Grand Canyon Rim to Rim on Vibram Five Fingers?

12:40 p.m. on June 28, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

Hi There,

Checking in to see if anyone has hiked GC in Vibrams and what the experience was like? I just started running in treksports (trails) and bikilas (asphalt) two months ago and my feet/legs have really adapted to it well.  Will be hiking R2R in two weeks and am considering hiking in my treksports. I am more concerned about the North Kiabab trail descent in these shoes since i heard the trail very steep and have never hiked with a backpack on, in my vibrams. Only trail runs.

Thanks!

5:46 p.m. on June 28, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
434 reviewer rep
668 forum posts

I just did the North Kaibab down to the Cottonwood campsite and back up as a day hike in Merrell Trail gloves, and Wire Pass/Buckskin/Paria as a 20 mile day hike in 5finger KSOs. I have also carried overnight loads in one or the other, as well as many miles of trail running. At this point I would have almost no hesitation in doing a long day hike/run like R2R in minimalist shoes (the only reservation being that I tend to stub my toes when I get tired, for that the trail gloves give a little better protection). If you think your feet are in shape for the full distance, I think you should go for it. 

The North Rim trail is well-graded like all those mule trails, so not really that steep.

Good luck!

9:16 p.m. on June 28, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

Thanks BigRed. Good stuff.. 

I think I should be able to pull this off. I am doing R2R in 3 days, so it's not too many miles per day. The longest day hike is going to be from north rim to phantom ranch, but I think atleast half of it is pretty flat & easy terrain.

11:59 p.m. on June 29, 2011 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,285 forum posts

I would suggest simulating this adventure in a venue where a rescue is calling someone to pick you up at a road side, versus risk forcing others to extract you from this remote canyon.

Ed

9:44 p.m. on June 30, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

whomeworry said:

 ...risk forcing others to extract you from this remote canyon.

Ed

 Sounds ominous.

                    ~r2~

9:26 a.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,285 forum posts

Robert Rowe said:

whomeworry said:

 ...risk forcing others to extract you from this remote canyon.

Ed

 Sounds ominous.

                    ~r2~

It is. 

I had a companion break an ankle on the Hermits Rest Trail, along a section where there was sparely room of a bivouac, let along a nice level landing platform for the rescue helicopter.  No need forcing SARs into missions that can be avoided, especially when tangible risk is involved.

Ed

9:59 a.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

Too bad about your companion!

I have been on enough adventures all across the globe and many out west, but looking forward to yet another one :) .. and this time in my shoes with no limits :) Cheers and Happy 4th of July folks.

11:07 a.m. on July 1, 2011 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

RedKatt,

I as well would highly recommend working up to a lenghty backapcking trip wearing barefoot shoes.

The hiking R2R is going to exert sheer forces and stress on your feet that you haven't likely experienced with trail and street running. Add the weight of a backpack to that and I think you'd be pushing the limit of what would be advisable.

I know a number of people who have work Vibram5F for months, even doing lots of day hiking, but when they did their first backpack in them their feet were trashed. The added weight makes a huge difference.  

12:40 a.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

RedKatt, my reason for concern is the same as gonzans. Have you used these in terrain that is comparable to what you will be experiencing with a pack? From what you stated no. 

Once you add weight it can dramatically change the stress your feet are gonna take as opposed to what they are use too from running on trails and the roads. Ask anyone including a pediatrist. They will tell ya the same. I have a few "acquaintances" that teach in the medical field at a college level and we have had this discussion quite a few times.

Anywho, I think you may want to give your feet a bit more prep time just to be on the safe side. It can take quite a bit of time for ones feet to adjust to this type of footwear.

So you have worn them for 2 months, they feel like they are great to you, and then ya change the whole situation by adding weight into the mix. Your feet may have been very well adjusted to doing everything and anything in them w/o weight but then ya add weight and surprise!!! You have stress fractures or a plethora of other problems that can wreck your trip not to mention depending on where you are you may not be able to self rescue and have to rely on the services of others. If you can't walk due to an unexpected injury like blowing an ankle(last time I checked Vibram 5 Fingers didn't offer ankle support,) stress fractures, or damaged ligaments/tendons what are you gonna do? Crawl out lol...

There are alot of bones in the human foot. All of which can break, all of which can cause substantial pain. All of which can substantially hinder your ability to cover terrain. I hardly think 2 months of running on trails and roads is gonna prepare your feet for what you are gonna expose them to under weight. Just mho.

You stated that you have been on enough adventures all across the globe and many out west. So have alot of people. These same people get hurt all the time due to lack of consideration of what can happen and lack of preperation to minimize the possibility due to the fact that they believe they have enough experience. It happens everywhere all the time.

I am not busting your tail on this one just giving you a heads up on the problems that can occur. Hope for the best and expect the worst and you will never be let down. :) Happy hiking.

Oh on a side note, everyone and everything has limitaions. :)

Happy 4th of July and welcome to Trailspace. Happy hiking....

6:40 a.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

Thanks for all the advice. I do, really appreciate it. I should have made my pack / trip situation a little more clear :) Since I will be at the Phantom Ranch (bedding and most meals) are essentially provided for, my pack will include mainly essentials. I will be carrying a day pack, which will be a lot lighter. Plan on starting the hike very early (around 1 am) down to the phantom ranch to beat the heat. This is the longest part of the hike anyways. 

Also, this weekend, I did carry my day pack and hiked the rocky Mt. Washington, NH in my Vibrams. My legs/feet felt great. Thanks for the simulate the situation advice :).. while not quiet the same as GC .. but the intention was to hike in Vibrams with a pack on, elevation gain/drop..stuff like that.

With barefoot shoes, it's really a matter of your feet being ready. Some people adapt to them better than others only because of the way one has been running/walking most of the time (mid foot strike vs. heel strike). The transition for me has been great due to my natural running form. The good part about being barefoot is the awareness you have with how your feet strike and a better sense of knowing how much is too much. Having said all the above, I do plan on carrying light hikers with me as well (at least to GC... I'll see what I plan to hike in) 

Cheers!

9:43 a.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

RedKatt said:

 Having said all the above, I do plan on carrying light hikers with me as well (at least to GC... I'll see what I plan to hike in) 

 

I think taking a light pair of shoes with you would be a really good idea, especially on your first longer trip or two. Should add too much extra weight, and adds some insurance for those introductory excursions.

Best of luck! 

12:01 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

Thanks

12:32 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Good idea on the back-up kickers. Hope ya have a great trip and....POST PICS !!! :)

12:50 p.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
4,119 forum posts

 

That sounds like quite a hike in those fivetoes(finger) sandals. I have done R2Rs and the trail isnt too bad being the most heavily used route in the canyon. The millions of hikers and mules that have been on it since the 1800s have trampled the sand to dust. I have a pair of the 5 finger sandals but mainly bicycle and walk around town in them. I think they should make a pair with a little bit thicker sole!

12:29 a.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
434 reviewer rep
668 forum posts

I think the next generation should have CLAWS :-)

11:45 a.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

So.. Yes, I hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim! What an amazing hike!! And yes, in my Vibram Treksports all the way :) Will post pictures soon.

12:24 p.m. on July 11, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Good stuff.

August 20, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Shadow Wings Newer: Wolve sightings......then venting
All forums: Older: Choosing Your Canoe: Shapes and Curves Newer: I would like to remove a Gore-Tex liner from a pair of hiking boots. How do I do this?