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Thread: Approach Shoes?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    OT, but since you brought it up, what strategies do you use to manage issues such as the ones described in that article while spring ski touring?
    For me if it's a single day trip I dont have to worry about my feet at all. Overnight I'll bring a second pair of socks, swap as soon as I get to camp. I hang the socks in the tent when warm and put them under my long underwear while I sleep to really dry them out. Then repeat.

    If possible I'll hang liners in the tent but I usually seem to be too lazy.

    Caveat is that I've only done one or two night trips, never a big traverse.

    If you get specific hot spots pretaping woth Leukotape is the ticket. Skurka has some other foot care articles that can be helpful. I've been lucky and dont really have significant foot problems but YMMV.

  2. #52
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    Iíll second everything johnb said for sure.
    If Iím doing an approach with water and snow but want to avoid my ski boots as long as possible, i bring a low top pair of thin neoprene socks. Feet stay plenty warm, then shoes dry quickly later on. Definitely donít want goretex.


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  3. #53
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    +1 to comments of John_B and riff. For shorter stretches in walking/camp shoes, I don't wear sox. For longer walks I wear only liner sox, which dry very fast strapped on atop my backpack (unless it's raining).

    It's seldom an issue for me because I use walkable touring boots (currently TLT6, likely to someday be replaced by TLT8) for spring/summer touring routes, and walk in my ski boots if there's any substantial snow or if I need edging power. On most trips, my non-ski shoes are quick-drying water shoes for camp, stream crossings and easy terrain. There are routes when it makes sense to carry approach shoes, although I haven't done that for while (except when I can stash them on an in-and-out route).

    I don't apologize for ranting about the downside and limitation of GTX boots. Somebody's gotta push back against Gore's marketing nonsense.

  4. #54
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    I don't have a problem with hot spots or blisters, as my AT boots fit me pretty well. I was referring to managing moisture while skinning/booting in the spring. After a couple of hours of skinning, I can easily wring my socks out. Given that AT boots don't breathe at all, what strategies are you employing to avoid getting trench foot in the spring? Spray antiperspirant?

    On days where I have a dry approach, I do change socks before I put my ski boots on.
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  5. #55
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    The last time I really appreciated my goretex Asolos was a spring ascent of the brothers in the Olympics last year. Too much soft snow for a low top shoe, many shallow water crossings and tons of bushwhacking in the trail washout. I do just about everything on the east side of the cascades in not-waterproof shoes though, and occasionally--gasp--chacos, especially when swimming is on the agenda. I crossed paths with a socks + chaco-wearing dude descending Stuart via the cascadian a few years ago. Looked miserable to be honest, but think of all that smug chaco-elitist satisfaction he got to enjoy, haha.

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  6. #56
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    Glade, it's a constant struggle. Certain Dri, boots-off during breaks, then switch to dry pair of sox. Dry wet sox in sun while strapped on pack. Super thin synthetic sox dry much faster than wool, but does anyone still make them for skiing? (ETA: Gotta research availability of over-the-calf synthetic liner sock to replace my beat-to-shit 10 y.o. Ultimax super thin syn ski sox.)

    Years ago I did a traverse with a guy who carried a second set of liners that he strapped on the outside of his pack when the sun was shining.

    This subject deserves a dedicated thread.

  7. #57
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    I've posted this before I think, but I disagree with people like Skurka's wholesale dismissal of Gore Tex shoes. I do think that Gore Tex trail runners are notably hotter than non-waterproof membrane versions. I don't like that when it's hot, don't mind it when it's cool, like it when it's cold. I don't think the difference is quite as big as the article BigSteve posts suggests, but it's real with running shoes.

    On the other hand, i can barely tell the difference at all with heavier built shoes/boots. I have the Millet Trident GTX in both Gore Tex and non-Gore Tex versions and unlike my mesh upper runners, I can barely tell a difference in either heat retention or speed of drying. I bought the non-GTX version second kind of buying into that hype and I'm not sure I'd do it again as the benefit is pretty minimal.

    The third part is every anti-Gore Tex tester seems to get water over the top of their shoes. That almost never happens to me. If you're doing backcountry river crossings, sure, but when I'm in wet grass, muddy trails, snow/slush, that almost never happens to me and that's where I wear Gore Tex shoes the most. In the winter I use gaiters with my Gore Tex runners and jog through snow with little problem. Again, I understand more if you're a thru-hiker and moisture creeps in over days and days, but for single day/few hours at a time outings, my experience is that my feet stay dry a lot of times that they wouldn't with the Gore Tex shoes.

    If I was climbing through slush, I'd be very interested in a Gore Tex shoe with some gaiters. If I was going on a month long thru-hike where I would be dealing with rain/mud/etc. on a minority of the days, I wouldn't.

  8. #58
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    My feet run much cooler -- say 20F or more -- in full leather upper LMBs. YMMV. Also, IME, properly treated (e.g., Obenauf's LP) full leather upper LMBs keep my feet drier and waaaay cooler than GTX LMBs (10+ pairs through the years).

    Skurka and I aren't the only people ranting against GTX mountain footwear. Most experienced PNW mountaineers I know share my experience that GTX membrane fails after a half season or less of hard use -- water seeps in, takes days to dry. IME, sidehilling on rough terrain hastens ePTFE membrane failure.

    ETA: I know how to shingle layer -- pants over gaiters over boots -- to prevent water soaking in from the top. I've been doing the mountain travel thing for 40 years.
    Last edited by GeezerSteve; 05-21-2020 at 12:00 PM.

  9. #59
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    Iím in the camp of no gtx in footwear. Iíve never worn running shoes with gtx, so canít really comment on comparison.

    For ski touring, I wear a very thin vapor barrier sock when touring. My feet get wet, just like if I was wearing a thin ski sock, but my liners stay dry. I switch socks at camp and wear the dry system around camp (if camping on snow or need to warmth of the boots), or I wear a simple camp shoe. I found it very unpleasant going the other route of having wet boot liners (from sweat) all the time. My feet sweat a lot. Itís something Iíve struggled with in ski boots since I was a teen until figuring out a vapor barrier system.

  10. #60
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    I'm in the no-goretex-footwear camp also... I wear mostly running shoes for hiking, and they're low enough that if it's wet, water's gonna get in there anyway. Then they're much slower to dry, they're hotter, and so on. The only time I kind of like them is cold snowy trail running but it's mostly just for the warmth... wearing warmer socks has pretty much addressed it for me.

    If I'm going to be walking through a lot of actual water I usually wear chacos (or at least bring them strapped to my pack). Yeah yeah, but that's what they're perfect for.

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    I don't have a problem with hot spots or blisters, as my AT boots fit me pretty well. I was referring to managing moisture while skinning/booting in the spring. After a couple of hours of skinning, I can easily wring my socks out. Given that AT boots don't breathe at all, what strategies are you employing to avoid getting trench foot in the spring? Spray antiperspirant?

    On days where I have a dry approach, I do change socks before I put my ski boots on.
    Spray antiperspirant helps a lot.
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    For ski touring, I wear a very thin vapor barrier sock when touring.
    I did that for years, might do it again on my next long trip. What thin VB sox do you use?

  13. #63
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    I'd count an Intuition liner as a pretty effective vapor barrier, fwiw.
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    Glade, it's a constant struggle. Certain Dri, boots-off during breaks, then switch to dry pair of sox. Dry wet sox in sun while strapped on pack. Super thin synthetic sox dry much faster than wool, but does anyone still make them for skiing? (ETA: Gotta research availability of over-the-calf synthetic liner sock to replace my beat-to-shit 10 y.o. Ultimax super thin syn ski sox.)

    Years ago I did a traverse with a guy who carried a second set of liners that he strapped on the outside of his pack when the sun was shining.

    This subject deserves a dedicated thread.
    Yeah, most ski socks are way too padded.
    If you find some that are thin, let us know

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  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    My feet run much cooler -- say 20F or more -- in full leather upper LMBs. YMMV. Also, IME, properly treated (e.g., Obenauf's LP) full leather upper LMBs keep my feet drier and waaaay cooler than GTX LMBs (10+ pairs through the years).

    Skurka and I aren't the only people ranting against GTX mountain footwear. Most experienced PNW mountaineers I know share my experience that GTX membrane fails after a half season or less of hard use -- water seeps in, takes days to dry.

    ETA: I know how to shingle layer -- pants over gaiters over shoes -- to prevent water soaking in from the top. I've been doing the mountain travel thing for 40 years.
    I'm not doubting that well treated full leather light mountaineering boots remain waterproof longer than Gore Tex versions. We're talking about approach shoes here though, and I tend to wear those out in a year or so anyway if they get regular use, so I've had little issue with the Gore Tex waterproofing failing before the soles wear out or the uppers rip. I'm sure it happens, but it hasn't been a big issue for me.

    I don't have a pair of leather light mountaineering boots, but I don't think I find quite the same temp difference you do between my full leather boots in general and my sytheric (with goretex) lmb. they're very different though, so it's hard to tell. I don't feel a big difference with my heavier approach shoes. I do with my mesh running shoes. I'm not claiming that Gore Tex is magical.

    I also am sure you understand gaiters and pants, I was just commenting that the article you linked and almost every other similar one I've read discusses feet getting wet anyway in stream crossings and so waterproof membranes being counterproductive, esp. on shoes. I was just noting that while I don't disagree, those situations just aren't where I find waterproof membranes to be useful.

    I was very much an anti-gore Tex convert, but I've gone back for certain purposes over the past few years. Approach shoes - if I were walking on a lot of slushy stuff- would probably be one.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

    The third part is every anti-Gore Tex tester seems to get water over the top of their shoes. That almost never happens to me. If you're doing backcountry river crossings, sure, but when I'm in wet grass, muddy trails, snow/slush, that almost never happens to me and that's where I wear Gore Tex shoes the most. In the winter I use gaiters with my Gore Tex runners and jog through snow with little problem. Again, I understand more if you're a thru-hiker and moisture creeps in over days and days, but for single day/few hours at a time outings, my experience is that my feet stay dry a lot of times that they wouldn't with the Gore Tex shoes.

    If I was climbing through slush, I'd be very interested in a Gore Tex shoe with some gaiters. If I was going on a month long thru-hike where I would be dealing with rain/mud/etc. on a minority of the days, I wouldn't.
    This is the general circumstances that fed my original comment that split this GTX/Non-GTX argument off. I think the reality is that people just have very different "majority uses" for their approach shoes. I've spent 30yrs recreating in the Cascades/Olympics, but it's now a very small part of my time and shoe use. I'm not doing long, wet ski approaches like I would if I was living in WA.

    Most of the situations that I'm annoyed by my non-GTX approach shoes wetting out is in the same wet grass, muddy trails, slushy snow, low streams that Marcus highlighted. I also haven't noticed a big difference in sweat/heat/moisture trapping in GTX vs non-GTX shoes. Respect to Skurka, but most people aren't recreating at his level and while the concepts of his arguments are true, they don't apply to everyone flatly. At the end of the day, a GTX+non-GTX pair of the same shoe seems to be a good solution. It's worked great for my wife, and is the same cost to the consumer in the long run.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    I did that for years, might do it again on my next long trip. What thin VB sox do you use?
    https://www.camaro-watersports.com/e...ermo-longsocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    I'd count an Intuition liner as a pretty effective vapor barrier, fwiw.
    i agree. which, for me results in sweaty feet/socks. The internal fabric of the intuition liners then get saturated, which I can't stand on a multi-day trip where i'm sleeping outdoors and have not means to dry the liners.

    plus, it keeps the liners for getting stinky. a big plus if you need to rebake them in an oven.

    i've been dealing/working with these liners since the late 90's back when raichle were the main distributors. lock and i played a key roll in getting intuition (and the predecessor(?) company) started, getting them busy, and into larger production. marmot had some sales staff and good boot fitters that could sell the shit out of them for both skiing and folks in double mountaineering boots

  18. #68
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    are you gtx shoe users putting treatment, i.e. nikwax, on the uppers of your shoes/boots? (i understand that the stuff isn't effective for loosely woven mesh-type fabric).

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    are you gtx shoe users putting treatment, i.e. nikwax, on the uppers of your shoes/boots? (i understand that the stuff isn't effective for loosely woven mesh-type fabric).
    I've treated goretex boots, but they were more traditional construction. I don't think I've reapplied DWR to my lighter goretex shoes, but as I said, they were mainly things that I was wearing out in a season anyway.

  20. #70
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    For those worried about damp feet day over day, try slathering on a layer of petroleum jelly on the foot before putting on your sock. After a lifetime of eczema on the feet, and working in the interior wetbelt of BC most of my adult life, vaseline has been the most effective way to prevent the damage from longterm soaked feet. When the chapped and cracked skin is real bad, I even put that stuff on at night with a sock, and wake the next morning able to walk without pain. I never venture into the woods without a small tube somewhere in my kit.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    For those worried about damp feet day over day, try slathering on a layer of petroleum jelly on the foot before putting on your sock. After a lifetime of eczema on the feet, and working in the interior wetbelt of BC most of my adult life, vaseline has been the most effective way to prevent the damage from longterm soaked feet. When the chapped and cracked skin is real bad, I even put that stuff on at night with a sock, and wake the next morning able to walk without pain. I never venture into the woods without a small tube somewhere in my kit.
    Thatís good to know. Iíve felt on the verge problem, but never reached it.

    Does ky work, too?

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    That’s good to know. I’ve felt on the verge problem, but never reached it.

    Does ky work, too?
    I've never applied KY on my feet, but somehow I doubt a water-based lubricant will be much help in this aspect. YMMV

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    I've never applied KY on my feet, but somehow I doubt a water-based lubricant will be much help in this aspect. YMMV
    Thanks. Makes sense. I was considering to reduce the lube bottles in my kit

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Yeah, most ski socks are way too padded.
    If you find some that are thin, let us know

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  25. #75
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    Elite Hockey Socks or Fox River sock liners are even thinner than the whisper pro, theyíre cheaper too

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