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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    The Topos are still an unknown. After the 16mi day I got a small blister on my heel. Just today I noticed on my left foot the skin was rubbed clean off on the bony part on back above the heel. Achilles tendon area. That water plus wool socks is always nasty. I'll try my coolmax socks next time.

    Good overall fit but had to go 1/2 size larger than usual. I don't know if these will work for my usual backcountry trips. Feels like too much rolling and movement for that stuff. They're like slippers with good tread. On trail, no problem. The toes felt great...ZERO pain in the ball of my foot which always starts around mile 7. So knock on wood, that is solved.

    I have absolutely no idea why these wider toe boxes are not standard in every brand. It's not overkill. To simply stop and wiggle your toes and feel some room...amazing.
    Hmm, now that you mention it I do seem to recall the heel cup being pretty stiff when I tried them on a year or two back.

    I have really good luck with thicker darn tough socks- regardless of season. (darn tough hiker 1/4 crew specifically)
    I size my trail shoes a full 1.5 sizes past what I measure. Half for the socks, half for swelling, and half for the toe box. So long as the middle of the shoe and the heel cup is good I can lace them well enough to fit. I wear them loose enough to slip off though unless it's very hilly. Point being- the combo of the thicker socks and extra room tends to keep my feet dryer overall because the socks are thick enough to absorb and wick away, but the shoe is generous enough in size to let them work their magic. Worth a shot.

    And yar- you're preaching to the choir here on the toebox. Chuck tailors are zero drop, so are most sprinter shoes and a million other models, but that idea still seems foreign to most. Though many still call them 'clown shoes'... I think the wide foot box idea has gained enough traction to stick around for awhile now too.

    Slippers with tread is exactly what I like to hear... I'll probably try the road shoes out to get going on the Topo train.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rweb82 View Post
    I love wide toe box shoes, and pretty much wear them exclusively. I agree that wide toe boxes and zero (or minimal) drop footwear should be the norm, not the exception.

    But for the past year, I switched to backpacking in sandals- Bedrock Cairn 3Ds, and they are- by far- the best hiking footwear I have used. I've not stubbed my toes once, or otherwise hurt my feet. My feet stay cool and dry- no more dealing with wet socks and blisters. And I no longer need to bring camp shoes. I cannot emphasize just how freeing it is to not have to worry about where I step when facing wet parts of the trail. And the sensory experience makes the hike that much more enjoyable. A lot of folks think it's crazy, but once you use them, they just make so much sense, and you soon realize that the vast majority of "concerns" about them are fabricated by folks who have never actually used them.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    Diesel (up in the Chili-hang group) has been a big fan of those sandals too. Not sure if he's on the forum or not. He loves them and Kayak's with them quite a bit. Wet sandals that work well are hard to find.

    I've been wearing the Luna sandals but they switched up their system with 'tech straps'. The Gordo is nice on trail but now I'm down to the Leadville since they are the only ones offering the full webbing based straps. Might just be me but something about the tech straps seriously bit me the wrong way and messed me up for a week after one day of wearing them.

    Agree with you on the sandals as well- my only complaint I've ever really had was not having a good sock to put on when walking (other than sorta one-size doesn't fit most fleece socks for camp). Otherwise they are a nice way to roll on most trails around the Midwest. I suppose I could find a neoprene something or other but I reserve them for warmer weather because of the sock thing. With minimalist shoes on my feet anyway I don't have the 'camp shoe' issue so that bonus isn't as big for me.

    In fact at the last chili hang we had a good time goofing about Diesel, me and Dogger standing around in the 30's with the sandals on. Dogger looked especially dashing in his point blanket robe, skinny legs and flip flops after he sold some of the clothing he was wearing right off his back to another hanger, HEE-HEEE.

    I've got my eyes on the bedrocks for an eventual replacement when the Luna's die off.

  3. #13
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Diesel (up in the Chili-hang group) has been a big fan of those sandals too. Not sure if he's on the forum or not. He loves them and Kayak's with them quite a bit. Wet sandals that work well are hard to find.

    I've been wearing the Luna sandals but they switched up their system with 'tech straps'. The Gordo is nice on trail but now I'm down to the Leadville since they are the only ones offering the full webbing based straps. Might just be me but something about the tech straps seriously bit me the wrong way and messed me up for a week after one day of wearing them.

    Agree with you on the sandals as well- my only complaint I've ever really had was not having a good sock to put on when walking (other than sorta one-size doesn't fit most fleece socks for camp). Otherwise they are a nice way to roll on most trails around the Midwest. I suppose I could find a neoprene something or other but I reserve them for warmer weather because of the sock thing. With minimalist shoes on my feet anyway I don't have the 'camp shoe' issue so that bonus isn't as big for me.

    In fact at the last chili hang we had a good time goofing about Diesel, me and Dogger standing around in the 30's with the sandals on. Dogger looked especially dashing in his point blanket robe, skinny legs and flip flops after he sold some of the clothing he was wearing right off his back to another hanger, HEE-HEEE.

    I've got my eyes on the bedrocks for an eventual replacement when the Luna's die off.
    If you do decide to try the Bedrock, I recommend the Pro models. The Vibram Megagrip soles can handle the wettest of conditions very well. And th tread Pattern is great. As for socks, I purchased some of these off Amazon. They're similar to Smartwool, but with a split toe design. They definitely fit snug, like a regular sock.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KYY3GPR..._wj3PEbA7TTSKF

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  4. #14
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    And yar- you're preaching to the choir here on the toebox. Chuck tailors are zero drop, so are most sprinter shoes and a million other models, but that idea still seems foreign to most. Though many still call them 'clown shoes'... I think the wide foot box idea has gained enough traction to stick around for awhile now too.
    Most trail runners, if you wear them 'til they're completely spent, are zero drop by the end because the foam breaks down from constant compression. I figure 2200 steps/mile, x 500-700 miles... that's a lot of cycles.

    I remember that when I switched from Brooks Cascadias to Altra Lone Peaks I had no drop-related issues whatsoever.
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  5. #15
    NOBOZax's Avatar
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    Hiking in trail sandals really is a great experience. I did many 5 to 10 mile hikes in Xero Z Trail sandals and they were great. I wore them down a little quicker than I feel they should have but I'm like 230 and I wore them everywhere. They got really thin at the heal. Just got Bedrock Carin's myself but not the pro's and did my first 3 Mile road hike in them tonight. The foot bed felt a little stiff but otherwise no hot spots and feet felt good. Just need broke in I think. Injinji toe socks are awesome! I've used them with sandals and as liner socks when going over 15 miles in trail runners. Never a blister or hot spot.
    I've only been to the Deam once and I went to the nasty muddy spots down by lake Monroe. Best site ever....no, but I was very surprised how clean the site I picked was and the area and general. I did enjoy it. Maybe cause I went right after they opened the trail back up last year from the storms. Definitely want to go back and do other trails and camp sites tho if you have some suggestions of your favorites. Understand if you want to keep it hush tho, pleasent lightly used sites are getting harder to find. Happy trails

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  6. #16
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Lots of great spots. One of those situations where I can't even decide, sometimes I have trouble putting together a "plan". In 10 years I never camped in an actual camp; I like to just get off trail, explore and set up. At the end of a ridge top, in a cluster of pines (planted by the CCC in the 1930s), deep in a hollow where two creeks meet.

    Very cool history too. Sometimes I'll just stumble upon a huge area of yellow day lilies in the middle of nowhere that seem to have no business there. Then a rusty galvanized bucket, brick well, etc. A pretty good sign of an old homestead from the 1820s and on, finally abandoned in the early 1930s when the depression landed a final blow. Mostly "10 year" farm land, almost good for nothing but they made it work. Such a poor, hard life...I can't imagine. Hardcore people no doubt! Today you can still make out where roads once cut into the edge of ridgetops. It all just amazes me.

    I could rant for days, but a few things I wish they would do:

    1. Close the freaking road going thru the "wilderness", which it isn't. Sorry you can't wheel in coolers, full twin mattresses and a kitchen sink. But we all need to share the pain here, for a while at least.
    2. NO more horses, anywhere.
    3. Collect a $5/night self-service fee...I like to think I can trust the USFS so do with it what you will
    4. Certain areas are in desperate need of a controlled burn, but I could do with letting nature take it back
    5. Monroe Lake (not Lake Monroe) built in the early 60s presents plenty of issues, but that's water under the bridge, literally. For the 'common good', unless you lived in Elkinsville at the time.

    I have plenty of poop slip-n-slide photos from this trip that I should post in an attempt at humor, but it just intensifies my anger. I even saw the manmade luge track full of mud, horse poop and piss. What a disgrace. Outside wasn't much better, so I straddled the two side walls the entire length. I can balance like a boss!

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rweb82 View Post
    If you do decide to try the Bedrock, I recommend the Pro models. The Vibram Megagrip soles can handle the wettest of conditions very well. And th tread Pattern is great. As for socks, I purchased some of these off Amazon. They're similar to Smartwool, but with a split toe design. They definitely fit snug, like a regular sock.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KYY3GPR..._wj3PEbA7TTSKF

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    Yar the pros are what Diesel also suggested- thanks fer the sock tip.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    I hear you OneClick. Until they do something Saddle Cr Valley is dead to me, and I started this adventure in The Deam.

    Thanks for taking us out there with you. A lot of us are missing out on our spring season and I could smell the fresh air.
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  9. #19
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Great you got out!
    I await when I can. We have a Hike Local here in Minnesota but I hate hiking without getting to spend the night.
    Soon enough I reckon.
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  10. #20
    TheRollingRook's Avatar
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    I’ve been on day hikes in other places that had horse trails and I found them absolutely horrible. The craters left by horses are really dangerous, especially to rather inexperienced hikers like myself. Even for a casual walk in the woods, I don’t like to go anywhere near horsemen’s camps or trails.
    Your descriptions of these areas are really well written and very interesting. Thank you for sharing!

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