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Hiking / Approach Shoe Suggestions

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Hiking / Approach Shoe Suggestions

Postby Michele » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:57 pm

I have been wearing La Sportiva Exum Ridges for years, but am finding my feet get sore and achy on longer hikes and approaches. I'm looking for a shoe that offers a bit more support to prevent foot fatigue and some cushion to keep my knees happy, but also doesn't weigh a ton so I can clip them to my harness. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a women's shoe. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Postby ksolem » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:19 pm

Hi Michele..

Salomon makes a line of trail running shoes. I'm on my second pair of XT wings - they make beefier models too. I love them for my narrow feet.

The teckie lacing system looks weak but actually lasts really well and they have a kit to replace them too.

I've been going in and out of The Needles (CA) a ton lately, it's 6 miles a day with some rugged terrain carrying gear etc., and when I wear any other shoe my feet feel hammered.

If they fit it could be a good option.
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Postby Michele » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:52 pm

A splendid suggestion. I used to wear Salomons (Went through 3-4 pairs) but switched to the La Sportiva Exum Ridges for the sticky rubber. These days it seems everything has a little stickiness to it, so the new Salomon soles should be fine.
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Postby Dow Williams » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:07 pm

Interesting though, because I run trail races in my Solomon XT Wings (26.8 ounces) and thought my La Sportiva Exum Ridge's (29 ounces) offered more support when carrying weight, so there you go? Past 4 years, used both shoes exclusively for those items but have tested those Solomon's out for approach shoes, never the other way around of course. Different experiences based on different feet and use no doubt.
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Postby kayakerSS » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:14 pm

If you like the fit of your other shoes you may want to try out Sportiva's new Boulder X. They are nicely padded, lace down tight and have a great sole for hiking and moderate climbing.
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Postby Bascuela » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:20 pm

kayakerSS wrote:If you like the fit of your other shoes you may want to try out Sportiva's new Boulder X. They are nicely padded, lace down tight and have a great sole for hiking and moderate climbing.


I second this - This is my trail shoe. Logged already about 50 miles in about a month. Great lace with good pad. :D
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Postby Brad Snider » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:27 pm

I like the Scarpa zen for backpacking trips and scrambling / climbing. Good all-around shoe, though might not have the amount of padding you are looking for.
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Postby Michele » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:40 pm

Off to Neptunes, REI, and Montbell to try on shoes. I'll try on all those suggestions.

I like my Exum Ridges and they would probably be perfect if they had just a little stiffer sole, as I'm assuming that's where my achy feet are coming from. Carrying a pack full of gear on the long approaches in Lumpy and even the 10 mile hike yesterday has been doing my feet in.
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Postby MoapaPk » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:53 pm

I think the old Sportiva "Exum Ridge" is now called the "Exum Pro."

I have a pair, and liked them a lot, but did notice:
1) for my wide toes, the Sportivas constricted a bit, and I got blisters after almost every trip with a lot of miles and elevation gain (especially jogging downhill) on the front, upper outsides of my feet (I rarely get blisters);

2) the soles are not all that sticky, especially on wet rock (at least compared to 5-10s). That observation probably varies a lot with the type of rock you traverse.

Our local REI carries two 5-10s (camp 4 and guide tennie), but the sticky rubber approach shoes are displayed with the rock shoes for some bizarre reason.
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Postby Dow Williams » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:16 pm

Good luck Michele....feet issues can be complex. I personally get the sorest feet from wearing to ridged of a boot or shoe. I need that flex. Noticed recently, not voluntarily mind you, that I get along just find descending a scree laden peak barefoot. I have always suspected that the outdoor boot and shoe manufactures promoted 'overkill" products so they could offer a more diverse line (incremental fixes). Try to be open minded as to what really is making your feet sore. Cheers.
Last edited by Dow Williams on Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby b. » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:17 pm

Another plug for the Salomon XA. I love these shoes, and I'm on my 6th pair at least. I take them on pretty much every mountain adventure that doesn't require snow. I have a pair of the XA Pro as well, which are gore-tex. With gaiters on they are perfect for alpine approaches with a pack, they take my stubai crampons well and hold up better with each year of improvement (or maybe with each year of me slowing down?). I did 20 miles of ridgeline above 10k last weekend in them and no problems.
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Postby albanberg » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:04 am

I recently got a pair of la sportiva eco 2.0s, and they seem nice. Almost feel like a low top boot. They are not as stiff up front as a boot but the heal feels like a boot. For me they are big enough to take the thick Sole (Viesturs) insoles and it's a light shoe.
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Postby lcarreau » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:27 am

Howdy, Michele.

I don't know if you're looking for a waterproof shoe, but most
of the "women-folk" here in central AZ are into Salomon adventure shoes, with the "Contra-grip" soles.

But, whatever floats your boat!
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Postby Michele » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:15 am

Dow Williams wrote:Good luck Michele....feet issues can be complex. I personally get the sorest feet from wearing to ridged of a boot or shoe. I need that flex. Noticed recently, not voluntarily mind you, that I get along just find descending a scree laden peak barefoot. I have always suspected that the outdoor boot and shoe manufactures promoted 'overkill" products so they could offer a more diverse line (incremental fixes). Try to be open minded as to what really is making your feet sore. Cheers.


That's a good point, Dow. I practically live in flip flops and I like my climbing shoes sensitive, and naturally prefer the feel of a light flexible shoe. My Exum Ridges are sized pretty short, so it could be as simple as going up half a size that will relieve the aching. It's hard to tell without actually trying a new shoe out for a long day on the trail...so I'm hoping to find something at REI, being that they have a very liberal return policy!

Thanks everyone for those ideas.
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:43 am

I'm not sure REI carries the Exum Pro (last year's replacement for Exum Ridge). I see La Sportiva Widcat trail runner (friXion outsoles, similar to Exum Ridge; look less durable) and Boulder X (Vibram's IndroGrip, their latest sticky rubber). Check the on-line store at REI.com for all Sportiva shoes, then call your local REI to see what they have in stock.

Our local REI didn't carry ANY sticky rubber approach shoes till lots and lots of people asked.

If trying on 5-10s, make sure they fit your "volume" feet. Many of the softer 5-10s are made for high-volume feet, and after they stretch a little, one may have to pull the laces really tight to get a fit. Of the 5-10s, the Camp Fours offer the most support in a low-top, and the thickest soles. They are the stickiest shoes I've ever had-- almost too sticky at times, giving many opportunities for face plants.
Last edited by MoapaPk on Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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