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Thread: Are We a Dying Breed?

  1. #46
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Count me as a lightweight boot fan, Vasque Sundowners for me. I still have two pair from the days they were made in Italy and each has been resoled at least once. Trouble is, as I've gotten older my feet have grown about a half size and over a long day the old boots aren't as comfortable. I may try bringing a pair to a shoemaker (yep, there are still a few of those around) to see if it is feasible to stretch them at all.

    A question for those who have been hiking in trail runners and the like for many years, say over 15-20 years: Has it had any effect on your feet that may require eventual orthopedic treatment or orthodics? I've always felt that feet take a beating with heavy loads over rough terrain and I've always relied on a good shank to absorb some of that abuse.

  2. #47
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    I've been in trail runners for about 15 years; age 62. Feet and ankles seem stronger than ever. Many very heavy loads (climbing packs).

  3. #48
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    I did most of the AT over 10 years with trail runners and have been using trail runners for around 18 years and to date, no foot issues. I used to get significant sprained ankles with heavy boots including Limmers, once I switched to trail runners that didnt happen anymore. I occasionally roll my ankles and end up stopping, saying more than a few cuss words and then go on my way, slowly at first but within a few minutes I am back up to speed. When I sprained my ankles with heavy boots it was gimp out to the car and end up with a several day recovery. I use Montrail inserts that have a partial plastic heel cup and arch support. I am real advocate that trail runners build up the muscles and ligaments in the feet so that they are far more resistant to ankle rolls.

    A general note, I think it was 1999 when many AT thru hikers dumped conventional boots and went to trail runners, specifically New Balance 801 ATs, They were the dominant trail runner that year. Compared to today's trail runners which are one step from slippers with sole, the 801 series was lot beefier. They were so popular that New Balance did a release in 2006. THe bummer was every year they came out with a new model and like Microsoft Windows versions every other model was usually good with the intermediate models not so good.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 02-14-2018 at 07:39 PM.

  4. #49
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    I have semi-custom orthotics that I use only in my hiking boots, and that has improved some of the blister and footsoreness problems I used to have. Probably also helping extend the life of my feet.

  5. #50
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    A general observation about New Balance trail runners is that the stock inserts are useless. First thing I do is yank them out and put in my Montrail heat moldable inserts.

  6. #51
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    A general observation about New Balance trail runners is that the stock inserts are useless. First thing I do is yank them out and put in my Montrail heat moldable inserts.
    That seems to be true of almost all boots now. I think I've replaced the insole on every hiking shoe I've ever bought. Even some of the higher end boots I've bought had a crappy insole. The one exception: my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. For whatever reason the sole in those is very comfortbale, even to my misshapen problem prone feet.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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