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Top 7 Trail Shoes For The John Muir Trail And Pacific Crest Trail 2016

In this post I will cover my top 7 trail shoe choices for 2016. I will also cover and explain the criteria I used to select my top 7.

See my updated list of JMT and PCT Shoes for 2017!


For all of you looking to start planning a John Muir Trail or Pacific Crest Trail thru hike for 2016, the time to start planning is right now! I’ll be doing subsequent posts for other top thru hiking gear pics, but wanted to start with my favorite category, footwear.  Last summer I hiked the John Muir Trail in 11 days, and have a great understanding of what it takes to complete a successful thru hike. I also get to explore the Eastern Sierra quite frequently, as I live fairly close. I’ve never completed a hike of the PCT, but get to hike sections here in Southern California quite regularly, as the trailheads are only a few miles from where I live.  To get started, let’s lay out the factors that helped determine my choice of footwear picks for the JMT and PCT for 2016:

  • It’s a non-technical trail (maybe some snow and ice over high passes in June for the Sierra)
  • The High Sierra has a lot of granite, so shoes need to be durable and protective
  • It will be warm in July with minor amounts of snow on passes
  • There will be stream crossings and thunderstorms
  • Many hikers will cover 20+ miles a day
  • On long and hot days, the feet will swell
  • Many hikers carry a pack with a base weight of 15-25 lbs.

Given these conditions, I can rule out any option that is a boot and/or has Gore-Tex. Why? Boots are way too heavy and do not breathe well. This will cause blistering and other foot problems. Gore-Tex (GTX), from my anecdotal accounts alongside many others, drenches your feet from the inside out. Not only does GTX trap heat into your shoe or boot, if you do get them wet, good luck drying them out. It could take days. If you’ve ever been in prolonged rain with GTX boots on, you’ll know they will eventually get wet. I don’t want to go too far on this point, but GTX is sold like crazy, and doesn’t do what people think it does.

Now that we’ve ruled a few choices out, here is what I do look for.

  • Lightweight: under 14 oz.
  • Breathable: must let feet breathe and dry quickly
  • Forefoot Protection: Must protect my feet from the rocky trail
  • Low Drop: I like a 4-8mm drop for stability
  • Durable: Shoe must be able to handle 400 miles per pair
  • Comfortable: No hot spots or rubbing points, maybe a seamless upper
  • Stable: Not necessarily with inserts or built in support, but I’m not a fan of narrow or flimsy shoes with a pack on
  • Drainage: With thunderstorms and stream crossings, I need the shoes to drain and dry quickly
  • Affordable: When you factor in the amount of miles a hiker will cover on the PCT, and/or the number of miles a hiker will cover on the JMT including training, the price of a shoe is important. The price of trail shoes has gone up recently, with some shoes sold for prices that can’t be justified for what they offer.
  • Availability: This is more of an issue for those on the PCT and not on the JMT. JMT hikers only need one pair of shoes for the actual hike, and probably one or two for their training miles. PCT hikers are going to need at least 3 or 4 pairs while they’re hiking the actual trail. Some hikers will buy all of the shoes ahead of time and ship them ahead. For those that don’t, they need to be able to find shoes in their size at places like REI on their days away from the trail.

    Top 7 Trail Shoes For The John Muir Trail Pacific Crest Trail JMT PCT
    Top 7 Trail Shoes For The JMT And PCT

See My Full John Muir Trail Guide Here


1.) Nike Wildhorse 3

The Nike Wildhorse 3 is my top choice for JMT and PCT thru hikers for 2016. These shoes have been on my foot for nearly every hike I’ve taken since I purchased them in August, and are going strong well past 300 miles. You can read my review here. The Wildhorse 3 is lightweight at 10.3oz, is very breathable, offers great protection with a forefoot rockplate, and has an 8mm drop. I’ve worn the Wildhorse 3 on long days in the Sierra, on a Rim To Rim To Rim hike of the Grand Canyon, on ice and snow, and just about any other trail condition you’re likely to cover on a thru-hike. The toe box of the Wildhorse 3 is wide, and the fit and feel is hotspot free. I’m planning on a Northbound hike of the JMT this summer, and this shoe is the odds on favorite to be on my feet.

Price: $110

Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3
Nike Wildhorse 3

 2.) New Balance Leadville v3

My second choice for JMT and PCT thru hikers of 2016 is the New Balance Leadville v3. This shoe is very similar to the Nike Wildhorse, and as such, places very high on my list. In your decision between the two, you might want to try both of them on and see which one feels better on your feet. You can read about the specs on the NB Leadville v3 here. The New Balance Leadville v3 wieghs in at 10.4oz, is very breathable, and protects your feet with a forefoot rockplate. The Leadville has a stable 8mm drop and adds a medial post. The shoe uses phantom fit for a socklike feel to keep you free from blisters on the trail. The outsole on the v3 is Vibram, which should offer a great deal of grip and durability.

Price: $125

New Balance Leadville v3 Shoe Preview Gear Review
New Balance Leadville v3

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the NB Leadville v3 on Amazon with the links below:

Men’s Leadville v3 | Women’s Leadville v3


3.) Altra Lone Peak 2.5

The Altra Lone Peak 2.5 is my third choice for hiking footwear on the PCT and JMT. Over the past few years, this has been the shoe that seems to be gaining the most in terms of popularity. Read a full overview of the Lone Peak 2.5 here.  When the first Lone Peak came out, I almost never saw another runner or hiker wearing them…now, they’re everywhere. This summer on the JMT, the 2.0 version of the Lone Peak was on a lot of feet, and with the improvements made for the 2.5, I expect to see a lot more for 2016. So, what makes the Lone Peak so special? It’s lightwieght at 10.1oz, has a very stable 0 drop platform, has a wide footshaped toebox, is very breathable, and is one of the most seamless fits you’re going to find. The midsole is very protective with a rockplate and the outsole provides great grip. Why doesn’t the Lone Peak 2.5 place 1 or 2? Durability of the outsole has been an issue, with shoes not being able to reach 400 miles. This isn’t a problem for the JMT, and for the comfort, not a bad tradeoff for PCT hikers. The other small issue, is that it takes a little bit of time to adjust to a 0 drop shoe. This is not a problem for those that start training with the Lone Peak, but can present a small issue for those picking up a pair while on trail. These two complains are not large ones though, and I might just be wearing the Lone Peak 2.5 on my NOBO JMT hike this summer. It’s an incredible shoe.

Price: $120

Altra Lone Peak 2.5
Altra Lone Peak 2.5

Support Trail to Peak By Purchasing the Lone Peak 2.5 From Amazon Using The Link Below:

Altra Men’s Lone Peak | Altra Women’s Lone Peak


 4.) Pearl Izumi Trail EM n2 v2

The Pearl Izumi n2 is a great ultra running shoe, just like the first three on this list. Built on the unique E-motion platform, the dynamic offset of the n2 makes for a very nice ride. There is also an m2 version of this shoe that offers a medial post for additional stability (the m2 is my go-to shoe for longer trail runs). I highly recommend both versions at the number four spot in my suggestions for JMT and PCT shoes. The n2 comes in at 10oz, and is very stable with it’s wide base, the midfoot cushion feels a little soft with a heavier pack on, but is just right on those lighter days. The drop on this shoe is listed at 8mm, but feels a bit lower due to the E-motion dynamic offset I mentioned earlier. These shoes run small, so order one 1/2 size up. Even when ordering up, the toe box can feel lacking in vertical volume. I like this feel for running, but not as much for hiking. If you have a low volume foot, this could be your favorite shoe. The lacing and overlays on the n2 wrap the foot as well, if not better, than any shoe on this list. The outsole is incredible durable, and is grippy on dry surfaces. I’ve slipped a little on wet surfaces, but that is expected with such a hard and durable compound. The forefoot has an ESS compressed EVA rock plate that offers more than adequate protection.

Price: $120

Pearl Izumi Trail EM n2 v2
Pearl Izumi Trail EM n2 v2

Support Trail To Peak by purchasing the Trail EM with these links on Amazon:

N2 v2| M2 v2 | N2 v1


 5.) Saucony Peregrine 6

The Saucony Peregrine is a shoe that I’ve seen grow in popularity over the years on the Pacific Crest Trail. Living only few miles from the PCT, I get to see a ton of hikers passing through from April to July. One of my favorite things to do is observe their gear choices. Naturally I gravitate towards footwear. About three years ago, I started seeing the Peregrine pop up on a few thru hikers, and it’s only grown in popularity since then. I was an early adopter of the Peregrine for trail running and ran in the Peregrine 1 and 2 after having a lot of success on the road with the Kinvara 1 and 2. What makes the Peregrine a solid addition to my list at number 5 starts with it’s incredible platform. At only 9.4oz, the Peregrine 6 is super light! It also has a minimal 4mm drop and a very comfortable flexfilm upper. The Peregrine 6 uses the shock absorbing Everrun compound in the and employs the EBO rockplate in the forefoot. The Peregrine has proven to be a durable shoe over the years, and this version looks to be no different. The biggest change over previous models will be the addition of the new PWRTRAC outsole. The toebox on the Peregrine Models will feel more narrow than the other offerings on this list, which is why I have it at number 5. If you have a narrow foot, this could be the shoe for you.

Price: $120

Sacuony Peregrine 6 Trail Running Hiking John Muir Trail Pacific Crest Trail
Saucony Peregrine 6

Support Trail To Peak by purchasing the Peregrine 6 with these links on Amazon:

Saucony Men’s Peregrine 6 | Saucony Women’s Peregrine 6


 6.) Brooks Cascadia 11

For years now, the Brooks Cascadia has been the king of the JMT and PCT in regards to footwear. That all changed this last summer though, when the version 10 had some serious durability issues. The problem was widespread, with the overlay at the bottom of the lowest eyelet causing a weird crease at toe-off with the forefoot. This design caused rapid deterioration and holes would form on top of the forefoot for many wearers within 150 miles. Aside from the durability issues, people seemed to love the Cascadia 10. The Cascadia 6-9 didn’t seem to have any of these durability issues, and from many accounts, would last well past 500 miles for PCT thru hikers! The Cascadia 11 seems to have remedied the issues with the 10, and comes revamped with a brand new upper. The midsole and outsole remain unchanged, and in many eyes, that will be a very good thing. The Brooks Cascadia is available at just about every REI, which makes them a very popular choice for thru hikers, as theyre readily available in most sizes. The Cascadia 11 comes in at 11.6oz with a 10mm drop. The shoe looks to have a very breathable upper, much like previous version. the 4 pivot system on the midsole is tried and true, as is the ballistic rock shield in the forefoot. I expect to see a ton of the Cascadia 11 on the PCT come April. The reason they rank at number 6 for me is that they run a bit narrow. From the midfoot to the toebox, the Cascadia has always been a little too tight for my footshape. Like the Peregrine, this shoe could be the perfect match for those with narrow feet.

Price: $120

Brooks Cascadia 11 Trail Running Hiking John Muir Trail Pacific Crest Trail
Brooks Cascadia 11

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the Brooks Cascadia 11 on Amazon:
Brooks Cascadia 11 Men’s And Women’s


 7.) La Sportiva Wildcat and Ultra Raptor

The La Sportiva Wildcat is another shoe that can be readily found at REI, which is a reason I see it on a lot of PCT hikers, even though it’s a few years old.  The Ultra Raptor is a different model, but very similar shoe to the Wildcat. You can read a review of the Ultra Raptor here. The main differences between the shoe are the uppers and the compound used on the outsole. The Wildcat uses La Sportiva’s Frixion Blue, which is more durable but less grippy than the Frixion Green used on the Ultra Raptor. Both shoes come in at 15oz and offer great stability. The Ultra Raptor with an 8mm drop, and the Wildcat with 12mm. Both shoes use a Memlex compund in the midsole with a plastic shank in the arch. The Ultra Raptor has better forefoot protection with added comrpessed EVA. Like the Cascadia and Peregrine, this shoes run a little more narrow than options 1-4, and are best for those with narrow feet. I will say that both models have a “forgiving” toebox even though they are narrow, and I’ve never had issues with blistering.

Wildcat Price: $110

Ultra Raptor Price: $130

La Sportiva Wildcat Trail Running Hiking John Muir Trail Pacific Crest Trail
La Sportiva Wildcat
Gear Review: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the Ultra Raptor on Amazon with the links below:

Men’s Ultra Raptor | Men’s Ultra Raptor GTX | Women’s Ultra Raptor


Closing Thoughts:

I hope you’ve found this review useful if you’re planning a trip on the JMT or PCT. Let me know what you think of my list, and if you think I’ve missed anything. I always love hearing about footwear from other hikers, so be sure to leave me a comment.


See My Full John Muir Trail Guide Here


I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

38 comments on “Top 7 Trail Shoes For The John Muir Trail And Pacific Crest Trail 2016

  1. Great review, seriously. We just got the pearl izumis for our thruhike of the PCT but the altra’s are a close second. And we hadn’t actually tried on the nike’s so that is our next step.

    • Thank you! I’ll be very interested to read your other gear selections for the PCT and how the Pearl Izumis handle during your training.

      • Yeah! Kyle is already thinking he is going to return his and try a size smaller, turns out he sized them too big. And he is going to try some of the Nike options. I’m still liking mine, but I did wear them on a training walk yesterday with weight and my legs ached afterwards. I think that’s just getting use to a new pair of shoes… That’s why we are breaking them in now so when they are sent to us they won’t be brand new!

      • That’s a good call. It’s great that you guys are putting them through the paces before hitting the trail.

  2. Excellent trail shoe review, Drew. I have a couple questions which you may have already answered in other posts that I have missed, but since I’m here I figure I might as well ask.

    Do you use any of these seven trail shoes for short day hikes or just for long JMT type hikes? If you only use these for the longer hikes, what would be your top three trail runners for short 5-8 miles hikes? Assuming you ever do such short hikes. 😉

    You mention the trail shoes on the list could handle the snow on the high sierra passes. Although I rarely do snow hikes, I typically wear boots when I do and my feet have stayed dry.

    Last year, I accompanied a couple gals for a snow hike to Baden Powell and we had to turn back short of the summit due to the deep snow up to our knees and thighs. Even though we all were wearing hiking pants covering the tops of the shoes, the gal wearing trail runners kept getting snow in her shoes due to all the postholing and was miserable. My feet stayed dry. Granted, I otherwise prefer trail runners over boots any day of the week but was wondering what your experiences have been wearing trail runners in the snow. Thanks Drew!

    • Thanks, James!! I use the Wildhorse 3 for all of my day hikes, short and long. I also mix in the Lone Peak and Leadville, but the Wildhorse is my favorite. My list for shorter hikes would be the exact same. I’m not as particular for shorter hikes though, as my feet don’t swell and I don’t encounter as much landscape variation. None of the shoes on this list would be good for exclusive snow hiking, just adequate for covering snowy passes. I’ve worn the Wildhorse and a few other shoes with microspikes, and they all seem to handle quite well. For deeper snow, I wear a GTX shoe. Like you, I prefer a trail runner. Last year, I wore the La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 and loved it ( I have a review here on the blog). It handled winter ascents of Baldy and Baden Powell without issue. This year, I’m wearing the Salomon XALP Carbon. It’s another great shoe, and a little more rugged than the Crossover. I took them up to Baldy this weekend, and will be testing them on San Gorgonio and Baden Powell later this winter. The nice thing about both shoes is that they’re essentially trail runners with a zip up bootie and GTX lining. This gives me the same low cut trail runner comfort with the added protection from deep snow.

  3. Thank you for a great review. I would be interested in your comments on the width fitting of the Leadville V3. I was once a great fan of New Balance but was extremely disappointed with the poor level of design of their earlier trail shoes. I tried their 814s and found them to be way to narrow in the toe. The 4e, which I require, was built to a 2e width. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t use the ‘tried and tested’ last from their 1080 shoe. I eventually ventured back to New Balance and purchased a pair of Leadville v2 but found the company still hadn’t addressed the problem of the tight toe box (a 4e felt like a 2 e) and the heel felt too wide and not deep enough. Have these design shortcomings being addressed in the Leadville v3?

    • It’s tough for me to say, as I don’t wear a 2E or 4E. I’m a true D width, but love a wide toe box. I liked the toebox on the v2, but like you, felt that the heel was too wide and too shallow. The heel on the v3 is much better than the heel on the v2. It feels much more secure, and fits nicely. The toebox on the v3 is very similar to the toebox on the v2, so I’m not sure if you’ll feel a change there.

  4. Cool shoes..! They’re all worth buying I think. I love the Pearl Izumi. Looks comfortable

  5. Do you use the shoe “as is” or do you supplement with an insole? If so, which one do you go for?

    • It depends on the shoe. I really like the Superfeet Carbon though. I wear the SF Carbon in my Nike Wildhorse and Leadville. I can’t add them to the Altra shoes due to the wide toebox.

  6. Hi Drew
    Thanks for the continuing excellent blog! I have been hunting through your reviews to find something about hiking boots. I know you use trail shoes rather than boots – but have maybe missed something?

    My hiking includes some trails – but usually less well prepared (cleared etc.) than some which you feature – from what I can gather, but also a lot of bush walking where I think more protection is needed from both the terrain and a variety of fauna – despite sometimes high temperatures.

    Are there any reviews I have missed? – if not, would love to read your comments about hiking boots some time.

    • Hello Greg,

      I don’t wear boots at all. I wear the Salomon X Alp Carbon for winter snow ascents, but am just not a fan of traditional boots. I’ve looked at getting some for the types of trails you mentioned you tend to frequent. Andrew Skurka wore a pair of Merrell Capras for a hunting trip he took a few months back. You might be able to find a review on his blog about those. I know lot of people who wear and love the Salomon X Ultra Mid, but don’t know how tough they are. I know they’re very durable and do well on standard trails. When I go on the tough trails you mention, I usually just wear long pants and a high trail gaiter. There is something about a high ankle cuff that I just don’t like. I also don’t like the heat, friction, and slower drying times of the boots. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      • Thanks for the reply and suggestions. I certainly agree with the long drying time! look forward to the next post.

  7. I used the Wildhorse 3 on the JMT in 2015, felt very comfortable, didn’t sweat and didn’t develop any blisters, not even hot spots and all that by using very thin bamboo socks. I replaced the stock insoles by blue superfeet and that added more stability and made my feet feel less tired after a long day. One slightly negative point I have to add though: The paths on the JMT are often covered with a lot of dust and fine sand and the open mesh of the Wildhorse lets a lot of that through so that you have to empty your them about three times a day. Otherwise these are great shoes. Pardon my english, I’m not a native speaker.

    • Thanks for the comment, Walter. Spot on! I wear mine with Superfeet Carbon, so I can agree on the preference for added stability with a pack on. Like you, I find that the WH3 gets a lot of dust and debris with the open mesh and non-gusseted tongue.

  8. Drew,

    Regarding the Wild Horse 3’s — do you find the addition of the Superfeet insert to cause excess heel movement given the added height? I just picked up a pair as well as the orange SF and without tying a heel lock with my laces it feels as if there may be some movement. Any issues on that end for you? Also what type of sock are you using/planning to use in this for distance with a pack?

    • I only use the Carbon Superfeet as they have minimal heel lift. The Green, Blue, Orange, and Copper add substantial height to the heel which really can alter the fit of a shoe. I tried Blue and Orange, and like you, had too much heel slip. The shoe is designed for your heel to sit in a pocket of the heel counter and adding height with an insert really messes with that geometry. You also have to consider that the heel to arch of your insert is now rigid, where it once was malleable. Carbon are the only Superfeet inserts that work for me and don’t get in the way. I still prefer no inserts though, and only wear the Carbons when I carry a heavy pack. I feel I don’t need an insert with a standard day pack.

      • Drew,

        Much appreciated for the feedback. Sadly I learned that lesson on a 20 mile loop to Mt. Wilson. Training for my JMT in July and just trying to find the right shoe, insert, sock combo — absolutely love the Wildhorse 3 though.

        Thanks again!

      • It took me some time to get the footwear just right, too! It’s a learning process for sure. I used to wear drymax socks, but found the sythetic fibers to dry slowly and get clammy without a machine wash. The Darn Tough merino wool socks were great on the JMT, and they’re pretty much the only sock I wear now.

  9. Anonymous

    Thank you. This review is very helpful. I will be hiking JMT August6-Sept 5 starting in Yosemite. This is my third time. Any overlap…I will look for you. Wow 11 days….that is Amazing!!! I really enjoy your posts.

  10. therealmccory

    Great review Drew. Gearing up for NOBO JMT this summer… I jog in Altra’s but am torn between the Wild Horse and Lone Peak for the JMT. My concern with the Wild Horse is the toe box – I have a wide foot and thus am a loyal Altra fan, but it sounds like you have a wider foot and have been satisfied with the Wild Horse? I would just try them on in store and not bother you but I wear a size 14/15 (yep, those sasquatch footprints are actually mine)… Rarely, if ever, in stock. Thanks in advance!

    • Great to hear that you’ll be hiking NOBO! I really want to head back to the JMT to hike north. Altras are very popular on the JMT, so you can always go with those. The Wilhorse has a wide toe box, but it has low vertical volume. It feels great compared with other shoes, but might feel a little snug at first coming from a pair of Altras. You can try a size 15 and see how they work for you though. I prefer the durability, grip, midsole ride, and upper of the Wildhorse. I prefer the last of the Altra though. It’s a tradeoff, but if I had to hike the JMT tomorrow, the Wildhorse would be on my feet.

  11. I have never done a long hike like the PCT but many 40 – 60 mile trips in the Winds and Tetons. Many of these were with heavy packs full of climbing gear, so ankle support is a big issue. I’m curious about people’s experience with rolling their ankle using shoes like this.

    I’ve noticed that some people don’t have any problems with blisters, and others get blisters just by thinking about blisters. I’m one of those fortunate ones who very rarely get blisters – only a few over 40 years. But I occasionally roll my ankle while hiking.

    I switched to a low top shoe – 5.10 Camp Fours, and had good luck with them. For some reason the design stops my ankle from rolling before any damage is done.

    I’m doing less climbing and more “just hiking” so I’m interested in trying a lighter shoe, but I need the ankle support. Interested in what people’s experience with this is.

    P.S. – A few weeks ago met a hiker in the Winds doing the CDT BAREFOOT!

    • Hey Arlo! I haven’t heard of any increased risk of ankle rolling due to low cut shoes. I was looking for some research on the topic, but haven’t been able to find any. My opinions and insight here are purely anecdotal. I think that weak ankles, poor balance, too much weight, and overall leg weakness will have a greater impact on ankles than the height of ones shoe. To me high ankle shoes and boots are more about protection. They protect from scree, branches, etc, and can also keep snow and ice out in winter conditions. For me, that protection is useless 10 months out of the year, and especially on summer walks of the JMT and PCT.

  12. Thanks for your excellent article on Footwear! I’m experimenting with a different shoe this year. I’ve been wearing the Under Armour Overdrive Fat Tire ultra light hiking boot with ankle support. Fairly light at around 15 ounces a pair. Probably the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn in my life! Trail traction is incredible. Just trying to figure out if I can get it to work for the PCT. I’ll probably also have custom insoles installed as well. Kind of spendy at 250 to $350 for two sets of insoles but could make all the difference. If I eventually go with these I’m going to try to get some corporate support (read; free shoes) from Under Armour. Kind of expensive at $160 a pair X how many pairs I’ll eventually need. Im really putting them through the ringer thos week hiking in wet snow and seeing how quickly they dry. Any additional thoughts or things to look for in my decision process are welcome.

    • No problem! I’m glad you found it useful. Thanks for sharing your account of the UA Fat Tire. I’ve seen them in a few online stores, but have never tried on a pair. As for custom insoles, have you ever tried Superfeet? I use Superfeet Carbon, and at $55 a pair, they’re a steal. Superfeet also makes more structured pairs (Green and Blue models). They might be worth a try before dropping $300. The best part is that they’re available at REI. So for a PCT hiker, you can just pick up a new pair when yours go bust, instead of having to contact your podiatrist to ship a new custom pair ahead on the trail to you. As for sponsorships, that’s a good plan for a PCT through hiker. I don’t know if UA does sponsorships, but it’s worth a try. I know Altra does. Good luck on your upcoming hike!

      • Thanks much for the recommendation on Superfeet and the Blue-Green options. I’ll do some research in case I get a salesperson who is not very familiar with the product differences, although my half-dozen purchase trips to the REI in Bend, OR have turned up nothing but amazing and experienced sales help.

      • The staff at REI are great and are usually very knowledgeable about the Superfeet options. They tend to focus on the level of support though. One thing they don’t mention is the increase in heel height. The Green and Blue will raise your heel a few millimeters. I like a 4-8mm drop in my shoes, so an insole like that is not so nice. The Carbons only add a few mm, so they tend to play nice with my calves and achilles!

      • Thanks again. I’ve heard about heal drop, which shoes have positive and negative numbers, but frankly I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the overall physiological implications and what it may mean to me specifically as I tackle the PCT. I’ve been hiking and backpacking for 40 years in a variety of boots and shoes and it’s really been just in the last year (for me) that the concept of heal drop has been appearing on my radar. Thanks for mentioning it. I’m just going to have to do some deep digging to figure out how it will affect me on my, “wee walk through the bramble and woodland,” and experiment with adjusting footwear, insoles and walking style to keep me healthy and moving forward on the trail.

  13. How about the Saucony Raptor Grid TR? I’m in love with them…after observing more than 30 PCT ’17 Hikers…most are wearing some sort of “athletic shoe” Even in asking…most said..oh we don’t wear boots… What if one has a Personal Made Orthotic from a Dr. ? I should stick with that, right? I am loving them for my day hikes all around Wrightwood..Baden Powell..etc

    • I’ve never tired the Raptor Grid TR. I’m with the PCT thru-hikers. Trail shoes are for more practical for designated hiking trails than a clunky boot. If you have an orthotic that works for you feet, you should probably stick with it. A lot of PCT hikers wear Superfeet inserts in lieu of a personal made orthotic.

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