I suppose it comes as no great surprise that one of the most crucial considerations for a thru-hiker is foot care. The success of a hike can sometimes come down to how well a hiker is able to maintain blister-free and happy feet.
Many people are surprised to hear that I won't be wearing hiking boots on the trail. I've never been a huge fan of hiking boots (so heavy!), so I was happy to hear that they're uncommon on the trail. Hikers instead typically opt for trail running shoes - my preferred shoe choice! In all likelihood, I'll go through 3-6 pairs of shoes on the trail (that's a huge shoe budget for one year, and not a single pair of heels!)
I've spent the past 5 months testing shoes that will keep my feet as injury free as possible. It's no easy feat (feet?! harhar) to find what's right for me. My feet are small but wide, with a super high arch. That's a tough combination. On top of that, it's apparently not uncommon for your feet to grow up to 1-2 full sizes when you're hiking! I didn't believe it at first, but after some of our longer training hikes and overnight backpacking trips, the first pair of shoes I'd purchased, which had been quite comfy for the first hundred miles or so, suddenly felt tight. I think I've done a good job getting my hands on shoes that will get me through at least California. The most important thing is to ensure there's plenty of room in the toe box...if not, blisters are likely.
Check out my shoe collection! Here's hoping these bad boys will carry me painlessly across the trail: