Last night I spent an hour on the phone with Verizon trying to figure out why my internet wasn’t working. The guy finally came to the conclusion that Verizon had given my account away to someone who lives down the street and that I should talk to the sales office. Since this made all the sense in the world (because I regularly give away client’s contracts at work, don’t you?), I called up the sales office, but they were closed. Point being, I came into the office early this morning, so this post is going to be short and sweet.
I’ve been meaning to tell you all what I decided as far as shoes go. Over a year ago, I bought a pair of Merrell Moab boots at an REI used gear sale for $20. They aren’t waterproof, so I initially hesitated to use them. However, then I started reading that waterproof shoes will get wet anyway, and once they do, they take forever to dry. Well, that was all the justification I needed to use my Moabs (what? I don’t have to spend more money? OK!).
I called Merrell’s customer service because I had heard that the company will replace worn out boots for thru-hikers. The woman I spoke to on the phone confirmed, saying that, should the need arise, all I have to do is call the customer service number and send a picture of the worn out boots, preferably emphasizing the frayed seams or other wear that makes them unusable. Merrell will then ship another pair to the next town that I’ll be in. The policy allows for a ONE-TIME replacement. Sweet, right?
(I’m guessing when I said, “And then…” you were thinking I would change my mind, didn’t you? Jor 1, reader 0. I win!)
So my boots are set.
The second part of the shoe regimen will be insoles. I’ve spent the past few years wearing Vibram FiveFingers minimalist shoes to strengthen my arches and ankles, but really with all the pressure on my feet and ankles from the added weight of the pack, I feel I’ll need added arch support. In fact, I still use Superfeet insoles in my running shoes to this day, despite the strengthening I’ve done.
Superfeet creates about two dozen varieties of specialty insoles meant for a wide array of activities including running, hiking, and other sports. I’ve always purchased mine at the local running store near my apartment, but I wasn’t sure if the running variety would be the best option for a long distance hike. So, I contacted the company a few months ago.
The woman I spoke to was kind enough to give me some advice to help narrow down the options, and then she sent me three different varieties to try:
- MerinoGreys help regulate foot temperature in cold and warm environments.
- Berrys are designed to maximize shock absorption for a woman’s foot.
- Greens are the ones I use for running and are what I’d describe as generalist.
I ended up testing each pair out on three separate training hikes, and I have to say, it’s really hard to decide! One hike is definitely not enough as they all seemed pretty comfortable. I will say that the Berrys gained a small lead, so I’m going to start my thru-hike with those insoles and see how they go. Worse comes to worse, I can always swap them out.
The woman that sent them to me told me to follow up with her in a couple of months, and she’d be happy to send me a backup of my preferred pair for when my first pair wear out. How awesome is that? So generous!
And in case you all are interested in knowing how the Merrell Moabs and the Superfeet insoles hold up on the trail, you know I’ll be posting updates. And if you’re not interested, tough noogies.