Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hiking Boot Weights

The weight of hiking boots make a big difference when hiking long distances. To me every extra gram makes a difference in the total weight when carried or worn. In the past five years I have tried an assorted group of hiking boots. Of course the anticipated weather may make a difference in boot selection. The following are some of the hiking boots/shoes I wear.

Teva sandals are very comfortable to hike in and give you plenty of room for swelling feet. You have to be careful not to stub your toe or turn your ankle. Disadvantages are that small rocks will occasionally get wedged under your foot and that your feet will get dirty even if you wear socks. Weight 694 grams.

Keen sandals are a bit more rugged than the teva. The toe is reinforced to protect from stubbing toes. There is plenty of toe room. You have less of a chance to get small pebbles under you foot. Your feet will still get dirty. They are not very comfortable in hiking in the snow or in cold temperatures unless you wear a neoprene sock. Weight 828 grams,

Low cut hybrid keen sandal is a cross between a sandal and a hiking boot. It has a closed body with a reinforced toe. Your feet keep clean with the closed body but you still have plenty of toe room. The disadvantage is that you need to keep tightening the shoe strings. The weight is 986 grams. There is a high top version of the hybrid that gives you more ankle support but you have to tie them in a special way at the top to keep them comfortable around the ankle. The weight is 1035 grams.

The older version of the Montrail HardRock low cut trail shoe is a very good hiking shoe. If you don't have to worry about ankle sprains and you want to move faster with a lighter weight shoe it is a good choice. It may be hard to find because it has been replaced with a slightly heavier shoe. It has good cushioning and it weights 790 grams.

A newer version of the Montrail HardRock trail shoe is another shoe like the one above. I have found that it doesn't last as long as the original and weighs 830 grams. Montrail has newer versions of the above shoes and they continue to improve on them every year.

The Montrail Gortex True ankle high hiking boot is the tank of all of my boots. It gives me great ankle support and it is water proof. The disadvantage is that it is heavier. It weighs 1725 grams.

I have learned over the years that a lighter shoe helps my knees last longer before I have to stop and it keeps my daily mileage high. I tend to stub my toes less with a lighter shoe when I am tired. In colder weather with snow or rain you can still wear a sandal or trail shoe if you wear a neoprene sock.

I pray that you won't have to go through all of the trials and tribulations of buying and trying all of these shoes before you find the best shoe for you. Don't let your shoes become old laying in the closet. Good hiking; Joshua 9:13 ......and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer day hike

There is nothing like taking a good summer day hike. Just recently I hiked about 8 miles on the AT from Petites Gap to Apple Orchard Falls in Virginia. The trick of a good day hike is to start early and end early before temperatures rise and take and drink lots of water.

I try to take a camera to document my progress along the trail. If something happens to me and if someone finds my camera they can tell approximately where I stopped hiking.

Look around you as you hike and observe the flowering plants:

Thin leaved sunflower

White boneset

Sweet Clover

Luna Moth

Wedged Rock Bridge

Highest point on the trail

Trail Magic

Spider web coated with moisture from clouds