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Jun 27th, 2017, 9:29pm


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arjwilson
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xx Footwear choice
« Thread started on: Apr 16th, 2017, 12:59pm »

Hi - I'm planning to do the entire walk in one go this year in Oct/Nov and am in the planning stage now. One thing I'm scratching my head over is footwear. I'm leaning towards using a proper full hiking boot, as opposed to a walking/hiking shoe. I've done a few long distance walks in the past (though never longer than 7 consecutive days) and found my feet get sore with lighter shoes/boots, and I can feel every stone. So I'm wondering about the wisdom of a larger boot, something like the Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX Hiking Boot.

I'd be curious to hear from O-Henro-sama who've done the walk and can offer specific recommendations or thoughts.

Thanks! - Andrew
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Jmolnar
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xx Re: Footwear choice
« Reply #1 on: Apr 16th, 2017, 1:45pm »

I think you'll find that everyone prefers what they're used to. Many like trail runners due to the prevalence of asphalt, others like typical hiking boots (myself included) because thats what they use most often to hike with. People that like boots like the ankle support and ruggedness. People that like trail runners like the light weight. Both offer good grip if you get a good pair. If you can deal with the weight of typical hiking boots and prefer them (try them on asphalt for a few miles/days to be sure), go with them. If you find the asphalt is too much for your boots, get a pair of trail runners and try them out as well. Whatever you chose, make sure they're well broken in before you start.
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slc
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xx Re: Footwear choice
« Reply #2 on: Apr 16th, 2017, 6:00pm »

For years I've worn flat bottom Dr Marten skate shoes for all occasions. I was originally planning on even wearing them on the trail, but I changed my mind after some research.

I quickly ruled out hiking boots due to weight and started looking into trail runners. Even then there's still a big choice to make between 'waterproof' GTX or or non-waterproof mesh uppers.

After a lot of researching I finally decided on the La Sportiva Wildcat (non-waterproof) trail runner. I think it was the absolute best gear decision I made.

Although the majority of walking is done on paved roads and earthen stairs, there's still the occasional rocky trail. I particularly remember a road which had probably been paved with rocks 500 years ago. I bet it was once a nice flat road, but after so much time it became a trail with a pointy rock covering every single surface. For me, the trail runner absorbed all the roughness and also never slipped, it was just a matter of watching each step to keep my balance.

The only issue I ever had with footwear was heat. Even with the all mesh uppers I'd have to take them off and let the bottoms of my feet cool down after so many hours of walking on hot asphalt. Boots and/or Gore-tex would have only worsened the situation and probably caused embarrassment when removing shoes to enter various buildings (as is tradition in Japan).

Also, I went against all advice and did not really break in the shoes before the trip. With these particular shoes that was not a problem. They are ridiculously comfortable.
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mpdev
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xx Re: Footwear choice
« Reply #3 on: Apr 16th, 2017, 8:38pm »

I went with the full hiking boot (Scarpa) and it worked out well. In the past I used leather boots but think they are too heavy now and used a synthetic gore-tex boot which was much lighter. Your feet do swell up a bit by the end of the day so some good advice I read and used was to go up a size when selecting.

The choice of socks is equally important and some made my feet far too hot, so I road tested a few brands before settling on the type to take with me.

The only time it didn't work well for me was T12 Shosanji where the path in places is worn to rock ledges and a climbing shoe would have been more appropriate.

I'm planning my second walk and will take the same boots. No blisters the first time. Maybe I didn't work hard enough.
smiley
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arjwilson
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xx Re: Footwear choice
« Reply #4 on: Apr 18th, 2017, 07:20am »

Very helpful, thanks all.

MPDEV - what's the model of the Scarpa boot you used?

Also, I didn't think there'd be much difference between walking on asphalt and dirt/gravel in terms of how a boot or shoe behaves. I suppose it might be like a knobby bike tire vs. a smooth bike tire. Never thought of that...
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tneva82
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xx Re: Footwear choice
« Reply #5 on: Apr 18th, 2017, 4:54pm »

on Apr 18th, 2017, 07:20am, arjwilson wrote:
Very helpful, thanks all.

MPDEV - what's the model of the Scarpa boot you used?

Also, I didn't think there'd be much difference between walking on asphalt and dirt/gravel in terms of how a boot or shoe behaves. I suppose it might be like a knobby bike tire vs. a smooth bike tire. Never thought of that...


It's big difference due to hardness and weight differences. I had a/b hardness trekking shoes and while they were great for mountains very uncomfortable at asphalts. Going to try trail runners with extra paddings when i continue my pilgrimage. Seemed to be populas choice among pilgrims i met
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mpdev
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xx Re: Footwear choice
« Reply #6 on: Apr 19th, 2017, 02:48am »

The model is SCARPA KINESIS GORETEX MEN'S HIKING BOOTS. It may be called something else in your country. The names seem to vary a lot and there are several of similar style. They are reasonably waterproof. If you are walking all day in the rain (you will at some point) your socks stay dry but the boot will absorb some water and take the next day to fully dry out.

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