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Patagonia 08-25-2017 04:27 PM

Looks like Sun on the WCT... trail runners?
 
Hello,

Looking for some feedback from those who have done the West Coast trail. The forecast (Which I know can change) is predicting sunny days, with very little chance of Precipitation for Sept 1-7th, the time I'll be hiking. Should I go with my trail runners (14 oz lighter total), or stick with my mid/high boots?

What has been your experience? Has anyone completed this hike this year and can give insight on trail conditions. I've heard that if it is dry the train runners are ok, some even hike with them in the mud.

Thank you!

kellymcdonald78 08-25-2017 05:19 PM

When we went 2 years ago (which up till then had been the driest in 30 years) there was still a fair bit of mud and the southern part of the trail is also particularly rugged and some of the granite shelves slippery. That being said, a lot will depend on your experience with backpacking in trail runners, we saw several folks in trail runners with no issues

jd22 08-26-2017 07:26 AM

I've done it at the end of the season with almost no mud, and there was still some mud.

I almost always hike in trail runners during summer, though, so even with mud I would still take them. Depends on your ankle strength I guess. If you're not used to hiking long distances with trail runners I would stick with mid boots.

Patagonia 08-27-2017 07:17 PM

kellymcdonald78 & jd22 thank you both for your thoughts.

I always hike in trail runners, on muddy trails & in rain, generally. The only reason I own high boots was for Kilimanjaro (I should have worn trail runners on Kili in hindsight).

The high boots are chewing up my feet, a problem I've never had with trail runners.

I think with the blisters and extra weight of the high boots, I will use the runners. I can tape my ankles for extra support.

Any other insight is welcome!

Lythe 08-29-2017 11:33 PM

When I went beginning of August I could have worn trail runners, and I never needed more than my running gaiters

aklinz 04-22-2018 03:37 PM

Always, ALWAYS go with full-grain leather hiking boots. PERIOD. Has nothing to do with actual precipitation; there are kilometres of bogs and beach walking .... Trail runners will guarantee wet feet.... Full on hiking boots are the way to go ! :)

BCSaltchucker 11-15-2018 04:22 PM

there is no reason to ever use boots, even mid height on the WCT. Trail runners are the standard nowadays for 98% of backpack trekking, including the WCT. Boots are needed for alpine mountaineering, not these fairly easy park trails.

We wore low cut trail runners, with gore tex and shorty gators on the WCT and many JDF treks (an Sierras, and everywere else). Did not get one soaker any time. Helps keep us spry navigating the gnarl, esp with starting weight pack at 25 lbs.

Boots will tire you out, slow you down and far more likely to cause foot injuries. plus just plain too hot

hiked a 100km trek with a pair of super experienced guides in the Sierras a few years ago. They had 65 lb packs. And, of course, trail runners.

leather boots are like hiking with 40 lb packs - obsolete for most places in 2018. Just ask Andrew Skurka (though he says don't even need to bother with gore tex) who does 5,000+ mile off trail treks.


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