Kust to Kustleden Completed: Footwear reflection

Yesterday I finished the final section of the Kust to Kustleden, the section from Båstad to Båstad, a circular route taking in Knösen, Torekov and Gryteskär (a report will follow).

I started on this journey on November 6, 2008 and after 6 sections spread over 8 months I have completed the 300 km walk. The walk started in late autumn with some colour in the trees, finishing with the bright green foliage and landscapes of early summer. I hiked through knee deep snow, experienced 25 C heat as well as cool days where temperatures did not get above 0 C.

It is interesting to reflect on the gear I started with and finished with, the changes made along the way and the reasons for these changes. The first of these reflections is footwear.

Approximately 2 years ago I developed Plantar fasciitis in part caused by my belief that I could walk long distances in short times without taking precautionary measures such as stretching. This took a while to recover from but with exercising, appropriate footwear I gradually recovered. For this reason I started off the first trip on the Kust to Kustleden with New Balance 760’s I did two trips with these and was happy with the comfort and support (especially the arch support) over time though I began to feel that they were not quite right for my needs, so I moved on to Salomon 3D Ultras which I have been very happy with, so much so I wear them to work as well as hiking. However, for the last trip I wore a pair of Salmon Fastpacker, my reason being was related to my upcoming trip to Lapland and a concern that a slightly thicker sole may be more appropriate whilst retaining the 3D Ultras design features.

One of the realities of the Kust to Kustleden is that there is a reasonable amount of road walking which can be hard on the feet, but the Fastpackers are as comfortable on roads as they were scrambling around the cliffs of Knösen and walking along the sandy beaches of Bjärehalvön Peninsula. They are Goretex lined, which is not my preferred style of boot but combined with my Injinji liner socks and Darn Tough socks there was no feeling of hot feet. The tread design on the Fastpackers is similar to that of the 3D Ultras, however, the tread is deeper which is an advantage of these boots over the Ultras. All in all a great boot and while I will still use my 3D Ultras for shorter trips the Fastpackers will form part of my long distance off road hiking kit.

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4 Responses to Kust to Kustleden Completed: Footwear reflection

  1. Holdfast says:

    That Fastpacker sole unit is what Salomon should put on their XA and 3D shoes. Even better would be the Speedcross sole although I'm not sure it would last long if you have to do too many miles on tarmac.

    My own quest for the perfect footwear rolls on with the recent impulse (half price in a sale) acquisition of a pair of Montrail CTC boots for next winter's slushy conditions.

  2. Nielsen Brown says:

    Thanks Holdfast
    I have seen the Speedcross on the web, but not in real life so cannot comment on the sole.
    I now measure the quality of the footwear by how my feet feel after a trip, this time they feel great after 60 km in 3 days. If my feet feel the same after 200 km in Lapland then I will be praying that Salomon continue to produce the Fastpacker and hopefully a retailer will sell them in Denmark.

  3. The Fastpackers are the most comfortable boots/shoes I've ever worn and I reckon the soles will last a long time. The weak point on these kind of boots is the membrane, which I reckon is likley to fail first. I'm going to get a second pair to keep in reserve.The Speedcross shoes are very comfortable as well but are definitely off road shoes. Tarmac would wear the tread down very quickly.

  4. Thanks for your comments, I am very happy with the Fastpackers the real test will be 2 weeks and 200 km at the beginning of July. As for a second pair that will come if I am happy after Lapland.

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