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#201189 - 06/14/18 03:48 PM Trail Running shoes with good support
pdslates Offline

Registered: 06/14/18
Posts: 1
I have been using trail running shoes instead of boots for many years and last year got the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 and did a multi day hike on a very rocky part of the AT and my feet had never been more tired after four days. I used them for a day hike recently on rocky trails and noticed the start of pain later that evening. I was using the lone peaks with the Superfeet Premium Black insoles. I get the impression the lone peaks are simply not as supportive as other trail running shoes I have used like the Brooks Cascadia and Saucony Peregrine and wondered if anyone else had experience with this problem or knowledge of the sole or insole support on these.

I contacted lone peak and for $10 they let me purchase their Timp that I have only tried on because I wonder if I should sell these and go back to the Peregrine.

#201190 - 06/14/18 04:30 PM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: pdslates]
aimless Offline

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3015
Loc: Portland, OR
Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the proof of the trail runner is in the wearing of it. Even though mass production requires the fiction that feet come in highly standard shapes and sizes, the only way to know if a shoe fits your feet is to wear it.

The best strategy I know is that, when you find a shoe company whose products work well for you, stick with it - at least until the company is swallowed by another company which may make unwanted changes to the designs and to the lasts. Some of the shoes other people love and recommend highly are no good for me. It doesn't mean they are bad shoes, just bad shoes for me and my feet.

Whenever I discover a shoe that really works well for me, I try to buy one or two extra pairs before the model changes. I still have one pair of Cascadia 7's I use. I also own a couple of pairs of Cascadia 11's which ought to last me a while, before I must go fishing for good shoes again. It's always a bit of a crap shoot, but I have at least two companies that I've been relatively happy with, so I do have a starting place each time I go fishing. Good luck.

#201191 - 06/14/18 05:43 PM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: pdslates]
Pika Offline

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1789
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I agree with Aimless, there is no single “best” brand of shoe although there may be a “best for you” brand. I originally started using running shoes on mountaineering approach walks in the early 70’s. My climbing boots rode the top of my pack until the going got extreme.

I started with Nike Waffle Trainers and have used many brands and styles since then. A lot of my shoe purchases have been expensive mistakes. I feel that you should be prepared to buy shoes that just don’t work out. I am presently using Merrill Vent 2 shoes but went through three other pairs of shoes that didn’t suit me before I got here. Often, the shoe problems don’t show up until you have a few miles on them.

Personally, I like a shoe that doesn’t constrict my forefoot, has good heel cushioning and has a sole that protects your feet from rocks. I have no use for neutral, zero drop, thin soled, minimalist shoes but that’s me. Other hikers have other criteria that work for them.

I prefer to go to a brick and mortar shoe store and to try on a wide variety of makes and models. Usually you can narrow the selection to a few apparently satisfactory shoes. Then comes the hard part; you make a choice. Be prepared for it to be the wrong choice, you’ll usually know this after the shoes can no longer be returned. Then on to the next seemingly acceptable pair.

Once you find a shoe that works, buy several pairs immediately. If you don’t the shoe maker will “improve” the shoe so it is no longer useable. I still mourn the passing of the pre-2008 Montrail “Hardrock”. They were perfect for me. I bought 3 pairs before Columbia bought out Montrail and “improved” the Hardrock to where they were unusable. My last pair wore out in 2011.

Edited by Pika (06/16/18 11:48 AM)
May I walk in beauty.

#201192 - 06/14/18 05:45 PM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6632
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Just finding a shoe model that works for you isn't the whole picture. That's because most shoe companies change their last (the foundation on which the shoe is built) every couple of years, or they discontinue the model that suited you and add models that don't work (I had this experience with the Montrail Hardrock).

Of course we change, too--gain or lose weight, or our feet change (as mine have).

Buying several pair is a good idea, but if you are going on a very long trip (like a thru-hike), or gain weight, your feet are going to change. I bought half a dozen pair of the old Hardrocks while they were still available, but the current pair (the last of the old Hardrocks that I could find eight years ago) is not as comfortable as the prior ones were. Even the recently discarded shoes (which I save for mowing the lawn and other grubby pursuits) are too snug--my feet have changed. So maybe stick with buying two or three extra pair, not half a dozen!

Adding after-market insoles (which most of us need to do because the ones that come with the shoes are flimsy things that the manufacturer assumes we'll replace) adds another factor. Not all insoles work for everyone. My perfect insole (green Superfeet) work for me but not for lots of others. Some may need custom insoles. And an insole that works for one shoe model may not work for another. I would suggest trying several types (at least they are a bit cheaper than the shoes)

Finally, there has been a big shift to minimalist trail runners with soft soles--the barefoot feel, I guess you'd call it. For those of us who need more support, or more padding on rocky ground, those aren't going to work.

Fortunately, I can still wear New Balance running shoes with their SL-2 last (not their trail runners, though) with anti-pronation and motion control, and they still work for me with the green Superfeet. My problem is that these shoes don't have the aggressive tread needed for hiking rough trails.

All I can say is, good luck and keep trying!

Edited by OregonMouse (06/14/18 05:49 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#201193 - 06/14/18 06:10 PM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: pdslates]
Glenn Roberts Online   content

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1690
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I definitely agree with what everyone else is telling you.

However, I did notice one thing: you said you were using Superfeet insoles with these shoes. Have you used Superfeet before? Were you using them all day for four days on your AT hike?

The reason I ask is that I have heard that Superfeet take some “breaking in” and getting used to (although I’ve never tried them myself.) If you’ve never used them before, and put them on the first day of your 4-day hike, and left them in all day for 4 days, you might want to consider whether it’s the insert, and not the shoe, that’s causing the problem. (How do they feel without the Superfeet insert?)

I apologize if I inadvertently cast doubt on your skill or experience; it just wasn’t clear in the post, so I thought I’d ask. smile

#201194 - 06/15/18 04:22 PM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: pdslates]
JustWalking Offline

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 211
Loc: PNW
You mention having used Brooks Cascadia and Saucony Peregrine in the past. Neither of those are zero-drop shoes, but the Altra Lone Peaks are zero drop shoes. Not sure how much you hiked in the Altras before heading out for the multi-day hike, but it takes your feet/calves time to adapt to zero drop shoes, regardless of how much cushioning they may have. Could that have been part of the problem?

#201197 - 06/16/18 03:27 AM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: JustWalking]
Bill Kennedy Offline

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 178
Loc: Portland, Oregon
They do take some getting used to. I bought a pair of the Lone Peak 3.5 at REI's anniversary sale, and have been walking 5-8 miles a day about 5 days a week, and I still feel a slight tightness in my calves toward the end of my walk. I haven't experienced any pain or anything, just a different feel.

These have a fairly thick, somewhat soft insole that feels nice and cushy, but I got some of the flat green Spenco insoles which are thinner and firmer, and I like them better (had to get extra-large ones so I could cut them to fit the wide toebox.)

I've ranted fairly often about such things in the past. To recap:

Zero drop is good...pretty obviously the way nature intended.

Arch support is unnecessary unless there's a condition that requires it. Years ago I used the Superfeet green insoles, and found that my feet would ache if I walked five or six miles without them, in sandals for instance. Once I stopped using them, that changed. I suspect having constant support weakened my feet. I think some support may be desirable when carrying a heavy pack, especially over a distance longer than you're used to.

Everybody's feet are different and others will naturally have different opinions. I think it's important to remember that shoe (and insole) manufacturers are interested more in selling shoes than promoting foot health, and don't necessarily have that much knowledge about the subject anyway. We're kind of on our own.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead

#201198 - 06/16/18 10:03 AM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: Bill Kennedy]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6632
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I went to the green Superfeet after a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis. The podiatrist suggested I try them before going to custom insoles ($$$), and they worked extremely well for me. It has been 7 years and I have not had a recurrence.

The important thing is, what works for your feet? A number of alternatives have been suggested here, and you're going to have to experiment to find out what works for you!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#201205 - 06/18/18 02:35 AM Re: Trail Running shoes with good support [Re: pdslates]
dralahiker Offline

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 326
Loc: North Georgia
As I've aged my feet have become wider. Any thru-hiker or regular sandal wearer typically experience a similar issue. Unfortunately Brooks doesn't make the Cascadia in a wide version. So I tried the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 and it was pretty good as far as width and my feet soon adjusted to the zero drop. It was fine for everyday use and non-technical hikes. I wasn't so happy with it on rough trails and bushwhacking explorations, leaving my feet feeling a bit beat-up. I also felt like the upper stretched out a bit with use as the fit became loose over time.

So I tried the Salomon Ultra 3 (non-GTX) in wide and it is darn near perfect for me. It feels more stable than the Altra, fits my wide foot with high arch very well and is snug in the heel. I wasn't sure I would like the speed lace, but I actually like it better than trad laces. The rock plate does the trick and my feet feel great after a full day of rocky trails. The firm edges work well on side-hill bushwhacks. I should probably buy a few pair before they change it!

As for the sole drop versus zero drop, I think it really depends on the user. After a few days of wearing the Altras they felt fine. I would switch back and forth between Cascadias and Altras with no ill effect. But once I got the Salomons, the Altras live in the closet.

Bill in Roswell, GA


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