Published on Aug 1, 2011
The jury is in. For the longest time I debated the merit of the barefoot movement and this week I finally bought a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves and put some miles on them. I started slow to break myself in. I definitely gave myself enough time to get used to them. After about 80 miles on the AT with a 30 pound pack, I was done. The definitive moment came when I was happily hiking down the trail and was passed by a fat middle-aged day hiker....experiment terminated....I can hike in them, they're just too slow.
- Strengthen feet and ankles
- Dry quickly
- Stability and traction
- Good for playful frolicking in the woods
- Difficult over medium (golf ball to baseball sized) rocks
- Tired and sore feet
- Bad for moving fast over rough terrain
The barefoot thing is great for training your legs and feet. It gets them super-strong. However, they aren't made for long mile days. You just can't plow down the trail with reckless speed. So, I went to the outfitter and got a familiar pair of low-cut hiking shoes. I felt like this:
Sorry barefoot hippies, shoes make George go fast in jungle...oooohhhh.