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Re: Decisions, decisions,------outerwear & footwear.

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avatar Decisions, decisions,------outerwear & footwear.
November 20, 2009 11:46AM
Took advantage of REI's Winter Sale today.

Had been considering purchase of the Marmot Precip rain jacket but for $15. more bought the Marmot Oracle on sale which is twice the jacket.

Been struggling with the concept of dumping hiking boots in favor of trail runners. Tried on 3 trail runners: North Face Ultra 104 GTX, Vasque Blur SL GTX, and Solomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX (somebody actually gets paid to dream up these names!). Of the three the Solomons were the most comfortable. Then I tried on the Osolo FSN 95 GTX boots which are much lighter in weight than the Osolo Powermatic 100's I had last year.

As much as I liked the trail runners they just didn't have the thickness of soles I would like for hiking on rocky surfaces. Whether accurate or not I've come to the conclusion that most of the folks who have switched to trail runners do a helluva lot more hiking than I do (like bill-e-g) so their feet are toughened up to the point where a boot may not be required. Ended up going with the Osolo FSN 95. These will be accompanied by Superfeet inserts, Merino wool socks, kinesio tape and a prayer (even though I'm not religious). Time will tell if I've made a good decision.

Re: Decisions, decisions,------outerwear & footwear.
November 20, 2009 05:56PM
I have Salomans and Asolos... the Saloman shoes are the Eos, which I think were discontinued (I wish they weren't) and the Asolos are the FSN 85 (no Goretex, which is fine by me). I wear the shoes all the time and previously wore Keen mids (Voyageurs?) til they no longer provided blister free hiking. Had to toss them and replaced them with the Asolos and a pair of Merrells.

I have never liked a full boot. They make my ankles sore. I tried a pair of Vasque and returned them. I don't think that any of the light mids give you any real support, and certainly the FSNs are the most boot I have had, but I don't think they give a lot of ankle support, either. Where they really stand out is in the stiffness of the soles - definitely better for hiking on granite-strewn trails than the Merrell Ventilators, which are so flexible you can twist them around and result in a lot of soreness of the foot. I would rate the FSNs as a mid-range hiking boot, in terms of protection and support. The real boots, leather Danners and the like, have never worked on my foot in stores so I've never hiked in them.... I think that the fallacy of supporting those ankles should be abandoned and people should get what works for them. Where you really need support is on the foot itself, and the ankles will be fine. Some of the time, especially dayhiking, I go in the Merrells or the Salomans, but for some trails I know are rough or off trail, I take the Asolos.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/2009 05:58PM by AlmostThere.
avatar Re: Decisions, decisions,------outerwear & footwear.
November 22, 2009 08:50AM
Precips & Rain Shadows are the best made and lightest outer layer one can find. My kid uses a Sierra Designs jacket (adult version same)-it's cheaper and does the job but no armpit zippers...

I wanted to share my delight with Patagonia Drifter shoes. They have a very tough vibram sole that grips granite very well. The shoe runs about half a size small, and I picked mine up on sale at Sierra Trading Post. Prior to this I cut a pair of new (and comfy) boots to pieces on the rocks at Davis Lake on a previous trip with the Goat and Mike. These Patagonia have done well and followed the Goat around granite mountainsides and rocky terrain. They weigh 2 pounds even.

By the way, the Goat wears Merrills-he can say more if he wishes...

Chick-on is way to lazy for footwear-but I am sure you already know that...

And I'm not into horseshoes-don't want to be confused with my trail poopin' cousins.
avatar Re: Decisions, decisions,------outerwear & footwear.
November 22, 2009 10:38AM
By the way, one can learn and pick up a lot by watching how other people do stuff out there. A while back, I saw a few things that relate to blisters. Sock liners and taking one's shows off during a lunch or meal break to dry off your feet. I have long since been sold on the sock liners- works very well for me.
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