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What's on your feet?


Jedi Cacher
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Footwear is an important part of Geocaching. :anicute: Especially depending on what region you live in or where you might be caching while traveling. Some might require waterproofness or light trail shoes. Others might need backpacking boots for those long rugged hikes over difficult terrain. :anicute: I have been hiking and backpacking for many years and have owned all kinds of boots, some good, some bad.

 

Currently my favorite hiking boots that I use for geocaching and day hiking are the Vasque Kota Mid GTX XCR. They are comfortable, lightweight, waterproof and have a nice grippy tread. They are not a backpacking boot but more of a hiking-multisport boot with great ankle support. They are a little spendy but worth it for those long and short hikes.

 

Also don't forgot about socks. You might own the most spendiest boots, but if you do not have the correct socks, your feet will be suffering. I used to exclusively use Thorlo socks but tried the Smartwool's and love them. I used to wear wool socks while I was in the military and hated them, but the merino wool socks are the bomb. The Smartwool medium hiking crew sock is my choice and is also the Backpacker Magazine editors choice for best all around hiking and outdoor sock. The lightweight hiking crews are also nice too! :anicute:

 

So tell me what your choice footwear is! :grin:

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I have a pair of wonderful Asolo boots that are lightweight, waterproof, and comfortable. I got them in a wide width and that made a big difference from the boots I had before. I wear them for most of the hikes I take. I also have a pair of Lowa lowrise shoes. For around town, summer caching, I have a pair of Chaco sandals. :anicute: Since I have a bum foot :anicute: , I have to be very careful about the footwear I use.

 

I have a couple pair of $16.00/pair Smartwool socks :anicute:, but I also got some good socks at Target that are like Smartwool, but cost less than half as much. :grin:

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What are on my feet and how much I like them is irrelevant to anyone else. Hiking boots that are heaven on my feet could be living hell on someone else's. I just want to preface this with that statement so someone doesn't take my post as advice.

 

OK, now that's out of the way, I usually wear LL Bean Cresta Hikers when I cache and hike. They are a well made hiking boot, that provide a good balance between support and light weight. And they fit MY feet like a glove.

 

Smartwool or Rohner socks are what go on my feet before the boots.

 

If I'm doing caches in urban and suburban dog poop parks, I wear a pair of Salomon trail runners. They are basically sneakers on steroids and have a Gore-tex liner so my feet stay dry if I'm walking through wet grass or step in a puddle.

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I'm a long established cheap skate, so, sadly, I haven't spent as much as I should on quality foot wear. The only shoes I own which are marginally expensive are my snake boots, which ran about $200. They've more than paid for themselves several times over. The rest of my shoes are Wally World specials: Croft&Barrow deck shoes for around town, $25, Ozark Trail sandals for light hikes, $18, and Rocky light boots for longer hikes, $30.

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I learned a long time ago how important good comfortable boots with a good grip are. When I started out caching I wore out my Nike's in about a month and then I slipped and fell a few times on some steep downslopes because the bottoms had no grip left. I usually go to Sports Authority and buy a decent pair when they are on sale. I seem to wear them out every 6-8 months so I don't like spending a fortune for them. I save my old boots for sloppy caches. :anicute:

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Tevas for 'yak caching (although seems like everyone I know is making noises about the wonderfulness of Keenes) and for most hiking I'm using a lightweight waterproof (really!) Helly Hensen. I liked it so much that after wearing it a few weeks I got a second pair. And lots of different trail runner all terrain athletic shoes. New Balance makes a shoe that fits me well. I suspect because I get them wet so much they don't last especially long. Too soggy too much of the time.

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Around here, sneakers are all that's needed for most. But when out really hiking for caches, I love my Gore-Tex Vasque boots. I've tried different brands over the years, for me, Vasque is the most comfortable. Between those and my feet will be two pairs of socks. This past year I discovered Injinji Tetratsok Crew Socks and use these as a sock liner under my hiking socks. This combination makes my feet very happy.

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I have 3 modes

 

I wear some HiTek trail sneakers most of the time, day to day, and Geocaching.

 

When I'm planning on hiking, or if it's raining, I have a supportive (and waterproofed) pair of Raichle Hiking Boots.

 

Then there is "Cache with whatcha got" I've worn everything from Teva Sandals to Bostonian dress shoes. You grab 'em when you're close.

 

Socks... I have some Wigwams and some generic outdoor socks. I liked the military wool socks, but I'm down to one pair.

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I have a couple pair of $16.00/pair Smartwool socks :blink:, but I also got some good socks at Target that are like Smartwool, but cost less than half as much. :wub:

 

That sounds like it could be a bargain, do you remember the brand?

Hmmmm . . . no, but on the toe, they have a large 'G' and a what looks like a backwards 'C'. They really look like they could have been manufactured in the same place as the Smart Wool socks.

 

Edit to add appropriate quote

Edited by Miragee
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I have a couple pair of $16.00/pair Smartwool socks :blink:, but I also got some good socks at Target that are like Smartwool, but cost less than half as much. :wub:

 

That sounds like it could be a bargain, do you remember the brand?

Hmmmm . . . no, but on the toe, they have a large 'G' and a what looks like a backwards 'C'. They really look like they could have been manufactured in the same place as the Smart Wool socks.

 

Edit to add appropriate quote

 

I think I saw the same socks in Walmart. They look identical to my Smartwools, but without the word Smartwool. They were like 6 bucks, so I was thinking of trying a pair to see how they work. They may well be made in the same place

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I wear REALLY light running shoes. They allow me more movement than a boot would, and I've trained my reflexes so much I never really get in trouble if I start to fall on a slippery slope or something. They don't have much grip, but they don't need to. Quickness to me is more important than anything.

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After my old Wal Mart special boots went from being waterproof to water-resistant to completely porous, I went out and got a pair of LL Bean Gore-Tex Mountain Treads with a mid cut ankle. I tried them out in their new store in Burlington, MA and was hooked. They're comfortable, are waterproof as claimed (Springtime in New England tests that big time,) and they have excellent traction. Feet do differ though, so someone else's mileage may vary.

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I've found Timberland hiking boots to be to my liking. I can usually find them for $50-$75 on sale, and I don't get blisters when I wear them (IF I'm using thick hiking socks - the sock are just as important as the boots!). I have 4 pairs of varying styles and ages, the older ones aren't much good for hiking anymore but do great for yard work. The newest pair is the Waterproof White Ledge style, and although I had doubts about their waterproofness (They're leather, not gore-tex), a recent cache that required walking through a tunnel where a stream flows proved that my doubts were unfounded. The soles are very grippy, great for Pennsylvania's rocky mountain trails. I know there are more "high-tech" and pricey boots available, but these have worked for me for years and I'm happy with them.

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With the exception of winter months I rarely wear more than my trusty Teva Terra-Fi sandals while caching. They are tough AND comfortable on almost any terrain. But my favorite form of footwear is actually no footwear at all - I love to hike barefoot. No, really. People did it for thousands and thousands of years and if one takes a step back from the marketing hype shoved down our throats from Nike et. al., there's no imperative to fork over a small fortune for something you (gasp) may not really need... It ain't for everyone though - hike your own hike. (I do like my Tevas though!)

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With the exception of winter months I rarely wear more than my trusty Teva Terra-Fi sandals while caching. They are tough AND comfortable on almost any terrain. But my favorite form of footwear is actually no footwear at all - I love to hike barefoot. No, really. People did it for thousands and thousands of years and if one takes a step back from the marketing hype shoved down our throats from Nike et. al., there's no imperative to fork over a small fortune for something you (gasp) may not really need... It ain't for everyone though - hike your own hike. (I do like my Tevas though!)

 

I saw a website on barefoot hiking once. That's where I learned about using duct tape to fight blisters (yes it really works).

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Here in SE Texas (Houston/Galveston area), it stays warm most of the year. Depending on how wet it is, I'll either wear jungle boots or these watwerproof hiking shoes I purchased from Wally-World.

 

I guess it really depends on how muddy it's gonna be. If I'm going after the bushwhacking caches after a big rain, I'll wear the jungle boots, as they are easier to clean.....ya just hose them off. Yeah, my feet are gonna get wet if I wear these, but since it's usually hot, I don't worry about that.

 

We went caching up in Arkansas, in Burns Park, this last January, and it was cold and rainy. Those waterproof hiking boots were comfortable, warm and dry.

Edited by Lefty Writer
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...But my favorite form of footwear is actually no footwear at all - I love to hike barefoot. No, really. People did it for thousands and thousands of years and if one takes a step back from the marketing hype shoved down our throats from Nike et. al., there's no imperative to fork over a small fortune for something you (gasp) may not really need... It ain't for everyone though - hike your own hike. (I do like my Tevas though!)

 

My usual footwear consists of Danner desert combat boots and Smartwool socks. A few months ago I took up barefoot sprinting as part of my barbaric fitness program. One of the benefits has been significant toughening of the soles of my feet. Recently I hiked barefoot over a 1-mile stretch of trail on the return from a cache. Felt great. I may do it more often, but most of our desert trails are pretty tough on shoes, much less pampered feet.

 

Amazing how much less effort it takes to walk without the weight of shoes. Better traction in sand, too. Your feet instinctively know how to dig in.

 

Hats (or shoes) off to you, Shiraz-mataz! I'm not there yet, but I'm workin' on it.

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I wear REALLY light running shoes. They allow me more movement than a boot would, and I've trained my reflexes so much I never really get in trouble if I start to fall on a slippery slope or something. They don't have much grip, but they don't need to. Quickness to me is more important than anything.

 

Reflexes may be good, but boots do more than just give you traction. I've taken a rusty nail through the bottom of my running shoes, and got a gash in my ankle from a sharp rock-- both of which would have been prevented if I'd been wearing my boots. Plus, there's that whole "waterproof" thing :blink:

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While on a twelve mile hike yesterday, I noticed the sole coming off my twenty year old Asolo leather backpacking boots. I decided to update myself for the new millennium, and went to REI where I tried on a bunch of different high tech hikers. What did I buy? Asolo leather backpacking boots. Can't argue with success.

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With my feet I take what I can find and call it comfortable if it happens to be wide enough. I wear 10 1/2 6E width.

 

I wear some propet hiking boots - I get stuff from www.wideshoes.com

 

I've got the same issue - as well as the added one of the expectation that women should not be wearing men's shoes, which is pretty much the only thing they make in 5E and up. I'm a size 8 1/2 5E (womans), and I have found 1 pair of sneakers that fit me - so I bought ten pairs right away. Other than that, I've actually made myself trail sandals that I wear most of the time, no matter what the weather. I'm fond of slogging through streams and mud. :blink:

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I have got alot of footwear that I like:

 

North Face Enduras BOA XCR if you have tried a shoe without laces these are amazing!!!

Montrail D7 as approach climbing and everyday

Five Ten Guides for comfort on rock

Vasque 7624 for trail running

Asolo Exodus for light hiking

Vasque Zephyr for backpacking

Chaco ZX2 Sandals w/Stealth soles for comfort and great traction

Chaco Flips for when I feel like them

 

Teko EcoPoly socks for everything, I have all three styles

Wigwam Full Merino Wool for backpacking

 

This is my list of footwear, ohhh, and I work for an outdoor gear store, so any questions about footwear I am able and happy to answer for you.

Edited by Onewheeler
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Chacos as much as I can.

 

I know that someday I will be punished for wearing them (i.e. snakebite and not just the normal wear and tear of briars and rocks) but I love them.

 

They come with a great outdoors ready sole and are made in the USA (like Tevas used to be and Keens never were to the best of my knowledge) And at the end of the summer when I have the classic foot tan lines - I can sit back and smile as I remember the summer's adventures. :blink:

 

I was turned on to them while in Montana and am now a loyal follower!

 

When the situation dictates something else - Teva hiking shoe, jungle boots or Matterhorns in the winter.

 

Sincerely,

PULASKI

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Chacos as much as I can.

 

I know that someday I will be punished for wearing them (i.e. snakebite and not just the normal wear and tear of briars and rocks) but I love them.

 

They come with a great outdoors ready sole and are made in the USA (like Tevas used to be and Keens never were to the best of my knowledge) And at the end of the summer when I have the classic foot tan lines - I can sit back and smile as I remember the summer's adventures. :(

 

<snip>

Yup! I think my feet are permanently marked with the Chaco "foot tan lines." :D I have hiked rugged terrain those great sandals. Out in the desert I had to really watch out for those pesky cholla cactus, but I still wore my Chacos. :blink:

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