This page will be a running inventory of the shoes I go through as I hike the AT.

I started off with Merrell Vapor Gloves and Merrell Trail Gloves.

Left: Merrell Vapor Gloves                                                              Right: Merrell Trail Gloves

The Vapor Gloves are super thin and just didn’t provide enough warmth or protection in the first week due to the snow. My feet were wet and freezing.


The Trail Gloves ended up not working out at all (maybe that’s why there are so many on eBay), so at Neel’s Gap on day 2, I traded them for a pair of Inov-8 F-lites (stock photo below).

Inov-8 F-lite 195
Inov-8 F-lite 195

Well, they sucked too, so I had to use my Vapor Gloves after all. I let them sit next to a fire too long and ended up with this on day 4. On day 6, HH6 brought neoprene NRS Sandal Socks from REI that are water proof and are 2mm thick.

Don't leave Merrells next to the fire too long.
Don’t leave Merrells next to the fire too long.

I have had to patch the Vapor Gloves twice so far. They broke loose again right before the NOC at day 10.

Glue + more glue = fixed shoe
Glue + more glue = fixed shoe

Currently, I am using the neoprene socks in conjunction with my repaired Vapor Gloves. I’m on day 12 at Fontana Dam as of this update, 165 miles from Springer.