Hiking with Docs?
Replies: 26 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 11:11 AM Last Post By: melba1
Jan 29, 2013 7:57 PM
Hiking with Docs?I'll be trekking (probably multi-day) around Machu Picchu as part of a long trip, and just wanted to get some feedback on this. Everyone's been suggesting I take trainers instead, however I find them to be less durable, and I like the ankle support of ankle boots. Has anyone here done a multi-day trek in Doc Martens? Or does anyone know of any combat-style boots that are lightweight?
Jan 30, 2013 4:02 AM
1Ankle support comes from the design of the footbed, particularly its lateral rigidity, boots do not necessarily give more ankle support.
Doc Martens are not specifically designed for trekking but if it is simple terrain and they fit well they should be ok.
It sounds as though you want a specific style of footwear rather than most functional that is fine as long as you understand the compromises.
You are right though that trainers are less durable.
Jan 31, 2013 3:42 PM
2Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is a reason why hiking boots/shoes are called 'hiking'.
Neither trainers or Doc Martins are designed for hiking. I would suggest you would be better off buying a shoe/boot designed for the purpose you intend to use it for. Does that seem to make sense to you?
So called 'combat boots' are either the real thing, designed for combat or are simply a 'design' fad.
Feb 1, 2013 1:48 AM
Feb 1, 2013 9:16 AM
Feb 1, 2013 11:26 PM
5Many footwear brands offer lightweight mid-cut boots that are a cross between trainers and boots. Bought a pair of Salomon Viaggio GTX boots back in December after much deliberation and these offer comfort straight from the box, a good grip and the ability to be worn all day on challenging surfaces (although ice and snow conditions take them to their limits!).
Merrell, The North Face and others do similar boots in both men's and women's styles...
Feb 2, 2013 9:46 AM
6Or you could look at the first lightweight hiking boot ever made keith.
http://hypebeast.com/2012/5/new-balance-2012-fall-h710-gore-texOr you could look at the originator of the lightweight hiking boot scribblerkeith.
Before this boot came out, all hiking boots were the classic heavy leather type. The H710 revolutionized hiking boots and that is no exaggeration.
Feb 2, 2013 11:35 AM
7I think boots that are designed for hiking is your best bet. The inca trail that I was on had a mix of loose dirt/rock tread and the steps. Lots and lots of steps. You want good shock absorber with good tread, light weight but supportive.
So lets look at some of those docs shall we?
- 'word-that-would-be-banned'-me 3-inch spike heeled knee boots: probably a wee bit unsuitable
----penny loafer style won't give ankle support
All of this is to say you might want to specify which docs you're thinking are your cat's meow. They do seem to have a wider variety than I had first thought on reading your op, but I still don't see anything I'd want to wear on the trail. The interesting thing about shoes is they can be broken in and comfy as can be, but change up how you use them, like say going on the inca trail, and you'll find they might have some rough edges, and your feet will pay the price.
I'm not sure why you're limiting yourself to either trainers or combat boots, but if you really must have style then fire boots might do you. http://www.hotshotfitness.com/fireboots.html That website has some good advice about taking care of your feet but realize that he's talking about fire fighting. And you won't be. Presumably you won't be in combat either. But the advice to take care of your feet in the situation you're in stands.
So how do you take care of your feet on the Inca Trail?
Fire boots are unsuitable as they're not too comfortable on trail as, despite the vibram soles, the footbed transfers most of the trail pounding to your feet. They're bushwackers. The combat boots ive seen are about the same or worse. And you'll be trail hiking. At altitude. And did i mention the rock steps? You'll want lightweight for your heart with a good footpad to cushion the pounding your feet are going to take going down those stairs. Hikers or good trainers. Break em in. Wear clean socks.
I've looked at some paths in front of me and my feet screamed for my fire boots. But my whole body shudders at the thought of wearing them on the Inca trail.
Good trails to you!
Feb 3, 2013 1:31 AM
I was commenting on current product offerings.
Am only too aware of the lightweight boot heritage - had one of the first lightweight boots (Karrimor KSB3) in the 1980's and have tried many types of boots over the years from the likes of Brasher, adidas, Salomon and others in my work as either a gear writer or equipment editor for a variety of outdoor magazines here in the UK from 1989 onwards or as an outdoor store manager...
And also in 10 years as an outdoor instructor using Lowa, Karrimor, Salomon and Scarpa footwear
Feb 3, 2013 4:17 AM
9I walked the Inca Trail with Salomon trail runners. Going down those stone steps was a bit scary for a person with far advanced osteoarthritis of the hip joint = clumsy. I was happy to have light and nimble footwear instead of hiking boots. And trekking poles.
I agree there are right tools for each job, for me trail runners are the right shoes for 95% of trekking, even at over 5000 meters. Heavy boots, even proper ones, not to mention fashion boots, are heavy and clumsy in comparison, and I do not need any "support".
Feb 3, 2013 9:49 AM
10"I was commenting on current product offerings."
As was I keith, as was I. The H710 is still available today and still as good as anything on offer out there.
What always annoys me is the difficulty in finding out the weight of a pair of hiking boots. I find it annoying/amusing that a product is advertised as 'light weight hiking boots' and you can't find out what the weight is. How do I know they are 'light weight'? The NB H710s weigh 450g/1lb. per boot. (UK men's 9 or so)
I also find that 'light weight' boots seem to have become more bulky in recent years. Is it a fashion thing? People want that bulky look? I used to have a pair of Asolo's that looked very trim and neat and when worn under a pair of jeans, were very inconspicuous on city streets or an upmarket restaurant when travelling rather than hiking.
Colour is another issue. The original NB H710s were light brown leather with blue nylon. Quite noticeable. But when I bought my first pair in 1985, that was the ONLY light weight boot that existed. I went to the Asolos in the early 90s because they were all grey leather/nylon and far less eye catching. Unfortunately, Asolo no longer offers that model. Nowadays, it seems like everything is in bright orange or lime green.
I'm currently looking for a new boot and will probably go with the NB H710 again as they come in many colours but including plain black on black, grey on grey, etc. The only eye jarring issue is they have found it necessary to have a contrasting colour layer in the sole which annoys me. I might take a black marking pen to it. LOL
I haven't seen anything else that is as neat (as in not bulky) or subdued (as in not eye catching) while still being a boot capable of walking in the Alps or the streets. Lou Whittaker wore a first pair to the top of the North Col of Everest in 1984, they'll probably do for anywhere I plan to go.
When I bought my first pair of 710s back in 1985, I wore them down into the Grand Canyon on a backpacking trip. The big controversy back then was how durable would they be. There were a lot of people in backpacking/hiking circles who figured they would fall apart with any hard use. Well, it doesn't come any harsher than the Grand Canyon and they did as well as any other boot.
With a weight of 2lbs. for the pair vs. the average 5lbs. plus for all leather 'classic' hiking boots, it meant a weight savings of at least 3 lbs. on your feet. There is a well known saying in backpacking/hiking circles (in N. America at least) that says, 'A pound on your feet equals 5 pounds on your back.'
It refers to the amount of energy used (measured in calories) to lift one pound on your feet vs. carry 5 pounds on your back. So that 3 pound difference was the equivalent of taking 15 lbs. off your back. As anyone who has done much backpacking/hiking with a loaded pack will know, that is a huge difference in comfort level and that was what was revolutionary.
Coincidently, at that same time as the new New Balance H710s were revolutionizing boots and I was proving them to myself in the Grand Canyon, a Grand Canyon river rafter was inventing another revolutionary footwear solution. The Teva (pronounced Teh-va, not Tee-va) sandal first saw the light of day in 1984. Yet another first that has been copied by numerous companies since.
Feb 3, 2013 7:25 PM
11Thanks for the great responses, all.
Aruv, I really appreciate your advice from experience from actually being there; personal experience makes a big difference.
My biggest caveat is that this is one stop on a 2ish year trip, so I won't be hiking the entire time; most of what I'll be doing is walking around. I currently have DM Burnhams, which are steel toe and, obviously, quite heavy. I used to work inventory, so they were useful for that. I have custom inserts, which I will be taking with.
A few options I found that look decent and seem to fit the suggestions you guys have made are , and these Bates boots, which I tried on at a store.. they weigh nothing!
Thanks again for all the useful advice, much appreciated.
Feb 3, 2013 7:28 PM
12Apparently TT killed the edit button.
Also thanks to Petrus for the 'been there, hiked that' experience.
And the other footwear option I found is these New Balance shoes.
Feb 3, 2013 9:25 PM
13Muteki, which sex are you? The Bates you link are a woman's boot and the New Balance are a men's boot. I do hope we don't have to have the talk about the difference between a last (shoe terminology) for men and a last for women. http://www.newbalancetoronto.ca/shoe_lasts.htm
Both are uglier and clunkier looking than I would choose personally. I do hope you aren't looking at this choice from a 'fashion' basis rather than a function basis. I've never even heard of Bates in any backpacking circles. I do know the US Marine Corp buy from Bates but that to me is almost a reason not to buy. The armed forces rarely get anything right whether in boots, packs, jackets, or anything else related to hiking/backpacking.
There are plenty of good quality light weight hiking boots you can buy from the well known companies in the hiking boot industry. The names scribblerkeith mentioned are all well known players in the field along with North Face, Merrel, and others. Pick any brand name from this page for example: http://www.rei.com/category/4501275 REI don't sell any junk.
Here's the thing. You are actaully likely to do far more walking during your trip than you will when you are living at home. A good pair of lightweight hiking boots are just as good to wear on city streets as on mountain trails. So it pays to get it right. Watch the video on this site: http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Hiking-Boots-Womens-Reviews/buying-advice
Read reviews here and pick any manufacturer they list and you can expect a quality product. http://www.backpacker.com/article/topic/?action=custom&bp=topic_article&tag=hiking%20boots
Look at any of the makes listed in this article: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/gear-guy/What-s-the-best-lightweight-hiking-boot-.html
Read this article and look at any make listed: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-gear/gear-guy/What-s-the-best--most-breathable-lightweight-woman-s-hiking-shoe-.html
There is all kinds of info available on hiking boots but you need to look in outdoor hiking/backpacking websites, not Thorntree type 'backpacking' circles.
Feb 3, 2013 11:49 PM
14Those NB boots you link in #12 have insulation in them, they will be way to warm for average hiking. These would be a much better bet.
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