We have been swayed by current conventional trail wisdom and ditched hiking boots for lighter and breathable trail running shoes. Avoiding the heavy material and any gortex means that wet shoes will dry out faster, and less weight on ones feet means less weight to haul overall. These are both great things. I’ve also learned that the idea that one gets extra ankle support from boots is really a myth, which was a concern of mine since I tend to pronate my feet a considerable amount.

Still, to give our beefed up sneakers some added stability, we’re adding Superfeet insoles to help support all the extra weight of our packs. I’ve been using them during all of our training hikes and found them far more comfortable than I expected. Even going packless on long hikes without them fatigues my feet in a surprising way, and I’m considering looking at something for daily use in the long term.

We’re also using the ever fabulous Dirty Girl Gaiters to help keep debris out of our shoes. Arbor thought this design was particularly amusing. Quick tip – if you think of picking up some gaiters of your own, make sure to measure the circumference of your ankle before ordering. Her default sizes must be for the skinniest of people, because all three of us required the custom sizing! So glad we checked because they fit comfortably and we all love our crazy gaiter designs.