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[pct-l] Footwear and Frostbite

I'm not aware of any studies that illustrate that people wearing running
shoes are more likely to get frostbite than someone in boots. I can see
where one could draw that conclusion, but I doubt that the facts would bare
it out.

One can just as easily get frostbite in a dry set of boots that are tied too
tight and not allowing proper blood circulation. Many are the mountaineers
that have had frostbite wearing the latest hard plastic mountaineering
boots. I have a pair and they are great for front pointing with crampons and
such. When walking in them, they don't allow much freedom of movement of my
feet and restrict normal blood flow.

Running like shoes are certainly not new to the backcountry in snow season.
Anyone who's done much cross country skiing has probably used the low
running shoe ski boot. In the past I've used them quite successfully on
several multi-day ski trips. I've also got a pair of cross country ski boots
that are the double boots. I didn't always find the double boot warmer than
the running shoe boot. Although it was easier to telemark in the stiffer
double boot. 

Comparing the soles of my 6 lb mountaineering boots, my 2.5 lb Nike ACG and
my 2 lb New Balance 802's they all have a comparable gripping surface. So
standing flat footed on snow they'd be the same. The mountaineering boots
are certainly better for kicking steps or plunge stepping up and down
slopes. Walking in them on normal trails, I'd look more like a bad movie
version of King Kong plodding along. 

The Nike ACG's would provide better ankle support than the NB's and possibly
more waterproof. My personal experience is that waterproof boots are going
to keep my feet dry maybe a day longer than running shoes. When wet, they
take much longer to dry.  The ACG's usability for kicking steps is
marginally better than the NB's. To me, plunge steps have more to do with
technique than boots. 

In the end I'll make my decision when I get to Kennedy Meadows. I'll have
700 more miles to get my feet into shape. 

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
PCT 2000 Journey - http://www.fallingwater.com/pct2000

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