Eight years ago, I gave up on backpacking, hiking and running. I was dealing with horrible foot and ankle pain. I even had a podiatrist tell me that I should look for a different job, since my job occasionally required that I walk up to three or four miles per day.
After months of asking, my friend Joe convinced me to hike Mt. Whitney with him in 2011. I still had significant pain, but I could deal with it for day hikes. Although I soon became an avid hiker, the idea of backpacking was still something that scared me; carrying a heavy pack for several days sounded like torture and did not appeal to me.
I continued to turn down invites for backpacking trips from Joe and others until I ran across a picture of Precipice Lake, located in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. From that moment forward, I knew that I had at least one multi-night adventure in my future.Determined to see things that I couldn’t get to on a day hike, I spent the next couple of years on the trail beating up my feet and testing several pairs of boots. I scrutinized my gear list after each hike, determined to reduce my base weight to manageable levels and find boots that would allow me to carry the weight for multiple days.
There were some obvious ways to decrease my pack weight, but I did not find my boots until I become an Oboz Trail Ambassador.
Before heading out on the High Sierra Trail, Lyndon tested his Oboz Beartooths in a number of environments, including Yosemite, the San Gorgonio Wilderness and Zion. Photo Credit: Lyndon Scott
When I put in my order for the Beartooth BDry Hiking Boots, I was optimistic, but I had no idea how happy I would be with these boots.
Upon receiving them, I took on some challenges that would normally destroy my feet and ankles – side-hilling it on cross country hikes, miles in my snowshoes and crampons, and trips that required that I be on my feet for 10 hours or more. There was discomfort, but after every trip, my feet felt the best they ever had after taking on such adventures.
This past June, we set out on the High Sierra Trail – my first multi-night trip in 8 years. While it was not pain free, the Beartooths saved my ankles on several occasions and my foot pain was manageable. I saw Precipice Lake in person, as well as got my fourth Mt. Whitney summit. While I would have found a way to reach my goals with “lesser” boots, the Beartooths made my trek more enjoyable; I’m already dreaming about my next backpacking trip!
Lyndon reached his goal of seeing Precipice Lake and also summited the highest peak in the contiguous United States. Photo Credit: Lyndon Scott
Lyndon is an avid hiker and blogger. You can read his account of hiking the High Sierra Trail on HikingGeek.com.