sandal.barefoot hiking?

12:22 a.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

hi--a friend tells me she is helping her feet by hiking in sandals or flipflops or barefoot when terrain allows-she says footwear ruined her feet and they are much stronger. I am thinking that with all the rain and streams being so high here in the northeast that it might be fun to try it but I had 2 ankle fractures in 2 yrs (last one sept 01) and i am nervous about it. what do you all think about hiking in sandals or less? This friend is a VERY experienced hiker. I like my boots ok except when it is time to swim in a lake or cross a stream with no dry way to do it. thanks susan

12:59 a.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,430 reviewer rep
5,312 forum posts

Works ok, except ....

I find sand and gravel (and dirt and dust generally) gets under my foot in the sandal, and between my toes, which tends to rub them a bit raw. I do use sandals for stream crossings (sometimes). I suppose your feet toughen up after a while. Same thing with barefoot. Another problem with both is I seem to stub my toes and step on sharp rocks and twigs a lot when barefoot (toe-stubbing is a problem in sandals, too).

Yet, ... hoomin beans walked around barefoot for millenia, then used sandals for more millenia. Hiking boots are a relatively recent invention.

But you say you don't use your boots for swimming in the lake? So how do you fend off the Loch Ness monster without a sturdy pair of boots to kick him/her/it in the teeth (Nessie does have teeth???)

7:06 a.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
30 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
keeping your best friends (your boots) dry...........

when you go backpacking, throw a roll of paper towels (used roll- about 2" in diameter) in a zip lock bag and always carry them with you.

When you come to an area where you have the slightest possibility of getting your boots wet, take them off.

Cross thru the water and when you get to the other side, sit down use the paper towels to wash and dry your feet and slip the boots back on.

1:03 p.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,430 reviewer rep
5,312 forum posts
Hey, Florida Man ...

In the Sierra and Rockies, the humidity is low enough that all you have to do is flick the sand and larger drops off your feet, and they air-dry in less than a minute. Not like your corner of the country where my feet are soaking wet all the time, even when hiking on "dry" sidewalks ;=>D

I do find that wading a stream barefoot I tend to find all the sharp rocks and sticks, unless the stream is mud-bottomed (most of the ones I waded when living in the South). And then my feet get all muddy and I have to spend time sitting on the muddy bank to wash the Yazoo clay off (or that red goo they call soil in Georgia). Course, then my tail is muddy, since the streambanks are inevitably muddy.

1:56 p.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts

Quote:

but I had 2 ankle fractures in 2 yrs (last one sept 01) and i am nervous about it. what do you all think about hiking in sandals or less?

Just think about it. Boots protect your ankles - you did fracture them right? As a fly fisherman who wades a lot I know that the bottom is uneven and has traps between rocks just waiting for careless unprotected ankles. I use special wading boots. Perhaps carrying a pair of light weight ankle high non-leather boots might be a good idea unless you relish the idea of destroying your ankle again while in the middle of a stream... At least carry a pair of tennis shoes. I will not tell you stories about broken ankles happening to people hiking and climbing in Tevas.

Jim S

2:21 p.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
30 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
What can I say?...........

Not really my corner of the country. I'm actually a Pittsburgh boy who is temporarily using (renting) this environment for his own enjoyment.

I have become rather good at wading barefoot thru streams, at night, with two huge red eyes staring at me from the water level.

Muddy tail?.... tripod stool!

2:35 p.m. on June 24, 2003 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Not for me, thanks...

Quote:

hi--a friend tells me she is helping her feet by hiking in sandals or flipflops or barefoot when terrain allows-she says footwear ruined her feet and they are much stronger.

I'd argue that hikin' barefoot or in sandals can ruin your feet much quicker than the support and protection provided by well fitted footgear.

Sure, there's stuff you can do to strengthen your feet, but, if you NEED support, then you could be damaging them as well by going sans good footwear.

Quote:

what do you all think about hiking in sandals or less? This friend is a VERY experienced hiker. I like my boots ok except when it is time to swim in a lake or cross a stream with no dry way to do it. thanks susan

I prefer a good supportive and well cushioned running shoe.

My lineage must include a larger cranial capacity because I have apparently pretty weak feet. Musta culled the dumb ones out years ago 'cause we'd a been too slow to out run anything sans shoes. Har har.

I've tried barefoot and sandals both. My feet just can't take the abuse. I can't even climb outside in slippers without a bunch of pain. I think my feet are pretty strong (from too much climbing indoors and out), but, I recognize their limitations (fallen arches, etc).

Some folks get away with minimal footwear. Some don't.

Even them ultra runner Tarahumara from Mexico wear shoes when they can get them to fit...but some seem to prefer sandals...all what you grow up on and get used to, I suppose.

You might could give 'er a try. But, I'd still take back up shoes along. Bruised heel bones feel awesome. As do cramping arches. And stubbed toes. Etc. Ha ha.

Brian in SLC

10:43 p.m. on June 26, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

sandals

Teva Wraptors with Smartwool hiker socks are better than most boots or shoes on the market for backcountry hiking (ie. Appalachian Trail). Then again, you have to get use to the setup first.

9:43 a.m. on June 30, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Scott, Scott M

Depending on what the terrain is like I may hike in sandals while wearing a pair of smartwool socks. If I'm doing river trails with many crossing I will just go ahead and do the hiking in my Alps (now Teva). They don't really provide much ankle support but these trails are rather flat and I've had no ankle trouble. Also, when I was at cumberland island and my feet were covered in blisters from my boots I took off my boots, put on smartwool socks, and slipped into my Alps and hiked the rest of the way out. Again, flat terrain on easy trails.


Quote:

hi--a friend tells me she is helping her feet by hiking in sandals or flipflops or barefoot when terrain allows-she says footwear ruined her feet and they are much stronger. I am thinking that with all the rain and streams being so high here in the northeast that it might be fun to try it but I had 2 ankle fractures in 2 yrs (last one sept 01) and i am nervous about it. what do you all think about hiking in sandals or less? This friend is a VERY experienced hiker. I like my boots ok except when it is time to swim in a lake or cross a stream with no dry way to do it. thanks susan

9:45 a.m. on June 30, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: keeping your best friends (your boots) dry...........

I'd suggest using a bandana or small towel as oppossed to something that will become trash after one use.


Quote:

when you go backpacking, throw a roll of paper towels (used roll- about 2" in diameter) in a zip lock bag and always carry them with you.

When you come to an area where you have the slightest possibility of getting your boots wet, take them off.

Cross thru the water and when you get to the other side, sit down use the paper towels to wash and dry your feet and slip the boots back on.

9:48 a.m. on June 30, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

That's why I wear my smartwools with my Alps. I don't know that I would suggest this get up for hiking the White Mountains but for the Cohuttas with 40 river crossing and cumberland island I find it very nice.

Quote:

Works ok, except ....

I find sand and gravel (and dirt and dust generally) gets under my foot in the sandal, and between my toes, which tends to rub them a bit raw. I do use sandals for stream crossings (sometimes). I suppose your feet toughen up after a while. Same thing with barefoot. Another problem with both is I seem to stub my toes and step on sharp rocks and twigs a lot when barefoot (toe-stubbing is a problem in sandals, too).

Yet, ... hoomin beans walked around barefoot for millenia, then used sandals for more millenia. Hiking boots are a relatively recent invention.

But you say you don't use your boots for swimming in the lake? So how do you fend off the Loch Ness monster without a sturdy pair of boots to kick him/her/it in the teeth (Nessie does have teeth???)

6:28 p.m. on September 25, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

Scott: Depending on what the terrain is like I may hike in sandals while wearing a pair of smartwool socks. If I'm doing river trails with many crossing I will just go ahead and do the hiking in my Alps (now Teva).

Debra: Are Alps sandals still available anywhere? They were my favorite footwear ever and I cannot find replacements anymore? How recently did you get yours and where?

October 22, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: skunks - night vision Newer: golite sleeping bags
All forums: Older: Sportiva Lhotse FS Newer: Titanium Cookware