Author Topic: Approach shoes for long distance walks?  (Read 1243 times)

AFANASIEW

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« on: 10:01:17, 07/03/19 »
Has anyone used primarily approach shoes, trainers or running shoes for e.g. the SWCP or the Pennine Way?
I have a pair of Inov8 Parkclaws, which I intend to take on LEJOG to wear in the evenings and for easy bits like towpaths. Having an unfortunate tendency to tendinitis, they're easier on the heels, so I'm wondering how viable it'll be to rely more heavily on them on tougher terrain. I could combine them with waterproof socks, for example.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #1 on: 10:20:21, 07/03/19 »
Yes I have, I found them just as good as hiking boots. They were much more comfortable than the boots I had at the time, but I went back to boots, I just prefer the comfort and security of my ankle bones being covered.

Nowadays I always go for mid-boots. I tried the Saloman Quest model (secured above the ankle bones) for a while, I didn't like that, made the area above my ankle sore. The reason that this type of boot was not successful for me was that I dont have large enough circumferance just above my ankles so I could never really get the lacing right. I corrected this problem by fitting a padded wrist strap (the ones they use in tennis) just above my ankle bones to make the area fatter. It solved the problem. When I got rid of those boots it was because they leaked badly, not because they were uncomfortable

In my local area, when I go for an off road walk, usually about 5 miles or so, I often just use my off road running shoes. Very comfortable but of course not waterproof.

Owen

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1099
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #2 on: 10:46:08, 07/03/19 »
I don't tend to walk on prepared trails like the Pennine Way, I mostly make my routes up and here in the Highlands that means going cross-country a lot. The same goes for Scandinavia. Last year I tried inov8 295's for a five night walk around Knoydart. The shoes were used but not heavily before I went, by the end the uppers were very worn - ripped in several places.


Two years ago I wore a pair of new leather Zanbamlain Trail-lite boots - worn for only two day walks before the trip. I was walking for sixteen days. At the end of the trip they were quite heavily scuffed with a couple of deep scratches, I really don't think the inov8's would have survived the trip.


In fairness the inov8 295's are very light, more of a fell running shoe than a trail shoe. I wore them with inov8 synthetic socks these were very comfortable and dried after about 20 minutes of wading across the Cannish river.

AFANASIEW

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #3 on: 11:57:40, 07/03/19 »
I confess I hadn't considered damage to the shoe uppers or clattering into rocks. You call the PW a 'prepared trail', whiich it now is much more so than in 1976 when I was first on it, but there are still rocky stretches where there isn't a boot-sized bit of level ground. And, north of the Tan Hill Inn and for the remainder, it's unpleasantly boggy in many parts.
My main concern, particularly walking alone, has been to avoid ankle injury, hence a preference for boots.
I think I'll wear the shoes wherever I can, but carry boots for when the going gets tough.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

zuludog

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 116
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #4 on: 12:16:43, 07/03/19 »
For years I wore boots, it was just the accepted thing, then I heard about approach/trail shoes. I was suspicious for a while, but I was persuaded to try shoes by two incidents fairly close together - I talked to a couple of people who had done LEJOG in shoes, and I read Ray Jardine's books
When i did get a pair of trail shoes, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed

I still wear boots for high rocky hills, like the Lake District, and in winter, but for all my walking now on lower level paths and trails i wear shoes. Indeed, i have all the enthusiasm of a convert, and sometimes accost strangers whom I see wearing boots, and preach the gospel

Last summer I wore shoes to repeat a section of the PW that I had done years before in boots, and had no problems at all

However, I think that something like Innov8 or fell running shoes might be just a bit too light, both for support & protection, and they will, of course be liable to wear

Something slightly more substantial , but still a shoe would probably fit the bill. I have settled on Merrell MOABs; the fit , comfort, and support is just right for me
I suggest going to a shop and trying a few on; many shops will have offers

I wouldn't bother with waterproof socks or membrane shoes. the shoes are so light & comfortable that there's no problem if they get wet, and they dry quickly
If it does look as though the rain is set in for the day I just use a plastic bag over my socks - the ones that come with sliced bread are about right

AFANASIEW

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #5 on: 17:16:31, 07/03/19 »


Last summer I wore shoes to repeat a section of the PW that I had done years before in boots, and had no problems at all

However, I think that something like Innov8 or fell running shoes might be just a bit too light, both for support & protection, and they will, of course be liable to wear

Something slightly more substantial , but still a shoe would probably fit the bill. I have settled on Merrell MOABs; the fit , comfort, and support is just right for me
I suggest going to a shop and trying a few on; many shops will have offers

I wouldn't bother with waterproof socks or membrane shoes. the shoes are so light & comfortable that there's no problem if they get wet, and they dry quickly
If it does look as though the rain is set in for the day I just use a plastic bag over my socks - the ones that come with sliced bread are about right
Great tips, thanks.
I'm keen on ankle support for rocky stretches, so have just taken a look at the Moab 2 Mid Vent, but some reviews speak of soles quickly detaching or easy damage to the upper, so wonder how far up LEJOG they'd take me. I'm liking the idea of non-GTX for summer, though.
It's simple - one foot in front of the other.

Slowcoach

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 84
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #6 on: 20:06:35, 07/03/19 »
I wear Berghaus gtx shoes. I wore them for a 250 mile walk along the GR10 with absolutely no problems. I just love the lack of weight plus the grip is great.
It's all uphill from here.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #7 on: 10:05:23, 08/03/19 »
GR10, I've done that, where did you start and finish? Did you enjoy it?

Percy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1014
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #8 on: 10:45:13, 08/03/19 »
Apart from winter or if I'm expecting truly awful conditions I have moved to wearing trail running shoes for all my walking.


I'm currently wearing Altra Lone Peak's. I love them. They are very popular on the big US trails (PCT, Appalachian etc.) which suggests they are entirely suitable for long distance walks. There is a GTX version which I assume should offer some sort of waterproofing.

Slowcoach

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 84
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #9 on: 11:02:22, 08/03/19 »
GR10, I've done that, where did you start and finish? Did you enjoy it?
About 4 years ago 2 of us set off from Hendaye with the intention of backpacking all the way across. Unfortunately i had started to experience achilles problems just 2 weeks before we set off and struggled from the start. I met a British physio on his way to do the HRP and he strapped it and showed me how to strap it. It allowed me do walk for 4 more days. Just past Biddaray my calf muscle tore so had to call it a day.  The next year we used gites and refuges and restarted from Biddaray and walked to Bagnoles de Luchon. It was fabulous, great scenery, smashing people hard going.
It's all uphill from here.

archaeoroutes

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1185
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #10 on: 11:23:00, 08/03/19 »
One thing to be very careful of is what you mean by an approach shoe. If you are not careful, you'll end up with what approach shoes originally meant (something with a very stiff sole, rock boot rubber, and a tight fit intended to allow you to walk in and scramble/climb). Sounds like what you need is a walking shoe, which are rather unhelpfully branded approach shoes by many retailers.
Inov8 make great kit. I use a lot of their stuff for running. My lightweight walking boots are their Roclites and they are sooooo comfortable.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

harland

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 636
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #11 on: 11:28:31, 08/03/19 »
If it does look as though the rain is set in for the day I just use a plastic bag over my socks - the ones that come with sliced bread are about right
I tried this on the SWCP when my boots finally gave up but my feet kept slipping around so I gave that up as a bad job and preferred wet feet - perhaps I should have tried the wholemeal bread wrapper instead or left a slice of bread in each to soak up the water!  ;D

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1490
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #12 on: 12:24:13, 08/03/19 »

Another vote for Inov8 Roclites.

So many paths, so little time

Islandplodder

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #13 on: 19:19:59, 08/03/19 »

I don't suppose they were anything like 'approach shoes' or trainers, but John Hillaby did his LEJOG in walking shoes, and that was over quite a lot of rough terrain. He claimed you couldn't 'trot along' in boots!
Ever since reading his book about it over 40 years ago I have wanted to do the walk myself! One day maybe....

Snowman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 425
Re: Approach shoes for long distance walks?
« Reply #14 on: 14:46:28, 10/03/19 »
I don't have a problem with walking shoes, but where I'm going to be crossing difficult terrain I'll always wear boots.


I once hit the edge of a rock with the top of my boots and it hurt like hell.   If I'd been wearing what are sold as approach shoes these days, it would have been a lot worse.   Try walking on the Dartmoor ranges in walking shoes, definitely not recommended.   Firstly there's what I call 'tufty grass', where it's very easy to turn an ankle so boots with decent ankle support are essential.   Then there's the 'wetland', where you put your foot somewhere that looks perfectly solid but then sink into a covering of weed over surface water.   And then there's the peat bogs ...


Yes shoes can be more comfortable, and I'll often wear them in summer where I know the going isn't going to be too rough, but the rest of the time and on LDPs it's boots for me.