Gear – Training Hiking boots

  • Creator
  • #68947


    When doing the training weighted hikes what type of boots are recommended? I know that specific models are a personal choice and that the boot choice may depend on the boot you will be wearing on your objective.

    Im asking in terms of either light hiker? light mountaineering boots? backpacking boot?

    Do you guys and gals own a ton of boots of all different types that you will keep switching up for training periods depending on the objective?


  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #68961

    I’ve been using trail running shoes for weighted ME and indeed most of my aerobic training (at least since the snow melted).

    I have mountaineering boots, approach shoes and trail running shoes. I use the lightest and most comfortable shoes for the objective – if no need for crampons, no need for mountaineering boots. Similar comments in this thread:

    lapotka on #68985

    I also use the lightest shoe that will get the job done, most of the time its running shoes but on some of the steeper hiking i use a lighter hiking boot. In the last few weeks before big objectives I will work in more of my climbing kit even if that means using some heavy boots just to shake down the gear and get my feet broken in.

    Victor Grijalva on #68997

    If I’m doing the workout on my treadmill or on stairs I’m using my running shoes. If I’m hitting a trail it is usually my trail running shoes or light mid hiking boots. If I’m doing something longer in Colorado going over scree it is generally my hiking boots. I will also do sessions with the boots that I’m going to wear on my trip (such as Scarpa Phantom 6000 or my Phantom Techs) but I will only do this on my treadmill so I don’t wear the boot out, its mainly for my foot to get used to the boot again.

    MarkPostle on #68999

    Some good thoughts here from the posts above. If your climbing goals are such that you’ll be wearing boots then I do think there some benefit to spending some of the training time in boots. They’re heavier and stiffer obviously than running shoes and stress your hip flexors and feet differently. I use a “retired” pair of single leather mountaineering boots for heavy weighted ME pack carries and the some of the longest day workouts. This seems to do the trick for me. As mentioned above of course if you arent climbing regularly in your “good” boots or you have a new pair then its worth a couple of shakedown sessions to iron out any potential kinks in the interaction between the boots and your feet before a big goal climb. For folks going to very cold environs in an Oly Mons type boot you need to be gentle with them, the sole is basically just foam without a high durometer rubber and isn’t meant for prolonged session hiking in sharp rock etc.

    keith brown on #69221

    A related question you briefly touched on. In the past I recall training at before Denali in some of my heavier leather hiking boots. Even given the time since this climb, I recall my hip flexors screaming during and after Alaska. My guess was the weight and gait of snowshoes or the added weight of hardshell boots, gaiters/outer insulation and crampons.

    For us flatlanders, what do you recommend?
    Thoughts on heavier boots with ankle weights?

    Thanks, Keith

    MarkPostle on #69230

    Keith, I do think in lieu of training with big boots and snowshoes at times (basically impossible for a lot of folks logistically) that ankle weights are a reasonable thing. Where I have had it go wrong is with athletes jumping in the deep end of the pool with really heavy ankle weights and big milages. Think critically about your goal and build up to something approximating that weight plus distance. In round numbers an Oly Mons and a snowshoe is about 4.5 pounds per foot. Subtract out your training footwear and that should be your added target weight. Maybe something around 3 pounds. Then the lineal distance of the biggest day. For an Denali that would be the first day at 4.5 miles. I would beware of trying to gauge this with total time as at home you’ll be moving much more quickly (many more # of steps) and might be too much abuse on your hip flexors. I have had good luck with folks building up to 3 days/week. Be conservative with your build up the hipflexors are a small muscle group that we ask a lot of already then abuse further by sitting all day at work/driving etc.

    keith brown on #69238

    Thanks Mark!

    Steve on #69243

    I am going to second Mark’s comments here. On my recent trip to Rainier I wore my LaSportiva Baruntse boots (Probably overkill I know, but I get cold feet…) I had only worn them a couple times before and nothing as big or as long as the actual trip – bad idea – my feet were not happy, well, actually only my right foot but anyway. The change in how stiff the boot was and difference in the support on the inside was significant. It worked itself out by the end of the trip but I can tell you 100% on the end of day 1 it was a bit painful. Make sure you do some work with the actual boots you plan to wear. 🙂

    Steve O.

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