HerrKaLeu

Trail Running Shoes for hiking

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HerrKaLeu

I currently use boots for the WI State park trails. After 10-15 miles my feet hurt while my legs still could go on. For shorter hikes they are fine. The trails in the parks go from smooth to climbing over some smaller rock gardens. Nothing really technical or real climbing. My normal shoes are just some $40 tennis shoes, so assume I know nothing about really good shoes. 

I just heard a podcast with a lady that hikes for thousands of miles all over the world and she recommended "trail running shoes" instead of boots since they are lighter and try fast. I'm willing to spend $100 or more if they are the right ones. 

Obviously all the companies offer something and the choice is overwhelming. i don't want to pay extra because some NBA star was paid to wear them. just want to pay for the actual quality. Ideally I get shoes I can try locally (Madison, WI) or an online source that has free returns. My shoe size is 10.5 - 11 and depending on the brand this differs. I'm 45 yo and weigh ~170 lb if that matters. My goal are maybe 20 mile hikes without feet hurting. No overnight or heavy cargo trips. 

So if someone could point me to a source or a brand that is decent, but inexpensive, that would be great in narrowing down my search. If the shoes i end up are not too expensive, I also would wear them in my normal life, assuming if they are comfortable on long hikes, they should be on normal short walks. (trying to consolidate to few good shoes instead of many bad ones)

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HerrKaLeu

I researched more, and found this REI explanation. i still don't know what i want (toe drop, cushioning), but think i would need a "rock plate" since going over small rocks is part of my hiking. i think i have to go to a local store and try them out. We have Cabela's REI and Dicks. it looked like REI has the largest selection. they separate shoes in "light trail", "ruggesd trail", and off-trail". i suspect i need rugged trail? Or light trail? 

And which companies are good ones? Looks like which brands I can buy Depends on which store (i.e. brands carried by Cabela are not carried by REI).

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PaulGS

I would suggest you go to REI and see what they say. You might even take your hiking boots along and see if they can figure out why they are causing you foot pain.

A 20 mile hike is a long hike and a lighter shoe could be beneficial. And since you say you go over a lot of rocks, a shoe with a 'rock plate'/nylon shank would be a very good idea.

Lots of good brands to choose from: Merrell, Salomon, Oboz and Keen are all excellent brands and I've used both Merrells and Keens for daily walks as well as hiking.

Price varies but you shouldn't have much difficulty finding something around the $100 price range, especially if there is a sale going on.

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Aaron

Not inexpensive (you'll be looking around $100 - $120), but I like the Altra Lone Peak line for a trail running shoe for hiking and backpacking. They are zero drop though, so work up the mileage to allow time for your body to adjust if you go that route. They are moderately cushioned, lightweight, breathable, and have a rock plate. No matter which way you go though, I would go with what is most comfortable instead of looking at the labels too much. You'll have to settle on something that (for your tastes) has enough cushion without going overboard, has an outsole with decent traction, is lightweight overall, sufficiently durable, and most of all comfortable.

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HerrKaLeu

Thanks for the suggestions. I went to some local stores. First to Sierra. There I saw the quick-lace shoes and decided I definitely want that. That sure helped narrowing down the selection. I found one Salomon for $69 that felt good. They didn't have a huge selection, though. Only 3 or 4 shoes with QL. Then I went to Dicks. They only had one shoe with QL, but not in my size. So that was even faster. 

At REI they had 3 or 4 shoes with QL. The Salomons man supercross fit best. They wer $110.I didn't buy then since I wanted to compare to the original $69 shoes at Sierra again. While googling comparison between these 2 shoes, I saw the Supercross are available for $77.

Anyway, they will arrive Friday and i hope to try them out this weekend. 

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