Alright, so this all may seem a little geeky but the gear I’ll be using on these trips is a big deal and figuring out the right stuff for the right season at the right weight can be overwhelming. Its part of the hiking culture now and the more I’m learning the more I’m finding its really important to know some stuff about all of this. I’m going to dedicate some time and space to the gear I’m learning about and why I’m deciding to use them.
The first and most important piece of gear for this whole endeavor is the covering on my feet. Since I started hiking the wear and tear on my feet has been, at times, literal. Blisters, soars, calluses that get rock hard. Nasty stuff.
When I started, hiking three miles at a time was a big deal. I went through several sneakers and old boots and none of them stayed dry or felt good after that long time. Then I found my Wolverines. I loved these boots. I wore them for almost 900 miles of trail and the protected me when I went to Haiti in 2017. These boots were dry, steel toed, and were super comfortable on my feet.
Then the blowout happened. I remember the day well. It was very hot and the grass was wet from a morning rain that made it sticky. I’m hiking the Camp Woods and Armentrout Preserve trails and suddenly my foot feels wet. I looked down and a seem had busted open on the side of my right boot. I was devastated. These boots were a part of me.
I then started trying to find them again. I couldn’t find the EXACT boot. Every version I saw had something different about them I didn’t like. Ok. Time for something new. These were Herman Survivors. $65. There were sturdy, water repellent, and I liked the lacing system.
What I didn’t realize is that they would wear like cinder blocks on my feet. They were soooooooo heavy. They are so rigid I took to wearing two pairs of heavy socks because they wouldn’t close up around my feet so I went into blister hell. Then, as my mileage increased, they just got worse and worse. By the time I hit 7 miles at a time my feet couldn’t bear them anymore. It was time to buy something more suited for the journey ahead of me.
To be continued…