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Petey091

Closed Toe Shoes

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This one is just like the "National Policy becuase of Insurance" that you must wear the Field Uniform while traveling. It is a great idea and may be a troop policy but not National. Whenever I hear that one I love to watch them squirm when I ask them how can that possibly be a National Policy when National is very explicit that a Uniform is NOT required to be a Scout. Priceless.

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Common sense would prevail.    With the risk of ruining a trip, why would anybody in their right mind want to go running around in the outdoors without their feet protected?   Duh

 

 

1.  Hiking sandals (such as Tevas) provide excellent ventilation keeping feet from sweating and forming blisters.

2.  Hiking sandals are very useful on long treks to change the contact points if you have blisters.

3.  Flip flops and other sandals are very comfortable to walk around camp with and better than barefoot or in socks (seen both)

4.  Flip flops and Crocks are great if you are going to get wet due to swimming, bathing or being hosed down.  Also, having a boy stick a foot that is wet from the lake and dirty from the mud / grass they just walked into in a sock is asking for feet that smell toxic.

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I've been wearing sandals most of the time (weather permitting) for 28 years. Yes, I was one of the first to get Tevas when you could only get them in small, medium, and large. Sport sandals have come a long way since then. I wear them hiking, canoeing, rafting, and have even worn them rock climbing. 

 

I even worked at a picture frame shop and wore sandals every day. I still have all my fingers and toes even though there was broken glass and razor blades.

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I learned how to deal with closed toe shoes and blisters.  If done correctly one can maximize safety and don't need sandals.

 

9 days in Philmont, no blisters.  One boy who mirrored what I was doing did not get blisters either.  Everyone else did, some were pulling off bloody socks at the end of the day.

 

Trading cuts for blisters doesn't need to be an either/or choice.

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I learned how to deal with closed toe shoes and blisters.  If done correctly one can maximize safety and don't need sandals.

 

9 days in Philmont, no blisters.  One boy who mirrored what I was doing did not get blisters either.  Everyone else did, some were pulling off bloody socks at the end of the day.

 

Trading cuts for blisters doesn't need to be an either/or choice.

Ironically, I was at Philmont over the weekend picking up my son from NAYLE. I was wearing boots because my wife wanted to go on a hike. I stepped on a rock in the PTC parking lot and rolled my ankle. I now have a lemon size knot on the side of my ankle. 

 

I don't blame the boots. I blame myself for not watching where I was going. ;)

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Ironically, I was at Philmont over the weekend picking up my son from NAYLE. I was wearing boots because my wife wanted to go on a hike. I stepped on a rock in the PTC parking lot and rolled my ankle. I now have a lemon size knot on the side of my ankle. 

 

I don't blame the boots. I blame myself for not watching where I was going. ;)

 

That's the importance of a somewhat supportive ankle bracing.  Rolling an ankle on the trail could bring the trek to a quick conclusion.  I wore synthetic hiking boots that came up and gave ankle support but were not the heavy leather.    As the week wore on, I relied more and more on taping my ankle for support.  I was 4-F from the military for flat feet and needed extra attention on the hike with the extra weight of the pack. 

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I am pretty late to this thread but it has been on my mind. I am happy to see there is no hard and fast rule against sport sandals. I have hiked thousands of miles in Chacos and similar without difficulty. My experiences seemed at odds with the conventional wisdom. I am happy to let the fellows and their families sort out what is best for themselves.

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My mom had 16 stitches in the arch of her foot having stepped on a tent stake while camping.  I got 10 stitches in the bottom of my foot walking barefoot on a beach having made contact with a piece of quartz.  My buddy got 5 stitches swimming in a river after someone left behind a glass beer bottle.

 

I often wonder who much grief we could avoid by not taking chances.  I always wear heavy boots while in camp and I haven't had a foot injury since I was 10 years old.  Sometimes in life we get dealt a poor hand, but after the first time, learning to play the hand better is always a better choice in the next time it comes along.

Edited by Stosh
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Our troop does have a rule against open-toed footwear on camping trips.  Obviously there are exceptions.  They used to camp at Sandy Hook, and spend a couple of hours on the beach.  We did not have to wear boots on the beach.  But most of the campsites the troop goes to are so rocky, it's just a matter of common sense.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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While I agree that there is no national rule saying that you can't wear open-toed footwear at camp (at least I couldn't find any documentation that says it's prohibited), I wanted to relate this story that happened a few years ago:

 

I was on staff at our council's Cub Day Camp in charge of one of the stations. One of the days had the inspector show up to do his inspection of the camp for accreditation. We had told families (and it was on the paperwork that families got prior to camp starting) that sandals, and other types of open-toed shoes would not be permitted.

 

While our camp did very well on the inspection, and we got the accreditation and flag to fly on the flagpole, we did get dinged on the report because he observed Scouts and parents who were wearing sandals and flip-flops, despite us telling them not to (and there wasn't any reason for them to be wearing those types of shoes--we did not have a pool or shower facilities).  We did catch some people and sent them home during the week, but we obviously didn't catch everyone.

 

Anyway, on the report it was noted about these people and the inspector wrote "National Camp Rule" next to the note.  He didn't mark off any points (maybe because a national camp rule on this doesn't exist?) but that was noted as such on the report.

 

That, at least for a few years, burned "No Open-Toed Shoes In Camp--That's a National Camp Rule!" into many people's minds.

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I have encountered more than a few that will speak with an air of absolute authority about rules that turn out to be something more like "guidelines".

 

I'm coming up on a little over thirty years as an almost exclusively sandaled hiker. That has included some serious walking; deserts, mountains, long portages and includes The Appalachian Trail which was over 2000 miles long. a lot of walking... I don't want to seem like I'm bragging but I am seriously credentialed.  Maybe I better touch wood, but my foot, ankle, and leg injuries have been wearing boots. I started my switch to sandals in the bottom of the Grand Canyon when I realized that my fantastic Italian made hikers were doing me in.  Luckily I had a pair of Alp sandals tied to my pack.  My footwear had been depriving me of the feedback from the ground that I really needed. 

 

When I finished the AT I went to work as a hiking boot salesman. There is a lot of hype and a lot of fear being used to sell gear. Now my kid is old enough to dip his feet into Scouting, I want play a part in his experience but I'd rather not play along with the misinformation presented as absolutes. By all means practice your craft. Learn to walk in a world full of obstacles. Fill your mind instead of your pack.

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@clivusmultrum  Welcome to the forum!

 

I know a lot of hikers who have personally used different materials that aren't always the recommended choice.  I did not use an all-leather hiking boot as mandated by the SM.  I used the breathable manmade fiber boots that did not produce the blisters the others suffered.

 

When it comes to the boys and making recommendations, I, too, use personal experience and allow the boys to pick the footwear they wish for the trip.  I have extremely flat feet (4-F during the Vietnam War Era) and when I did my Philmont hike I may not have gotten the blisters, but the ankle support was a problem on the last few days.

 

Hap Pigsley is a safety consultant that I have mentioned on forum that I keep playing in the back of my mind.  He said that out of 330 risky activities, 300 times the average person will "get away with it".  29 times, however, will result in injury, and 1 of those times it will result in death.  He did emphasize that the routine of "getting away with it" experiences will give the person a false sense of security to continue the risky activity.  Just sayin'   It's just something I learned because I have been extremely lucky with "getting away with it" all these years.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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A friend, commander of a Armored Cavalry Regiment, went to Philmont in very light Nike boots that had no rand (rubber bumper around the edge between sole and upper) and allowed the little toe to hang over a bit.  Very fit guy - VERY..

 

On Day 5 he was having both the toenails on his little toes drilled  to release the blood under the nails of his pulverized toes.  

 

Rocky trails.  YMMV - literally.

 

Next time he went back with well-broken in leather boots.

 

I used Meindl leather/fabric boots that weighed 1.5 lbs more than his.  No problems.  But, then, I have never had a blister on a foot - just fingers.

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