Monday, May 8, 2017

Finding Footwear

If there are one piece of gear that is very important to your hiking / trail running adventure , it would be your footwear.

You can get away with your regular backpack, shirt and jeans when hiking but your footwear - might be sandals, rubber shoes, boots, or trail running shoes can spell a happy times on the trail or just plain pain disaster.

Inov8 rocklite 295 in Dulangan River of Mt Halcon
Just like with most of those who are just started hiking - back then Facebook groups are not created yet. We are just getting information from our main source - Now, i think the site are not popular anymore and not often visited by those who wants to hike. They will just join the FB groups, ask questions there ,hoping someone will answer, then voila , they are mountaineer. And when they descend the mountain, they are now organizer.

The boss Inov 8 in action
Going back to finding footwear - Merrell was popular here. They are everywhere, you can purchase them at any shoe store, and they are always on sale. I have my own experience with the shoes. They are great at first , however when you are gaining experience and experiencing a lot of different trails, you will then need a shoes with better grip. I have my own fail moments finding whats works for me. I have purchased columbia, teva and the north face they are okay with some trails, but it is failed on most difficult terrain.

Inov8 race ultra 290 in Balagbag River
I searched online for months reading reviews online.I need to find the shoes that can withstand the trail of Mt Talomo to Mt Apo and Mt Kalatungan traverse continuously.  Then came Inov-8.

It was my first time to come across the brand. I never heard of it before. The first model I have was the Inov-8 rocklite 295.  What impressed me and sold me was the outsole. You can tell that I will have the greatest traction and grip that can help you finished the brutal trail and unimaginable obstacles you will find on the mountain trail.

I have not put the shoes in break in period. I wear it right away in Mt Talomo - Mt Apo traverse. For anyone who have finished that traverse can tell that it have a challenging and brutal trail. That time, there was a lot of section where the shoes was subside on the ankle deep mud. There was a lot of time you need to walk on the mossy covered trunk trees. Passed trough a lot of roots and wet and dried leaves and the rocky trail of Mt Apo to cover all your imagined trail sections.

I finished the trail with the shoes passed in flying colors. Rest for 2 days then hike up again in the jungle forest of Mt Kalatungan.

Inov8 Race Ultra 290
The rocklite 295 exceeds my expectation. I was really happy with the shoes performance. I was very confident and comfortable to all trail sections even on the infamous dead toe's trail of Mt Kalatungan. I used it in Kitanglad, Dulang Dulang, Maagnaw, Lumot Sumagaya, Hibok Hibok, Halcon, Sicapoo, Pulag, Tabayoc, Kibungan, Kanlaon, Talinis, Pinatubo and other Peaks and trail as well.

I have hiked with the shoes in most difficult mountain in Mindanao except in White peak as it hit by Storm Pablo at that time. I know it can survive the trail of Guiting Guiting and Mantalingajan the two mountains mentioned by every one else as the most difficult mountain we have.

Since I have first hand experienced with the brand. I recommend it to my team. The only downside is , Inov8 is not widely available here. There is only one store that carries it at the moment - it was Sportshouse and not all the models are available here.

If you need a new shoes, or planning to switch shoes, I highly recommend you try Inov-8. Our team have hiked with it on most of the mountain in Benguet and we are not disappointed. You just need to find the model that fits you. We all have different foot type - wide, flat, thin etc. We all have preferences - color, looks and budget.

If your looking for recommendation in facebook group about the shoes - please check if the person who recommends you to buy something actually used it on the toughest mountain, not only in batulao or any rizal mountains - you can easily get away with your regular rubber shoes on it.

What we can recommend, what ever shoes  you choose to wear, make sure that it have a good grip otherwise - epic fail.

Team Inov8 In Mt Tangbaw of Mt Purgatory