TrailRunners VS Hiking boots

5:45 p.m. on June 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Do you perfer Trailrunners over boots are do You perfer boots over trailrunners.Do you use both for different functions. Why you perfer what you wear..Do to construction or versality etc.. Your thoughts

6:06 p.m. on June 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Denis, for the rocky & technical terrain here in SW Pa. I use my La Sportiva Pamirs due to the fact that I am in no way, shape, or form an ultra-lighter and my packloads are around 60-80+lbs on trail dependent upon length and season.

The extra support and protection is a must for me.

(La Sportiva Pamirs)

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(Scarpa SL M3)

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(crampon use)

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Now when I drag the Stratos 26 daypack out I go lighter.

(Lowa Argon GTX when weather is wet w/colder temps(I can also use these with gaiters and have.)

Lowa-Argon-GTX-006.jpg

(La Sportiva Quantum for dry or wet warm weather)

La-Sportiva-Quantum-001.jpg

For winter multiple day anything I go with boots. 

10:23 p.m. on June 18, 2013 (EDT)
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I am on and off trails so I use hiking boots, way to easy to sprain an ankle

walking over logs and large rocks. I use Merrel Thermo 6 hiking boots

and gaiters in all 4 seasons. This set up is on the warm side in the summer

even with thin wool socks but are waterproof, light weight and have great 

ankle support, well worth it. For winter use I use heavy wool socks and

32North STABILicers. This set up is for day use packs.

9:15 a.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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My big problem is muck and mire. So I wear Keen Gypsum Mids most of the time. Waterproof. I have weirdly flexible untwistable ankles, so the high cut isn't for that, it's to keep me from bashing my ankles on rocks or stabbing them with sticks, as well as keeping the grit, silt and spruce needles out. I'd need gaiters if I wore low-cut shoes, anyway.

I do wear Columbia mesh trail runners on 'official' trails during the height of summer (all two months of it), when I don't expect to be going offtrail. But most of my walking is either bushwhacking or on local, unofficial, ungroomed trails, hence the Keens.

And for the muckiest or coldest walks, I actually wear rubber boots. I have found, to my joy, Baffin 'Storm' boots, a high cut, extremely soft and flexible, light but tough proprietary rubber with a removable wool felt liner and a lace-up collar. Best traction ever. Nothing better for the walks that take me over steep and smooth barren bedrock ridges down into the boggy undrained black muck between them and then up again. I have worn these for twelve-hour days, ten days in a row, and loved them. This year, with a -40 rated liner added, they became my winter hiking/snowshoeing boots too.

11:21 a.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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My preference is always for boots, although lighter shoes have advantages for specific applications. I dislike feeling rocks poking through the soles, and I simply can't risk breaking an ankle in the back country. 

12:27 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I've been partial to 11" full leather combat boots for most of my life including my days in the office.  Got my first pair at 16 and while I tried others I always went back.  Unfortunately today's GI issue is not what it once was, most troops prefer to buy their own upgrade, so I've kept my last pair for the motorcycle and moved to a Keen Erickson PCT. 

Being a mid I notice some added mobility but I also beat the heck out of my shins while bushwhacking.  Nice waterproof boot, heavy of course, but even lightly treated it took two days of constant rain and trails ankle deep in water and mud before any dampness worked through.  Of course after that it got really wet and I managed to top both boots in short order.  I moved to a thicker sock for the rest of the trip and was amazed at how comfortable they were even soaked.  I also was pleased to see very few foot issues even under those conditions.

Next month I'll get a chance to try them on some very rocky high ground, but for low land creek and bog territory I'm liking them so far.

Edit:

Oops, I meant to add a thank you to Islandess for the Baffin mention.  I have bookmarked their site for further research.  We don't see the temps you do but good warm winter boots are always a wonderful thing in snow country.

12:37 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I wear running shoes for hiking as they are durable (last me about a year) and I use them for bicycle touring also. I have'nt worn hiking boots much in years. 

1:33 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I used to wear my White's wild-land firefighting boots everywhere.  However, I am a recent convert to trail runners.  If its off-trail, winter or snowy its boots of course, (Mammut Manooks) crampons fit on shoes but its not that comfy. 

Trail runners are SO much lighter and flexible that the increase in dexterity is just too much to pass up.  They take a beating so more than two seasons of good hiking is rare for me though.  Another bonus is ZERO blisters because they don't have to be broken in. 

After a couple days on-trail in trail runners and a big pack my ankles get tired but compensate quickly with increased strength. 

2:07 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

After a couple days on-trail in trail runners and a big pack my ankles get tired but compensate quickly with increased strength. 

It isn't necessarily the tired ankles that I mostly have a problem with although I like ankle support...

My problem is the underfoot protection that a trail shoe does not provide when compared to a boot.

With the rocky terrain that I am regularly on my feet would take a pounding in trail runners when under a heavier load.  

2:07 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I agree with SagetoSnow. I have sooo much more dexterity in trail runners; I feel safer and more sure footed.

I've been experimenting with hybrid trail shoes and I'm currently trying an Ahnu Elkridge lowtop: essentially a low top boot.

 

For me, generally speaking boots are for snow and trail runners are for everything else. Of course we all live and play in different areas so YMMV.

2:30 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Oops, I meant to add a thank you to Islandess for the Baffin mention.  I have bookmarked their site for further research.  We don't see the temps you do but good warm winter boots are always a wonderful thing in snow country.

Happy to help, LoneStranger! One of the great things about Baffin's rubber is that it was designed for insane cold, and keeps its flexibility. They do of course make 'winter boots' but I've found these to be ideal all year round. Coldest mine have seen is -27 Celsius, one pair of medium-weight wool socks, no problem. With an extended period of just standing on ice. I'm pretty sure it's the flexibility that does the trick, plenty of wiggle to keep the circulation going.

3:56 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I've always been a boot guy. 

My first were a pair of GTX Timberlands, which I repaired many times but which were completely destroyed after many years of use. I then used a couple handmedown boots, none of which fit properly and which I didn't wear long. I then invested in a pair of Alico Tahoes, which served me well but were a little wide for my feet. They are still good boots, but have been put through the ringer. My current boots are a Asolo 535s, which I are a bit lighter than the Alicos, and fit better, too. 

All that said, I think I want to try a light pair of light hikers sometime in the future for warm weather use, especially If I reach my goals of getting in better shape. 

4:16 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

All that said, I think I want to try a light pair of light hikers sometime in the future for warm weather use, especially If I reach my goals of getting in better shape. 

 I have been on the fence on purchasing a pair of La Sportiva's Hyper Mid GTX. They are getting pretty solid feedback everywhere and should bridge the gap well for me in regards to a lighter pair of wheels while still providing a bit of underfoot protection.


la-sportiva-hyper-mid-gtx.jpg

 

http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/climbingapproach/hyper-mid-gtx 

Plus I am becoming a big fan of La Sportiva in general. ;)

4:51 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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One of the long term concerns using trail runners or other fabric foot wear, is the capability to over tighten the lacing giving you less toe room than you need to keep Mortons Neuromas at bay.   Your toes should be able to play the piano in the toe box.  You can skip the first few eyelets and still keep the shoes on your feet.

4:58 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Speakcock you've hit on the "rub" for me (pun intended). It's very hard to find proper toe box room and good heel fit in the same shoe for me. I use custom orthotics also which really complicates the matter (needs more volume overall).

7:05 p.m. on June 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I use trailrunners and low cut hiking shoes summer thru Fall. Winter I wear boots do to snow and whatever terrain changes.I would have to agree with Sage and Patman that I get more dexterity from the trailrunners for the trails I hike on. But your area dictates what works best for you Like Rick..

4:25 p.m. on June 20, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm a boots guy all the way. Now in my immediate area the Cumberland Mountains can be rocky, so boots for me are the best option. I've tried trail runners. Matter of fact, that's what I have to use right now because my old reliable Danners finally went the distance and every time I've got them resoled they just fall apart. Honestly, I can't stand the trail runners. I just like some good boots in the woods. Helps my mind as added security.

I have been meaning to try out some lighter day hikers during the summer. I think I'll be investing in that soon. If anyone has any ideas for some good cheap options drop me a message if you don't mind. My budget is a bit limited right now. But I'm actually about to sell a mountain bike to get me some new heavy hiking boots.

Bike or hike? Sorry, going slow and enjoying the scenery wins.

5:28 p.m. on June 20, 2013 (EDT)
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i am probably more like Rick.  when i am carrying a lot or on trails that are pretty broken or rocky, i wear all-leather boots like these, or an older pair that is a little heavier and more stable. 


IMG_1820.jpg

day hiking and less-challenging trails, i'll wear anything, but i'm more likely to wear trail runners or fivefingers.  if i'm constantly in/near the water, i'm usually wearing chacos. 


chaco.jpg

8:13 a.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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Reminds me of a story. Few years ago, I invited some coworkers in an 8 mile hike. Two girls I hadn't gone with before. They invite some guy to come out and he shows up wearing Chacos. I'm like I don't think that's a good idea.

Girls start saying oh he hikes in them all the time. Halfway through he starts complaining about his feet. Then the girls start complaining I'm going to fast and being to hard in him.

Never went hiking with that crew again.

9:19 a.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I used to prefer trail runners just because they felt lighter, and lightweight mid cut boots for winter, but have developed plantar fasciitis in the past couple of months and so have switched over to a more solid boot. It has helped having a stiff sole and I feel a huge improvement after a long day out. My level of pain has decreased significantly.

However, I've got a "marathon" hike coming up.... 25+ miles, with 5000+ feet ascent in 10-12 hours, for which I think I am going back to some trail runners as its just too long of a distance to be in heavy boots. I'll be wearing Teva Waptas, which are waterproof mids, but they are lightweight and a lot more like trail runners than an actual mid cut boot. I think its going to do a number on my feet though, so I am still not 100% sure which way to go.

10:03 p.m. on June 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Boots, everytime, even if I'm just walking the dogs on a maintained trail. I do this for two main reasons...

1)the more you wear a good pair of leather boots the more they mold to your feet. I use every opportunity I can to get the boots on my feet, that way on a more important longer trip I don't have to question my footwear choice at all. They are already broken in, boots also gets stiff pretty quickly, even if they've been cared for, continuous wearing keep them flexible.

2) Training. I want the slight extra work out that lifting the weight on a boot provides so that when I'm out hiking my leg muscles are conditioned to that weight.

8:38 a.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

Boots, everytime, even if I'm just walking the dogs on a maintained trail. I do this for two main reasons...

1)...I use every opportunity I can to get the boots on my feet, that way on a more important longer trip I don't have to question my footwear choice at all. ...

2) ...when I'm out hiking my leg muscles are conditioned to that weight.

 @TJ1984: Now that you've done the Yorkshire trip, you might want to consider Jake's comments here. My experience has always been that if your boots fit properly, and they're fully broken in, you won't want to take them off at the end of a long hike. If you always hike with them, the extra weight won't be a concern. 

11:27 a.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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@Peter1955 definitely lesson learned, especially for when going onto unknown terrain!

 

On a side note, my feet have completely healed!

9:56 p.m. on August 21, 2013 (EDT)
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My first boots were Army/Navy, so heavy and ankle rubbing that I threw them away after climbing a mountain in Colorado. When I traveled abroad, I decided to buy a pair of Raichle, light boots which I enjoyed for a number of years due to their light weight and comfort.

It is a well known fact that for every pound of shoes you wear, you are multiplying that weight by roughly 6.4 pounds per pound of shoe.

Back in the 80's I switched to sneakers for hiking and I haven't looked back. People with ankle problems should stick with boots for stability providing safety and fatigue reduction.

My latest sneakers are Inov's Trailroc 255's - light, speedy and comfortable. This pasty May, I climbed Wale's, Pen-y-fan mountain with them. Sorry to disappoint you fun makers, but I did descend Pen-y-fan as well and returned to the USA, as well.

In winter, I still wear sneakers. I install chemical heaters if the temp. is low and wear gaiters if the snow is greater than a few inches. I don't care to hike if the snow is greater than five inches as it would no longer be enjoyable.

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