Thursday, 22 July 2010

Heel lock,wet feet and the other 63 grams

I've been wavering on non-waterproof shoes for ages. My mind loves the idea of just wandering fancy free without worrying about river crossings or wet feet. The simple fact is I don't like wet feet. That doesn't stop me thinking: A) I'll get used to it or B) When I tried it and didn't like it it was October and it wasn't a fair test. As a result, I've recently bought two pairs of trainers recently and returned them both. There was nothing wrong with either of them. The first was a pair of New Balance runnig shoes. Americans thinks a a lot of NB shes, and they were very nice. They weighed 250g a shoe compared to the 383 for my hedgehogs, the lacing really reduced heel lift and they were very meshy. Except they were a very snug fit on the toes. Next I bought some NF momentum shoes. Also vey nice. You can feel the airflow through them, which is what you want as opposed to WPB shoes. I took them home, walked around a while, admired my feet in the mirror. I decided to do a bit more research and having read a few other people's experiences, mainly this post on Blogpacking light I do have a strong feeling that I would end up going back to the hedgehogs. And I rarely cross rivers, to be honest. The shoes went back. Goretex gives you damp feet, but my experience is that having no lining gives you soaking feet. I think my main problem is that I haven't bought any new camping gear for a while.....I have got my eye on a Trailstar....In the absence of any retail relief I had a look at some new techniques to try.
Heel lock lacing really works. My hogs feel a lot less like they'll get lost in a bog now.
I have spent some money albeit a modest £3.95. This ricco battery charger weighs 63g with a battery. That brings the weight of my MP3 up to the 100g mark, nearly as much as my shelter and rain gear combined!!!(Using my cuben poncho with no guys or pegs- I know ultralight weight cheating!) Theres an alternative choice over at blogpacking light.

7 comments:

John Davis said...

Yes, you are right - no liner means soaking feet, day after day, in the case of Scotland in late July/early August. I could not help wondering whether Nokian Trimmis would have been worth taking for the sodden glen walking, then change into the Flyrocs somewhere near the summit. Or just wear a lined shoe with a good gaiter because the water/liquid peat was never all that deep.

Wet feet fifteen days in a row is tolerable, but not exactly nice.

Stars were my Smartwool socks. They never dried out. Just a quick rinse, occasionally with a bit of soap, ring them out and put them back on. And still comfortable. Mind, twice through the washing machine hasn't really restored them.

Martin Rye said...

Heel Lock works a charm. If you are going to use trail shoes they are going to get wet feet even using Gore-Tex Lined ones on a wet day too. Water will soak in. Paths become streams sometimes. Wet grass and heather all try to soak your feet. Lack of hight allows water to get in over the top sooner or later. I have tried lined shoes and gaiters and it was ok. Don't like gaiters except in the snow so stopped trying that combo out. What works is Gore-Tex socks on wet days. I just got back from a wet time in the Pennines and had dry socks yet again. Rain and washed out paths and wet grass off path. The Gore-Tex socks kept it all out. River crossings are not a worry. Take your socks off and Gore-Tex socks and put on your trail shoes and wade across. Then dry your feet and put on dry warm socks and the Gore-Tex socks to keep them dry. Cant recommend this combination enough. I don't like wet feet and don't like wet socks all day hoping to dry them out. If you manage to keep your feet dry with Hedgehogs in bad weather you have done well - I would have a plan B like waterproof socks as a back up.

I think that Trailstar is a clever design. Lots space and pitching options. I don't use tarps but if I did I would get a Trailstar.

Nielsen Brown said...

Well done on the blog. The trailstar is well worth investigating and is the shelter that will be going with me to Lapland next summer, with some much needed mosquito protection. I like the space, flexibility and airiness of the trailstar as well as the no zip design.

minimalgear said...

It's true about getting the soaking feet, although I don't like the inrush of coldness when you enter new water-the liners keep your feet warm at least. I've looked everywhere for goretex socks in the uk-they can't be had for love or money. As far as ordering from abroad--my money priorities are elsewhere at the mo...

Martin Rye said...

It does seem Gore-Tex socks are low on stock in the UK. Only see Trekmate ones now in small. I have seen some Gore-Tex socks by Gore on cycling websites. I don't now how good they would be for hiking?

minimalgear said...

I've seen those too, but they also seem to be out of stock.

David Lintern said...

thx, a very informative site, i'll be watching re trailstar, as i have my eye on that for the future - genius the 6 moons inner fits it too!

and thanks for heel lock lacing, that is a new one on me, as a trail shoe newbie.