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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    why?...
    The lesson to me is this. I will buy the expected 3-4 pairs of shoes before starting (if so lucky) and wear them before sending as a mail drop.
    Did you actually try on the shoes before you purchased them?

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    why?

    I bought them 3 weeks apart. I had upsized to account for swelling, this swelling is an even bigger issue for ultracyclists. I would wear a 46 or 47 cycling shoe but typically get 48 extrawide. I measure out at 46 for the Salomens. I bought 48W for the extra space, yes, I swell too. These two should be the same dimensions internally. It is just real obvious the shoes dimensions are very different.

    I had my son put the GTX ones on and he immediately said they were awful compared to the mesh ones, which he said were very very comfortable. I agree I love them except they take 3 days to dry when I hike in the rain or cross streams in the water. My son and I wear the same size shoe although his shape is a little different. It is most certainly the shoes, the interior dimensions are measurably different by a touch more than 1/4 of an inch, that makes these a 47 instead of the labeled 48. And, after market insoles that fit the mesh model will not fit inside the GTX model. A 48 of the same shoe should be the same. Even the width is narrower in the toe box although I can not measure. It caused the underside of my foot to wrinkle. I have hiked almost every day in either three different shoes or boots. I get new Salomens and my feet are not feeling good at all after a 6 mile hike loop that I do 3 times per week. It is the shoe.

    The lesson to me is this. I will buy the expected 3-4 pairs of shoes before starting (if so lucky) and wear them before sending as a mail drop.
    Though not a bad idea, the problem is feet can and do change after several hundreds miles of trail, usually getting wider. The shoes you are in during this process will typically wear into the shape change, potentially making what is a comfortable new shoe today intolerable after a month or so of trail hiking. Having done this once and finding the second pair I had purchased were like putting vices on my feet (and a vacuum to my wallet). The take away for me was to wait until new shoes were needed then find a pair that works for your feet at that time.

  3. #23
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    Thank you, Garlic. When you say "exclusively", do you mean I should not ride my bike at all?....
    No, I didn't mean that. Don't let the bike gather cobwebs and the tires go flat. I enjoy cycling to trailheads and on errands, and fun rides every week with my wife.

    Likewise, even when I'm cycling a lot I walk a few miles every day, just taking the dog out, a pleasure day hike with my wife or buddy, or running an errand in icy weather.

    When going for a of season cycling, I'll work up to a century every week, and at least 200 miles a week. For a year of hiking, it'll be a twenty-plus mile day every week, working up to consecutive twenties, and about 50 miles a week.


    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbikebbs View Post
    Did you actually try on the shoes before you purchased them?
    Stores are closed here and I certainly would not be trying shoes on if they were.

    I have to say, I am not getting a good vibe from this forum. What is your point? Honestly.

    I want to thank all of the suggestions. Best to all.

  5. #25

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    This is my first post on WhiteBlaze. Please bear with me. Great discussion in this thread.

    My quick background: Heart attack in Dec 2018 (with one stent). Therefore, has limitations on pulse rate as I take beta blockers as medication. Plan to do flip-flop in 2021 from Harpes Ferry. Currently, doing 3 hr flat concrete walk on sidewalks and 2 hrs on trade mill (with 2/3rd 6% and 1/3rd 10% incline) all with 20 lbs on my backpack about 4 days a week. Will be 62 when I go on AT. Did lots of trekking in Himalayas when I was younger, but nothing recently.

    My learning from this thread: (1) Start pushing rather than pulling to improve efficiency of walking and to reduce pain in heels. (2) Treking, treking, treking (hard in Michigan where I stay). (3) Start using trekking poles ASAP. (4) Find ways to learn other elements of thru' hiking (rather than just physical).

    Thanks a lot.

  6. #26
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    Hike lots. Do as many overnights as you can manage carrying and using various gear options, combinations and systems, even if in your own back yard.
    But mostly, have fun!
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  7. #27

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    As you noted, BODog, there's a lot in your post, but I will respond to what I see as a consistent theme throughout: the need for speed! Answering your questions about estimating how fast you will be/your capacity for successive 20 milers, for example, is always a crap shoot at best, but without specific data on your ability level, it's essentially like trying to read your palm while practicing social distancing. And while you have plenty of data on distances covered, your physiology and experience, I don't see anything that indicates where you fall on the bell curve of speed. Have you run a marathon, 1/2 marathon, or 10k in the last year or two, and if so, what were your times? If you haven't done a marathon or a 1/2 marathon, I suggest you do so as it is both great training for hiking, and also serves as a reliable metric to give a peek into your potential as a 'speedy backpacker' - relatively speaking, of course.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by treroach View Post
    . . . If you haven't done a marathon or a 1/2 marathon, I suggest you do so as it is both great training for hiking, and also serves as a reliable metric to give a peek into your potential as a 'speedy backpacker' - relatively speaking, of course.
    I have to disagree on this one. Sure, run for training if it inspires you. But, many of the fastest thru-hike times in the past are people that were never runners, just hikers. We certainly have some ultra-runners setting fastest known times on our long distance scenic trails, but surprisingly, they don't dominate the leader board. Many of the fastest times are not people that move exceptionally quickly on the trail, they are people that don't doddle, keep moving, and don't spend time in camp beyond sleeping. And, in my experience fast runners don't necessarily make fast walkers. In fact, the mostly annoyingly fast walkers I know walk fast instead of running.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    I have to disagree on this one.
    nsherry61, I'm not sure which of my two points regarding running (great for training, a reliable metric to give you a peek into speed-hiking potential) you disagree with. If you disagree with the latter being a 'reliable metric', I would ask what simple to measure, objective criteria you would suggest instead to give someone like BODog an estimate as far as potential for speed goes?

    You are right that many of the fastest thru-hike times in the PAST were set by people who were 'never runners'... and those days are long gone, never to return. Being a talented trail runner is one of THE requirements for anyone who's even thinking about an FKT just about anywhere these days. 'They' will forever dominate the 'leader boards' - there simply is no going back. The arrival of 'the athletes/runners' as far as FKT's go was comically underscored by how even the idea of someone like Kaiha Bertollini putting up a time to compete with Speedgoat Karl Meltzer was received as absurd by virtually the entire trail running community (there's always a few who believe in fairy tales!) You may point to Anish as proof of someone who was 'never a runner', but I think you've misconstrued my point to mean that 'only runners make fast hikers', rather than 'the fastest hikers will also have an aptitude for running'. Had Anish started with a physiological assessment that included some distance running, the results would have shown potential in spite of her lack of physical conditioning at any given time, I believe.

    Finally, the idea that the 'fastest times' can be achieved largely as a result of efficiency on the trail also needs to be consigned to the dustbins of history, IMHO. Everyone who's going for speed internalized the mantra of 'don't doddle, keep moving' etc. years ago. The separation from the elite to the average is a result of innate talent combined with discipline. It's now common sense that you have to move exceptionally quickly on the trail to have any shot at being among 'the fastest'.

    Here's a final case in point as far as how wide the gulf is between the FKT's of yesteryear and the times of today, that will also give me a chance to talk about myself: I can beat the AT FKT from the year in which I was born. The 'FKT's' for any other 'event' in track and field from that year are as far from my reach as they have ever been (100m under 10sec, marathon under 2:10), but the AT Record in the 70's was still many, many years away from where it's been for a few decades now: in the exclusive realm of really, really talented (i.e. FAST, smart, efficient, high endurance) athletes.
    Last edited by treroach; 06-02-2020 at 18:31.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by treroach View Post
    nsherry61, I'm not sure which of my two points regarding running . . . you disagree with.
    1) Most of them actually, other than that running can be good general fitness training.
    2) You seem to be focused on some FKT competition which is in no way what the OP is about. The OP is looking for a generally shorter hike time, not an FKT. AND, your idea that competive ultra-runners have been dominating FKTs by significant margins for a long time is just false. FWIW, as it appears you aren't all that aware of it, just look into Anish.

    Cheers. And, keep on running!
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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