Hiking Shoes?

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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Western Midwesterner
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Hiking Shoes?

Post by Western Midwesterner » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am

I'm planning a 55+ mile backpacking trip to Isle Royal in mid July. I've had quite a footwear journey after developing severe plantar fasciitus in 2016. I've found that the less weight on my feet, the better (and happier) mileage I can get of my trips. I currently hike with the La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX (see photo) with a pair of Dirty Girl ankle gaiters.

I don't know the trail conditions on IR - specifically the Minong trail. Is the terrain brushy enough to warrant wearing boots rather than just shoes? Those of you who have been on the trail, or IR in general, what are your thoughts about shoes/boots on the island?

TIA!
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thesneakymonkey
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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 pm

I wore trailrunners on all my trips to the island including a minong end to end. Wear what makes your feet happy. I had no blisters the whole way. Plus my shoes dried out overnight. Those with boots had wet footwear for days and blisters galore.

I wore brooks cascadia 12s paired with a dirty girl gaiters on the minong trip.
Trip #1East side loop: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2 Minong End to End : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9ZJVgtfgga
Husband_Wife_OutdoorLife on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/HusbandWifeOutdoorLife

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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by Western Midwesterner » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:52 pm

thesneakymonkey wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:32 pm
I wore brooks cascadia 12s paired with a dirty girl gaiters on the minong trip.
Finding the right footware system for you is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, isn't it? It's right up there with finding a workable sleeping system. I'm glad to know that someone has done the trip in trail shoes with success! I got a little concerned when I saw the post about work boots.

Lots of the PCT thru-hikers here in Oregon are favoring the Brooks Cascadia runners & Dirty Girl gaiters for their treks.

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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:10 pm

Western Midwesterner wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:52 pm
I'm glad to know that someone has done the trip in trail shoes with success!
My husband wore shoes on both trips as well! Also paired with dirty girls! We saw a few trailrunner folks on the island this time. Work boots just sounds painful!
Trip #1East side loop: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2 Minong End to End : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9ZJVgtfgga
Husband_Wife_OutdoorLife on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/HusbandWifeOutdoorLife


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by Midwest Ed » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:52 pm

Western Midwesterner wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am
I've had quite a footwear journey after developing severe plantar fasciitus in 2016. I've found that the less weight on my feet, the better (and happier) mileage I can get of my trips.
Is your pain from PF behind you now? It use to take me at least 30 minutes of hobbling around each morning before I could begin to walk somewhat normally. I tried off the shelf insoles but it was only after a Podiatrist made a pair of prescription/custom orthotic insoles that I got total relief after about 3 months. I can wear some off the shelf insoles in lesser used shoes now that things have healed.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by Western Midwesterner » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:57 am

Midwest Ed wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:52 pm
Is your pain from PF behind you now?
For the most part. Custom orthotics helped, as did regular massage therapy to loosen the muscles of my calf. I've had two cortisone injections, and was in a cast on the affected foot for two months. It was not a very pleasant time in my life.

The PF finally recovered (90%) when I stopped icing it and stopped taking/applying NSAIDs. I also switched to an mostly anti-inflamatory diet (cutting sugars). If your looking for a short term pain relief I recommend topical THC/CBD ointments. I live in a state where marijuana is legal - no I don't smoke it. But I did find that the THC/CBD topical rubs did a lot to ease the pain.

I hiked Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in 3 and half days while I was in the Midwest last summer. By mile 40 my affected foot was a a bit achy. But then again, so was the rest of me. :wink:

For anyone who has similar issues - LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR AND REST! I didn't and tried to continue to run, work on concrete floors, and mountaineer weekends. All of which exacerbated the problem and created a longer, more painful recovery.


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by MattC » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:25 pm

I always use trail runners but thats just my preference. Make sure you try them on in person before purchasing. Functionality over fashion as well!


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by 3MTA3 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:36 am

A factor I always think of is that I often stub my toe while hiking, so a hard-shell toe box is a must.

Just something to think about. Who knows what factors you encounter that may come up.


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by torpified » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:42 am

Hiking in the Sierra, I wear trail runners and DG gaiters. But IR is muddier, including mud wallows it's impossible to negotiate in a way that's both consistent with LNT guidelines and conducive to dry feet. So on IR I wear . . . La Sportiva Mid Synthesis GTX, and gaiters slightly burlier than DGs.

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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by fonixmunkee » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:18 pm

I always use heavy-duty boots on Isle Royale, but I know I'll usually be in very wet and muddy places. The Minong, for the most part, is dry and not very muddy since it spends a lot of time on top of a ridge. If there's a trail on the island that I would be not worrying about my trail shoes getting too wet, the Minong would be it.

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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:19 pm



Beg to disagree on the non muddy minong haha! Granted most of it was the beaver damns. But still.
Trip #1East side loop: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2 Minong End to End : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9ZJVgtfgga
Husband_Wife_OutdoorLife on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/HusbandWifeOutdoorLife


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by dougroat » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:24 am

Recommendation:

Whatever footgear you choose, the core concept to remember is this.

Hold the shoe up with your left hand under the toe, right hand under the heel.

Try to twist the sole of the shoe.

If the sole twists, discard that option.

You want a shoe, what sole does not twist when the above action is applied to the sole.

IR trails can be brutal in that the rock ledges are on edge, vertical & sticking out of the trail.

Also, you must have walking sticks !!

Hope this helps.


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by thesneakymonkey » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:23 am

dougroat wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:24 am
Recommendation:

Whatever footgear you choose, the core concept to remember is this.

Hold the shoe up with your left hand under the toe, right hand under the heel.

Try to twist the sole of the shoe.

If the sole twists, discard that option.

You want a shoe, what sole does not twist when the above action is applied to the sole.

IR trails can be brutal in that the rock ledges are on edge, vertical & sticking out of the trail.

Also, you must have walking sticks !!

Hope this helps.


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This may work for you but I disagree 100%. I love flexibility in my shoes. A ridged shoe doesn’t allow my foot or ankle to move the way I want it too. See the thing about footware is that it is a very personal choice. No one shoe will be best for Isle Royale but you will find one that is best for your feet! Choose what makes your own feet happy. For me that is a flexible light trail runner with good grip and the ability to vent and dry quickly.
Trip #1East side loop: https://youtu.be/xejNOfYWpIQ
Trip#2 Minong End to End : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 9ZJVgtfgga
Husband_Wife_OutdoorLife on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/HusbandWifeOutdoorLife


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Re: Hiking Shoes?

Post by ARRC » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:45 pm

In the last 3 years I've hiked 80% of the island including the Minong wearing boots. This year's trip I'm switching to mid trail runners. As mentioned above, wear what is comfortable to you.

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