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80skeys
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 1:50 pm 
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Don't buy them if you're hiking on rocky trails. I just found that out the hard way - several miles downhill on very rocky trail with a 35lb backpack.

My overall opinion of this boot is: most people are not going to be able to tolerate the thin bottom. Half a mile in them and most people will probably be ready to call it quits. I'm probably the exception in this - I did 25 miles with a backpack and my feet are fine, even with several of those miles being on rocky trail.

The problem is the rocky portion of that trail was real hard to get through. My feet were getting beat up. The makers of this shoe say their philosophy is that one "should feel the ground, feel every stone, feel the contour of the earth while you hike." On paper this might sound good to new-age types, but in practice it's total bull when you're talking about terrain with all manner, shape and size of rocks, pebbles, stones, boulders. No, what you need for rough rocky terrain is a sturdy boot with a thick sturdy bottom so you DON'T feel every nook and cranny.

The front toe guard is strong and sturdy. Thank goodness for that. The boot seems pretty well constructed. It's got the nice little notches that the upper shoelace clips into. It's lightweight.

For a light trail shoe, it's good. I'll continue to use it for my day hikes in the foothills. I may even continue to use it for backpacking on trails known to be mostly sand or small pebbles.

But there's no way I'm going to use them anymore on rocky terrain. It's the equivalent of hiking in moccasins. Feeling every sharp stone digging into the bottom of my feet, so that I'm forced to step gingerly everywhere so that I'm not placing too much weight on potentially hurtful rocks, does not make a good hiking experience. I'll continue my search for a sturdy flat hiking boot.
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Randito
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 9:22 pm 
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How much had you previously used "minimalist/barefoot" footwear?   When I started "minimalist/barefoot" running a decade+ ago it took a lot of training to develop the muscles and tendons in my feet and lower legs to cover any kind of distance.  e.g  My first "minimalist/barefoot" run was just a 1/2 mile -- but even that was too much -- my calves were super sore the next day from absorbing the foot falls instead of "taking it on the heel", six months later I completed a 1/2 marathon in a pair of "Luna" sandals.

80skeys wrote:
so that I'm forced to step gingerly everywhere so that I'm not placing too much weight on potentially hurtful rocks

That is generally the idea behind "minimalist/barefoot" footwear.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Sep 15, 2020 9:47 pm 
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People still hike in boots?  Like outside of winter?   eek.gif   confused.gif
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80skeys
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 11:41 am 
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The only reason I got these boots was because they're flat. I wasn't looking for "minimalist", I was just looking for flat and these were the only mid-height ones I was able to find.
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80skeys
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 11:42 am 
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Randito wrote:
80skeys wrote:
so that I'm forced to step gingerly everywhere so that I'm not placing too much weight on potentially hurtful rocks

That is generally the idea behind "minimalist/barefoot" footwear.

This doesn't seem like a good idea.
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JonnyQuest
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 12:50 pm 
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80skeys wrote:
I wasn't looking for "minimalist"

The website touts the Xcursion as a minimalist boot.
"Just 12 ounces each for a menís size 9, the minimalist Xcursion boot feels like no hiker youíve ever worn"
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80skeys
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 7:11 pm 
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Yeah I know. Like I said, I hadn't had any luck finding a flat boot, that's why I decided to give these a try.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 8:40 pm 
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I've always understood the point of minimalist footwear to be: strengthening the ankles and connective tissue in the feet, prioperception, and just less weight because a pound on your feet is like five on your back.  People who regularly wear minimalist shoes have fewer foot and ankle injuries over time.  I've always preferred minimal shoes for scrambling because I can feel the best footholds, and without looking;  I feel safer this way.

I'm sorry these observations don't help anyone find the right boots.

I've carried a second pair of shoes in my pack so I can have minimalist ones where they make sense and protective, cushy ones where they make sense.  That's not most hikes, but every now and then it makes a lot of sense.  (I carry a change of socks, too, it's a luxury to put them on after a bunch of miles.)
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Randito
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PostWed Sep 16, 2020 9:03 pm 
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80skeys wrote:
Yeah I know. Like I said, I hadn't had any luck finding a flat boot, that's why I decided to give these a try.

Flat boots or zero drop footwear are almost always targeted at the "minimalist/barefoot" crowd.

So I'm curious,  what issue are you trying to address by using a "flat" boot?   But at the same time not adopting the "minimalist/barefoot" philosophy?
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80skeys
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 10:58 am 
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Randito wrote:
So I'm curious,  what issue are you trying to address by using a "flat" boot?  But at the same time not adopting the "minimalist/barefoot" philosophy?

My feet don't like arches. I used to have a pair of Keen's that were flat enough for my feet to be comfortable, but they wore out and they don't make that model anymore.

So I've been searching for another flat boot. The only one I've been able to find is this Xero Xcursion.

I'm not specifically targeting "minimalist", but I thought I'd give it a try since I didn't find any other options. But ideally I'd like a flat boot with a normal, thick sturdy bottom.
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80skeys
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 11:22 am 
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As I mentioned before, my feet didn't have problems on the non-rocky portions of the trail, and I'll probably continue to use the shoe for "smooth trails." But for the rocky portions where there's lot of jagged rocks of different sizes and the whole trail is covered in them, a minimalist shoe seems to be counter-productive because it forces you to tread lightly which seems like a waste of energy and effort. (You're spending more energy being careful). It also seems more dangerous because when you happen to step on sharp stones you immediately need to step somewhere else or quickly adjust your balance to take the weight off that foot. Doing this constantly is exhausting. Whereas if you had a thicker sole you wouldn't worry about it at all, and I would bet money that with a thicker sole you're exerting a lot less energy on the rocky terrain.

But in any case, at the end of the day it boils down to what works for each person. For me, I need to continue searching for another boot.
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neek
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 11:29 am 
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have you tried flat insoles?  you'd still have the drop to deal with, but if the arch is the main problem, maybe they'd be an ok compromise.

like cyclo, i find carrying another pair is often the best choice.  i start out with minimalist shoes (merrell trail gloves fit me best but there are many choices), just splash through streams, then switch to boots for snow, rock, or off trail.  i don't quite get the minimalist boot concept (waterproofness and ankle support seem like unnecessary features), but appreciate the review.
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80skeys
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 1:35 pm 
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Flat insoles could be an option. That's a good idea. I should try that before doing anything else.
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Sep 17, 2020 10:25 pm 
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Have you considered maximalist running shoes?  You can have a rock plate, lots of cushion, and zero drop or close to it. (Any decent running store will help you find exactly the right ones based on your stance and gait.)

Inserts and orthotics are options too.

There are shims for shoes, you can use them to raise the forefoot up as long as there's enough room in your boot for that.  If you're near West Seattle you can try mine, I had to order them online and would have loved to try them first.
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80skeys
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PostSun Sep 20, 2020 4:08 pm 
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Thanks for the offer, but i'm in NorCal. i have tried shims before, they didn't work out for me. I'll look into the maximalist shoes you're talking about.
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