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#158439 - 12/08/11 10:29 AM Hiking Sandal recommendations?
Merlyn Offline
member

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Colorado
So - I have been looking into footwear quite a bit the last couple days, and I am very interested in the idea of hiking sandals. It's shoe buying time, so I thought I'd ask for some recommendations before I started driving all over looking.

A little about me and my trip, in the interest of informed recommendations:

Me:
5'3", 235, shoe/boot size 8 or 8.5 EEEE, neutral stride (according to the nice folks at the local runner's shoe store), and I don't have any foot/ankle issues that I know of.

The trip:
Long distance, almost entirely on roads, starting 1 January in Southern California, I'll be in the desert SW for pretty much the rest of this winter, in California, Arizona and New Mexico. I am still accumulating gear, so I am not sure of my base gear weight, but I am hoping to keep it around 35 pounds or a little less with food but not counting water. I'll be carrying 3-9 liters of water depending on the day and how far it is to the next water source.

Thanks, everyone!
Merlyn

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#158441 - 12/08/11 12:31 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Merlyn]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I know folks who hike in Tevas or Chacos.

I can't do it. Not because of the sole being inadequate - I cannot stand having to stop every few minutes to get twigs, rocks, bark, etc. out from under my socks, and cannot seem to walk ten feet without stubbing all my toes on something.

If I were you I would get a cheap pair of Tevas from Sierra Trading Post and walk around town for a while before committing to using sandals on a long distance trip. There are sandals with toe guards, true, but I find that stuff gets in anywhere it can, and stick to trail shoes.

Cold is going to be another issue. Those places you mention are going to be really cold in January. Get your socks wet and walk around in the cold and there's the potential for frostbite/hypothermia.
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#158444 - 12/08/11 01:33 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: lori]
Merlyn Offline
member

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By lori
I know folks who hike in Tevas or Chacos.

I can't do it. Not because of the sole being inadequate - I cannot stand having to stop every few minutes to get twigs, rocks, bark, etc. out from under my socks, and cannot seem to walk ten feet without stubbing all my toes on something.

If I were you I would get a cheap pair of Tevas from Sierra Trading Post and walk around town for a while before committing to using sandals on a long distance trip. There are sandals with toe guards, true, but I find that stuff gets in anywhere it can, and stick to trail shoes.

Cold is going to be another issue. Those places you mention are going to be really cold in January. Get your socks wet and walk around in the cold and there's the potential for frostbite/hypothermia.


That was more or less the idea - I am getting them now to give me a couple weeks to walk around in them combined with various sock combinations (it's colder at night here right now than I expect to see at any point on my trip, based on average and record temps spot checked along the winter part of my route). Whatever I wind up buying will be what I wear for the trip though, *if* I decide to go with sandals. I am going to get a pair of good walking shoes too, and test them the same way. The winner gets to be walked to death :: grin ::

Merlyn

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#158446 - 12/08/11 01:42 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Merlyn]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
There are people who swear by sandals for hiking. I know that some people have hiked the length of the PCT (2650 miles) in sandals. These also tend to be the same people who wear sandals every day of their lives. I am the opposite, so I can't make any kind of sensible recommendation on sandals.

Are you a dedicated wearer of sandals already or simply someone who is curious, because you heard or read a sandal-devotee stating their firm conviction that this was the ONLY way to go? Just curious.

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#158450 - 12/08/11 02:17 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: aimless]
Merlyn Offline
member

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By aimless
There are people who swear by sandals for hiking. I know that some people have hiked the length of the PCT (2650 miles) in sandals. These also tend to be the same people who wear sandals every day of their lives. I am the opposite, so I can't make any kind of sensible recommendation on sandals.

Are you a dedicated wearer of sandals already or simply someone who is curious, because you heard or read a sandal-devotee stating their firm conviction that this was the ONLY way to go? Just curious.


I don't wear sandals now- I wear a pair of New Balance running shoes or go barefoot.

I saw sandals mentioned here several times, and did a bit of research on the idea... and saw advantages, possibly outweighing the negatives. Still researching the idea, but if I can find sandals that fit my hobbit feet, it's worth testing, at the very least.

Merlyn

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#159070 - 12/21/11 08:24 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Merlyn]
PappyBanjo Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Maryland
I've been day hiking in Tevas for the past two years and they've been great for moderate distances (under 7 miles).

My feet sweat a lot. When I wear boots, my socks are always soaked within a few miles. When I wear Tevas, I don't wear socks and my feet stay dry.

Like any shoe there are places that rub. I had sore spots where the straps connect to the sole, but moleskin (and later calluses) took care of that.

I haven't done long distances or inclement weather in them yet, but I've got some longer hikes planned this year. I'll post my experiences with them.
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"Just enough to stay warm, dry, hydrated, and fed."

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#159077 - 12/21/11 11:16 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Merlyn]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
I did the sandal thing for a couple of seasons but went bact to trail runners. I still take walks in sandals but not off-road.
Reason I gave them up is two fold.
1) more than once a stick found its way into the toe area and punctured me.
2) feet stay dirty and dirty puncture wounds are not what I want, days from help.
I do carry lightweight sandals (nike strap runners) on my pack as "spare tires" and camp shoes when desert hiking.


Edited by Dryer (12/21/11 11:19 PM)
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#162019 - 02/12/12 09:01 AM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Dryer]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
My girlfriend put me on to Keens. I'm going to try them out. They're shaped more like a shoe, with a covered toe box, but they're open on the sides like sandals. So they're like trail runners but without the fabric patches. We'll see how that goes.

The only thing is... I thought the only people who wore socks with sandals were from north of the Mason-Dixon line. These are the same old snowbirds who wear tall dark socks with loafers and khaki shorts. It looks so... dorky. But I've had to change my mind about dumb stuff before, so this won't be any different, lol.
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#162127 - 02/13/12 08:56 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Merlyn]
palameto Offline
member

Registered: 01/24/12
Posts: 37
Loc: East Texas
I have a pair of Merrell's barefoot shoes, the Pace Glove. They are fully enclosed like sneakers, but very thin fabric and the sole is designed to be like walking barefoot while still providing some protection from the ground. I love them. I have done some light hiking in them, but haven't tried them carrying any serious weight or anything. The barefoot thing can take some getting used to if you are a person who wears shoes all the time. I am not sure how they would work for actually backpacking, but I might try it out.

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#162131 - 02/13/12 09:29 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: palameto]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
Wife and I bought Teva Dozer sandels out in Estes Park CO. almost two years ago. Awsome comfort and amazing grip. Yes with sandels you do have to remove a occasional stone etc. But that is on trails primarily. Teva Dozers I highley recomend!

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#162146 - 02/14/12 11:39 AM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: palameto]
Blue_Ridge_Ninja Offline
member

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 98
Loc: North Georgia
Originally Posted By palameto
I have a pair of Merrell's barefoot shoes, the Pace Glove. They are fully enclosed like sneakers, but very thin fabric and the sole is designed to be like walking barefoot while still providing some protection from the ground. I love them. I have done some light hiking in them, but haven't tried them carrying any serious weight or anything. The barefoot thing can take some getting used to if you are a person who wears shoes all the time. I am not sure how they would work for actually backpacking, but I might try it out.

I've been considering those as well, and wondering how they work while carrying a load. If you give it a try make sure and tell us how it turns out.

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#162203 - 02/15/12 09:40 AM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Blue_Ridge_Ninja]
Cole Pendell Offline
member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Idaho
I can pitch in a little on the barefoot thing. I have been going minamulist for over a year now. And like they say, it takes some getting used to. But I will never go back to real shoes. They just don't fit my foot comfterably anymore.
Although I have not done much long distance hiking in these shoes I have done some short but very large elevation drops. I have used the vff (vibram five finger KSO type) in all of the situations. From climbing the highest mountains in the state to running the hardest half marathon in the northwest. Robie Creek.
The only time I have ever backpacked with much weight (40 lbs or so) I found them very comfy. I never had a feeling that I was going to roll an ankle because I have built up all of those muscles and tendons.


A few things to remember when wearing a vff is that you must size it almost a bit small. They tend to stretch out when they get wet. Also, they suck in rain. It takes hours for it to dry inbetween your toes.


Edited by Cole Pendell (02/15/12 09:42 AM)

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#162206 - 02/15/12 09:46 AM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Cole Pendell]
Cole Pendell Offline
member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Idaho
Also I would like to state that I am running on average of 15 miles a week and using these shoes as my daiy shoes. This has helped me build up
My feet incredibly well.

Best of luck to your barefoot adventures!

Also you might check out stem shoes They are great minimalist shoes but I don't know how Well they hold up

-cole



Edited by Cole Pendell (02/16/12 04:50 PM)

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#164048 - 03/17/12 12:24 AM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: Merlyn]
ndwoods Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
I personally hate hiking in sandals. I did it for a season. Where I hike (the Sierra) there are lots of water crossings and when you come out of the water, if there are powdery dirt trails from horses, or sand...the inside of the straps where it touches your skin get coated. Very abrasive. Used to rub the skin right off my feet....ouch! I use tennies...oops, dating myself...running shoes.:)
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#166707 - 06/10/12 07:52 PM Re: Hiking Sandal recommendations? [Re: ndwoods]
sandia Offline
member

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 68
Lately, acceptable (to me) designs have turned up for the first time at Wal-Mart. But their quality is zip. A $13 pair lasted me only a few weeks and were blown out by rocks while wading in mountain creek for a few hours.

Have replaced them with another $13 pair, but they are looking very shaky already.

Am probably going reluctantly back to Columbia brand.

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