Friday, May 21, 2010
When I'm at events or teaching classes I always get the question, "What brand of hiking boots/shoes do you wear". I always start my response with, "Well, I've been hiking ______ but...". The fact of the matter is, I feel that footwear is one piece of gear that you shouldn't copy just because it's popular. Sure, there are some companies out there that the majority of people will find comfortable and you should go try them on. However, just because that's what you see a lot of other people wearing doesn't mean it will be best for you. Here is a perfect example. I have read several backpacking web sites and forums, and I have heard a lot of great things about Solomon hiking shoes like the XA pro. So, I went to a local shop to try them on. Well, when I went to take a step my heel lifted about 3/8 of an inch out of the heel cup. I'm sure that you all know that, if I was to get them anyhow, I would have been headed straight for blisterville. I am once again in the market for some new hiking shoes, and sure, I'll check out the local shops and try on all the well known brands like montrail, inov8, and merrel, but don't be surprised if you see me on the trail in a pair of asics or new balance. The point that I'm trying to make is, hike what is comfortable to you. It shouldn't matter if they are two hundred dollars and float when you take them off, or if you got them on clearance for three bucks with a stain on the toe. Your feet are your vehicles out there, and if they break down, you break down.
p.s. dont forget to bring a pair of your actual hiking socks with you.
See you on the trail,