A few people have asked me what I’ll be wearing on my feet. In my months of reading and planning leading up to this hike, I’ve been trudging around in a few different pairs I already have. Recommendations I’ve been given range from, “Go with the lightest weight trail runners” to “You’ve gotta have good ankle support; there’s nothing like a good pair of high-top leather heavy-duty boots” and “It doesn’t much matter. They have to be comfortable and you’re gonna wear ’em out anyway.” (I get the idea that I’m likely to go through about 4 pairs during the 2179 miles.)
Well, here’s my thoughts. First of all, I won’t be starting out with anything brand new. I like the feel of the three different pairs I have, and they’ve all got enough miles left in them for a good start, so I’ll go with something I already own.
I have a pair of very nice but comparatively heavy Asolo leather boots. With good treatment, they’re fairly waterproof, great in the mud, and really supportive. Major drawback? Two pounds two ounces EACH! That’s 4 1/4 pounds on my feet. These may be fine for a rugged day of hiking, especially with a heavy pack, but for this extended trip… that’s just too much weight to lift up with each step.
I don’t suppose my pack will be light enough for me to safely go with light trail runners, so I won’t buy any. Also, since we’ll be starting on March 12th, I’m guessing we’ll be likely in the snow a bit. My lightest weight hikers (at 1 pound 4 ounce per foot – not the lightest you can get by any means!) are what I might like later in the Spring and Summer.
To start out, I think I’ll be going with the middle of the road option. My lighter boots are Gore-tex lined (water resistant, at least!), high enough to be supportive, and not too heavy (1 pound 12 ounces each). I’m hoping they’ll serve me well early in the hike through the coldest weather!