When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the sole leather has passed into the fibre of your body. He is the richest man who pays the largest debt to his shoemaker – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This summer, I plan to hike the Vasaloppsleden in Dalarna, Sweden. When hiking with a full backpack, I usually wear my sturdy hiking boots by Lowa that I’ve had forever. I bought those boots in 2002 and have had the soles replaced in 2015. They’re still amazing. The only thing is, that they’re quite heavy. And maybe it’s heavy on my knees, with that weight pulling down on them. It’s not a theory I have tested or anything, but it could play a part in my knee issues.
For a while now, I’ve followed a few hikers on YouTube. They all hike in trail runners. And this got me thinking if that was something I could try myself. Granted, those folks hike ultralight and for a longer period of time than I’m going to, but it’s always nice to learn and to get excited about fine tuning my own hiking set up.
So quite a while ago, I ordered Altra Lonepeak 3.0 trail shoes. I really liked the idea of a wider toebox, so I was curious to try them. I prefer a bit higher shoes when I hike, because my ankles are not the best. I’ve hiked in these shoes a bunch of times and have used them cruising around town as well. They’re so comfortable! I love that the sole is nice and chunky, so you have good grip, even when it’s a bit slippery. I bought these shoes half a size bigger than my regular shoe size. So far that’s worked out fine. I just have to do some more testing with wearing two pairs of socks because I did notice my pinky toe being a little uncomfortabe on the last hike I did on these shoes. Maybe if I wear a thinner liner sock and a thinner woolen sock over that it will be fine. Either way, these shoes were a great buy, in my opinion!
Last week, I ordered a pair of Merrell hiking shoes in a sale. They were 50% off, so a total steal in my opinion. I have to admit, I find them a bit cheap looking, because the design on the shoe is basically some kind of decal printed on the shoe, instead of say, a stitched design. I suspect those decals will wear off. But I wanted to try them anyway, and my first impression (I haven’t worn them out yet as I’ve only tried them on for the first time today) is that they fit comfortably, even with two pairs of hiking socks (Injinji liner socks and Smartwool hiking socks). I bought these shoes one size bigger than my normal shoe size. They only had that size left anyway, so there wasn’t much of a choice, haha. These shoes feel a lot lighter than the Altras, a bit narrower too, but since the material is less stiff than the Altras I think it will be fine.
Now comes the proces of deciding which shoes I’m going to bring with me on the Vasaloppsleden trail this summer! Will it be the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 mid high, or the Merrell Siren Edge Q2 mid high?
If you’re into hiking, what is your ‘go to’ hiking shoe? What kind of socks do you wear in them?