People hike the PCT in all kinds of kicks. They’re a super-important piece of gear–you’ll spend 8 to 12 hours a day in them. The vast majority of folks on the trail are wearing trail-running-style shoes, but on any given day, I might get passed by a guy in baredoot-style Five Fingers, or I may make a few miles on a gal in full-on mountaineering boots–a tough choice in the desert heat we’ve experienced so far.
My Asolo Athenas are beginning to break down a bit, but have been doing a good job of protecting my tootsies. I’m currently nursing two angry toes, but I don’t think my shoes are to blame. Note to self: Trim your toenails before spending a day tromping downhill.
Anyway, one weird thing about spending so much time on the trail is that you begin to notice footprints of other hikers. I can pick out four or five different tracks at any given moment, and I may be following one particularly sharp-edged pair of Brooks or a goofy-footed Merrell impression for a few days before I see their owner.
While I haven’t taken too many, I did snag a few photos of trail shoes in action. Enjoy.
It takes all kinds: I followed this guy’s Vans prints for days before finally catching him for a pic of the least-supportive shoe I can imagine. It probably doesn’t help him that his pack weighs upwards of 50 pounds. Ouch.