I am wondering if anyone has some suggestions for minimalist hiking boots or something of the sort. I have seen some things online, but my main concern is that I will be walking around a lot in an area filled with mesquite (I live in West Texas) for a class and have been told that wearing good boots is important because the mesquite thorns can pierce athletic shoes even. Are there any options to keep my feet safe and comfortable (I've grown somewhat accustomed to minimalist footwear).
So any ideas on minimizing the sole as much as possible while having good protection against super thorny mesquite trees, let me know, or if I'm just out of luck probably I guess that is ok too. There is also a lot of cactus growing around heavy mesquite areas so that will probably be part of the terrain as well. I am also allergic to mesquite so I don't really want to get stabbed by the trees.
Thanks you ya'lls help! :)
Rather than risk being painfully stabbed I would just wear heavy leather hiking boots and watch where I stepped...simpler than dealing with healing a foot or walking on it while it is injured.
Ive been a minimalist for years. Climb most of my mountains (4300meter in Colorado for example) in Vibram KSO Treks or Merrell Tough Gloves. Both are superb, and the trails are rough. If thorns are a real concern, Russell Moccasin makes trackers for the African bush specifically thorn proof, zero rise, and flexible.
Forgive me, but I think people are missing something here. As a native New Mexican, I can attest that part of the problem are threats from above, not always below. Meaning, thorns can stab the tops and sides of the foot too. I once walked through a field of star thistle in regular running shoes and was stabbed multiple times.
I don't have any specific recommendations, but I would go for old school, sturdy leather boots with the thinnest sole I could find. I mean, how often will you need something like this? Is it worth the investment? If you'll need them frequently then I guess I would try to figure something more minimal out, but otherwise I would just suffer with a heavier, more structured shoe.
Mesquite thorns are serious. You'd have to make your own sandals out of like... a bullet-proof vest. I've worn Vibrams in mesquite fields before - but knew that I had to be careful and the shoes would not stop a thorn if I stepped right on one.
How about these:cwww.softstarshoes.com? I just ordered a pair of the RunAmocs with the trail sole. They are smooth leather. I live in an area where there's a lot of sharp lava rocks on the trails. I looked around for a while and decided to try these.
I have been working clearing mesquite and have a $200 pair of hiking boots with a vibram 3/4 inch sole at the ball of my foot. Yesterday a 2 and half inch mesquite thorn pierced my foot. Y'all have no idea what these thorns are capable of. I'm heading out to get a pair of steel bottomed boots today!
Vibram makes a hiking shoe called the KSO Trek. The sole is a bit thicker. It may not stop a mesquite thorn directly - you sadly may not have minimalist options for that - but they have stood by me for rough and rocky terrain all over the US and the British Isles.
I live around mesquite and have never worried about their thorns as they are in the trees, on the branches. If the limbs have fallen, they are just under the tree. Not a good place to be b/c of snakes. What is the task that you have to do that would take you under the trees into their drop area?
I have similar issues with cactus spines and it's hard to find footwear to fend them off. But the biggest problem is tiny ants.
This person had the sole thinned - http://birthdayshoes.com/forum/feet-and-fivefingers-accessories-and-alternatives/my-red-wing-boot-conversion/
You could buy a pair of boots from a thrift shop (if you don't have any currently) and have them customized similarly - that is, if you'll hike enough in that type of terrain to make the expense worthwhile.
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