Arctic Hiking Shoes

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by bfsailor, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. bfsailor

    bfsailor
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. New York
    2. Pennsylvania

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    589
    Next month my wife and I are taking a trip to Iceland and Greenland. Not camping but lots of day-hiking.
    I'm expecting high temps in the mid-50s F and lows in the high 30's to mid 40's F.
    Also maybe some glacier walking involved. :coldfeet:
    My intention is to do as much of it as I can barefoot or in Xero huaraches. :barefoot:

    Everything I read online of course says to bring "sturdy, waterproof hiking shoes".:rolleyes:

    I'm hoping I don't need them, but on the other hand I don't want to spoil a great vacation with cold, wet feet.
    I'd rather pack 'em and not need 'em then vice versa.
    Any suggestions on lightweight shoes that would fit the bill?
    I'm considering Vibram Trek Ascents but I've never owned a pair of Vbrams so I don't know much about them.

    I'd appreciate any help or suggestions.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    ghost likes this.
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    1. Test Chapter
    2. Nomad
    3. Hidden...
    4. Hidden...

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    19,126
    Likes Received:
    5,462
    What about Lems Boulder Boots? They're very minimal. They have a lot more variety than this, so check their website: They also have them for your lady. https://www.lemsshoes.com/

    upload_2017-6-9_15-15-10.jpeg upload_2017-6-9_15-14-57.jpeg upload_2017-6-9_15-16-0.jpeg upload_2017-6-9_15-16-7.jpeg

    upload_2017-6-9_15-18-19.jpeg upload_2017-6-9_15-18-25.jpeg upload_2017-6-9_15-18-32.jpeg upload_2017-6-9_15-23-51.jpeg
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    ghost likes this.
  3. bfsailor

    bfsailor
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. New York
    2. Pennsylvania

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    589
    Thanks TJ. I did check out the Lems and most of the reviews said they were not very waterproof, which is my main concern. In dry conditions I'll probably be barefoot as much as possible, and resort to the shoes when it's cold and raining. I ended up buying the Columbia Plains Butte Waterproof model.
    http://www.zappos.com/p/columbia-pl...A&utm_content=row7-1col1orderItems-orderItem1

    Not really minimal but very lightweight and supposedly waterproof, and they're available in a wide width. I'll post a review of them after I've used them.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  4. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    1,043
  5. Abide

    Abide
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Nederland -...

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,208
    Likes Received:
    1,043
  6. Smogz

    Smogz
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Sweden

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    41
    Russel moccassins - thula thula. Expensive as hell.

    Or a pair of mesh hikers and sealskin socks? Vivobarefoot Primus

    Or a pair of mesh hikers and sealskin socks? Vivobarefoot Primus
     
  7. ghost

    ghost
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I didn't see a need to start a new one.

    I wanted to ask bfsailor how his trip to Iceland went, and see if anyone has any new information. I will be going there towards the end July to hike the Laugavegur trail. It will be 5-6 days or self sustained hiking and camping. I imagine I will have similar weather to bfsailor's trip.

    Since the original post a year ago does anyone have any new information or recommendations for footwear? I too am concerned about having wet/cold feet. I looked at shoes that Barefoot TJ and Abide recommended. The Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mid looks interesting but I'm not sure they will have enough flexibility for me. Has anyone tried them? The Vivobarefoot Tracker FG looks really nice but the waterproofing ability seems questionable. The same can be said about the Lems Boulder Boot.

    I'm looking at Smogz reccomendation, the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail SG as a second shoe for crossing the unavoidable rivers and streams.

    The perfect shoe appears to have been discontinued years ago, the Merrell Proterra Mid Sport Gor-Tex Hiking Shoes.

    When I lived up North I used to run in the snow with my Five Fingers all the time. The difference is that I could always thaw my feet out by the fire when I got home. Without that option and the unpredictability of Iceland's weather I just don't know if there is a good option.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
     
    #7 ghost, Jun 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  8. bfsailor

    bfsailor
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. New York
    2. Pennsylvania

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    589
    Our trip to Iceland was fantastic! I ended up using the Columbia shoes much less than expected. Maybe three days out of the ten we were there. Most of the time I was able to be barefoot or in Xero DIY sandals. For me, the biggest obstacle to going barefoot everywhere was the terrain - not the weather. There is a lot of volcanic rock in Iceland which is very sharp, hence the Xeros. Of course, we weren't backpacking, just day-hiking, so I had a chance to warm up and dry out at the end of each day. I do recommend that if you go with hiking shoes or boots get something that's definitely waterproof. You'll need that more than the warmth factor. It is constantly wet in Iceland - it rained for at least some portion of every day we were there. The Columbia Plains Butte Waterproof shoes kept me dry when needed and are very light.

    Weather-wise, as I said it rained frequently, but usually for short periods. Temperatures in July were consistently between 47-55 F, depending on time of day and altitude. The Laugavegur trail is in the highlands so it may be a little colder there.

    On a side note, I was always barefoot in restaurants, bars and shops without incident. Got a few looks and good-natured comments walking around downtown Reykjavik in a winter coat and bare feet, but nothing negative! :):barefoot:

    Here's a few pictures:

    A rare shot of me in shoes!
    Ice-100 P7062076 (768x1024).jpg


    Surrounded by icebergs in a glacial lagoon
    Ice-074 P7051357 (1024x768).jpg


    Black sand beach at Vik
    P7041179 (768x1024).jpg


    At the Dynjandi Waterfall
    Ice-208 P7144053 (1024x768).jpg

    Photographing a puffin on the cliffs at Latrabjarg.

    Ice-184 P7133257 (2) (1024x505).jpg

    With my wife in Stykkishólmur.

    Ice-211 P7161785 copy (1024x715).jpg
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    Tristan and ghost like this.
  9. Tristan

    Tristan
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Ohio

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    2,651
    @bfsailor looks fantastic! I'd love to travel up there someday.

    I don't have much to add about boots, I think Xero Shoes mentioned they intend to make a waterproof version of their Daylight Hiker but so far have not.

    I really like my Lems Boulder boots but not waterproof at all, and unfortunately a cotton liner (I can't recommend cotton if hiking in freezing temps). They do have an all leather version, could be water resistant with lots of sno-seal applied, but still the cotton in concerning (even if from just your own sweat). I'd like to do more winter hiking in the mountains, but minimalist options just aren't there yet for something like that. For what I would want to do I'd just suck it up and get waterproof mountaineering boots that are crampon compatible, but for now I've been sticking to the warm season for my backpacking trips. Hope to be in the mountains backpacking for 4-5 day trip in 2 weeks!
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  10. Gordon

    Gordon
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    123
    Waterproof shoes have their place - hose out a barn lately? - but I think they're way overrated. One problem with them is that once they're wet, they stay that way for a long long time. If you're doing any sort of serious hiking in the wet, you're going to have to wade, and that big hole in the top lets the water right in. The other problem for me is that if it's warm at all, my feet sweat like mad and the shoes get wet inside. With no venting, that moisture just sits there. Sure, Gore-tex, it lets moisture out about 1% as fast as I produce it. So waterproof shoes work ok if it's dry and cold, but so does any other footwear. I prefer sandals in almost all conditions, including snow and ice. Deep mud for hours is pretty much the only place I prefer shoes, and then I go for light and quick draining.
     
  11. Tristan

    Tristan
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Ohio

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    2,651
    Well in my case it would cold and mostly dry, usually everything is frozen solid in winter. The main issue would be snow melting into your boot, not deep water crossings or anything like that. And not any footwear nor sandals will work well with crampons or snowshoes. I don't think the OP was looking for hiking in as extreme conditions but that is what I'd be dealing with in the Adirondacks in winter. If you're not too far from civilization and safety that's one thing but when your deep in the mountains many miles from closest road or cell reception things become life threatening quick, or at least frostbite-threatening for us trying to get by with more minimal footwear.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  12. Gordon

    Gordon
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    123
    I've got a pair of sandals with 25 sheet metal screws in the bottom of each for icy conditions. And a pair of boiled wool Tabi socks that I can't wear if it's above 0F. They work really well. That said, in loose snow they aren't great because snow gets between the sock and sole and creates a low friction layer. Similar to deep mud. Fun to play with, but if I were going deep in the backcountry in the winter, I'd probably want to hedge my bets and wear boots, too. In conditions described in the OP, I just wear sandals, no socks ...
     
    Tristan likes this.
  13. Tristan

    Tristan
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters
    1. Ohio

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    2,651
    That's neat did you ever do a write up here about it? I'd thought of something similar but never went through with it, none of my minimalist shoes/sandals are very good in slippery conditions and I had one scare once just a little ways down the road from my house when I tried to move over a bit for an approaching car (road is somewhat narrow) and slipped and almost fell right in front of the car (its a 55 mph road)!
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  14. Gordon

    Gordon
    Expand Collapse
    Barefooters

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    123
    upload_2018-7-6_16-39-32.jpeg

    I don't think I wrote it up. Here's a pic.

    I also have a pair of Luna Oso Flacos and a pair of Bedrock Cairn Pro sandals and both have enough tread on to be useful. Been there, fallen on my ass with the smooth-soled sandals.
     

Share This Page