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  1. #1

    Default Any Old (or new) Shoes?

    I've seen kids skip over the toughest terrains the AT has to offer in Keds, and I've seen those more experienced tread the trail in anything from hard leather boots to soul-less runners to Teva sandals. I've staunchly adhered to the necessity of support and strength with a pair of Merrell Mid-boots for colder temps, and the lightweight convenience of Aasics trailrunners for warmer seasons. I've been happy with both....until now.

    Arthritic concerns and a host of other annoyances have made my favorite footwear unbearable and unwearable, and I've had zero luck in finding replacements. The only things I'm comfortable walking in are Sketchers GoMats...foam insoles (NOT MEMORY)...with loads of impact protection and bounce. I haven't tried them on the trail yet, and I'm sure they'd be short-lived as the softness of the soles aren't designed for trail wear and tear, but can anyone advise me as to a reason they would not be appropriate for <10 mile day hikes?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  2. #2


    As long as you have lateral support (as in your foot doesn't spill/push the fabric over the side of the shoe) on the side slopes, I think you'd be fine. Obviously, get used to whatever the difference in traction might be with a bit of initial care.

  3. #3


    I've seen kids literally run from one place to the next over the course of a day without tiring, brining to mind an old saying, "youth is wasted on the young".

    For a number of years I tried a variety of commercially available inserts, some didn't work right out of the box regardless of marketing promises. Some worked for a short time but eventually broke down. It wasn't until I went to a podiatrist that I was able to get properly fitted with inserts designed specifically for my feet as opposed to being designed for a broad spectrum of similar but different issues. The issue of the insert fitting in existing shoes or boots is the next hurdle, with some footwear being adaptable to them, others not so much so finding the right shoes will require having these inserts with you.

    Though Rx orthotic inserts can be expensive, they typically outlast most any other type of remedy by a substantial margin and may also offer some relief for knee/hip pain caused by change of gait to accommodate inserts (or shoes) that don't quite fit or work as promised.

  4. #4


    If I were having that much trouble, I'd go back to custom orthotics, and see if that let me wear what I wanted. When I had plantar fasciitis, they were the difference between not being able to walk around the block and doing 20 mile days-which is a pretty big difference!
    Be sure you know what you're getting in terms of finished product, if you do.
    I had Upsteps that were fantastic; ordered through a physical therapist my doctor referred me to.
    Later got a couple of cheaper spares through my chiropractor that fit perfect, but weren't suitable for backpacking(fell apart after getting wet).
    Your insurance might cover them, at least partially, if referred by a doctor. Think I paid $105 for those Upsteps, but see them priced at $230 online.
    They worked in all my shoes and boots.

  5. #5


    btw, I got tickled about your thread title, and was ready to talk about new vs old, differences in support with the same shoe, etc.
    I recently bought 2 new pairs of Merrell Moabs. Same shoe, both Ventilator and GoreTex versions.
    And I got this in a fortune cookie after buying, but before wearing, them:
    It was actually true, too

  6. #6


    I suffer from the same delusion/confusion. I"m no fan of sneakers but the trend is unmistakable so I try to be 'progressive' and give them a try only to suffer from PF 6 days into the hike...

    Same delusion is when I hear claims that sneakers get wet but they also dry quickly ... my old boots keep my feet dry ... I digress

    and I just hate buying new pair of trail runners every year because they get cut up on rocks, get stinky, the cushioning is worn out etc etc...

    ...while my lightweight limmers gently weep in the corner ... I've had them for over 10 years and they never failed me.
    Let me go

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