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Re: Boots

>Hi, I've been lurking for the past month picking up some good info for hikes
>this summer.  Thanks for the insight and letting me listen.
>Speaking of boots...
>Has anyone read the "Footwear" chapter of Ray Jardine's "PCT Handbook"?  He
>outlines his position for advocating the use of running shoes instead of
>hiking boots while backpacking.  From what I understand of his point of view,
>running shoes allow your foot to work the way it was designed to work.  Your
>foot and ankle can yield to the trail giving you a better feel for what is
>beneath you.  Hiking boots remove that closeness, locking your ankle into
>place.  Mr Jardine says boots contribute to a weakening of the ankle and sets
>up the situation for an injury to occur.  He also describes the benefits of
>having less weight to accelerate with each step which reduces the amount of
>energy expended per mile and increases the number of miles one can travel
>each day.  (This is my paraphrased interpretation of his view.)
>The first time I read the chapter I was too bewildered to pick up much info,
>but upon reading it a second and third time, I am beginning to see what he is
>saying, and frankly, agree with the concepts.  Is there anyone out there who
>has experimented with running shoes or wears them regularly while
>backpacking?  I'd like to get a few more testimonials before I employ the
>tactic on a thruhike.  I haven't actually tried it with a heavy pack, but I
>have on day hikes when I would have normally worn boots.
>Thanks for any feedback.
>-Jeff Martin
>PCT '97

Jeff -

You have a good point, but keep on reading - Later on, Jardine admits
that running shoes are good if you follow his "system" but may not
be good if you're carrying a heavy pack. Remember - he's carrying
an 8-9 lb pack and in general, he's talking about the PCT rather than
the AT.  There are some real big differences in the two trails.

OK - that being said, there are people who have hiked the AT in running
shoes or even tennis shoes.   Like a lot of other things about hiking, I think
there are those who can get away with it - and those who can't.   As I
recall Warren Doyle thruhiked in second hand sneakers that he got at
Goodwill.   But again, he was carrying a light pack.  Of course, I think he
said his diet on that trip was cookies.   Yeah - just cookies - 1 lb per day.

I may try this someday too, but personal opinion is that anyone who
wants to thruhike with running shoes should try them for a while - make
that for a lot of miles, preferrably in PA and NH - before  heading for

My 2 cents.

Walk lightly,