Do you have a favorite trail runner for Sierra Nevada? I'm a section hiker, Rubicon Trail, Desolation Wilderness, PCT near Tahoe. Trail conditions are poor, sandy granite, walking on soft-ball-sized rocks. I normally wear Merril boots, but trying to lighten my load. A pound off the feet is like five off your back? is that true?
I have a 12Wide foot, emphasis on the wide. I'd like to get 100 miles out of them. I plan on using the blue superfeet insole.
Most of my hiking has been in Oregon and Washington, but here's my take on trailrunners. I read one of the Army studies, and they did find that a pound on the feet is equivalent to 4-6 pounds on the back. The effect is greatest when moving fast, like running, like a soldier might.
How durable trail runners are depends on how you walk and how heavy you are. My first pair of Altra Lone Peaks (3.5) are still wearable after 1000+ miles, but I only weigh 120lbs., and am pretty easy on shoes in general (and they're pretty patched up, inside and out.) I would think maybe 300 miles would be a reasonabl expectation.
I like the Altras, particularly the wide toebox, and they now have wide sizes as well. The "zero drop" took me months to get used to. I had sore calves for a while. They're also expensive...I'd suggest REI, since you can return them even after they've been used.
I've used the Topo Adventure Terraventures, too (the original ones), and like them, too. The heel seems a bit snugger, and has worn a bit. Otherwise, little wear, but not a lot of miles on them, and not in rugged country. 3mm drop, I believe.
I used the green Superfeet for years, but have come to believe that they are detrimental, that they weaken your arches unless you have a medical reason for arch support. That was the case with me, at least, but everyone's feet are different.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everybody else. -Margaret Mead
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
The mountains and canyons of southern Arizona where we are constantly hiking are somewhat similar with granite formations from huge promontories to major boulders and every size rock in between down to softballs and sand. They can be quite abrasive on hillsides or totally rounded in the drainages.
Shoes are incredibly personal but I’m doing very well with Keen Arroyo IIs withe 3030 Pressure Relief insoles. They are very airy and super breathable. I’m changing mine every 200 miles, but used to string them out for twice that. It wasn’t worth it so now 200 is the limit or they become unstable. They don’t have super stiff soles and I place most of the weight on my forefoot, hardly any on the heels. This gets me by year round with a light pack.
I just bought a pair of Merrell Nova 2. If you like Merrell, I think they are a great option. Light weight, come in wide's, and have a rock plate (which I found a requirement hiking in the Sierra Nevada's). Their are a couple models on-sale at Merrel's website with pretty garish colors. I bought mine for half price.
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