Tip-toeing into Minimalist Footwear (Day 18)

View from Mt. Lincoln

Mt. Lincoln, White Mountains


Over the 4th of July weekend, I had the pleasure of spending about 5 hours hiking above tree line in the White Mountains.  There was a good amount of elevation gain with plenty of rocks and roots lining the trails from Mt. Liberty to Mt. Lafayette and I remember thinking:  “I am glad I am not wearing my fivefinger shoes today!”  Although they have a fairly substantial surface to protect the skin on the bottom of the foot, I was imagining that all of the large rocks combined with the big steps that I took going up and down would leave my feet feeling pretty sore.  And at the top of Mt. Lincoln, I saw something I really didn’t expect to see:  2 hikers (a father/son duo I guessed) each wearing a pair of Vibram fivefinger shoes!  At that point they had climbed up just less than 3,500 feet in elevation and were about 5 miles into a 9 mile hike.  They had the same version (bikila) and even the same color, but their shoes were significantly more beat up than mine, and so were their feet…

Liberty Springs trail

steep and rocky

As for me, I did bring my fivefingers on the trip, they made great camp-shoes because they are lighter than my sandals and gave my feet a little “breathing room” while setting up the tent.  I will say however that even some of the rocks and roots around the tent site made themselves known to the soles of my feet, I can’t imagine how the two hikers that I met on the trail were feeling right now.  I would love to be able to run in my fivefingers some day, but I have absolutely no desire to wear them on a hike in the White Mountains!

Hiking in the White Mountains

slow walking…

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