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deerfield
09-18-2011, 06:37 PM
Need opinions on hiking shoes.

The end of this month I plan to hike from the 8,200' base elevation of a ski resort to an elevation of about 11,400' and back down. The length of the round trip walk will be about 18,000' (9,000' X2). The entire distance of the hike will be groomed ski trail. Some terrain will be steep going up and coming down, but no rock climbing or anything like that. It'll be just my wife and me. Not a group thing where I have to keep up with people.

I have a pair of training shoes for running that I am inclined to use for the hike. But having never tried this kind of hike, wonder if I will regret wearing running instead of hiking shoes. I'm cheap, so if there is no material gain with hiking shoes, I'll take a pass on spending the money. On the other hand, if it makes the outing more enjoyable and help prevent ankle or foot injury, then I'll spend the money.

Some of you guys are pretty experienced with the outdoors, so please let me know your thoughts on this. If you think a pair of hiking shoes is the way to go, please tell me what to look for or avoid in a shoe.

My wife already has a pair of hiking shoes. Our destination is Beaver Creek's Birds of Prey downhill course.

Thanks. - Deerfield

WaterBullDawg1980
09-18-2011, 07:02 PM
Asked a very knowledgeable buddy and he recommended these....


http://www.backcountry.com/salewa-firetail-hiking-shoe-mens

Said they were the best buy for the money and since they went on sale on this website were the best buy out there he had found. He said these were for someone who just needed a solid hiking shoe that would easily last 3 years with light to medium hiking. When I asked him what heavy hiking would be, he said that he would consider it heavy hiking when you start talking about really rough terrain. Lots of loose rocks etc... He said for any length he would consider getting a top tier shoe. He told me these particular shoes could very well last many years if you were not planning on doing heavy hiking.


Also said that the sidewalls of running shoes make them a bad idea for hiking. He said he recommends at least a hiking specific shoe regardless of brand if you were thinking about doing any sort of real incline or decline.

Hope that helps some.

brain_rinse
09-18-2011, 10:42 PM
My opinion...
I've hiked some nasty stuff in running shoes (Class 3, 14k+ feet). If you do it all the time running shoes won't hold up, but for the occasional trip they are great. Biggest advantages: cheap (you probably already own them), already broken in, lightweight, flexibility (personal preference)

Hiking shoes are better IF you use them a lot and get them broken in, otherwise they are just a recipe for sore feet/blisters.
Advantages: durability, stability (personal preference), ankle support/protection (if you get boots)

WaterBullDawg1980
09-18-2011, 11:31 PM
Hey Deerfield, Are these pretty much for one hike?? Re-reading it now I obviously had no reason to assume they were going to be used to hike often or even again! Unless the incline is a rocky and rough one, save the cash and lace up your New Balances. :)

Ed G
09-19-2011, 06:38 AM
Stuart....

you definetly want some light weight, gore tex lined boots.

You don't have to go full blown boots, you can get mid height ones that are made very similar to running shoes, and almost as light.

You need the protection from banging your feet into stuff - especially the toes and your arches will thank you

My favorite brands are Merrill and Vasque.

Heck, My wife and I have several pairs if you want to borrow some :)

yearround
09-19-2011, 12:32 PM
The end of this month I plan to hike from the 8,200' base elevation of a ski resort to an elevation of about 11,400' and back down.
so this will be before the snow, well it has already snowed this year down to 10k', but that is gone now, not likely to have snow on the ground at that time of year, but when i look out my office window i can see snow still hanging on Mt Evans, Pikes Peak, Longs Peak down to about 13k.


The length of the round trip walk will be about 18,000' (9,000' X2).
this will be about 3.5 miles, for the way i think. i do a lot of mountain trail running (10-30mpw). also, you will be ascending 3200 feet in 1.7 miles. this is very steep. i would guess around 2+ hours for the ascent, but i don't know what kind of shape you are in, and the fact you are coming from low to high elevation. the trekking poles might be pretty helpful for both up and down.


The entire distance of the hike will be groomed ski trail. Some terrain will be steep going up and coming down, but no rock climbing or anything like that.
i have not been on this trail, but usually the ski resort trails are well established and maintained. they usually have mtn bikers that bomb down hill.


It'll be just my wife and me. Not a group thing where I have to keep up with people.
this make a nice pleasant hike, it should be fun, the end of September is usually a good time to see our fall colors, but they are primarily yellow aspen, and red /brown beetle kill pine trees.


I have a pair of training shoes for running that I am inclined to use for the hike. But having never tried this kind of hike, wonder if I will regret wearing running instead of hiking shoes. I'm cheap, so if there is no material gain with hiking shoes, I'll take a pass on spending the money. On the other hand, if it makes the outing more enjoyable and help prevent ankle or foot injury, then I'll spend the money.
for this trail, given that is is likely a well established hiking trail that will be well maintained, i might just use the road shoes. Ed and the others hit it good with the problem of the road shoes, the shoe is soft and flexible and there is no toe protection. also, the tread on the road shoes will not grip very well on the steep down hill, the poles will help here.

if you are really inclined to get anything, maybe get some trail running shoes. you can use these later for your running in the winter time as well. the sole will be more rigid, there will be some toe protection, they don't really cost alot, and you can use them more.


Some of you guys are pretty experienced with the outdoors, so please let me know your thoughts on this. If you think a pair of hiking shoes is the way to go, please tell me what to look for or avoid in a shoe.

My wife already has a pair of hiking shoes. Our destination is Beaver Creek's Birds of Prey downhill course.

Thanks. - Deerfield
this sound fun, let me know if you want to go for a water ski as well. we could get out before you go up the mountain, or on your way down, then you can say you skied in CO.
my rec for shoes for this 4 hours tour:
trail running shoes
moderate aggressive tread (Ed's Merrill or Vasque have some decent shoe) kind of cross over shoes between hiking, running, etc
decent toe protection
your feet will likely swell a bit from the elevation, if you buy new, consider this to help avoid blisters.

just my thoughts, willing to share a few more too.
thanks
todd

Ed G
09-19-2011, 01:21 PM
and do keep in mind that you most likely will be stepping off trail to relieve yourself.

If the snow is deep, you may end up with wet feet.


AND even though this is a short hike...take along a compass and something to start a fire with. These items will save your life.

deerfield
09-21-2011, 09:02 AM
Guys - I appreciate your insight and advice. Went online and found a place near the resort from which I can rent walking sticks for the two of us. Regarding shoes, this weekend I will visit REI, Sports Authority, and the discount store. If I can find a pair that are comfortable and fit well, I will buy. Otherwise, I'll make due with the running shoes and hope for the nest. I like to take pictures so will post up when we get back. We return on the 30th of September. Thanks! - Stuart

yearround - I would love to water ski, but maybe I can save your offer for another time? We arrive Denver airport Tuesday afternoon and head straight to the mountain. First stop is Breckenridge to knock around main street and then west to our favorite Starbucks across the street from Copper. We check in Tuesday evening at Beaver. Friday morning we check out, stopping (again) at Breckenridge to kick around main street on the way to the airport. Love Colorado! - Stuart

Ed G
09-21-2011, 09:40 AM
Stick with REI. They know the outdoors and employ people who actually camp and hike.

Sports Authority sells junk, and your taking advice from a teenager who's parents forced him away from his video games to get any kind of a job.

Another thing to consider, don't wear anything made of cotton.

kaneboats
09-21-2011, 10:14 AM
Stu, you guys have a great time. Looks like I'm going to miss you. You won't miss the Chicago weather though. Looks like 50s-low 60s and rain every day I'm there.

deerfield
09-21-2011, 12:45 PM
kane - I thought you would be downtown when I am in the office Monday. If so, we are still on. I have your cell phone so will call you. - Stuart

kaneboats
09-21-2011, 12:46 PM
OK, after you didn't respond to my last PM and starting talking about heading to Colorado I figured you were busy or gone by then. I'm still on the same timetable I gave you. Looking forward to it.

deerfield
09-28-2011, 01:20 PM
Had a great visit Monday of this week with Kaneboats. Glad we had the chance to connect while he was in Chicago.

Late yesterday arrived in Denver. The drive west into the Rockies was beautiful. This morning we will check out the base of the Birds of Prey trail and decide if we hike todau or tomorrow. Looked for hiking shoes and decided to not spend the money for just this one time. Hope to find a local source for trekking poles. Will be sure to take pictures.

wolfeman131
09-28-2011, 04:47 PM
Hey, I'm sitting with Kaneboats @ O'Hare now!

kaneboats
09-29-2011, 02:37 PM
And we sat there for a long time. We ended up on the same flight to ATL and sat there for 2.5 hours on the runway after the local aviation mechanic working on the plane got hydraulic fluid in his eyes. Uggghhhhh!!. At least I got to sit by Wolfeman and talk about Ed for 4 hours. Then they hooked me up with a first class seat on the last flight of the night to Tallahassee. With the free beers and the upgrade it's hard to stay mad at Delta.

wolfeman131
09-29-2011, 05:04 PM
Whatever. Don't think we wasted more than 4 min discussing Ed. Free beers usually help with forgiveness. Just wish we had been served a little sooner.

kaneboats
09-30-2011, 10:01 AM
Well, you know what they were worried about. They didn't want to start serving that many folks food and/or drinks when they had no idea how long it would take. They might have encountered a situation like this one (@about 25 sec. in):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9sY6iH9Ojg

wolfeman131
09-30-2011, 12:18 PM
one of the best lines ever!

deerfield
10-01-2011, 12:54 AM
Well, I sorta fell short of my goal to hike Birds of Prey.

On Wednesday, Judy and I hiked a distance of about 2 miles around the base area of the mountain. She had enough. Determined to see Birds of Prey up close, Thursday morning I rented a mountain bike and rode/walked it about a mile to the base of Birds of Prey Express chair lift, elevation 8,850’. Left the bike and hiked just the bottom of the course far enough to get uphill of Red Tail Jump. Then I went back to the bike and the walked/rode to Spruce Saddle Lodge, elevation 10,200’. Ascent time: 2 hours.

I was out of water and energy, and decided not to hike the distance from Spruce Saddle Lodge to the start area of the course atop Birds of Prey. I took thirty minutes to catch my breath, enjoy the view, and take a few more pictures. Then I rode down the mountain and returned the bike to the rental shop, elevation 8,100’. Descent time: 20 minutes.

Even though I did not get to see most of Birds of Prey up close, I did get a taste and had a great experience. The panoramic views and fall colors were spectacular. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

deerfield
10-01-2011, 12:56 AM
and five more pictures.

yearround
10-03-2011, 12:42 AM
glad you made it out and saw a bit. the news has said this was the best week to be out. sorry you did not get up the mountain, the elevation can really get a person. the pictures are fantastic, and it looks much better in real life.