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Are hiking shoes necessary ?

Vich

Platinum Member
Apr 11, 2000
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Going to Hike Mt. Washington in New Hampshire in about a week. Taking a moderate difficulty trail. I was looking @ EMS and shoes are all very expensive. What are your opinions on using regular nike running shoes? I do plan on getting the required clothing so that I will be comfortable in various conditions, but my biggest question is about hiking shoes. I dont hike often to begin with.
 

Triumph

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
15,031
13
81
You at least need something over the ankle so that you're not stopping every 5 minutes to clean out your shoes. But no, you don't need hiking specific boots, if you have a pair of broken in work boots that you can walk around in all day.
 

E equals MC2

Banned
Apr 16, 2006
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I really don't think you gonna get all bent out of shape wearing sneakers.

I hiked a lot as a kid with dad in Korea. Their terrain is known for really steep incline. We roamed numerous mountains and peaks all wearing sneakers. You'll be fine.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
61,117
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The worse part about using running shoes on a hiking trail is that the soles are too soft and flexible and the rocks will really start to bother your feet after a while.
 

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
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Jan 2, 2006
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Hiking shoes or hiking boots? I've done my fair share of hiking and regular lightweight trail running shoes work just fine if you're not carrying a lot on your back. I actually prefer this to heavier, clunkier hiking boots, which I would only consider if I were carrying a lot of stuff (over 35lb) on my back or needed some insulation on a cold hike. I also prefer trailrunners because they allow more freedom of movement for my ankles.

EDIT: If you're worried about grit and rocks getting into your shoes, get a pair of short gaiters.
 

E equals MC2

Banned
Apr 16, 2006
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Originally posted by: vi_edit
The worse part about using running shoes on a hiking trail is that the soles are too soft and flexible and the rocks will really start to bother your feet after a while.
Unless hes' topping some heavy-duty desert hiking with full of jagged rocks, he's fine. Most hikes will involve friendly dirt paths for 99% of the time. Especially for an amateur who's ASKING whether he should invest in a pair of boots or not.
 

thehstrybean

Diamond Member
Oct 25, 2004
5,729
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Don't wear sneakers. I usually wear trail runners because they come up a little higher and can prevent ankle twisting (Was hiking the AT last March and a guy was hiking in sneakers and he rolled his ankle and the bone popped out). I like my pair of La Sportiva runners. They're really comfortable and sit just right. Really depends on how much you're carrying, though...

Oh, and wool socks. No cotton.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,349
9,085
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Hiking shoes or hiking boots?

I'm an avid hiker, and when I think hiking shoes, I think of my Merrells. Lightweight for longish day hikes and flexible for agility and grip.

When I think hiking boots, I think of something heavy and sturdy for protection and support over rough trails with a heavy pack, like these.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,992
5,037
126
Try Kohl's. They have some cheap hiking shoes there.
Otherwise, trail running shoe with a harder less flexible sole would be OK.
 

Gooberlx2

Lifer
May 4, 2001
15,381
5
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I think you'll find hiking boots or at least trailrunners will be much more comfortable on the feet and ankles after several long days than a regular pair of sneakers.
 

Batti

Golden Member
Feb 2, 2000
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Make sure you are ready for the weather - it can snow on Mt. Washington this time of year.
 

Gooberlx2

Lifer
May 4, 2001
15,381
5
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Originally posted by: Batti
Make sure you are ready for the weather - it can snow on Mt. Washington this time of year.
Another good couple of reasons to get boots: Water-resistance and insulation.

Ah hell, a third reason would be better suited tread.
 

cyclistca

Platinum Member
Dec 5, 2000
2,886
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I would get a pair of light weight hiking boots. Think of it as an investment. Why get all the other gear then skip the boots.
 

biggestmuff

Diamond Member
Mar 20, 2001
8,201
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You're kind of in a bind if you're going on a hike in a week. You really should purchase some hiking boots or 3/4 hiking shoes for the ankle support, just as others have said. However, you're not going to have enough time to break them in. You'll end up being uncomfortable in them if you put them on a begin a long hike especially if it's a 2 or 3 day hike.
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
651
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Mt. Washington where it can be 80 degrees and sunny one moment and then 30 degrees and snowy another, is known for having the worse weather conditions in the world. My guess is you're looking at a 6-8 hour hike and carrying a decent load in your pack. Hiking boots and wool socks will provide you a lot more stability while carrying a heavy pack, keep your feet dry and warm if the weather gets crappy and provide more traction over loose gravel or wet rocks

It's not a easy or simple hike, I would definitely buy yourself a good pair of hiking boots. Merrell, Vasque, Lowa, etc... Though you will need to break them in a bit before going for your hike.
 

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,703
49
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Originally posted by: her209
Hiking shoes are supposed to help prevent injury to your ankles.

..depending on where I go I also use snake gators with the boots. Ya never know.

 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
651
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Running/trail shoes are not going to cut it. Make sure to pack winter and rain gear.

Mt. Washington bike race canceled

July 8, 2007

MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. --A bike race up the steep Mount Washington auto road was delayed and then canceled due to bad weather.

The race, called Newton's Revenge, originally was scheduled for Saturday morning. Organizers postponed it to Sunday because if severe winds and impenetrable fog, but the weather didn't improve any overnight.

By Sunday, the 70 mph winds had dropped slightly, but the rain and fog were worse, destroying traction on the unpaved section of the road.

Officials said under those conditions, riders would have risked being blown off the course.

"We stand on our safety record," said Regina Ferreria of the Mt. Washington Auto Road staff.

Nearly 300 cyclists had registered to compete.

edit - other article from yesterday

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H.
Mountain bike race canceled
Sleet, frost, 72-mile-per-hour gusts, and temperatures hovering around freezing yesterday morning forced organizers to cancel a bike race up New Hampshire's tallest mountain. Organizers said they considered postponing the 35th annual Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill until tomorrow, but weather conditions weren't expected to be much better. Cyclists came had come from all over New England and as far away as the West Coast for a chance to climb the 7.6 miles to the summit. A road race in July was also canceled due to the weather. (AP)
 

bignateyk

Lifer
Apr 22, 2002
11,288
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If it rains, you'll really regret not having a nice pair of waterproof hiking boots. They also prevent some injuries (although I mostly wear them because I want to keep my feet dry, and my sneakers clean)
 

Vich

Platinum Member
Apr 11, 2000
2,849
1
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Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will go with a trailrunner type shoe aka merrell. I will check a DSW for merells and other hiking shoes, maybe also Bobs?

As far as "packs" go, my buddy is bringing a pack filled with alot of goodies while the rest of us are just schlepping backpacks filled with clothes and food/drink. It is a day hike btw.


I am also looking at some $40 pants that can zipper off to be shorts just in case. Any other suggestions?

I dont want to be on the tv show "I shouldnt be alive"... lol
 

NTB

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2001
5,179
0
0
Originally posted by: Vich
Going to Hike Mt. Washington in New Hampshire in about a week. Taking a moderate difficulty trail. I was looking @ EMS and shoes are all very expensive. What are your opinions on using regular nike running shoes? I do plan on getting the required clothing so that I will be comfortable in various conditions, but my biggest question is about hiking shoes. I dont hike often to begin with.
How long will the hike be? If you're going for the day, wear your tennis shoes. If you're going on a real, honest-to-goodness hike for a couple days and carrying everything with you, then yes, you should deffinitely invest in some good hiking boots.

Nathan
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
651
126
Originally posted by: Vich
Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will go with a trailrunner type shoe aka merrell. I will check a DSW for merells and other hiking shoes, maybe also Bobs?

As far as "packs" go, my buddy is bringing a pack filled with alot of goodies while the rest of us are just schlepping backpacks filled with clothes and food/drink. It is a day hike btw.


I am also looking at some $40 pants that can zipper off to be shorts just in case. Any other suggestions?

I dont want to be on the tv show "I shouldnt be alive"... lol
Rain gear, some warm clothes(fleece), extra socks, plenty of water and snack foods.

edit - if you're not going to have enough time to break in any new boots, I'd recommend bringing athletic tape, a blister kit and some band-aids for any blisters you might get.
 

Vich

Platinum Member
Apr 11, 2000
2,849
1
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Originally posted by: Capt Caveman
Originally posted by: Vich
Thanks for all of the replies. I think I will go with a trailrunner type shoe aka merrell. I will check a DSW for merells and other hiking shoes, maybe also Bobs?

As far as "packs" go, my buddy is bringing a pack filled with alot of goodies while the rest of us are just schlepping backpacks filled with clothes and food/drink. It is a day hike btw.


I am also looking at some $40 pants that can zipper off to be shorts just in case. Any other suggestions?

I dont want to be on the tv show "I shouldnt be alive"... lol
Rain gear, some warm clothes(fleece), extra socks, plenty of water and snack foods.

edit - if you're not going to have enough time to break in any new boots, I'd recommend bringing athletic tape, a blister kit and some band-aids for any blisters you might get.
good ideas... i hope alcohol is allowed too ;p
 

Casawi

Platinum Member
Oct 31, 2004
2,366
1
0
I recommend getting cheap ones. I took a hiking class and used regular tennis shoes, it sucked, I came close to rolling my ankles few times.
I just bought a pair of Timberland hiking shoes for only $40.

TAKE PICTURES and use bug spray !
 

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