Saturday, 20 June 2009

Trail Shoes & Goretex Socks

I mentioned a few days ago that I'd decided to try trail shoes instead of boots. I wanted unlined ones as I've had durability problems with 'waterproof' footwear in the past.I've tried them once so far and as I expected ended up with wet feet due to a combination of wet ground and long wet grass. I doubt if lined shoes would've been much if at all better as I'd have needed gaiters and I'm not convinced that they'd work well with shoes. I bought a pair of Trekmates GTX socks but of course wearing GTX socks introduces another problem, even swapping my normal Lorpen coolmax socks for plain lycra sports socks my shoes are now too tight. I tried the shoes in combination with the GTX socks yesterday and it was a greater relief taking them off than taking my AKU Croda boots off. My shoes aren't really heavy at 770g/pair 9 (842g inc GTX socks) but my boots are 1411g and I expect the shoes will soak up more water than the boots and thus increase in weight. I'd actually need to go up a size on the shoes to be comfortable with the GTX socks which again brings an increase in weight and results in wearing the GTX sock all the time as the shoes will be too big otherwise. I like the idea of shoes though so I'll have to consider where I go from here.......


  1. Salomon Fastpacker Mid GTX, you know it makes sense!

    They are the best compromise I've found so far.

    I generally wear one full size larger for my walking footwear than my everyday shoes.

  2. Why do I get the feeling my wallet is going to end up significantly lighter than my Rucksack ;-)

    Actually I was reading about them on your blog, mids do seem like an excellent compromise especially if you're considering using gaiters at times.

    p.s. Love the Snow Stake as a Toilet Trowel idea, lighter and Dual Purpose, brilliant!!

  3. Footwear is the most difficult choice. I've had loads of boots/shoes. For me the Fastpackers are the best, but they didn't work for Alan because of fit. It's so difficult to know until you've been out for a decent walk with any footwear. Fortunately Iknow my feet are Salomon/Montrail/Aku/Zamberlan shaped, so the odds are that anything from those makes woill useally fit my feet. I prefer "mids" as they give a bit more protection but it's a personal choice.

  4. I must have AKU feet as the Crodas were worn straight from the box with no problems although I'm not footwear sensitive generally.

  5. Hi there

    Have only just found your excellent blog (I ain't the brightest of bloggers, it has to be said!)

    I think my new Salomon Quests are a good three or four minutes quicker than my old Scarpa Nepals around my local five and half mile stroll! (That sounds really sad, doesn't it!)

    Supposedly built on a running shoe sole and definitely easier walking.

    I should have listened to the lightweight boys years ago I think!

    But I am an old dog and it has been a new trick...

  6. Thanks for the kind commet Alan.

    I'm trying to learn a few new tricks myself. I'm now going to have to buy another pair of Karrimors so that I can use the GTX socks that I've already bought. I'll put it down to experience which always costs one way or another.........

  7. The argument is often quoted as 'trail shoes vs boots', but it's not a polarised choice like that. Robin uses the FastPackers (which I haven't seen yet) and I use Berghaus Pro Rush Mids, these are only a little heavier than shoes but have excellent benefits. I find shoes very prone to roll when angling across rough slopes and they become very uncomfortable, the extra little bit of height on the low mids makes all the difference. The shoes I tried tended to have inadequate cushioning under the ball of the foot: on the type of backpack where I was covering 20+ miles a day, my feet would usually feel sore and/or tired at the end of each day but the low mids never give that problem.

    I just accept that the liner won't last long in terrain with a lot of rough vegetation.

  8. Good point Geoff, I've noticed the roll you're referring to myself. At this stage I'm just trying things and certainly wouldn't rule out Mids. I was happy with the Hi-Tec V-Lite Fasthike Mids (boots actually) but had a problem with the sole coming away after less than a months use. That said they haven't got any worse at around 1 year old in spite of daily use at work (speaks volumes regarding comfort)so maybe they were faulty. They do a low cut version which I'd probably be happy to try if I wanted something between boot and shoe.