[pct-l] On hiking shoes and preparedness

Diane Soini of Santa Barbara Hikes diane at santabarbarahikes.com
Thu May 10 19:41:47 CDT 2012

Thank you for sharing your experience, Steele-Eye. Mine is similar.

In the Sierras, where the trail is basically a creek, I wore mesh  
running shoes. My feet were usually dry enough to feel comfortable  
again in 15 minutes, or by the next dunking. Up in Washington it was  
a little worse for my feet. They were soaking wet all day from either  
rain or brushing water off of wet plants encroaching on the trail. My  
feet dried out every night as I rested and slept in my tent. That was  
good enough to prevent any problems with my feet. At least they were  

I wear leather shoes most of the time lately because I developed a  
hobby of making my own shoes. I've made a few pairs out of relatively  
thin upholstery leather that I've hiked in. Whereas big leather boots  
are lined with foam or wool or something between the inner and outer  
layers of leather, mine are just simple leather shoes. I've been  
really surprised to see how when I go for a long enough hike they  
become soaked through just from my sweat. They will appear to be  
soaking wet and I haven't even stepped in a creek. This experience  
demonstrates pretty well to me how wet your feet are all day long in  
unbreathable footwear even without stepping into a creek. For that  
reason, I now make hiking sandals and save the shoes for other things.

On May 10, 2012, at 10:00 AM, pct-l-request at backcountry.net wrote:

> Good evening,
> ?Trench foot? is a military term originating from the unfortunate
> experience of troops wearing heavy ? and perpetually wet -- leather  
> boots
> in the trenches during WW-I.  The Army didn?t learn, and they had  
> the same
> problem in WW-II.  They still didn?t learn, so they had the same  
> problem in
> Korea.  Then, after experiencing the problem once again early in  
> Vietnam,
> they changed to lighter-weight, mesh-sided boots to allow for  
> drainage and
> air circulation to more quickly dry the feet.  The hiking sneakers  
> of today
> ventilate much the same as the mesh Army boots only without the  
> high tops.

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