Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by @ThatOutdoorGuy.
Some guys my age collect vintage cars. Some own several all-terrain vehicles. Some thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of fishing and/or hunting equipment. Others boast of a garage filled with power equipment for their well-manicured lawns. This list could go on indefinitely, so let me stop here and make my own confession: I am @ThatOutdoorGuy, and I’m an outdoor adventure shoeaholic.
It’s only been a few days since I… checked out a new pair of Dynafit Pantera trail running shoes while visiting my friends at Rock/Creek. From the first time I viewed their Vibram sole with Mapping Compound technology, and felt their substantial-when-compared-to-the-minimalist-trend-of-airy-shoes weight, I was hooked.
When you factor in their aggressive design and a myriad of other very technical specifics, it’s all I could do to put them back. On my most recent trip to R/C, I forced myself to steer wide of them on display, as to avoid any appearance of addiction…
Okay, that’s confession enough — with absolutely no disrespect or denigration intended towards those courageous souls facing true life challenges — I think you get the picture.
I love outdoor adventure shoes, boots, sandals, even flip flops. I do. I openly admit it, if only to embrace this probably-laughable aspect of who I am. I own shoes and boots by Keen, Merrell, Adidas, and The North Face. I own boots by Sorel, L.L. Bean, and Timberland. I own shoes by Salomon, Vasque, Hi-Tech, Pearl Izumi, End, Saucony, and New Balance. I own sandals by Keen and Chaco, and flip flops by North Face.
Why so many? Honestly? Because they’re my tools. I choose which to wear based on where I’m going, what I’ll be doing, and what I hope to accomplish. They’re how I interpret the ground beneath my feet, which can vary from ascending an insanely steep hiking trail in the Smokies, rock-hopping at North Chick, jumping on my MTB and attacking the fire road out to Edwards Point, to pretending that I’m training for one of the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series events.
The specificity available today is staggering, which is why all the Rock/Creek locations are staffed with athletes who participate in the activities today’s highly technical footwear is designed for. Personal advice, combined with industry training, prepares them to properly assist you in your search for “just the right shoe.”
Way back in the Dark Ages when I was a boy, I owned two pairs of shoes: play shoes and church shoes. That was it. Two pairs. Converse, and something in black leather. Fast forward the six decades since the ’60s, and it’s all I can do to walk by any of the four Chattanooga Rock/Creek locations and not go in to look at the latest styles. I mean, did you see Dynafit listed above? Or Asolo, Brooks, Five Ten, Hoka, La Sportiva, Montrail, Oboz, Salewa, or Scarpa? I rest my case.
Hi, I’m @ThatOutdoorGuy, and I’m an outdoor adventure shoeaholic…