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Petey091

Closed Toe Shoes

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    My point in examining this thread has more to do with what is an actual rule. When thru-hikers discuss differences of opinion on gear, method, technique , the conversation usually ends with "well, you gotta walk your own walk".  As I am re-entering the BSA I am running into people, BALOO trainers and such, that will state something like it is a hard and fast rule and I find zero to support that written down anywhere. I want to make sure I can walk-my-own-walk without undue conflict. Why not get a pair of Oboz or Merrell's and get by with everybody else? The absolute most candid answer for me is that after 3 decades of using sandals for everything but mowing the yard and date night my feet have come to resemble and work more like a Ruramari or Maasai  or any of those people walking big miles in sandals they've made out of a discarded tire. Feet widen, toes spread apart the skin toughens; If you walk the way your species was originally designed, the binding of shoes will come to hurt. 

   Do I think you should do it my way? Nope, not necessarily. Ive got buddies I enjoy hiking with that wouldn't dream of setting out without a proper pair of mountaineering boots and they're do fine for the most part. Am I much swayed by what I learned getting certified as a boot fitter or the various safety experts? Na, not necessarily. Their vantage is limited in such a way that it excludes the most of the human experience. Porters on the Inca Trail or in Kenya were not surveyed. 

    When my guys are ready to move from sneakers to backpacking kit I will offer up the conventional thought and my own experiences with as little theater as possible. I do want to make sure Im square on the actual rules.

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An unshod Indian pony spends it's whole life without shoes.  They are used to it even in rough terrain.  Yet a horse that's lost it's shoe doesn't go very far without finally going lame.  It simply isn't used to being unshod.  A hiker that is used to wearing sandals, except to mow the lawn is not the same as some scout who spends 67% of his day wearing untied sneakers comes from a different world.  As I sit here typing, I am wearing loafers with no socks.  A bit reminiscent of the '60's era.  :)  We all have our own style.  But when it comes to doing an activity different than what one normally does, it might require a bit of going off the normal comfort zone to handle the situation.

 

This brings me to the point where I must ask, why aren't sandals worn while mowing the lawn?  Surely there's a safety factor being added to the not-normal situation of operating a power mower.

 

Scouts spend most of their days either in school walking on hard, but level, smooth surfaces.  Same for at home.  There's a comfort zone normalized for them under these circumstances.  But take that boy outdoors, onto some campsite or mountainous trail and what is considered normal is not there anymore.  Not only are the risks greater, the challenge of walking on surfaces that are not normally encountered makes the effort far more challenging.

 

All I hope, whether it's a rule or not, is that Scouters take into consideration the increased risk associated with encountering an environment that is not normally a part of the scout's experience.  Whether it be shoes/boots, sleeping bags, clothing, or even diet, certain adjustments need to be made to insure the boy has a successful adventure.

Edited by Stosh

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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.

a bit of a side track...but not really all that much I suppose

curious about which type of sandals currently you like to use for trail hiking?

I've been reading a lot lately about backpacking, and have been gearing back up hoping to do some again.  A long while back I read Andrew Skurka's book about if you pack is light enough trail runners are the way to go...light weight and dry faster

I tend to wear sandals a lot, and have been reading discussions about flip flops, crocs, and such for use as camp shoes and to a lesser degree for fording streams along the AT and other trails.  Since I wear flip flops in daily life when I can, it really strikes me that a good sandal would be great even for use on perhaps all but the roughest trail sections

So I'm interested in what you like for backpacking...

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a bit of a side track...but not really all that much I suppose

curious about which type of sandals currently you like to use for trail hiking?

I've been reading a lot lately about backpacking, and have been gearing back up hoping to do some again.  A long while back I read Andrew Skurka's book about if you pack is light enough trail runners are the way to go...light weight and dry faster

I tend to wear sandals a lot, and have been reading discussions about flip flops, crocs, and such for use as camp shoes and to a lesser degree for fording streams along the AT and other trails.  Since I wear flip flops in daily life when I can, it really strikes me that a good sandal would be great even for use on perhaps all but the roughest trail sections

So I'm interested in what you like for backpacking...

 

My everyday sandal is often a pair of Piper Sandals, made by Dave Piper and his family in San Antonio https://pipersandals.com .Though usually for serious hiking I use Chacos. When Alp sandals was bought by Decker I started making my own. That lasted until I tried a pair of Chaco Z/1s. The Chacos have been my go-to since ~1996. I steer away from soft EVA midsoles or anything with strapping that does keep your feet in place on the foot bed.  Soft midsoles tend to deform which puts more strain on muscles and tendons. Chacos have a dense polyurethane midsole that is supportive and doesn't deform. I have a pair that has been resoled and restrapped many times and they're still going strong.  I usually go with the lowest profile sole they are offering (Vibram Colorado). They are plenty grippy and a smidgeon lighter than the deeper lugged models. Socks work well with the Z sandals. Snow can be sort of a drag. It sorta gets packed under the toes between the sandal and the smartwools  :). the only times Ive been on terrain that I thought out matched the Chacos I also needed crampons. 

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a bit of a side track...but not really all that much I suppose

curious about which type of sandals currently you like to use for trail hiking?

I've been reading a lot lately about backpacking, and have been gearing back up hoping to do some again.  A long while back I read Andrew Skurka's book about if you pack is light enough trail runners are the way to go...light weight and dry faster

I tend to wear sandals a lot, and have been reading discussions about flip flops, crocs, and such for use as camp shoes and to a lesser degree for fording streams along the AT and other trails.  Since I wear flip flops in daily life when I can, it really strikes me that a good sandal would be great even for use on perhaps all but the roughest trail sections

So I'm interested in what you like for backpacking...

 

blw2, I tried to reply to this earlier but it appears to have not posted-  My go-to sandals are Chaco Z/1s. for everyday wear I use Piper sandals made by Dave Piper and family in San Antonio.

 Chacos have been my mainstays since about ~1996. When selecting I recommend a dense mid sole and a strapping system that will hold you in place. You still have enough movement for your foot to act like a foot. They can be re-strapped and resoled. I have pairs that have undergone restoration several times. The polyurethane midsole doesn't get crushed down like you'd expect from EVA, they are extremely durable.  I get mine resoled with their Vibram Colorado sole. The lugs are almost non existent but they seem grippy enough. You can wear socks with them but wet snow is still pretty annoying. The only times I felt the Chaco wasn't the match for the terrain I actually needed crampons anyway. Chacos are not cheap but they can be found on sale and the good old REI Garage sale will almost always provide a few pairs in good shape.

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thanks

I think I'll try on a pair next time I come across them

So looking at their web site

 .....you are suggesting the classic, and not the Cloud or Volv?

 

I bought a pair of chaco water shoes, outcross I believe... I like them well enough but bought them a bit too small in a bonehead moment.  good without socks as a water shoe but I wouldn't go large distances in them....

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How's about these hikers?  I think you can pick them off the Legionnaire's Website.

 

roman_soldier_by_prisoneronearth-d6icijl

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So looking at their web site

 .....you are suggesting the classic, and not the Cloud or Volv?

 

 

blw2 the newer ones might be great but I stick with the originals. In fact I recommend you noodle around with this: 

 

 http://www.chacos.com/US/en/mychaco/?sma=sm.0001o9dffv193le67ull6oo1j85aq

 

Gives some clues to how they're made. If you find they agree with you that site will guide you through the custom made process. The custom sandals and repairs are made in Rockford, Michigan. As I mentioned I've had pairs rebuilt and resoled. I like to keep them going and it's nice wearing a pair that I've already walked off the newness.

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How's about these hikers?  I think you can pick them off the Legionnaire's Website.

 

 

Stosh, I could see you're a character when you rolled out the story about Indian ponies verses city ponies.

 

Hey- you asked a question about why I wear closed toe shoes when cutting the grass- I'm sure you meant that as a rhetorical but I'll answer anyway. Really it's the same reason I often wear shoes on date night- Superstition.  When I was a kid I saw the immediate aftermath of my father's foot and work oxford encounter with a lawn mower blade. Putting on shoes isn't buying you much. Same deal on date night. On those occasions I'm not in shoes for long enough for it to be too big a bother.

 

My query, I'll repeat, didn't have anything to do with what I'm recommending to my brave Webelos. That is up to their folks and I pack a good first aid kit for their shortcomings. Most will be wearing the same kicks they wear all the time. I was just checking to make sure that I wasn't violating some mandate if I walked my own walk. I perhaps over explained my position but what the heck.

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There's a few on the forum that find what I say a problem,  I'm glad you have taken it in intent in which it was given.  I for one use sandals only in camp showers.  Otherwise around the house and yard, I do a lot barefoot or if needed, heavy boots.  Kinda one way or the other.  Back in the '60's when sandals were in "style" I did wear them a lot, but without socks, the wear against skin was a bit harsh.  Never could do the touristy sandals and socks routine.  :)

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I admit, having grown up here in Southern California, I never wore shoes except to Church or special events. My pair of rainbows is practically a part of my skin; I run, hike, show, and travel in them. The only outdoor activity where I put on boots is where there are potential hazards from animals, plants, or terrain. Otherwise my toes go free.

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The singular of Webelos Scout is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  That's it! Please take the extra half second and get it right! Thank you for indulging my little pet peeve!

 

 

Did I mention my obnoxious OCD?   :D

 

Are you sure? I think first person singular would be IBELOS. If you are addressing one of same you call them YOUBELOS.  Where I am writing this you might hear the occasional Y'ALLBELOS in lieu of WEBELOS - regionally accepted.

 

Glad I could help.

 

Clivus

Edited by clivusmultrum
  • Upvote 1

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Are you sure? I think first person singular would be IBELOS. If you are addressing one of same you call them YOUBELOS.  Where I am writing this you might hear the occasional Y'ALLBELOS in lieu of WEBELOS - regionally accepted.

 

Glad I could help.

 

Clivus

Yes.  He's sure.  And he's correct.  

 

" Adventure pin A recognition device given to a Webelos Scouts for completing the requirements for an adventure."

 

"A Webelos Scout who has earned the Arrow of Light rank has now completed all the requirements for the Scout badge and may join a Boy Scout troop. "

 

"The highest rank in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light rank, which you will begin working on as a Webelos Scout."

 

The "S" is for "Scouts", not the plural.  We will be loyal Scouts.   "On Akela's trail, we will never fail. And without any doubts, We will be loyal Scouts. We are Cub Scouts after all."

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Well, first of all I hope my signature is understood to have been born not out of agitation, but rather out of respect to the thousands of Webelos Scouts who have to endure being called a "webelo" by adults who just won't take the time to learn what the word means nor how it ought to be used.  :mad:

 

That said, I will assume @@clivusmultrum posts in jest when he addresses my signature, although it is distracting somewhat from the point of this thread (but then where else would one poke fun at another's signature?). I also appreciate your stepping in @@TAHAWK in defence of both my certainty and my position - both are appreciated. 

 

It's an uphill battle fighting the misuse of a word that by now should be generally understood by the Scouting community, but "Webelos" is a lovely term that deserves defending, so I will climb that hill to fight that battle as long as I can ... even in my beach-worn, open-toed flip-flops. Because this thread deserves to be kept on-topic somehow.  :rolleyes:

Edited by The Latin Scot

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Keeping a thread on topic is also an uphill battle, Latin Scot. ☺

I read clivusmultrum's post as an attempt at humor. One I personally found successful, thus my upvote. Sometimes things are too serious around here...

  • Upvote 1

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