Footwear for use in Grand Canyon walk
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 7, 2012 4:18 PM Last Post By: Anonimo
Oct 7, 2012 2:28 AM
Footwear for use in Grand Canyon walkWas talking to a customer in the shop I work in here in the UK yesterday who was wanting some footwear for a five day charity walk in the Grand Canyon in November.
Can anyone enlighten me as to what he should be looking for as it's outside of my own personal knowledge.
Boot or shoe or a mid-cut sports boot? Waterproof or non-waterproof?
Temperatures to be encountered are apparently in the 20C+ range...
Any help would be greatly appreciated as whilst I know what some have used on The Appalachian Trail or The Pacific Crest Trail, this one stumped me!
Cheers from a very sunny and slightly chilly West Yorkshire...
Edited by: scribblerkeith to add the word 'charity' into post
Oct 7, 2012 4:48 AM
1The most important thing this customer needs is very good traction on rocks and loose gravel so the boot should have a good grip. Vibram soles or equivalent are a necessity. As for the uppers, there are numerous boots out there that provide good ventilation with inner Gore Tex booties to keep out the rain. Going up and down the Grand Canyon trails, I would like the support of uppers at least above my ankles but that's a matter of personal taste. Whatever they buy, they should be advised to make sure the boots are comfortable and well broken in before they attempt something like this. REI.com in the US is great source of information on boots.
Oct 7, 2012 6:01 AM
What ever footwear you use make CERTAIN it is not new. I lost 3 toenails on a hard downhill treck in the Colorado mountains from constant pounding of toes against the end of my boots. I prefer a mid-cut boot that will breathe.
Oct 7, 2012 8:14 AM
3To give you a personal example I've always used the Brasher Superlite for all my hiking in that region including the Grand Canyon. Your customer doesn't necessarily need something this expensive or may want something with a less traditional look but they do the job well without being a full on heavy duty hiking boot. They also take very little wearing in.
Oct 7, 2012 8:36 AM
4The store I work in sells Brasher Superlites and a couple of other Gore-lined boots from Salomon and Berghuas.
All three are generally fine straight from the box, but customer has 3 weeks before he flies off to Phoenix for the start of the trip.
Customer is also making his own enquiries as to what to look for with the charity organiser. Have pointed out need for ankle support, but wasn't sure as to whether a boot with a waterproof lining would be suitable with the temperatures likely to be encountered on the walk. It's been around 13-15C here in the UK over the last few days and my feet have been sweltering in a pair of Gore-lined shoes...
Oct 7, 2012 10:54 AM
5It would be helpful to know more about the itinerary for this charity walk. It seems very odd, as the National Parks do not allow such sponsored or commercial ventures without special permits.
It is also confusing because your customer needs to specify what kind of a load they are going to be carrying. ie: Are they camping and have to carry tent, sleeping equipment, cooking equipment that all weighs about 30 pounds or are they doing day hikes?
These are the historical temperatures for Grand Canyon south rim. The temperature range you gave is for a warmer season.
Average high early November 51F (10C)
Average low early November 21 F (-6C)
Grand Canyon south rim is at 7,000 ft elevation. It will be freezing at night.
Oct 7, 2012 1:12 PM
Oct 7, 2012 1:31 PM
7Thanks for the information above especially as my own ventures have been primarily here in Europe,
I thought that it would be pertinent to ask on TT what would be appropriate for such a venture. The LP USA guide we have in the shop covers the Grand Canyon, but the information in that section didn't elaborate about suitable footwear.
That's why I asked the customer what he was going to be doing (plus where and when) and did ask in the original opening questions whether he was going to be load carrying with camping kit. Temperature given in my OP was as related to me by the chap when he was in on Saturday.
I suspect that he may be back in later in the week and hopefully he has some further information that we can digest and then point him towards the right product in our shop or elsewhere in the locality if we don't have a suitable boot that fits him comfortably. I was going to suggest buying locally from a specialist when he got to the States, but apparently this wasn't possible because of travel arrangements.
Take on board the comments about ensuring boots are worn in before venturing out - I'm always taken aback by those who want a pair of boots to use the next day over here either in the Lake District or on the likes of Ben Nevis. I've done it in the past, but that's when I've been boot testing for publications here in the UK or for feedback to manufacturers and my feet have been suitably taped up..
Best ones over the years include the lady who wanted some boots for her 8 year old to wear on Ben Nevis over the following weekend. Conditions were snow, snow and more snow and she didn't understand the potential risks or what avalanches were...
Next was the chap who wanted a pair of boots on a Wednesday for a longish walk starting the following Sunday. Took an hour to sort the boots out, but pleased that I took the time. He came back after his walk and thanked me - the walk was his diocese walk before taking over as the local Bishop and he'd been on TV and in all of the local papers during the walk. Hate to think what the retribution would be on that one if I'd got it wrong!!!
Oct 7, 2012 4:18 PM
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