[Cdt-l] Wet foot/Cold Foot - Footwear Choice

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 20 17:04:05 CST 2010

Chris - 

For the most part I wouldn't argue about sloshing through the water.  But there are times 

when it's not necessarily a great idea.  In '99 I did that - and got frostbitten toes.  Which 

then caused me to throw a clot and end up with a not-so-nice case of phlebitis.  Read that 

as "possible/probable stroke if not fixed".  


Fact is that I no longer wear trail runners because after trying nearly 2 dozen different 

brands/models, I've never found one that doesn't give me foot problems.  And, in fact, my 

ortho mechanic has now given me orders to NOT use them (for other reasons). So don't make 

generalized assumptions about the universality of trail runners as the ultimate long distance 

footwear.  It ain't so.  


Walk softly,



OK, since we're apparently doing this - AT92, CDT99, PCT00, CDT06, GDT07

Haven't done that in years.  



Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 09:11:25 -0800
From: uppersky at yahoo.com
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Wet foot/Cold Foot - Footwear Choice

I just gotta chime in here on this subject.  Everybody has got to hike their own hike, especially when it comes to footwear on one of these long trails...  Myself,  I have never considered wearing heavier footwear then a good solid pair of trail runners with appropriate arch support inserts. I just slog thru what ever water obstacle happens across my path and rarely even stop to empty out the shoes on the other side.  It's not a big deal, really. Especially after one is trail hardened, which I think is the key to this.   Once a thru-hiker has his/her gear down to a reasonable weight the need for heavy boots and the  extra sandals or whatever you will need to put on to keep those boots from getting submerged goes out the window...   The trade off for cold/wet feet, especially on the CDT, is always an extra incentive to keep moving. Which is not a bad thing on one of these buggers if you want to finish.  chris knight    PCT 01 / AT 06 / CDT O8

From: RICHARD OSTHEIMER <rick.ostheimer at sbcglobal.net>
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Sent: Tue, January 19, 2010 6:45:15 PM
Subject: [Cdt-l] Wet foot/Cold Foot - Footwear Choice

I'm with MtnEd on this one.  I wore my LaSportiva Makalu's on both the AT and PCT.  Yep, they're heavy compared to trail runners, but at the end of a 25 or 30 mile day coming out of town with 30 lbs, my feet aren't sore.  On the PCT, I tried a section north of Ashland, OR using trail runners, Montrail Hardrocks.  These were well broken in.  After the initial bout of blisters that kept me down to 7 miles the day out of Crater Lake, I started noticing that my mileage fell off and that my feet were sore after about 22 or so miles.  The blister issue with the Hardrocks was much worse than I had starting out on either the AT or PCT with the Makalu's.  Plead, successfuly, with the post(master/mistress) at Cascade Locks to forward my bounce bucket back to Sisters and switched back to my boots.  What a relief!

However, for this year's CDT, I'm still planning to give the trail runners another try for the Gila River section.  Who know's, I might just become a convert.  I just can't see stopping at every river crossing to doff the boots and put on the Crocs.  When wearing boots, I make an effort to keep stream water from overflowing into them as well as to prevent rain water from running down my legs and filling them up.  If the ford looks over the top of the boots, I stop and switch to Crocs held in place with a length of bear back line.  Although my boots don't have goretex and aren't waterproof, once they are wet, they do take a lo-o-ong time to dry, and while they are wet, they weigh several extra pounds each.

One other point, although the boots have an expensive price tag, overall they're more economical.  My LaSportiva's did all of the PCT except the Ashland-Sisters section and, after a visit to Dave, The Cobbler in Seattle are still going strong.

AT06, PCT08

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