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[pct-l] Shoes

>For the class of 97,
>        How many pairs of shoes did you go through.  In your planning did
>you plan for your feet >swelling and buy a larger pair?
>                thanks, Laurie '98

I went through three pairs of shoes on my through hike this past summer.
Heavy duty running shoes definitely work best. While I was dubious about
such apparently flimsy footware I was convinced through experience. Running
shoes are in fact  almost universally worn by through hikers and by almost
nobody else which should tell you something.

Expect your feet to swell A LOT in the early going through the desert. I
learned this the hard way and was forced to hike in one pair of liner socks
and several times had to resort to taking out the insoles to make room in a
pair of shoes that fit perfectly well when I bought them.

I would recommend the first pair to be a full size over what you ordinarily
wear and two replacement pairs at a half size over. Don't perform any
"surgery" on them like cutting out the tongue until a need arises, but then
don't hesitate to modify them if necessary. I liked to lace mine leaving
the bottom set of holes free to give my toes a little extra wiggle room!

Buy a dozen or so pairs of those men's nylon dress socks, the kind you can
get at Kmart for $5 for three pair. These far outlast the expensive $10 a
pair designer liner socks. In the desert you can wear a couple pair
together and later go to good old wool ones over a pair of the nylon ones.
Those fancy Thorlo (guaranteed for 30 days or your money back) socks will
be full of holes in a week, guaranteed.

Remember that everybody has different requirements so don't take anything
anyone says as gospel.


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