a field of ankle high grass covered with morning dew will soak trail runners, while someone wearing a waterproof boot will be dry. Also what happens to just getting use to your feet being wet and quick drying when its below freezing and there is 2" of snow on the ground? How good are trail runners then? Waterproof boots may keep your feet warm in the summer, but that a good thing when its cold.

As I said before Andrew Skurka is relatively young, in great shape, and has been hiking long distance for years. He has ankles like a mountain goat and weighs less than 200lb. He is also an ultralight hikers and while he can deal with some uncomfortableness and harsh conditions to save weight. Also understand that if he gets a bad ankle sprain, gets trench foot or starts losing toes due to frostbite he can pull the plug on his long distance hike at any time and get back to civilization for provisions and treatment. His footwear works for him in his situations. For the rest of the us...YMMV

Also don't fall for the hype with Five Fingers and Minimalist shoes and how your ankle and feet will atrophy like a bed ridden old lady because you wear boots. Its pure BS. I will tell you this there is a reason why the military will not allow Five Fingers or Minimalist shoes during PT....its because of multiple foot/ankle injuries, and shin splints. I actually own a pair of Five Fingers and there is no way in hell I would hike with them, you feel every damn rock you step on and its real easy for something small and sharp to pierce the sole and go into your foot. How on earth can they be a good SHTF foot option when going thru this?

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:32 pm 
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There are pros and cons to boots and shoes, and each have their strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, there are other factors at play than just boot vs shoe, because there is a lot of deviation between each category, fit concerns, etc. Footwear is a system; one must consider foot hygiene, various socks, laces, footwear maintenance and care, insole life/wear, tread life/wear, and finally, intended use.

I'm a diehard boot fan when it comes to serious use. The only time I prefer shoes is when I'm working out, or if I'm just stepping out in my PJ's. If y'all bumped into me during the zombie apocalypse, I'd be wearing a pair of boots.

If boots give you blisters and burns, the boots (if they're of quality make and free from defect) aren't automatically to blame. Here's a list of considerations, all of which can affect comfort:
- Initial fit of boot is poor.
- Your feet swell over the span of a day and reflective of your diet, changing the fit of the boot.
- Your socks are not enough cushioning between your foot and your boot.
- Your socks, and therefore your feet, are retaining moisture and staying wet.
- Your boots are becoming stiff and unaccommodating due to salt accumulation from sweat, and they require service.

Additionally, it is worth experimenting with different socks, with and without liner socks, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:49 pm 
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I do agree with wearing appropriate socks. I wear heavy weight Smartwool socks year round.


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:03 pm 
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I am normally a shoe person. But then I am not normally walking through a debris field like this.

I really think this picture says it all about the need for a good pair boots as PPE.

Mikeyboy wrote:
How on earth can they be a good SHTF foot option when going thru this?


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I walked through some debris fields kinda like this after Katrina. After one such stroll I counted no fewer than 3 roofing nails stopped by the steel soles in my boots with one still stuck in it. One pierced the side of the boot but did not get through the steel cap. I am sure there were several more that did not stick in the boot. I know this because my foot got stuck at one point. I had to yank my foot to get it out of the nails.

The trails are one thing but if you are expecting to walk through a debris field, you will want boots with steel soles, shank and toes. You will want the boots going up high on the ankle and leg to protect them from the debris. BTW will also want a good set of thick leather gloves.

Now walking in the marsh or the wood I much prefer shoes to boots, even when it is soggy like today. I suggest that you have both. :D


One other point shoes (assuming they are good quality leather shoes and you do not abuse them) will last twenty + years. I personally have shoes that probably older than some ZS'ers. :D
The secret is simple, alternate the shoes daily (preferably 3 pairs) so they can dry out from any perspiration and polish them weekly.

Edited to add:
I have run across these inserts. I have heard mixed reviews but I do know they provide puncture resistance to any kind of shoe or boot. I am passing this along for information. It strikes me as a handy way to provide additional protection to a regular street shoe and thus would be better than nothing.
http://www.steelsole.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:05 pm 
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I've never understood peoples obsession with ankle support. If you run around with shoes on to the point that you're in decent shape, sprains shouldn't happen. On that note, I've never heard of a single conditioned trail runner spraining their ankle.

The two differences between a trail shoe and a normal running shoe are different tread and a rock plate. The rock plate is a hard sheet of plastic in the sole to prevent injury from stepping on sharp rocks. This should protect you from stepping on anything bad besides nails.

Beyond finding ankle support to be annoying and pointless, my main problem with boots is the weight. I don't care how "light" modern boots are, they'll always be much heavier than running shoes. I ran 64 mile last week. If I wore boots that were 8 oz heavier than my running shoes, I would have lifted that extra 8oz thirty eight thousand times. That's a hell of a lot of extra work, requiring more calories and putting more wear and tear on my body. I'd much rather get to my destination quickly and lightly, and get on with my next task.

For the examples given of trudging through snow or doing disaster recovery, proper boots are needed and hiking boots won't get you anywhere. If you have summer hiking boots, you'll get frost bite in winter just the same as with running shoes, and anything light enough to go for a proper hike will be far too light duty for to count as PPE. If a tornado takes out my neighbor's house, I'm not putting on running shoes or hiking boots. I'm putting on my heavy ass steel toes.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:56 pm 
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There isn't a single right answer for this question. There are a lot of arguments for both sides of the topic. There isn't a clear cut and dry answer. There are strong pros to wearing shoes instead of boots in a whole lot of different situations, and there are situations where a shoe absolutely wouldn't do. Uniformly going with one or the other isn't going to get you killed by itself, so to a large extent the argument for this really doesn't matter.

that being said:
Mikeyboy wrote:
Before making a final decision on Andrew Skurka footware continue watching the video on "Footcare" what his feet look like and all the extra stuff he has to bring along to take care of your feet because he uses non waterproof trail runners. I scratch my head when you are saving 8 ounces by going with a non waterproof Merrell trail runner over say a Merrell Moab Mid Height Goretex boot, but then put 8 ounces of stuff in your pack for foot care.


Mikey, the guy is one of the best in the world at this. What he's doing is more than well thought out.

1) I don't think he's carrying 8oz of stuff for his feet.

2) The extra 8oz on his feet are equal to 48oz on his back (as he stated earlier from military studies), so no, the weight wouldn't be a wash as you're implying.

3) A large boots will retain more water when wet than shoes. This means that while the shoes may weigh 8oz less by themselves they're also retaining much less water once they do get wet. We have that same 6x multiplier for effort to carry weight on your feet. Also, because the boots retain the water longer you carry that extra water weight in the boot for longer than you do in the shoe. All of that adds up to more effort which means more calories burned which means requiring more food as you go, which requires carrying more crap with you.

4) I think all of this is moot because I believe he said he was wearing a leather ski boot for the portion of the trip where he had taken the picture of his foot. I guess you missed that part (31:30). I'm assuming that ski boot was waterproof. Though, he did say that for a lot of that Alaska trip he wore trail runners.

Mikeyboy wrote:
It also cracks me up when people say waterproof hiking boots are near useless and rave about how trail runners dry fast....then they get into how you just get use to getting your feet wet and show you a picture of them sitting in a tent with pruned feet. Also what happens to just getting use to your feet being wet and quick drying when its below freezing and there is 2" of snow on the ground? How good are trail runners then? Waterproof boots may keep your feet warm in the summer, but that a good thing when its cold.


Let it crack you up. That's fine. He said his feet were wet for about 12 hours, and I think the same thing would happen to anyone. He got to camp he treated his feet. His feet were in leather ski boots (water proof, most likely he explains this at 31:30). He rested them for 9 hours and on the following day he was able to march on for another 12 hours. With where he was walking I don't think anything in the world would have kept his feet dry. He said something to this effect several times throughout his lecture, and this is a common theme for most big time hikers.

You don't have to follow what the experts are doing. But there are recognized experts at walking long distances with all of their supplies on their back. There's a whole industry based around it. The experts agree, for most environments light weight non waterproof shoes are the way to go. The key words there are "most environments." In some places boots are ideal.

It's fine if that's not a route you want to take. But, these guys do this stuff a lot, and they've all come to the same conclusions. Disagree with it if you'd like. But, you might as well recognize that they're good at what they're doing. You don't think someone tried doing all of those things in waterproof boots? They did, then they learned from their mistakes.

If boots were awesome for running, more people would wear them in marathons. You can run in boots. Absolutely. Look to the extreme of that thing (running in this case, or previously people walking long distances while carrying all of their supplies on their back) and see what people use.

Mikeyboy wrote:
As I said before Andrew Skurka is relatively young, in great shape, and has been hiking long distance for years. He has ankles like a mountain goat and weighs less than 200lb. He is also an ultralight hikers and while he can deal with some uncomfortableness and harsh conditions to save weight. Also understand that if he gets a bad ankle sprain, gets trench foot or starts losing toes due to frostbite he can pull the plug on his long distance hike at any time and get back to civilization for provisions and treatment. His footwear works for him in his situations. For the rest of the us...YMMV


* He did 4,700 miles in 6 months through Alaska.
* He did the Pacific crest trail averaging 38 miles for 48 days straight while averaging 43 miles per day for the last 700 miles. (man, a lot of people don't drive that far! this guy WALKED it and while carrying everything he needed to live outdoors for several days!)
* He walked across the the whole country (northern border through a winter) 7,775 miles in 11 months.

He's not trying to do risky things like get a sprained ankle ruining a giant trip where he's set aside about a year of his life (or in some cases more).

You're afraid of shoes or whatever. That's fine. Don't throw salt around for no reason though. Trail runner footwear is a more than viable option for people that are healthy and in shape. You want to wear boots all the time? Go for it. But, don't suggest that wearing shoes summons ankle spraining monsters that can't wait to pounce on you the second you're not on concrete.

Mikeyboy wrote:
Also don't fall for the hype with Five Fingers and Minimalist shoes and how your ankle and feet will atrophy like a bed ridden old lady because you wear boots. Its pure BS. I will tell you this there is a reason why the military will not allow Five Fingers or Minimalist shoes during PT....its because of multiple foot/ankle injuries, and shin splints. I actually own a pair of Five Fingers and there is no way in hell I would hike with them, you feel every damn rock you step on and its real easy for something small and sharp to pierce the sole and go into your foot. How on earth can they be a good SHTF foot option when going thru this?


If trail runners didn't function there wouldn't be a whole market for them with people running up and down mountains wearing them constantly (including 5 finger/toe shoes). They take getting used to, so do big heavy boots, so do flip flops. Really minimalist shoes take a lot of getting used to and require walking differently. I'm not suggesting a minimalist shoe for extremely long distance walking/hiking/running because I think if it was an option for you, you wouldn't need anyone to suggest it, but they're a viable footwear option for a large percentage of trail runners (who are all in great shape ... there are no fatties running on any mountain I've ever been on).

If you want to wear boots with a steel soles all the time just in case you have to walk across a field of nails go for it. In the part of the world I live in I've not encountered anything like that, particularly on a hike. I can tell you, that if I was going to walk around through collapsed buildings and stuff, I would want boots with a steel sole for sure. But, if some disaster hits and all the builds around me collapse having the wrong footwear isn't going to be high on my list of woes.


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:28 pm 
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I agree with the point made by several people. There is no one right answer. There is a lot of personal preference involved in foot wear selection. It is in many ways a cake vs. Pie discussion.

There are strong opinions on all sides. There is also context what are you likely to encounter. Footwear for rocky areas, disaster zones and marshes for instance all have different priorities.

The key point is to choose wisely and if possible have option of alternate footwear.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:45 pm 
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I still feel like we're comparing apples to oranges since our OP is talking in reference to survival, not thru hiking or hiking in general. Though that's our closest outlet, it shouldn't really be used as a measuring tool unless ultralight is your approach to survival IMO. That's all I've been saying, it's just not even a relative comparison for me and cannot fathom someone wanting to risk a bugout or a trek home wearing 4oz minimalist trail runners. One nail/screw/thick shard of glass and you're potentially done or eventually dead (tetanus). I will take my boots which have already survived a nail, lol.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:05 pm 
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zero11010 wrote:
Mikeyboy wrote:
As I said before Andrew Skurka is relatively young, in great shape, and has been hiking long distance for years. He has ankles like a mountain goat and weighs less than 200lb. He is also an ultralight hikers and while he can deal with some uncomfortableness and harsh conditions to save weight. Also understand that if he gets a bad ankle sprain, gets trench foot or starts losing toes due to frostbite he can pull the plug on his long distance hike at any time and get back to civilization for provisions and treatment. His footwear works for him in his situations. For the rest of the us...YMMV


* He did 4,700 miles in 6 months through Alaska.
* He did the Pacific crest trail averaging 38 miles for 48 days straight while averaging 43 miles per day for the last 700 miles. (man, a lot of people don't drive that far! this guy WALKED it and while carrying everything he needed to live outdoors for several days!)
* He walked across the the whole country (northern border through a winter) 7,775 miles in 11 months.

He's not trying to do risky things like get a sprained ankle ruining a giant trip where he's set aside about a year of his life (or in some cases more).

You're afraid of shoes or whatever. That's fine. Don't throw salt around for no reason though. Trail runner footwear is a more than viable option for people that are healthy and in shape. You want to wear boots all the time? Go for it. But, don't suggest that wearing shoes summons ankle spraining monsters that can't wait to pounce on you the second you're not on concrete.


You're afraid of shoes! Nuh uhh, you are!

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:16 am 
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I'm glad the attempt at levity came across!


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:13 am 
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Quote:
Also don't fall for the hype with Five Fingers and Minimalist shoes and how your ankle and feet will atrophy like a bed ridden old lady because you wear boots. Its pure BS. I will tell you this there is a reason why the military will not allow Five Fingers or Minimalist shoes during PT....its because of multiple foot/ankle injuries, and shin splints. I actually own a pair of Five Fingers and there is no way in hell I would hike with them, you feel every damn rock you step on and its real easy for something small and sharp to pierce the sole and go into your foot. How on earth can they be a good SHTF foot option when going thru this?


You really seem skeptical of minimalist gear and trail runners for serious hiking.

I did an MBO on here in Five Fingers, it was fine - though they were at the end of their lives and were torn. :wink:

I did the Welsh3000s in a pair of trail runners, my feet were wet constantly during the day but wool socks and it was fine, actually quite nice at times :lol: And yes we came down some nasty scree. My feet were fine, I had one tiny blister. My companion in his hiking boots had 3-4 medium sized blisters.

I mostly wear 7mm or 9mm Luna sandals in summer for city walking/trail walking. You can get thicker ones as well.

There is a disconnect between certain claims but if you wear minimalist footwear you will start to develop stronger ankles and feet. It's just that simple - your body will adapt. I had ankle problems in the past (due to damage from being caught in a bicycle spokes not once but twice) and contribute minimalist shoes in helping make the ankle stronger.

You do have to make more intelligent step choices with minimalist shoes in difficult terrain, but it can be easily done.

Now having said that I will be taking a pair of boots with my on my hiking trips in autumn/winter for the benefits of insulation and waterproofing and yes there is more stability if you're carrying a heavy load. I would also consider Boots a SHTF choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Wow didn't expect this to take off like it did, but I'm glad it has. I guess I should clarify a few things -

The scenario I am mostly thinking about is survival situations, but obviously not every time I go outside and walk/run am I thinking of that. By "prepping" for it, I'd say wear the footwear at least once a week I am mostly planning on wearing in a SHTF situation.

When referencing minimalist footwear, I wasn't referring to wearing them once stuff is actually going down disaster wise. I just meant for recreational purposes. The reason I had sprained ankles was twice getting them stuck in holes/tree roots while running, and once when I stepped off a ledge wearing sandals and misjudged the distance. I was just saying, since I switched to minimalist footwear for a lot of outdoor activities, the sprain healed a lot faster when I rolled the ankle than when I was wearing more modern style running shoes. But- when I am running on asphalt/concrete, no way in hell I am using minimalist footwear. I've tried and had bad results.

I should say that most of my problems in boots results from walking/jogging downhill. I will never be donning military-style or civilian-military boots ever on my feet again, but I could be convinced to try out civilian hiking boots, cause one thing I did like was the good grip. How are you guys wearing them preventing crushed toes in this situation? Thick socks? Padding I'm unaware of? Boots that have front material that has some give to it? I might try a pair of hiking boots again, but I don't want to be spending $150 or more as far as most recommendations I've looked at online do recommend for something I still might not like. Is it dumb to consider buying used? What do you think of something like this - new but cheap -

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00690 ... UTF8&psc=1


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:40 pm 
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Leif3141 wrote:
How are you guys wearing them preventing crushed toes in this situation? Thick socks? Padding I'm unaware of? Boots that have front material that has some give to it?


Boots that actually fit?
Unless you are tying your boot laces super loose this should never be a problem. In fact most of the "how to buy the perfect/best/uberest boot" drivel on any given outdoor website/magazine will mention simulating a downhill stride in the shoe store to make sure your toes can't touch the front of the boot. I always kick the living crap out of the nearest wall when I try on shoes to make sure I can't hurt my toes too bad (applies to sandals too).

Also if your boots are tied loose enough that your toes can hit the front of the boot on a downhill, they are probably loose enough that your foot moving inside the boot will give you blisters on the uphill.

nearly all of my boots are bought used, just use common sense. don't buy ones that look trashed, and be extra cautious of the ones built on running shoe midsoles. Nearly all hiking boots are built on either EVA or PU midsoles.

Heavy boots (most Asolos, Lowas, Zamberlans, etc.) are built on PU; this will last a long time and will generally outlast the upper or the outsole (tread).

Lighter boots (most Merrells, Salomons, keens, etc.) are built on EVA (like running shoes) and are comfy, and will conform to your foot shape; good if you bought them, bad if you bought them from someone else. I loaned my first pair of salomon quests to a heavier buddy for a month and couldn't wear them after that. You pretty much have to view these as consumable items, and don't assume they will last any longer then running shoes. I keep several pairs of Salomon quests around (I buy them used for $20-$50 apiece) and depend on them for BO/GH duty, but I keep several pairs because they are consumable. I've never had the midsole outlast the tread or the upper.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:23 pm 
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Boots for boot times.

Shoes for shoe times.

Bare feet at home.

Leif3141 wrote:
I should say that most of my problems in boots results from walking/jogging downhill. I will never be donning military-style or civilian-military boots ever on my feet again, but I could be convinced to try out civilian hiking boots, cause one thing I did like was the good grip. How are you guys wearing them preventing crushed toes in this situation? Thick socks? Padding I'm unaware of? Boots that have front material that has some give to it?


The tips of your toes shouldn't contact the front of your boots. In fact, the whole toe box area should be rather roomy, while the boot is much tighter from just behind your toes until just before your heel. I personally lace my boots in a particular fashion so that I can vary how tight they are in certain spots & so that they don't loosen as I continue lacing them up. My foot ends up being held firmly right where it belongs with no opportunity to give me blisters, crush my toes, aggravate in-grown toenails, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 7:49 pm 
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Leif3141 wrote:
Wow didn't expect this to take off like it did, but I'm glad it has. I guess I should clarify a few things -

The scenario I am mostly thinking about is survival situations, but obviously not every time I go outside and walk/run am I thinking of that. By "prepping" for it, I'd say wear the footwear at least once a week I am mostly planning on wearing in a SHTF situation.

When referencing minimalist footwear, I wasn't referring to wearing them once stuff is actually going down disaster wise. I just meant for recreational purposes. The reason I had sprained ankles was twice getting them stuck in holes/tree roots while running, and once when I stepped off a ledge wearing sandals and misjudged the distance. I was just saying, since I switched to minimalist footwear for a lot of outdoor activities, the sprain healed a lot faster when I rolled the ankle than when I was wearing more modern style running shoes. But- when I am running on asphalt/concrete, no way in hell I am using minimalist footwear. I've tried and had bad results.

I should say that most of my problems in boots results from walking/jogging downhill. I will never be donning military-style or civilian-military boots ever on my feet again, but I could be convinced to try out civilian hiking boots, cause one thing I did like was the good grip. How are you guys wearing them preventing crushed toes in this situation? Thick socks? Padding I'm unaware of? Boots that have front material that has some give to it? I might try a pair of hiking boots again, but I don't want to be spending $150 or more as far as most recommendations I've looked at online do recommend for something I still might not like. Is it dumb to consider buying used? What do you think of something like this - new but cheap -

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00690 ... UTF8&psc=1


In this day and age the term "boots" can mean many things. There's a big difference between a pair of Merrel mid high's and a Danner full size leather boot with a vibram sole. I don't think you'd feel much difference between the Merrel and what your wearing now. Except they come just above the ankle and you might have better ankle support. Their pretty light weight.

You might want to go into an REI or local outdoor shop and try some "boots" on. And with all your toe crushing problems I'd try a pair of Keens. They are rated very often the best for thru hiking. But have a wide toe box. This might help you. But the toe is also hard plastic. So for me an my ingrown toe nail it doesn't work so good. But if you just have wide toes/feet it just might be the ticket between lightweight running shoes and a boot. They also come below or above the ankle.

But I think the biggest decision factor is the one you haven't mentioned. Nor has anyone addressed. Where is your AO? (Area of operation.) If you live in suburban Chicago you may very well be walking across all manners of debris. And need a good boot. If your in rural Oklahoma probably not.

Maybe the sweet spot is the lightest weight over the ankle boot (like an Addidas, or Puma etc. etc.) that has a good shank. I don't know if they exist. But it might be a nice compromise.

I for one carry Merrel mid highs in my BOB and a pair of leather Danners for my INCH pack. With the INCH pack it's a no brainer. Maybe not the most comfortable footwear. But you need them to last and you don't know when your going to run into another comfortable boot or shoe in your size anytime soon. In a BOB your just looking to cover X amount of miles to your BO location. And what's in that terrain is going to dictate what you wear. I personally wear my Merrels for typical hiking on trails and even hunting.

Anyway. "Boots" is a pretty wide term these days. We really are splitting hairs sometimes when it comes to the term. Even Skurka's heavier trail shoes are pretty rugged. As are those Asolo's mentioned in that SF article. And probably don't have that great a weight discrepancy between the two.

I'm also a big guy. I really need the over the ankle support. Whether it's in a traditional boot or a running type boot like the Merrels. With a pack and my body weight I would not want to use running shoes. I think I would run into trouble even on trails and rocky terrain. But that's just me. I have friends in the 5'6" 150lb range that can rock running shoes no problem. But they are little wiry bastards that can carry large loads with no problem. Not to mention they are smaller and don't require quite as much weight in their packs.

So it's really a personal and regional issue. You need to decide for yourself. But I don't think anyone except those city dwellers are saying wear big heavy vibram soled boots anymore. Especially for hiking in the woods.

PS - As far as those Columbia's go. That is a pretty great price on a good clothing brand. I have never read reviews or used Columbia boots before. But they look good. Try looking at http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/shoes-and-boots for decent reviews and pricing on boots and shoes for the trail etc. They put outdoor items on some of the nations best hikers/treckers and let them review them in real world scenarios. Tons of other great outdoor reviews on there too.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 8:59 pm 
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moab wrote:
Leif3141 wrote:
I'm also a big guy. I really need the over the ankle support. Whether it's in a traditional boot or a running type boot like the Merrels. With a pack and my body weight I would not want to use running shoes. I think I would run into trouble even on trails and rocky terrain. But that's just me. I have friends in the 5'6" 150lb range that can rock running shoes no problem. But they are little wiry bastards that can carry large loads with no problem. Not to mention they are smaller and don't require quite as much weight in their packs.


Maybe this is it. I could carry a forty pound pack and be heavily dressed and still have less than 200 pounds on my feet.


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:24 pm 
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Trippy wrote:
moab wrote:
Leif3141 wrote:
I'm also a big guy. I really need the over the ankle support. Whether it's in a traditional boot or a running type boot like the Merrels. With a pack and my body weight I would not want to use running shoes. I think I would run into trouble even on trails and rocky terrain. But that's just me. I have friends in the 5'6" 150lb range that can rock running shoes no problem. But they are little wiry bastards that can carry large loads with no problem. Not to mention they are smaller and don't require quite as much weight in their packs.


Maybe this is it. I could carry a forty pound pack and be heavily dressed and still have less than 200 pounds on my feet.


I think it has a lot to do with it. Ankles are only so big. I mean they aren't all the same. But when you get above 250lb on your feet. Your pressing your luck as far as ankles go.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 9:49 pm 
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For more information about "hiking" boots. This page can not be beat. Read all the way to the bottom and the tabs. It's an incredible amount of knowledge.

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Hiking-Boots-Reviews

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 11:28 pm 
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So many excellent replies above. Depends on the environment, weather conditions expected, terrain, casual hiking, backpacking, canoeing, horse back or ATV etc., your budget, your age, width of feet, health of feet. My wife thinks my collection of footwear shows that I am competing with her.

If you have a heavy backpack or portage heavy canoe and backpack then sturdy boots may be more important than if you are just out for a day hike with a water bottle and a bag of peanuts. For hot summer heat in Texas with thorns I like inexpensive breathable Lowa boots (but these do not come in wide) and keen sandals to switch to for crossing streams or if it starts to rain, but when visiting relatives in Canada and in Rocky mountains (Jasper National Park) full leather Danner boots are a better choice. When I was a kid and had thick callus on my feet I ran barefoot in the Amazon jungle with indigenous people where my parents worked. However, now my feet are more tender so I move slowly and cautiously when outdoors and barefoot and all my camping friends tell me I am crazy and if I need an ER I will need to drive myself there so don't be an idiot. :D

Special footwear for kayak/canoe in cold weather more :words: ...

Just talk to footwear experts (not newbie salespeople) at stores like REI or online help from NRS, I have a pair of Stormboots from NRS they are OK but not great, some other options are better for canoes, but for White Water kayaking I use totally different footwear, often just barefoot with sandals clipped to rescue bars. Check out NRS and many other kayak shops online or local where a sales person can help...

OMG I have gone from a barefooted MK in Brazil to the Imelda Marcos of outdoor activities in N.A.
Have I lost my man card? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 4:04 am 
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Leif3141 wrote:
The scenario I am mostly thinking about is survival situations


This, right here, is what would make my decision.

If I knew I was going to be covering lots of distance (hiking) - and that was all that mattered - that is one thing.
But that isn't everything.

Shoes can handle a lot of thing. But there are some things they can't.
Boots are not ideal for many things - but they can still do them.

And that, is where I would make my decision.
Might have slightly less comfort. Might take a bit longer to cover some longer distances. But it will still get done.
Of course, when that distance is in near freezing temps with deep mud, debris fields with sharp bits of metal and glass, etc - the guy wearing shoes is probably not going to be finishing the trip.

So for me, if you don't have a specific purpose - you pick what can cover all of them. Boots.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:13 am 
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Boots give more support, walking boots/trainers are ok for summer wear-I wear them myself but for winter and serious walking and working nothing beats boots.

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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:24 am 
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RonnyRonin wrote:
Leif3141 wrote:
How are you guys wearing them preventing crushed toes in this situation? Thick socks? Padding I'm unaware of? Boots that have front material that has some give to it?


Boots that actually fit?
Unless you are tying your boot laces super loose this should never be a problem. In fact most of the "how to buy the perfect/best/uberest boot" drivel on any given outdoor website/magazine will mention simulating a downhill stride in the shoe store to make sure your toes can't touch the front of the boot. I always kick the living crap out of the nearest wall when I try on shoes to make sure I can't hurt my toes too bad (applies to sandals too).

Also if your boots are tied loose enough that your toes can hit the front of the boot on a downhill, they are probably loose enough that your foot moving inside the boot will give you blisters on the uphill.

nearly all of my boots are bought used, just use common sense. don't buy ones that look trashed, and be extra cautious of the ones built on running shoe midsoles. Nearly all hiking boots are built on either EVA or PU midsoles.

Heavy boots (most Asolos, Lowas, Zamberlans, etc.) are built on PU; this will last a long time and will generally outlast the upper or the outsole (tread).

Lighter boots (most Merrells, Salomons, keens, etc.) are built on EVA (like running shoes) and are comfy, and will conform to your foot shape; good if you bought them, bad if you bought them from someone else. I loaned my first pair of salomon quests to a heavier buddy for a month and couldn't wear them after that. You pretty much have to view these as consumable items, and don't assume they will last any longer then running shoes. I keep several pairs of Salomon quests around (I buy them used for $20-$50 apiece) and depend on them for BO/GH duty, but I keep several pairs because they are consumable. I've never had the midsole outlast the tread or the upper.

REI garage sales and eBay are ALWAYS your best friends.


I strongly agree with this^. If a person is unclear on the basic concepts of hiking boots and hiking in general it MIGHT!! be worth their while to go to some IN PERSON clinics on hiking where a qualified person explains these things to them and they can ask more questions. There is ACTUALLY a lot of technique to walking once you leave the climate controlled flat surfaces with escalators and elevators of SHOPPING MALLS. OH! and by the way finding great fitting footwear online is more luck than skill unless you have purchased that brand and even that model before. Sorry for the sarcasm. I am NOT a shoe salesman and would be the world's WORST retails salesman at any store due to my snarky attitude or so my wife and daughters tell me. But seriously just because feet look funny and often smell bad does not mean they are simple and not important. Ask any infantryman who survived before the army was mechanized. Even today the health of your feet are super important to your survival. Know what is best for every environment and what is best for your unique feet. Is one leg significantly longer than other? What width is correct, has this changed? How should your footwear change with the seasons, and terrain? When and where can you go barefoot and does this change with age? How much arch support if any do you need? Where on the bottom of your foot should this arch support be placing pressure and on which bones, is some crack pot chiropractor telling you this or is it good medicine. Personally I think some chiropractors are very good others not so good. Ask many questions, look for GOOD sources of information. Just my 2 cents. I have much to learn as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Boots vs Shoes
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 6:39 am 
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I love boots and wear either Magnums or Palladiums often but I do use trail runners when hiking/camping.

Since I don't carry large packs and only hike or camp for a couple of nights I don't mind either a lightweight hiking boot or a trail runner depending on the weather and trail conditions.
I'm using less of a boot lately and use my trail runners instead.
Though my ankles and knees are pretty ok due to a lot of sports.
I play soccer competitively in both field and indoor (futsal), basketball or volleyball on some days.
Badminton or squash on ocassion when someone invites.
Starting a crossfit program now.
Triathlon training both road and off-road. So trail running is part of my routine.

Have you tried high cut trail runners?
I'm considering them for more technical trails.
They're built like trail running shoes but have different levels of support. Just a sleeve for lighter trails and a hi cut one with more support.
I'm looking at the Under Armour ones.
https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/mens/ ... and-hiking

I'm liking the UA Tough Mudder XC one. A bit less support as it only uses an ankle sleeve.

I

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