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#95271 - 04/26/08 01:57 PM my first hike
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Hey everyone, hope you're all well.

I'm planning a hiking trip to Austria (I live in Ireland) in June with my dad and brother. And I have a few noob questions.

Some stats about me: female, 21, 54kg (119lbs). I've gone for two to three hour walks but I'm not sure how I'll handle up to 4 or 5 hours hiking! Bad idea? I can take shortcuts too, though it's a really nice area so I would like to make the most of it. What can I do to prepare myself? (ie, treadmill with an incline?)

I normally wear motion control/stability runners (New Balance 767) and I know NB also makes hiking boots (link ). Has anyone tried them? I assume hiking boots are fundamentally different from runners, but what can I get that will help my mild overpronation? I'm afraid that I'll get shin splints like crazy in stiff boots. I'm told the terrain there is a bit stoney so boots gotta go over your ankles to protect them.

Also, am I better off buying the boots online with the uncertainty that comes with that, and then wear them in, or might it be better to go to a specialist shop at my destination and start hiking in brand new boots? I'm generally ok with that stuff, I was on my feet all day every day for four days on a college trip and I didn't get blisters in my NBs.

hmm.. I think that covers most of it. Unless you have any other advice or know any articles/threads I should read.

btw, anyone use google earth to plan their hikes? A lot of terrain is 3d mapped. check this out:


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#95272 - 04/26/08 03:34 PM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
I got lucky ordering my Vasque hiking boots online--they fit perfectly and have performed perfectly. Subsequent online orders--of the same brand, same shoe--have NOT fit, and I've had to send them back, at my shipping expense. So...no more ordering shoes & boots online! Try them on, walk around in them, preferably under load. Try to get some uphill and downhill trials and make sure your toes don't hit the ends of the shoes on those steep downhill slopes. I once lost some toenails that way! Good luck with your hike!

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#95273 - 04/26/08 04:06 PM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
Dryer Offline

Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Arual, I'll be hiking in Ireland in a couple weeks! Wife and I have hiked/trained all over Austria.
I'd suggest you continue using your New Balance 767's and fore go the boots. You are use to them and unless you are hiking in snow, your feet will be the happier. I've not used boots in over ten years and use NB trail runners or Rockport leather walking shoes (which I really like for all round wear). Leather walking shoes work great in wet weather, even thought they are a tad heavier than the trail runners, they are tough and stay dry. I also wear running sandals, Nike Straprunners, if the weather is nice. Bring some blister control stuff with you. I like to slather on Bodyglide (available at bike/running stores) between the toes and around likely hot spots, 2-3 times a day if I'm carrying a pack. Some tape won't hurt either and I prefer super thin, yet cheap, nylon socks. You can double them and they are still thin. Stop every couple miles, recheck your feet and treat any hot spots BEFORE blisters develop. You'll settle in and do fine!

Austrian trails, I found, were very well maintained and almost like walking on the pavement. Same in Switzerland. They take hike/bike trails seriously there. I have no idea what to expect in Ireland (Dingle area), but the above footwear has never failed me.

4-5 hours hiking won't be much different than your 2-3 hour walks unless you are changing elevation a lot. Simply take longer, slightly faster walks, more often, to train for it.
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#95274 - 04/26/08 10:46 PM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
When it comes to footwear, I prefer trail runners for trail use and lightweight boots for off-trail. Having something that covers the ankles is more important, I think, if the terrain is very rugged or if there's a lot of underbrush; when wearing shoes instead of boots off-trail, I've had to stop every few miles to empy twigs & leaves out of my shoes. It's definitely a good idea to buy shoes in person so you can try them on first, and try wearing them for a day to see what they're like. If they don't fit, see if you can return them or exchange them for another size or brand. I find it's also best to break them in before wearing them for any long trip.

Along with making sure the shoes work for you, getting a well-fitting backpack is important, especially for women. Any respectable sporting goods store will be able to measure your back to see what size you'll need and also adjust it for your comfort. They should also have pillows and weights so you can fill the pack, put it on, and see how it feels when it's loaded. It's more of a big deal with multi-day packs than it is with day packs.

Testing all the gear you buy before you hit the trail is a good idea: try out raingear in a shower, use a new cooking stove to make dinner at home (outside, where there's good ventilation), sample camp food to see if you like it & how much you'll need, etc. I even "camp out" in friends' back yards to see if I like new tents & sleeping bags. It's fun. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#95275 - 04/27/08 08:32 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Dryer]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Quote:
Arual, I'll be hiking in Ireland in a couple weeks! Wife and I have hiked/trained all over Austria.
I'd suggest you continue using your New Balance 767's and fore go the boots. You are use to them and unless you are hiking in snow, your feet will be the happier. I've not used boots in over ten years and use NB trail runners or Rockport leather walking shoes (which I really like for all round wear). Leather walking shoes work great in wet weather, even thought they are a tad heavier than the trail runners, they are tough and stay dry. I also wear running sandals, Nike Straprunners, if the weather is nice. Bring some blister control stuff with you. I like to slather on Bodyglide (available at bike/running stores) between the toes and around likely hot spots, 2-3 times a day if I'm carrying a pack. Some tape won't hurt either and I prefer super thin, yet cheap, nylon socks. You can double them and they are still thin. Stop every couple miles, recheck your feet and treat any hot spots BEFORE blisters develop. You'll settle in and do fine!

Austrian trails, I found, were very well maintained and almost like walking on the pavement. Same in Switzerland. They take hike/bike trails seriously there. I have no idea what to expect in Ireland (Dingle area), but the above footwear has never failed me.

4-5 hours hiking won't be much different than your 2-3 hour walks unless you are changing elevation a lot. Simply take longer, slightly faster walks, more often, to train for it.




Hi Dryer <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> thanks for your reply it was really helpful.

I think I will take my NB's and fashion some sort of ankle protection for the occasional rolling stones. The one thing I am worried about is that the NB's are probably more flexible than I suppose boots would be so might be a bit odd walking on bumpy off-trail ground, though i'm not sure how the routes will be. But if that happens I can always resort to buying boots in the village.

I'm curious as to how leather walking shoes compare to trail runners. I think NB has some "country walking" shoes that don't make you look like you came straight from the gym. ( http://newbalance.com/outdoor/countrywalking/WW965/ )

I hadn't thought of the blister prevention stuff.. i'm such a beginner in these things. I'll definitely get some of that <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I haven't actually been in Dingle but I hear it's breathtaking. ( http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/2b82d18cbc.jpg ) You can probably expect to get sporadic rain so definitely rain gear, but I'm sure you've thought of that already. Are any of those shoes you mentioned made of gore-tex? That would be handy.. depending on where you're going, there may be muddy fields. The temperature will certainly be lower than it would be in Austria. It probably-- no wait, it definitely will be windy. There is practically no such thing as a wind-free day in Ireland, doubly so if you're on a hill near the coast. I've found this to be a problem with my NB's because they're basically made of mesh, and I've literally lost feeling in my toes due to wind. oh, and don't let the wind-chill factor let you forget sunscreen, of course.
Oh, and maybe you don't need it but if you hadn't considered it, car hire is pretty cheap here. I've seen small cars for 75 euros a week at times.

We hired a car for the 9 days we'll be in Austria and it cost 250, which literally amounts to less than we would've spent on trains and taxis otherwise.

edit: oh, and you probably already have everything planned, but in case not, this site; http://www.discoverireland.ie/walking.aspx is good for finding loop walks. I've found them to be very well marked out.


Edited by Arual (04/27/08 08:58 AM)

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#95276 - 04/27/08 08:52 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Wolfeye]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Hi Wolfeye,

thanks for your reply! I think I will stick with my NB's, and buy light boots when I get there and find the terrain to be too rugged. There's not much underbrush i'm told. I will be there for 9 days so I should have a few spare days to test them out. That's not ideal I know but it seems better than buying them without getting to try them out.

Camping out in friends back yards brings me right back to childhood <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> that's an absolutely awesome idea!

I have the perfect solution for the backpack, though. It's called 'being the only girl on a trip with two men'. It's awesome, you don't have to carry anything and all you have to say is "water, please" and you get it. On the down-side though, you don't get to moan about the fast pace.

Ha, no seriously though, we will check out a local hiking shop, they will definitely have that. I drink mass amounts of water so I'll want to carry my own. I'll have drank a litre by the time my dad even feels thirsty. I don't know how he does it.

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#95277 - 04/27/08 08:53 AM Re: my first hike [Re: mockturtle]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Quote:
I got lucky ordering my Vasque hiking boots online--they fit perfectly and have performed perfectly. Subsequent online orders--of the same brand, same shoe--have NOT fit, and I've had to send them back, at my shipping expense. So...no more ordering shoes & boots online! Try them on, walk around in them, preferably under load. Try to get some uphill and downhill trials and make sure your toes don't hit the ends of the shoes on those steep downhill slopes. I once lost some toenails that way! Good luck with your hike!


Well that definitely rules out online shopping for me then. Thanks for the words of advice!

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#95278 - 04/27/08 04:39 PM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I might just try some mini-gaiters to keep the rocks out of your trail runners. As long as
you aren't seriously off-trail bashing you should do fine in them.
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#95279 - 04/28/08 06:59 AM Re: my first hike [Re: phat]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Quote:

I might just try some mini-gaiters to keep the rocks out of your trail runners. As long as
you aren't seriously off-trail bashing you should do fine in them.


awesome <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> wait.. mini-gaiters? *googles*.. oh wow, that's the best invention ever. I must get some.

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#95280 - 04/28/08 08:30 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
Dryer Offline

Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
"Are any of those shoes you mentioned made of gore-tex?"

Nah...no goretex here. I've got some Vasque Sundowners that I wear as work boots sometimes that have goretex liners, but I own nothing else with goretex.
I rub Snoseal on my Rockport leather walking shoes a couple times a year and it seals all water out.

Arual, the whole point of 'ultralite' hiking is to reduce the need to require things like boots. I hike the Texas desert, with all it's pricklies, in NB trail runners, a couple times a year with no foot problems. On/Off trail and up/down rocky climbs. If I get a cactus spine, it will usually be in my calf or hip from brushing against one. Remember, off-road runners don't wear boots, and many, including me, wear running sandals. If you don't need extra ankle support in your daily life, it's unlikely you'll need it hiking, unless you are constantly off-camber with a heavy load, and are tired. I'm prone to rolling an ankle once in a while and what's completely eliminated that is to use a trekking pole (converted ski pole in my case....cheapskate, me! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />)

You might have a look at NB's leather walking shoes. I wear my Rockports for casual dress work attire, and they are just as happy heading down dirt trails, plus they clean up nice and are warm. They are not as lightweight as trail runners though. I'm bringing both to Ireland.

Here's what I have on my feet right now.....
http://shop.rockport.com/product/index.j...rentPage=family
I'm a guy but you'll find ladie's versions on that website. The NB country walkers still look like trail runners, to me anyway, but I'm sure they'll work.
Still, what you already own should be fine.


Edited by Dryer (04/28/08 08:40 AM)
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#95281 - 04/28/08 08:55 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Dryer]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
My low-cut Vasques [which only weigh 30oz] are Gore-Tex lined and, here in the NW, I wouldn't hike in anything else. The odds against a dry hike are overwhelming. Never been to Ireland, but I've been to England a couple of times, and it was pretty wet! You'll want lightweight but waterproof footwear, IMHO.

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#95282 - 04/28/08 10:41 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Zappos.com offers free shipping on domestic (USA, sorry that won't help you Arual) purchases and returns. They carry a huge selection. Their prices are not fantastic IMO but you're not out any $$$ if the shoe doesn't fit.

That being said, I still prefer to try on my footwear at a B&M store. It's one of the most important pieces of gear you can buy. Often if possible I'll try on two or more pairs of the same shoe in the same size....and they fit differently. I'll take a chance online only if it's a shoe I can't find locally or it's discounted big $$$$.

Unfortunately the only true test of a shoe's suitability lies several miles and several hours down the trail.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#95283 - 04/28/08 10:53 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Trailrunner]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
Quote:
Unfortunately the only true test of a shoe's suitability lies several miles and several hours down the trail.
So true, Trailrunner!

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#95284 - 04/28/08 12:00 PM Re: my first hike [Re: Wolfeye]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I thought it was fun to try out my hammock in the back yard for the first time. What was funny is my wife and mother in law looking out the window at me saying: Look at him, he wants to camp so bad he's sleeping in the back yard. Little do they know.

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#95285 - 04/29/08 11:59 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Dryer]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
oh, well as long as you've got something at least water resistant you should be okay. You'll probably find yourself wiping mud off your shoes at some point, though.

Having said that I recently went on a walk where it got a little wet-- actually, who am I kidding? The whole story is that it was sunny and clear when we left and over the course of the walk, it rained, hailed and SNOWED. Oh yeah, and there were muddy fields.

But actually my 767's came out alright, if a bit squishy. That's Ireland in April for you. In fact, that's typical for Ireland. So yeah, come prepared and don't take the current weather as any indication of what may come off the atlantic an hour later. I guess actually listening to the weather-forecast would've helped me there :X

Those Rockports look great- and you're right the NB walkers don't look quite as casual.

I guess I'm just a sucker for NB at this point. They saved me from shin splints. I actually just today picked up another 767 as my old ones are wearing out fast. I was so creeped out because on my old ones it says "US size 9, UK size 7" and on these ones it says "US size 7.5, UK size 7" which just makes NO sense! They were also marked D (wide) yet they were *exactly* as wide and fit exactly the same as my old ones which are marked B (medium). I must be going crazy. Anyway they fit so I got them, I needed to get them anyway so it was lucky they were on sale.

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#95286 - 04/30/08 09:17 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Arual]
Slowfoot Offline
member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 159
Loc: Missouri
Quote:
I was so creeped out because on my old ones it says "US size 9, UK size 7" and on these ones it says "US size 7.5, UK size 7" which just makes NO sense! They were also marked D (wide) yet they were *exactly* as wide and fit exactly the same as my old ones which are marked B (medium). I must be going crazy. Anyway they fit so I got them, I needed to get them anyway so it was lucky they were on sale.


Men's B is women's D and men's 7.5 is women's 9. So it's not crazy if the first pair were men's models and the second are women's.

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#95287 - 05/01/08 11:05 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Slowfoot]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Quote:
Quote:
I was so creeped out because on my old ones it says "US size 9, UK size 7" and on these ones it says "US size 7.5, UK size 7" which just makes NO sense! They were also marked D (wide) yet they were *exactly* as wide and fit exactly the same as my old ones which are marked B (medium). I must be going crazy. Anyway they fit so I got them, I needed to get them anyway so it was lucky they were on sale.


Men's B is women's D and men's 7.5 is women's 9. So it's not crazy if the first pair were men's models and the second are women's.


wait, actually, the old ones were womens and the new ones are mens. Which I didn't realise when I got them, but it says "M767" inside, and the old ones were W767.

Funnily enough, as I was writing that post I *literally* did think to myself.. hm.. so the only explanation is that this is a mens shoe and differences in mens and womens sizes mean this is exactly the same shoe only with.. naaah, that's crazy talk!

Ah well, new shoes for 45 euros <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> (69 dollars) so I can't complain.

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#95288 - 05/01/08 11:25 AM Re: my first hike [Re: Trailrunner]
Arual Offline
newbie

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 8
Quote:
Zappos.com offers free shipping on domestic (USA, sorry that won't help you Arual) purchases and returns. They carry a huge selection. Their prices are not fantastic IMO but you're not out any $$$ if the shoe doesn't fit.


I use zappos as a sort of catalogue. It's great for reviews and they photograph the shoes so well, too.

I wrote them once to demand international shipping, even if it was at a cost.. this is what they said:

"We understand that there is a growing demand for Zappos.com to ship internationally. We are a relatively young company and it is our plan to develop a business that functions efficiently and effectively in the countries in which we do business, for the next few years that will remain to be solely within the United States.

In addition, it is one of our goals to offer excellent shipping options, which means that if we open our business to international markets we would open a warehouse in every one of those locations. Under the current circumstances, it is a prudent move to only focus on our growth in the US.

I am sure it will be a big announcement when we open to international markets, so keep a look out. Don't lose hope. The future is never certain."

which is basically a fancy way of saying that they're providing more service by providing less service. They ship to Hawaii and Alaska and I doubt they have warehouses there.

I know these things are not so simple, but I wonder if they begin to fathom the heaps of cash they'd have made by the power of the euro-dollar exchange rate if they just managed to get their shipping sorted out. Everyone from amazon, to B&H, to the smallest home-run ebay shops are shipping internationally. Grrr, I just want to give the money! Heck they will NEED a warehouse for me..

ok, end of rant <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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