Shoe Collection

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.

My kicks straddling the USGS marker atop San Jacinto Peak.20130519-070817.jpg

Lots of hikers use Chaco sandals as “camp shoes,” and many spend a few hours a day hiking in them, too. I’ve only met one guy hiking full-time in his Chacos and… his feet were gnarly!20130519-070830.jpg

These are about the burliest shoes I’ve seen on the trail. This guy–nicknamed “Boots”–is recovering from an ankle injury. 20130519-070900.jpg

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.


This entry was published on May 15, 2013 at 7:20 AM. It’s filed under Gear and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Shoe Collection

  1. So cool! These are the little things that are so awesome to see and hear about.
    Go get em’ Captain!

  2. Fun! I just got several pairs of Keens. Do you ever see people hiking in these?

    • A few do! Those open-toe shoe-but-sandal ones. I actually just got new shoes today… Hope they help my feet feel a bit better!

      • Hi Kristy, I’m glad you got new shoes. Hope they are working out for you. Your folks called this evening and will stop by this Friday for lunch. I’m trying to convince them to spend the night and go to a Freeland concert with us. Love, Penny

  3. Kate on said:

    Vans? Really? I can think of a few interesting trail names for someone who would hike in Vans…

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