You should consider about what to put on your feet on thruhikes.

Other gears you can choose whatever you like. But your favorite hiking shoes might not be the one for a long walk.


Eight hikers out of ten wear trail runners and only few have hiking boots. Sandals are much less. I met some hikers who wear both shoes and sandals.

Born to Runという本がある、読みたかった本だったので英語のオーディオブックをダウンロードしてPCTでは何度も聴いた本の一つで聴くたびに走りたくなる一冊、実際食料が少ない時の平坦なトレイルは走って楽しんだ。とても興味深く面白いのでスルーハイクの準備中にでも読むとサンダルという選択肢も極端では無いことが理解できると思う。

One of my favorite book on trail was “Born to Run”. I listened its audiobook many times on PCT. It makes me to run every time I listen to. Well actually I ran for short distances on PCT when I had not much food left with me. Walking a long distance with sandals wouldn’t be hard or dangerous after reading this one. And its got a great story in it highly recommend.


In this book shows in many ways that we humans have perfect shock absorption and wouldn’t need tick soles or arch support. In fact those supports give more injuries than the shoes without them. More you protect it weaker it gets. And this is about running but I think it applies to thruhike as well. People used their legs way more with thin soles in the past. And the fact runners get more injuries after fancy running shoes appeared.


I used to wear mountain boots for hiking before I met rock climbing. Approach shoes became sandals in warm seasons. And between climbing camp I hiked near mountains with that sandals. Maybe that was the start and I never looked back. Though hiking high mountains were different. I used approach shoes for Japan Alps. Now no problems going with sandals on the Alps in summer.


Wearing sandals on high peaks make others surprise and worried about getting hurt. I’ll tell them I walked Mexican border to Canada then they shut their mouths. But they don’t understand how easy it is to hike mountains with sandals. I hurt one of my toes bleeding once by a dropped rock. It was on the volcanic section and rocks there was super sharp. If it was a normal rock then my toe didn’t bleed much. On a volcanic surface I had to walk real slow for safety reason. If your feet have less protection then your walking will change automatically. You should go out with bare foot and you see what I mean.


Though I had one problem. Clacks, my feet skin cracked up after a while. I think you have similar experience wearing sandals all summer then your skin get hard and thick. So mine got like ten times thicker and eventually cracked in many places. Injuries are hard to heal on trail especially foot troubles. So my feet never completely healed on trail. At some point I had to stitch the crack by myself. It wasn’t a big deal because it was just tick skins I stitched up. Pain wasn’t too bad. But doing that after a long walk was tiring. To prevent further crack I tried many thing. Bandages the one I used the most though it became meaningless after few hours of walk. Then pumice stone to file my skin down which didn’t work well. Sandpaper was the one I found out. I file my feet everyday after hike. I couldn’t believe how much I was filing my skin off.

ここだけ読むとサンダルより靴のが安全だと思えるが、靴で歩いているスルーハイカーの方がもっと問題を抱えていた。多くのハイカーが悩まされるのがブリスター / 水膨れで一度なると中々治せないし、つま先をぶつけて爪が剥がれたり黒くなったり、痛みが酷くリタイアする人もいる。

Yeah sandals ain’t perfect but you see there is an easy way to prevent this. Just wear socks. Why not…but no to me. If I wear socks then I loose some grips and more weight. Also I hate wearing dirty ones in the morning. You might think no sandals for a long walk. Well actually shoes hikers had more problems. Most of them have blisters all the way. It’s really hard to heals those on trail. Some stub their toes on rocks and get nails blacken or loose them yikes.


It’s super dry on PCT and so much dust in the desert. A long walk through it makes your feet real dirty. Mine looked better you know. Not like them I can wade water without taking them off. So my feet occasionally get cleaned. BTW water is something I love to come across. In a hot day(most of time) I dived into water with clothes on so I could take shower and laundry. Drying is not needed. Wet clothes cools you down while walking.



There’re many barefoot tribes around the glove. Just like them our ancestors went barefoot no thick soles off course. Yet they walked for a long distances much longer than distance I walked on TA and PCT. Thruhike is a challenge but go with sandals are not much. Well I think it’s a better choice if you think about your body. Thin soles would be great too.

I’d love to walk a long hike with barefoot. It definitely the best way to feel nature. Maybe next I try barefoot thruhike haha.


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