Why I Switched from Hiking Boots to Trail Runners

I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015 and aim to accomplish the PCT next year! I hope to encourage folks get out on the trail and enjoy nature. Thanks for following 🙂

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Comments

Duck says:

rip ankles

Shivansh Grewal says:

what’s the song in the beginning?

Scott Diller says:

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots – For the high arch narrow foot folks. I cracked both my feet in boot camp. Turned into a 26 week stay until I finally graduated. Anyway. Great boots. I tried bust about every pair at REI. Fit before you buy. I needed a size 14 and generally wear a 12 or 13.

Ricky Bobby says:

Thank you. Enjoy your channel . I to have switched from boots to trail runners. I like the the La Sportiva wild cats, super light and dry out very quickly. Swap out the insoles for some super feet and a pair of darn tough socks an my feet love me all day. Dtw, people who say ankle support comes from a high boot is just wrong. The support for your ankle comes from a deep/ high heel cup. When you twist your ankle it’s because of the heel of your foot twisting to one side. Secure the heel and Bam! No more twisted ankles. Love your channel.

Ashley Nicholls says:

So that you could increase the chances of twisting your ankle?

Doug Antelman says:

Love my Solomons

Reimar Berge says:

You should try the speedcross or the spikrcross. I’m so happy with them, i had big blister issues. But when i got my new trailrunners i did not even get one at my first long hike. Love from Norway

Land Navigation says:

Thanks. This was helpful. I like trail runners. Wear them all the time. But some “practical” side of me says, you gotta go with boots if you’re carrying a heavy load. Yet another side says “That’s not true. If it feels good, wear it.” Trail runners feel good. I think I’ll try them.

Toviel Avalanche says:

I LOVE all your videos! I hiked mountains in Taiwan. I HATED my wet and cold feet, and I’ve rolled my ankles playing basketball WAY TOO many times than I can count. Therefore, waterproof hiking boots are the only option for me.

Stevie Cooper says:

I think footwear is a totally user specific choice. I don’t think any type or particular brand are going to work for everyone. I also think hiking/mountaineering footwear selection is based upon the terrain and environment you’re operating in. I won’t go lower than a mid designed offering either way; I prefer the additional support, rigidity, and overall durability of a well designed boot over the flimsy, lighter trail runner type shoes. As the difficulty of the terrain increases, I opt for the full or ankle-cut boots. Big Saloman fan! Excellent products.

Chisanainori S says:

What did you do to relieve your tendonitis?

Mastho says:

I bought some low cut Salomon’s recently, but I do feel like my heel keeps slipping up and down slightly.. :/ And the ridge of the shoe feels a bit annoying underneath the bone of my ankle, not sure if I just need to break them in, or I should go with mid-height shoes..

Mike Anderson says:

I bought a pair of these solomons 2 weeks after they came out with their first pair. It’s all i wear now, and have owned like 10 pair, low tops, high tops, I have the jungle boots now too. fantastic boots all around. Now me.. I need the ankle support, i can twist an ankle sitting down watching tv….

slowpoke4321 says:

for me there’s not much better than a good pair of broken in boots for exploring. In my experience they last over twice as long as shoes, so the price is way more than justified as far as durability. plus more protection if you’re going through thick stuff; however for just walking a dog or casually walking trail shoes can be fantastic. I love both

Sam Smith says:

On a heavily used predefined trail, trail runners are going to be best, but don’t throw away your boots just yet. If you do any mountaineering, heavy woodland, or off the beaten track walking, particularly in winter when you’re carrying more gear, you will be glad you have your boots.

Stephanie Hardinger Asadi says:

I tried so many different boots, none of them worked for me. like Dixie said the are clod hopping!!!!! I also have narrow feet and finding a boot in narrow is near impossible. my feet would hurt and swell so bad in boots sending shooting pains all the way to my hip. so I gave in and said to hell with the ankle support!!! I found a pair of reebok rugged trail runners on ebay for 16.00 and said why not try them.for that price? Omg my feet have no pain in them at all now. I did 11 miles last week and feet were great!!!! I am sold on well fitting trail runners!!!!

roostershooter76 says:

I use Salomon Quest 4d 2 GTX Boots exclusively for Kentucky Mountain and AT hiking. I used trail ‘shoes’ for a short time until I suffered a metatarsal break on metatarsal 2 of my right foot in conjunction with a stone bruise on metatarsal 3 of my right foot …. on the top of Black Mountain here in Kentucky. After spending 3 months in a ‘boot’ and 8 months in rehabilitation … then visiting a podiatrist in conjunction with a sports medicine Dr … they both asked me .. basically … “why did I wear weak support shoes for such rigorous hiking and trail work?” . Trust me … if you ever have a stone bruise, or Heaven Forbid, a metatarsal break in your foot …. you’ll quickly go back to the arch and shank support of a hiking boot.

Bizal008 says:

don’t worry, i’m not a stone thrower. i think they do more of that in the middle east. 😉 but i was curious,, are you still using Trail Runners?

J L says:

I hiked the entire AT in wooden Dutch clogs. Was it painful? Yes. Do I use this story to brag to strangers on the internet? Yes.

Beverley Forwood says:

Thanks this was really helpful. I am a shorter person. Do small hikes and have been thinking low rise hiking trail runnners or shoes for a while. So I might be going down this road. In Australia it is hot. Have been wearing Hi Tec great boot. But thinking next hike it is in winter. Cold not too cold only around 3 C and wet. But go gortex but lower fitting shoe. Thanks heaps your video was excellent.

Canadian Outdoors says:

have you gone through any rocky muskeg or muddy terrain with your trail runners if so how did they do? I do a lot of canoeing and portaging and come across all different types of ground but would like to find something more comfortable than boots my problem is I have wide feet and once I find something that works I never want to turn away I find it terribly hard to get a decent boot

mafp22w says:

I’m interested in your thoughts on boots for the PCT for added rattlesnake protection? I live in the SoCal desert and rattlesnakes worry me. I’m wondering if boots would make sense until Kennedy Meadows.

StormLaker1975 says:

SO do you wear Gore Tex socks, etc to keep your feet dry?? A lot of the times when I hike, the ground is soggy, there’s creek crossings, etc.

Inebriatd says:

Holy shit! I thought you were standing the whole time.

John Poe says:

I used hiking boots that were worn everyday for work, with no problem, to hike grand canyon last year and my toe nails all turned black from the way they were able to move on my foot, on the way down, i had already decided to try trail runners because they conform better to the foot because of how they tie……so your vid encourages my conclusion !

Nate Caucutt says:

Before I started watching I turned to my wife and said, “trail runners are lighter and dry faster.” Boom! When doing any climbing or canoeing especially (for example in the Boundary Waters) a big heavy boot sinks into mud, is way too heavy to climb in and stays wet forever. Lighter footwear means you can bring two pair and strap one to your pack to dry out if they get wet. I do like high rubber boots for walking in tall grass, but unless they are calf high I find the height of the ankle support gets in the way a whole lot and doesn’t really do anything.

Matt Ryan says:

Did the boots for years. Never had any blisters. Convinced myself to try trail runners (took about 2 years) and I don’t ever see myself going back to boots. 8 miles in boots was about all I could do. In the trail runners, I can do 12-15. miles. And I don’t worry about keeping my feet dry because the dry so much more quickly compared to the boots. Still love my hammock… 😉

MARY CHEN says:

hello,we are a manufacturer of outdoor shoes,do you have interesting to make review for us after you try our shoes?we can send u for free.

Chisanainori S says:

Same reason I’m looking to switch from boots! Dealing with tendonitis in my Achilles from the constant rubbing of my hiking boots.

Richard Edgecomb says:

I just discovered your series of videos and have found them interesting and informative. It seems you begin each with a statement “this worked me, but you need to determine what works for you …”. I don’t understand how anyone can complain with that sort of lead in. I’ve never through hiked the AT, but growing up in New England I have hiked some of the Northern portions. I’ve camped, hiked, and hunted in Texas, Colorado, and Arizona as well as 3 New England states. I wear boots from LL Bean and Russell Moccasin. Early explorers and Native Americans wore relatively skimpy moccasins. Here in AZ there is a guy who actually goes barefoot. I’m glad trail runners worked for you. Thank for the excellent explanation of why you preferred them; a common thread through you videos.

Richie Pettifer says:

Each to there own, I use both salomon pro x trail runner and meindl x 70 boots and it all boils down to what type of hike terrain.
Nothing worse when a sharp bolder/rock smacks your ankles but with boots you lessen the risk.

Also weather plays a huge part too.
Like you videos but like I said, each to there own..

Chris Walker says:

I backpack in winter mostly. Considering how dangerous it is for your feet to be wet at zero degrees I have mostly aimed at boots with a lot of coverage. I recently picked up a couple pairs of waterproof socks because it’s that miserable when they get wet. I was thinking of also carrying some Teva sandals or something specifically for creek crossings where I know I will be getting wet… or for at camp with my water proof socks for when it’s already too late for my boots and I need to dry them out.

Did you find that the solomon trail runners dried well even at lower temps? Or have you not done temps that low yet?

FixedByDoc Homesteading says:

this video about your shoes actually makes sense for YOUR decision to change footwear however your video about your hammock issues was straight up your faults and not the fault of hammocks… you took homemade stuff (your hammock gear) and expected it to work as if it were top of the line gear and had no idea how to even properly use it.

Charles van Dijk says:

learn first how to lace boots, shaving is your biggest enemy.

Ming Mongo says:

I have worn hiking boots for at least 30 years. They are an expensive, blister causing scam.

Anime4 Mii says:

I see , I just been woring trail shoes….

very weird now i know waring these in store

Ignacio Sanchez says:

Good rationale

PersistentIllusion says:

Not sure how the boot dogma got started and has persisted, but boots, even on rough terrain, are not the best choice for everyone. I’ve seen people do fine with chacos or five fingers in gnarly conditions and with weight on their backs. You have to experiment and find what works for you. But I still see people who suffer with their heavy boots because they think they have to.

Teresa Davis says:

I’m not listening until you change shirts.

Mama Star says:

Your videos are great! Thank you so much for doing this for all of us future thru hikers. I have heard that when purchasing shoes (or boots) for thru hiking that going a size up is necessary. Did you size up for your shoes?

coldcoldrain13 says:

I’ve never had a problem with shoes.

Laura Wise says:

I would have no shame wearing men’s shoes. I have been known to buy men’s in many different brands, because I have pretty wide feet and wear between a 10.5 and 11 (41-42) in women’s shoes leaning towards a 10.5. With those two aspects, women’s shoes typically do not fit me well because they are usually too narrow, too short or too long (if there is no 10.5). I wear men’s Chaco sandals (because Chaco only carries women’s wides in 10). I will probably be that girl that ends up with men’s trail runners on the trail.

BigAArmory says:

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!! Southern girls rock!

Al Gee says:

I agree! Boots and the whole ankle support thing never worked for me. Trail runners all the way….in the correct season of course.

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