Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Boots, I still loath them...

At the beginning of the year I bought a pair of boots for a (possible - didn't happen) winter camp in the Brecons. I wanted "proper" boots (this isn't a review of boots, so the make is immaterial - Salomon) in case the snow was deep and ice was about, where I'd need gaiters and warm boots able to handle lightweight crampons.
Due to weather, timing and an hernia operation the trip didn't happen. But I've the kit ready for another time this year or any other.
As you may know I'm a massive fan of walking in non waterproof lightweight trail shoes that allow water in as easily as they drain. Don't like wet feet? Time to give it a go and get over it. It matters not a jot.  Make sure you have good socks, merino, and shoes that drain. This vital!
I digress, so I thought, I've these boots, I've not worn boots in over eleven years. The sheer thought of them filled me with dread...
It was only a short walk around Cheddar, about three hours, the going was a mix of slick mud, tracks and steps / slopes and fields with sheep.
I found the boots, clod hoppers, heavy cumbersome, uncomfortable, digging into shins, exasperating a corn on foot, I had no feeling of my beloved contact with mother Earth, the typical comments about them gripping better was also a myth, as they slipped in mud far more often than my Inov8 x talons which virtually never slipped and made me feel sure footed.
I didn't require the mythical ankle support either... I'd rather have my heel secured and allow my foot to operate naturally.
So my love affair with shoes goes on, and the heavy boots will be put in reserve as and when and if needed...
If I can get away with the inov8 286 gore tex mid shoe I'd take that before a heavy boot any day.
Other than that, mesh lined and breathable footwear is still my choice, with sealskinz if necessary.   I wear two liner socks under them. Coolmax next to skin and a merino liner sock, then sealskinz.  This combination works perfectly for me in most cold to just sub zero conditions.

2 comments:

John said...

I largely agree, particularly about the heelcups. Real mountain boots can be good in real mountains in winter as they support the entire foot while edging on a tiny incut. Wellies can be excellent in mud until water goes over the tops and then they are impossible to dry out in a tent.

The main downside of walking shoes dry each day is the stench. Earlylite said he was going to throwhis Inov-8s away at the end of the TGOC!

Tony Hobbs said...

I've never noticed too much if any smell, yet...
I think you sum it up well, whilst I'm sure some require boots for personal reasons, to my mind boots are purely for winter deep snow mountain use.