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Thread: Type of Footwear

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Type of Footwear

    I will be doing both the AC and EBC in march and aprill. I would like to wear just waterproof trainers while hiking. I was wondering if this is a good idea? I do not want to hike in boots the whole way or carry them, but was concerned about the Thorung La pass. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoons
    I will be doing both the AC and EBC in march and aprill. I would like to wear just waterproof trainers while hiking. I was wondering if this is a good idea? I do not want to hike in boots the whole way or carry them, but was concerned about the Thorung La pass. Any advice?
    You can do it of course. Some monks do high pases in thongs...

    Thorung la should be without snow in March/April, but it is a high pass and there is no garantee...

    The issue, snow or or no snow, is the relentless descent, sometimes steep over some scree, down to Muktinath. You lose about 1600m in few hours. It is killing. If your footwear is not protecting your soles and ankles properly, it can be dreadful. It is miserable enough as it is.

    I know I am a totally over the top trekker/tramper/hiker/bushwalker/mountain walker/wanderluster.... On my last crossing of the pass in 2006, I did the trek in the normal boots, but the day of crossing Thorung La I took out the heavy artilery in the form of my pair of La Sportiva Makalu, which I brought just for the occasion. I had a ball dancing down the scree, mostly off the trail, shortcutting through some very steep stuff, digging my heels into the rubble. I believe I saved a lot of energy that way, and protected my legs (and bum... I did not fall once...) beautifully.

    However, to each their own.
    yakshaver

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    Personally I trek in trainers. Weighing up the risk of turning an ankle or a day of two of cold and wet feet versus increased comfort and lightweight on the feet for the majority of the trek, then the latter wins for me on the standard trails in Nepal. If you are carrying your own stuff then keeping your pack weight to a minimum and having one pair of shoes is sensible but if you have the benefit of a porter as Mr Shaver has then extra footwear is a boon.

    The Thorung La is just one day though it is possible to be walking in snow for a few days before the pass. Question is do you have strong ankles and are prepared to have cold feet for a few days (in the worst case)? If you are then many people do the AC in trainers.

    Ps. I have had snow twice in the Annapurnas in March, I believe it gets twice as much precip. as Khumbu. I still trek in trainers however.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    Quote Originally Posted by Escher

    Ps. I have had snow twice in the Annapurnas in March, I believe it gets twice as much precip. as Khumbu. I still trek in trainers however.
    Yes Escher, but you are not an average trekker. You've done a few weird things in the Himalayas...
    yakshaver

  5. #5
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear..Evening shoes

    Surely lightweight hiking boots are the best. THey weigh very little, can be washed and they don`t make my feet smell. If your knowledge of hiking boots is the huge monsters that mountaineers use forget it. Go to a hiking shop and chat to the people there. But DO NOT skimp on the footwear, dear. You will regret it. A stubbed toe can cripple you and easy to get. Escher must be very nimble and good at wobbly rocks on near verticle stairways.

    Merrels are good. Just nothing very heavy. And, you should take a spare pair of evening shoes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    Quote Originally Posted by yakshaver
    Yes Escher. You've done a few weird things in the Himalayas...
    I am not sure how my weird behaviour is relevant to footwear? Only the LYW really knows.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    The attitude I take when people ask if it is ok to wear trainers, on the popular trails in Nepal during the main trekking seasons, is to think that they are happy in trainers in a mountain environment and are experienced trekkers. It seems to me that they wouldn't ask unless they were already happy to trek in trainers and are just looking for some insight as to what conditions are like in Nepal. The trails on the popular treks are on the whole very straightforward and in terms of typical mountain paths, not very rugged (as compared to a lot of other mountain areas I have walked in), well maintained and often have steps where it is steeper. Snow and mud can be encountered but there are ample opportunities to dry your shoes and feet.

    Many people I know trek in trainers - most of them are experienced trekkers or climbers sure - but if I was advising any of them who were going to Nepal for the first time I would say the trails in Nepal (except maybe the high passes etc) aren't any different to the ones you regularly trek on at home in trainers, and in fact many of them are a lot easier. For trainer trekkers the advantages can be great (cooler, more comfortable, less tired feet) if you have strong ankles, are experienced in trainers and are prepared to maybe have wet feet for a day or two. A couple of days of this does not outweigh the benefits of trainers for the rest of the time for those who like trainers.

    So to the original poster - if you are used to trekking in trainers then the trails in Nepal are no different to what you usually encounter. But if you aren't then boots would be best as the increased ankle support and protection is important.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    I concur with all the above...it is possible to wear trainers - absolutely!!! That is what most of the locals wear and you will see folks wearing thongs on many of the trails...

    Given that is possible and many do wear trainers...it is simply a question as to whether you want to or not. If trainers are you footwear of choice and that is what you wear normally when hiking - go for it.

    Personally I hate trekking in trainers, I wear big heavy leather boots - love and need the ankle security...I've always been a fan of leather since I started trekking.

    As Suginami suggested - there good light weight hi tech hiking boots on the market now where you can maintain protection without adding too much weight.

    If you are not used to trekking at all - then whatever you choose to use make sure you train in the same shoes you intend to hike. Remember the five P's.

    My experience is that good hiking boots are easier on your feet - but that is probably because I weigh about 100kg - without a pack. But that's another story.

    If you are a light framed person - then generally you'll have less trouble with trainers - if you are heavier - you have more force going through the ground - this is where boots can come into there own by giving your feet a more stable platform - it's just physics...


    By the way, when I last did AC it was in April and there was snow from high camp to the top of Thorung La...but still many of the locals wore trainers, I seem to recall some of them putting plastic bags over there shoes.
    Last edited by Todd Delaney; 13th October 2007 at 04:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Type of Footwear

    I walked from Namche to Dingboche (over several days) in Keen sandals. I'm not suggesting that anyone else should, but it didn't do me any harm. The only drama was the tan lines, my feet had stripes for a couple of weeks

  10. #10
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    Default I just picture Escher ramming his toe into a big rock and smashing up a toe nail and

    Hot feet are a drag. So lightweight sneakers do have their appeal. But stubbed toes!! Doesn`t anyone else have this problem? I have for ever ramming my foot into a protruding boulder so my boots have steel caps under the leather. I could kick a door down with these on.

    For me, feet and knees must be loved and caressed. I oil them, use cream, powder, always clean socks. I have knee supports just in case.

    I just picture Escher ramming his toe into a big rock and smashing up a toe nail and I want to scream.

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