Matt HealeyMonday,17 June 2013

The Snap:

Things wear out on the Appalachian Trail. It is a gruling hike that is difficult on both the hiker and the gear. The thing that will wear out most quickly is your boots. I have discovered this as the boots that I have been wearing are now at the end of their life.

The Download:

I started this hike with a pair of Millet boots. I have been hiking in these for a few years. The boots fit well and were very durable. I only had to repair them once when the sole on the right boot started coming off; I had to glue it back on during my last break. Quick FYI — if you have to glue boots back together do not use epoxy, use Freesole. It is the best stuff I have found for repairing boots. The problem is that after over 1000 miles in these boots, the cushioning is shot and as a result the base of my feet have started giving me problems on 15+ mile days. So it was time for new boots.

I went to EMS during this break and got a pair of Vasque Wasatch GTX hiking boots. They have been waterproofed and I have glued the seams for greater life. Personally, I have 2 major criteria for hiking footwear. The first is that I want boots. There is a trend these days toward trail running shoes, sandals, or other types of light weight footwear. This works for some people. As for me, I prefer heavy duty boots so that when I stub my toe, or trip over a rock or root, then my feet don’t hurt. The other criteria is comfort, and these fit my foot better than everything else that I put on. So now I will get to break in the new boots when I get back to the trail.

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Hat Tips:

Eastern Mountain Sports, Image Credit: Flickr

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