Originally Posted by chogall
barefoot will beat all shoes. but unfortunately most of our feet are not conditioned to walk the way we were born to walk.
Good points with regards to less support- I actually usually do all my exercising (crossfit, running, most hiking) in five-fingers. However, I recently moved to LA and have been hiking crazed. I've been thinking of planning a longer (>1 week) backpack hike. To be honest, I used to zoom up 11 mile day hikes with five-fingers - once you get used to the lack of support, the lightness of the shoe lets you fly. But they're ugly as hell and shitty if you start to add load to your back (which is amplified by exceptionally rocky terrain). My thought was to get a cool looking, all leather hiking boot and use that when the five-fingers don't work. And for casual bar trips, the (right) hiking boot could still fly.
With regards to the sneakers, I hiked about 40 miles of the pacific crest trail in ecco trail running shoes which worked well. From a performance standpoint, I think the only real benefit of the boot is the waterproofing/lower chance (almost zero chance with the Danner's) that it's going to blow out (this is obviously only an issue on longer hikes). I don't buy the ankle support theory either - if you can't support the weight you're carrying with your ankles, drop some weight.
Let's be honest - in the end, I just dig the all leather boots and want an excuse to wear them for their designed purpose.
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman
I hiked about 50 miles in Alaska in my AE Bayfields. After being broken in they were a surprisingly good hiking boot.
Still use them for hiking back here in PA on weekends. I have a backup pair of Merell Sawtooths and a very old pair of Herman's Survivor Boots (before the sale to Wal-Mart) that I occasionally wear as well.
Awesome pic. I don't have the balls to wear AE's on a hike, but I definitely give whoever is exercising that dapperness in the wild some major props.Edited by threeleggeddog - 9/14/11 at 10:23pm