"Marathon hike" light mids vs boots

8:53 a.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Hi all,

I've got what I would describe a marathon hike coming up at the end of the week; 23+ miles, with over 5000 feet ascent to be completed in under 12 hours (in northern England). The terrain will be varied, but it is a very popular area so the trails will likely be well worn, and I don't believe it will be overly rocky at any point.

I've done long hikes, but never under time constraints, so being fast and light is of importance. I've got the choice of taking a pair of Teva Wapta mids, which are more like trail runners with an added bit of ankle padding, but no significant support. They do have a waterproof lining, and for the most part are fairly comfortable. My other option is a pair of TNF Verbera lightpackers, which are some fairly serious boots. I have found them very comfortable for mountain hiking, but have never taken them on a hike of this particular length, especially when moving quickly was of importance. I imagine they may start to feel quite heavy in the last couple of miles.

I will be packing fairly light, so I wont have a significant load to carry.

For any of you who have done similar endeavours, which way would you go?

 

 

4:22 p.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Ben Nevis?

I've done lots of hikes under similar circumstances, but always in the Canadian Rockies. That means boulder fields and tree roots, scree fields and   muddy trails. It also means that I know I'll have to be wearing a boot with a solid sole and good ankle support so all my hiking involves that kind of footwear. No big shock when I have to wear them on a hard hike.

However, from your description, while this will be a long and high day, you won't be encountering any uncertain terrain and you're not carrying much of a load. I'd go for lightness and comfort. 

4:37 a.m. on July 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Yorkshire Dales actually. Its a circuit of the three highest peaks. Done Ben Nevis though, its lots of fun, and wouldn't necessarily do it without boots especially in the winter months.

I'm going to take the mids out for a short hike tonight to re-evaluate how they feel as I am leaning towards them.

11:34 a.m. on July 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Anywhere in Britain, 'waterproof' is critical, and comfort is always an overriding concern. The trails tend to be a lot better-traveled (and therefore a bit less treacherous to walk on) but slippery footing and fens to cross are more common than here. 

How did the test walk go?

4:37 a.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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I tried them out, and my feet felt sore as my plantar fasciitis was acting up, but I slipped in a cushioning insole for my heel, and I think with that, they will suit me just fine.

3:14 p.m. on July 4, 2013 (EDT)
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Enjoy. That looks like a great are to hike in. You'll be inside the park, I assume. 

5:39 a.m. on July 8, 2013 (EDT)
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Well hike went great, unfortunately I underestimated just how rough the trail would be, especially in the last 7-8 miles, and it really hurt my feet. Otherwise shoes were good, no blisters, and the weather was incredible. I will do a trip report once I have time to process all the photos.

8:14 a.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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That's where boots come in handy, despite the extra weight. 

Looking forward to the photos!

August 23, 2014
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