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Tossing the idea around of hauling in a good pair of trail runners into the backcountry. The idea would be to leave the my crispi Nevada's in the tent while I'm out hunting with a lite pack on. If I kill or move camp I can put the boots back on.
So is anyone using trail running shoes full time or part time while hunting? For those with the years of experience what say you?
Forgot to add this will be for Montana in Sept on days the weather is nice.
I tried it for a day. The steep downhills and side hilling beat the hell out of my toes. I went back to my boots.
Started early on with a "shoeish" boot. Like midwest, my feet took a beating. Never again.
Not what I wanted to hear Nick but thinking about it that does make since.
Rather than using trail shoes, pack an extra pair of socks. Let your feet breath during the midday snack/nap. Change socks during this time. You feet will thank you. (If you are worried about the smell of your socks spooking critters, you are hunting upwind of the critters and your sock smell is the least of your problems!)
A lot depends on where you're hunting, Flat Tops where I've hunted, I could get away with it, other areas, nope!
I elk hunted quite a bit in sneakers spray painted green when I was in my teens and early 20s.
Never bothered me a bit except for I had to dry out a lot. Budget was one reason for doing it, youth was a big reason it worked.
I've used trail shoes the last 2 years... I was a little nervous at first but once I started, really like wearing them periodically during the hunt... Love how quite they are and also like the fact that the trail shoes push the water right out the bottom. It's not for everyone, the last 2 years I was running a lot so my ankles were used to abuse and strong. Also, if I knew I was going in super rocky or rough areas I opted for my boots... I'm not sure that I would ever consider fully 'replacing' my danners or kennetreks with my trail shoes but I certainly like sprinkling them in during the hunt...
Agree with your post, and what sdkhunter said. I wear Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX up until it is too cold to wear them. They're built like tanks and as waterproof as Gore-Tex allows you to be. As light as they are, if you're good on your feet and used to trail running, it makes busting after a herd much easier than with a 4lb pack boot.
I'm thinking about a non gtx Salomon speedcross that is made from waterproof materials. The reason for even thinking about this is I'm doing more trail running and am finally going to get some real trail running shoes. Like others have said they will never replace my boots but I love the idea of being super lite running around the mountain.
I have both trail running shoes the Solomon xa pro 3D gtx and the Speedcross and the Speedcross has a much more aggressive sole than the xa pro and is much lighter in weight but you can feel rocks and pebbles much easier with the Speedcross. Both good shoes just one a bit less rugged.
Love my Altra Superiors for trail running. I prefer a minimalist type shoe.
I also have a pair of the waterproof Altra Lone Peaks I wear for winter running. They are a little more cushioned. Altra trail shoes have connection points for their lightweight gaiter as well.
I've been using trail running shoes almost exclusively for about 15 years now. I have one set of Salomon thinsulate ankle high 'boots' I wear in the deep snow when it gets cold, otherwise it's low cut or ankle high runners 100% of the time. I do all my hunting in the gnarly mountains of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. I've packed out dozens of animals for my friend who are actually good hunters, maybe even over 100 lbs at times and never had a single issue with rolling an ankle or anything like that. Like everyone I get hot spots and need to take care to change shoes and socks often, even multiple times a day if I'm back to camp between hunts. Trail runners are particularly good for traversing boulder piles once you build up your foot and ankle strength.
The bottom line is, that you need to train your feet and ankles to become strong enough to do all the work for you rather than your boots. To take off in trail runners out of the blue is a recipe for disaster. I carry 35 - 45 lbs of camera gear weekly year round in runners to go film. It keeps my feet and ankles in super great condition and the only way you can expect to be comfortable in them on your hunts.
Just my $0.02 on the subject.
I'd imagine transitioning to a trail runner from boots would require some conditioning, much like new footwear its not always ideal to hit the mountains out of the box. (Yes yes, we all know there are some boots you can do this with)
Just saw C3 covered this ;)
I run trails at least once a week and a trail race or two every year including a 50 miler last year. When I tried the elk hunt with trail shoes, it was before I did all the trail running I do now. Maybe I'll have to give it a try again this year.
I’ve worn shoes before on elk hunts. Depending on the terrain they work ok. It’s it’s steap rugged terrain my toes get beat up in them on rocks
The one thing I don’t like about them is my feet will get wet even with just morning dew.
I wear either the Inov8 Mudclaw shoe or Roclite boot. Neither are waterproof, but wear knee length Sealskinz waterproof socks and you'll be good to go
Scrappy, I have heard the same about what Southerndraw said. I've worn the XA Pro 3D GTX for years and they have their advantages. I thought about the speedcross, but like southerndraw said, they aren't as tough. Also, i've read the speedcross's tread is more for snow/wet/slippery as opposed to rocks and hard stuff. I've heard the lugs get chopped up pretty good. Also on the Gore-Tex vs Salomon lining. I'd be interested in your take. I've read Salomon's lining is not as good for big puddles, but also dries out quicker than Gore-Tex does. Permeable membrane is permeable membrane, which will always leak at some point, but I'd be interested if you get the non-gore version.
Well you all have convinced me that I need to go and try different ones on. Then keep hitting the trails with them. By Sept I should know if my feet can handle it or not.