Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Penguin » Fri 03 May, 2024 4:43 pm

PS Transitioned form Full leather boots, to canvass style boots to Inov8 to Five fingers over 20 years of hiking in Tassie.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Fri 03 May, 2024 5:15 pm

What I am curious about is who convinced a generation of people that they needed "ankle support?" I guess the same people who convinced us that we need to walk with our heels lifted rather than in a zero drop shoe.

A guy called Harper who founded the Altra company was (apparently) responsible for the zero drop idea, but it started off pretty much as a gimmick, to increase sales. What else did you expect?

It was Nike Marketing who spawned these three really bad ideas
Ankle support
Pronation control
Arch support
None of these had any published support from the medical/scientific literature: they were just Nike marketing ideas to grab market share. But they seem to have become self-perpetuating memes, like 'zero-drop'.

Actually, all three are medically BAD. 'Ankle support' ruins the strength of your ankle muscles and can cause accidents. 'Pronation control' fights your natural ankle articulation, and can cause damage. 'Arch support' causes injury to the big muscle under your foot by banging on it when you walk.
'Zero-drop' can also cause damage to your muscles and tendons if you just jump into it. It gives no benefit in practice.

But the Marketing Depts are only concerned about getting more sales.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby sandym » Fri 03 May, 2024 6:29 pm

I disagree about Altra. The zero drop concept came from gait analysis and various exercise physiologists looking into how padded shoes affect gait and other issues further up the kinetic chain. Altra was simply the first brand to make wide toe box zero drop shoes that appealed to lots and lots of people. I actually love Altra's for the wide toe box. Most comfortable shoes I've ever had (I find the zero drop is a benefit).

The reason people have difficulty with a shoe that is zero drop is that the achilles tendon has shortened from years or decades of wearing shoes with a heel. Some folks will never get into a zero drop or minimal shoe and others will thrive.

You might be interested in this podcast:

https://peterattiamd.com/irenedavis/
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Fri 03 May, 2024 7:39 pm

But, if one shoe industry entrepreneur is to be believed, the term “zero-drop” wasn’t actually coined with barefoot running shoes in mind. According to Golden Harper, founder of the running shoe and apparel company Altra, he coined the term “zero-drop” while experimenting with off-the-rack shoes, under the belief that uneven footwear increased the likelihood of injuries.

It was around “2008, 2009, somewhere right in there,” before Altra was even formed, when Harper and a local shoemaker in his hometown of Orem, Utah would take cushioned shoes and meticulously shave off the extra cushioning in the back in order to make it level with the front of the shoe.

“One day, the shoemaker was measuring and sanding he was like, ‘Okay, it still looks like it’s dropping two millimeters from heel to forefoot,’ and I’m like ‘let’s get that extra two millimeters out of there,’” Harper says. “And so he sanded a little more, lined it up, and he’s like, ‘Okay, it looks we got about zero millimeters of drop.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re a genius. We don’t have to call these hacked-up modified shoes anymore. We’ll call them zero-drop shoes. It’s a way more catchy term.’”

. . . .
For the major manufacturers looking for catchy marketing terms to apply to then-novel barefoot-style running shoes, “zero-drop” proved irresistible. “They took our term that described how the cushioning in the shoe didn’t drop the heel to the forefoot and then applied it to these shoes that had no cushioning at all,” Harper says. “By definition, that’s zero drop. They basically made it a generic term for flat or barefoot shoes.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/sethporges ... b00fb6cd35

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby north-north-west » Sun 05 May, 2024 4:52 pm

rcaffin wrote:Actually, all three are medically BAD. ... 'Pronation control' fights your natural ankle articulation, and can cause damage. 'Arch support' causes injury to the big muscle under your foot by banging on it when you walk.


Certain biomechanical issues mean that without appropriate arch support - which reduces pronation - my knees get wrecked. It's never caused any pain or iinflammatiion to the underneath of the foot.
Not all bodies are the same.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby rcaffin » Sun 05 May, 2024 5:05 pm

No, not all bodies are the same, and some people have biomechanical issues. I understand that, and I have to agree.
But I suggest the 'average' person does not, especially the younger generation (well, not yet?).
All the medical references I have seen are critical of Nike over these three ideas.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby headwerkn » Wed 08 May, 2024 3:01 pm

It all massively depends on your physiology, how much you run/walk per week, how long you've been training, what sort of surfaces you're moving over, what other strengthening exercises or other repetitive routines are effecting your legs and feet, what past injuries and muscular/skeletal deficiencies you have to work around - everything. Everyone is different, trying to be shoehorned (pun completely intended) into one of however many pigeonholes and convenient fads the industry deems necessary.

I got into trail running right around the height of the ultralight, minimal/zero-drop shoe trend and to be honest, it was as much of a hindrance as it was a help. Yep, they felt great on shorter runs over soft/muddy ground, but on longer stuff over rock, roots etc. they were fatiguing AF, would just bang up your feet, wear out your lower legs and kill your stabilisers (though admittedly just building volume does the same). Yes, I read the The Barefoot Runner, did barefoot training intervals and all that... I stopped short of buying Vibrams though... listening to a mate complain endlessly about his on a 30km trail run did not convince me they were a good idea ;-)

Same for the original generations of Salomon S-Labs Senses, which were as hard as a rock. It's interesting - and very telling, perhaps - to see things trend lately towards more foam, rock plates, nylon and carbon plates and more comfort, even with shoes that have low drop.

Anyway, that's for running specifically. Trail runners for bushwalking, I feel, simply comes down to comfort, protection and the type of tracks/terrain you're walking. For cleared paths and especially for rock/boulders/scree, trail runners are great and probably the better option. Overland Track, Frenchmans Cap, Walls, etc. all perfectly fine in runners.

For hemmed-in pads and proper off track, the extra toe/ankle protection from impacts, abrasion and possibly snakes is kinda a good thing. While I think the waterproofing aspects of boots is questionable (and negated by sweaty feet) versus the actual ability of most trail runners to dry out in a reasonable time period, there's no doubt that it is easier to keep crud out of boots with gaiters as they tend to form a better seal around the ankle cuffs. If you're doing a walk that involves wading a lot of mud, that's definitely a consideration.

I don't honestly think boots carry a heavy pack better per se than trail runners. I think softer/more flexible soles tend to transmit the sensation of rocks etc. through your feet when you've got a heavier load on. 'Ankle support' is a lie ;-) If you need better ankle support, strengthen your ankles... a bit of material and foam won't do anything. The only boots with ankle support are plastic ski boots :-p

Ironically of all the advantages of boots over trail runners, I've found durability not to be one of them. I regularly get 500-600km out of a pair of trail runners, and generally have to retire them because the soles have worn away completely. Yet have killed almost every pair of hiking boots I've owned in the past five years within 100-350km of use through the uppers - leather or synthetic - wearing out and holing. That's with ongoing gluing repairs to contain/limit the damage. Doesn't matter if they're lightweight synthetic boots or heavier leather boots - they all die the same way. Though I did have a pair of OnCloud boots delaminate their soles on their 3rd trip too... clearly that glue did not like southwest mud.

Now granted, the boots probably see a bit worse terrain than the shoes, but I still thrash my runners through a lot of mud, scrub, against rock and whatnot, and for some reason the leatherette uppers on those survive so much better than they do on the uppers of boots.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby gbagua » Tue 14 May, 2024 3:46 pm

Try La Spo Mutant and you'll find out what these trail runners are capable of. Even when the outsoles are nearly gone they are still grippy! The rubber compound being used is very close to actual rubber used in rock climbing shoes.

https://youtu.be/uXKvTeTp1UU?si=rirq6UoBPyrl_aBm

Three dudes going up the Matterhorn in trail runners. Hell yeah! ;)
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby slparker » Tue 14 May, 2024 6:34 pm

@penguin

yep, I did a lit search a few years ago now; these were my findings:


1.)Boots do not prevent ankle injuries. Wearing footwear (shoes and boots) cause ankle injuries.
Rationale: ankle injuries (sprains) are nearly unknown in those who do not wear footwear, ankle injuries do not occur because the ligaments in humans are maladapted to walking or carrying loads or walking in tasmania or anything like that. Ankle injuries occur because the brain does not receive correct proprioceptive feedback from the foot and cannot adjust sufficiently to the ground surface on footstrike. What this means is that in normal locomotion the brain has a picture of where the foot is in space and this picture is updated continually by feedback from the foot (in fact the plantar surface - the sole of the foot). Footwear interferes with this proprioception (the shoe sole interferes with nerve fibre transmission from the foot surface) so that when the foot strikes the actual torsional forces on the foot are different to what the brain anticipates (ie the foot is in the wrong position). Torsional forces overload the ankle causing ankle injury. This is exacerbated by softer soles and built up soles. Soft soles because the plantar sole of the foot loses feedback and built up soles because it increase angular momentum about the ankle pivot.

2.) Ankle high boots do not support the ankle. With the exception of rigid skiboots, boots do not have sufficient rigidity to prevent rotational forces from stretching or rupturing ankle ligaments.

3.) taping may protect the ankle. But this is surprising: elastic tape is just as protective as rigid tape. Why? because taping (like boots) does not provide sufficient angular control to prevent ankle ligament iinjury. What happens is that the tape (for it to work) must extend from the sole of the foot to the leg, so what happens is that it increases proprioceptive feedbcak to the plantar surface - the tape stretches the skin on the sole and 'tells' the brain that the ankle is inverting.

4.) a summary of the research indicates that footwear, if it must be worn, should have a low firm sole. Unfortunately the degree or 'lowness' and 'firmness' was not quantified in the paper that i drew this from.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Tue 14 May, 2024 10:02 pm

gbagua wrote:Try La Spo Mutant and you'll find out what these trail runners are capable of. Even when the outsoles are nearly gone they are still grippy! The rubber compound being used is very close to actual rubber used in rock climbing shoes.

https://youtu.be/uXKvTeTp1UU?si=rirq6UoBPyrl_aBm

Three dudes going up the Matterhorn in trail runners. Hell yeah! ;)


That is an amazing effort. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby crollsurf » Tue 14 May, 2024 10:36 pm

Interesting read. I do get pleasure cleaning and polishing my leather boots, though.

While mids don't protect from rolling an ankle, the pressure against your ankle does give you a warning that your ankle is rolling. 100s of a second, maybe less. It may be at best a mute point because sometimes your body reacts instictively before the brain even receives the message that your ankle is rolling.

I sense mids do improve your reaction time, but my mid leather boots are relegated to short walks in wet muddy conditions.

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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Burnsy » Thu 16 May, 2024 1:51 pm

Aushiker wrote:
ofuros wrote:At the moment, I'm rocking a pair of Inov's with the graphine sole/tread...so far they've outlasted the Speadgoat5's which died @ 500km. Durable. Uppers are fine.


That is good to know, as the Roclite 315 GTX V2 have 'Graphene enhanced' soles.

My Inov8 Trailroc's got retired after 650km of single track elevated rocky trail running which I consider to be far harder on shoes than hiking, and their soles were still near new looking, mostly just rounded off and chipped, I am somewhat of a lightweight though. Only retired them because I ripped a hole in the upper, my favourite yard shoes now. I sold my scarpa's as soon as I bought my first low drop trail running shoes and realised how good they are. I recently bought a pair of Salomon Mid heights, wore them for an hour then sold them to go back to one of my multiple pairs of trail running style shoes.

I pick many of them up off marketplace on the cheap, people buy the wrong size online and once you know your size in a specific brand they are an easy buy at $30-$50 for once worn or not at all worn new shoes if you're not in a hurry.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby sandym » Thu 16 May, 2024 5:13 pm

Do you find the Inov8's narrow?
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby ofuros » Fri 17 May, 2024 8:23 am

sandym wrote:Do you find the Inov8's narrow?


Inov's Trailfly, Trailfly Speed, Mudtalon, Mudtalon Speed, Roclite Gtx & Roclite Mid Gtx come in wide versions.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Jack Doolan » Fri 17 May, 2024 7:14 pm

I favour Altra Olympus 5 or Altra Lone Peak 7. The Olympus 5 let in a lot of dirt which is a bummer. My winter boot is either the Altra Olympus 5 GTX (leather and Gortex - so no dirt ingress) or the Lems Summit Boot. No prizes for guessing that I prefer a zero drop, wide toe box shoe.

The idea that you need a boot for ankle support has largely been debunked. Strong feet (and supporting muscles) are far more important according to.......me 8)
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby icefest » Fri 17 May, 2024 8:50 pm

Penguin wrote:A few years back (six in fact) I did a literature search on whether leather boots provided increased ankle support in rough terrain compared to shoe style of cut. Apart from a couple of low level articles that were written as a result of research funding from the American Army in the 1960's, I could find NO evidence to support that contention that leather boots reduce the risk of ankle injury. Has anybody else done a lit survey and found any interesting scientific articles on this.


Lace up ankle braces might help a bit, not sure if you can apply this to high ankle boots though.


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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby gbagua » Sat 18 May, 2024 7:25 pm

Jack Doolan wrote:The idea that you need a boot for ankle support has largely been debunked. Strong feet (and supporting muscles) are far more important according to.......me 8)


I'd expand that to STRONG LEGS and the CORE. Best exercise of the whole bunch by far is the Squat, the king of all exercises.

Another cool vid:

https://youtu.be/MRzeLDkWT1c?si=n_EWB2wkW1WekmRT
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Jack Doolan » Sun 19 May, 2024 4:59 pm

I'd expand that to STRONG LEGS and the CORE. Best exercise of the whole bunch by far is the Squat, the king of all exercises.

Another cool vid:

https://youtu.be/MRzeLDkWT1c?si=n_EWB2wkW1WekmRT[/quote]

I agree and according to my podiatrist and physio, it's all about the glutes. I guess being a tight *&%$#! has its benefits.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Jack Doolan » Sun 19 May, 2024 4:59 pm

Jack Doolan wrote:I'd expand that to STRONG LEGS and the CORE. Best exercise of the whole bunch by far is the Squat, the king of all exercises.

Another cool vid:

https://youtu.be/MRzeLDkWT1c?si=n_EWB2wkW1WekmRT


I agree and according to my podiatrist and physio, it's all about the glutes. I guess being a tight *&%$#! has its benefits.[/quote]
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby gbagua » Tue 21 May, 2024 11:11 am

Yes gluteals. When I meant legs I was referring to the whole lower body structure.

It's quite an intricate and complex structure:

https://www.kenhub.com/en/library/anato ... l-muscles#
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Jack Doolan » Tue 21 May, 2024 6:30 pm

gbagua wrote:Yes gluteals. When I meant legs I was referring to the whole lower body structure.

It's quite an intricate and complex structure:

https://www.kenhub.com/en/library/anato ... l-muscles#


I just watched the vid. Extraordinary footage (pardon the pun). What cajones! He reminds me of me 8) But can he do it with a 12kg pack?
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Aushiker » Mon 03 Jun, 2024 11:22 pm

An update: I had been sitting on making a decision (I was not in a rush), but then WildEarth had a sale on The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Futurelight Mens Hiking Shoes at $139.95 delivered. For that price, I thought they were worth a shot. Maybe not the most durable shoes, but then my walking these days is not in aggressive country, so hopefully, that will not be an issue.

Also, it's not Goretex, but apparently, it has its own waterproofing material. Will be interesting to see how that works out.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby sandym » Tue 04 Jun, 2024 3:28 pm

Sorry to hear about your arthritis limiting walking. I have never done a lit review on ankle support in leather boots but there is an increasing literature on the utility of more minimalist footwear. A review here if anyone is interested https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352176122_Stepping_Back_to_Minimal_Footwear_Applications_Across_the_Lifespan/link/62557e3fb0cee02d69668e03/download?_tp=eyJjb250ZXh0Ijp7ImZpcnN0UGFnZSI6InByb2ZpbGUiLCJwYWdlIjoicHVibGljYXRpb24iLCJwcmV2aW91c1BhZ2UiOiJwcm9maWxlIn19
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby Penguin » Thu 13 Jun, 2024 7:21 pm

Thanks Sandym

The article is a good read. I am not around all the references so I have to trust that they have presented the underlying data accurately.

The argument on this site seems to be centering around - what ever makes you comfortable go with it. There seems to be no evidence that heavier boots are protective of the foot and ankle musculoskeletal system, in fact if anything the reverse. So go with what you like with confidence.

I will stick with my very minimalist footwear for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Trail Runners versus Hiking Shoes

Postby gbagua » Sat 15 Jun, 2024 6:59 pm

This is a great article on the subject:

Trail Runners Vs. Hiking Boots: A 30 Year Perspective
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